Forget frilly booties and soft pastels: Instead, get ready to, uh, go wild, with bold zebra patterns and leopard prints.
Set the vibe with invitations featuring fun animal prints. We like how these invites are just the right mix of funky and chic. Order them blank or make life easy and have them custom printed.
Paper partyware is the perfect opportunity to get animal prints into your decor without being stuck at the sink washing dishes for rest of your weekend. Go all-zebra or mix and match with a cheetah print.
The table centerpieces incorporate woodgrain textures and big, jungle-y leaves. Square wood vases look chic when filled with tropical greenery, like tea leaves, date palm, anthurium, or monstera (call your florist to see what they have).
You can also use giant synthetic banana leaves as table runners and monstera leaves as place mats. Oversize leaves (real or faux) are fantastic for dressing up buffet and gift tables as well -- just cover the tops of tables with leaves, then set the dishes and gifts on top.
For a finishing touch -- bring on the party animals! Create mini jungle scenes with elephant, cheetah, monkey, and giraffe figurines (extra-cute touch: get mama and baby versions of animals). Send them home with the mom-to-be -- her baby will love them later on.
Keep the feeling primal -- and make it easier for guests to eat while mingling -- with food on a stick. We love these tropical Pineapple Chicken Skewers. Wash them down with icy Mango Granitas.
Pineapple Chicken Skewers
Makes: 32 skewers
Prep: 15 minutes
Chill: 6 hours or overnight
Cook: 10 minutes
Broil: 9 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Freeze: 3 to 4 hours
Serve up a unique dessert that features that jungle staple -- bananas! Bake these tarts the night before and then add the toppings and broil right before serving. A scoop of vanilla ice cream makes everything even more delicious.
Carmelized Banana Tart
Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Broil: 4 to 5 minutes
These animal-print takeout boxes make favors look fabulous. Fill them up with animal crackers -- your mom-to-be's going to be eating a lot of them in years to come! Write "thank you" onto 3-inch pieces of green card stock cut to look like a simple leaf silhouette. Glue the "leaves" diagonally across the front of each box, then display all of the boxes together in neat rows on top of jumbo banana leaves.
Jennifer Sbranti is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of HostessWithTheMostess.com, and author of the HWTM Daily Blog.
Copyright © 2008 Meredith Corporation.
Add these tunes to your iPod for the party: