Judy - Grandmother-to-be and party co-host.

My beautiful sister, Judy – Grandmother-to-be and party co-host.

My sister may work in City Planning for a living, but her heart is in party planning. She’s always been an amazing hostess and has put together many stunning weddings, including her two daughters’; I think some people are just born to entertain.

Judy is about to become a first-time grandmother, so this weekend she and her oldest daughter, Laura (a writer here a Miscfinds4u), put on an adorable baby shower for Katie. She’s having a girl who they’ve named Paisley Lynn and is due on April 1st.

Judy shared a step-by-step tutorial for the adorable and affordable baby shower centerpieces (you can find the tutorial here). But the  first step in creating an elegant baby shower at home is the party rentals.

Baby Shower Table Ideas - Use rentals to create an elegant party look

Baby Shower Ideas: Party Rentals

Judy uses Grand Event Rentals in Bellevue, WA, but note, prices vary per area. Here are some estimates of what renting party supplies for your baby shower may cost.

  • Chair Rentals – $1 to $8 per chair. The white plastic chairs used here were adorable in person and perfect for the party and since they were on the low end of the rental scale, they gave a lot of impact for around $30.
  • Table Rentals – tables generally come in three sizes – 48″ (4-6 people), 60″ (6-8 people) , and 76″ (8-10 people). They fold for easy moving and setup but do require linens as they’re plywood and metal. 48″ tables rent for around $10 each.
  • China Rentals – choosing your table setting can set the mood of the party. Judy chose a modern square pattern and since it was brunch, she added coffee cups and saucers (about 50 cents each). She could easily have used 7.5″ salad plates (48 cents each) but went for the larger dinner plates for the same price. Not only did they look fabulous and lend a sense of elegance, they saved on the cost of disposables and adding more unnecessary waste to the landfill.
  • Glassware – every imaginable glass is available for rental and prices are between 48 cents and 80 cents depending on the size and quality.  If you live near an IKEA store, you may want to purchase glasses and then resell or give them away as party favors (or watch Craigslist for others doing this and purchase there). Many of their wine glasses sell for the same price.
  • Flatware – Another IKEA purchase if you have them available, but for those that don’t, rentals are a great options. At about 55 cents each, rent only what you need (ie., no need for knives if you’re eating cake).
  • Linens – the cost of cleaning and pressing linens make them a worthwhile rental. A 48″ table looks great with a 90″ round cloth (the cloth rests on the chair seats), but if you like a more formal look, go with a 108″ for a full drop to the floor. Prices are about $10.50 for the shorter cloth and $13 for the full length. While white is most popular, most rental company’s have a full line of colors and even patterns available. Judy chose a soft gray cloth to go with the pink and gray theme. Napkins are about 70 cents each and are a great way to add a pop of color to the table.
  • Delivery – Don’t have a truck to move the tables? Most company’s can drop-off and pick up based on the distance from their location. Most start at about $45 and can go up to $150, so figure that into your costs.
  • Serving Pieces – warmers, coffee carafes, and more are available from most rental companies.

Baby Shower decor - Create and elegant party at home

Baby Shower Ideas: Things to know about renting party rentals

Know the rental terms – the length of the rental (can you pick up or have your items delivered the day before your event and return or have them picked up the day after your event for the one-day rental prices?) Are weekends counted as one day with delivery on Friday and pickup on Monday?

Breakage and Late Fees – Are there any fees for breakage or late return? Also, are you responsible for washing or just rinsing the dishware? What about stains on the tablecloths?

Check the rack requirements – some glassware and china are rented in set numbers per rack. Some are 16, others 25. You may have to rent more than you need to fit the requirement.

Cancellation Terms & Deposits – Generally most companies want a 50% deposit to hold your items for your date. Many do offer cancellation terms, generally 7-days before the event, but be sure before you sign the agreement.

Yes, rentals can add up fast and spending $350 (with tax and delivery) may seem like a luxury, but weigh the costs against purchasing the items and figure out what’s a must-rent and what you can purchase or make. Maybe flat sheets for tablecloths? Ribbon to tie up the corners? Fabric? So many ways to put together a great baby shower at home. With a free location, it makes the rentals easier to afford.

Next: Making Baby Shower Centerpieces

Have you thrown a DIY baby shower?