Baby showers have a reputation for being dry, estrogen filled events, where gender roles from decades ago are meticulously upheld. Now I’ve been to one baby shower – and I actually had a lot of fun (possibly because I need female only events every once in a while to balance out living with three guys). But my friend Eva and I decided that one traditional baby shower wasn’t good enough for our friend Annie, so we planned another.
Originally, we were going to have an actual party. The logistics weren’t quite feasible though, so we switched course and focused more on the gift. I sent a Facebook message to all our closest friends with a request to buy their favorite book as a kid to give to Opal, so she could start off with her own little library.
I found an inexpensive bookcase on Amazon. Unsurprisingly – it was easier to put together than any piece of furniture I have ever bought from Ikea. Unfortunately it was laminate. For those of you who don’t know (because I sure as heck didn’t), paint doesn’t stick to laminate. So I laid out a tarp on the front porch and sanded the whole damn thing. Then repainted it with white wall paint.
[My dad builds furniture in his spare time and I really felt like his daughter in this moment]
Next, I was actually able to get to the fun part of painting. I picked up glow in the dark acrylic paint (and pointedly did not buy girly colors – because 1, babies are unnecessarily gendered from the moment they’re born, and 2, I secretly want Opal to have the same favorite colors as me).
My friend Jess, who can draw some amazing things, came over to help me paint. And after a few hours it looked like this:
Jess and I went with completely opposite styles – hers is much more realistic and mine is all about nonsense shapes and patterns. The contrast really adds to the finished product. We even painted the shelves.
Once we filled it with books, it was absolutely perfect. We even got to deliver it to Annie on her birthday! And somehow I managed to not spill the beans about it ahead of time.
I really think Opal’s going to love it.
Oh, and glow in the dark acrylic paint? Actually glows in the dark. Really well.
Thanks so much to everyone who participated!!!