A Baby Nursery Renovation: The Ultimate Baby Shower Gift
Rather than shower the parents-to-be with diapers and wipes, why not awe them with a baby nursery renovation?
One way or another, most of the gifts standard to a baby shower will end up in the baby nursery: diapers and wipes, burping cloths, crib, mobiles, blankies and other such et cetera. So... why not take that concept just a little bit farther, and redo the whole thing, ceiling to floor?
In other words, your combined gift from all the shower attendees (or even just you, if you're feeling generous) could be a complete renovation of the nursery before the baby arrives. You can be sure that your pregnant buddy won't forget that gift in a hurry.
Of course, you'd have to let her in on the secret early and get the hubby's go-ahead too, so you can match the renovation to their tastes. You can never tell what someone likes in terms of interior decorating unless you ask first. (Though heaven forbid they should choose harvest gold and burnt ocher).
You can handle the actual gift presentation in several ways. For example, you can just give them a substantial gift card (or even a check) that they can then use to renovate to order. That would avoid the problem of worrying about their tastes in interior decorating.
The DIY Option
If the actual renovations aren't too extensive -- for instance, if they involve little more than slapping some paint on the walls, sticking on cutesy wallpaper borders, and installing some new furniture or shelves -- then why not make the shower itself into the renovation event?
All you need to do is grab some old clothes and your new materials and pitch in. One caution: if paint is involved, you should use the VOC-free kind. These pigments lack volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that might, in some circumstances, be injurious to baby's lungs
BTW -- this is a good way to get the men in your lives in on the baby shower action, which they'd probably normally avoid. After all, what red-blooded American male doesn't like to hammer and paint, and make a mess in general?
Contract It Out
If you've got extensive renovations in mind, and none of you (or your SOs) have experience with such things, then you may want to pay a contractor to do the job. Just be sure to check them out carefully first using a service like Angie's List or ServiceMaster, and stay on top of them to be sure they get the job done.
Any way you slice it, springing for a complete nursery renovation is going to be an expensive, ambitious product. But imagine the gratitude that the mom-to-be is going to feel for years afterward, as she looks around that baby nursery and realizes what great friends she has!