You need not stick to the usual guest book if you want to keep the names of your guests for posterity. In fact, using different things to put signatures on as a keepsake has been a practice for many, many years. After you take a look at the various items you can use, perhaps you'll find an idea of what would be right for you.
One traditional way to save signatures of guests would be to make a keepsake quilt. If you're at all crafty, then this is a simple project for you. Simply have the guests sign squares of cotton fabric with a ballpoint pen or permanent marker. If you're having a craft-themed baby shower, this could be one activity which you could do.
Depending on how experienced the guest is, she could either embroider her signature on or could use fabric pens to make the signature and add a few decorations around it, making sure to leave an allowance for the joins around the quilt block. Set the drawings with an iron at the proper setting.
After the baby shower, join all the squares together as you like. If there are an odd number of squares or there aren't enough, you could incorporate patchwork squares or just plain or patterned fabric squares to make up the baby quilt. This is a beautiful keepsake when brought to the hospital or to the new parents' home after the baby is born.
A variation on the baby blanket could be an autographed shirt. Again, the signatures could be embroidered on or simply drawn on. Extra decorations like ribbons, bows, rhinestones, and beads could be added after all the signatures are complete and set with an iron.
You could choose a maternity t-shirt for this or even a blouse if the mommy-to-be isn't the t-shirt wearing kind. These could also be put on a onesie instead for the baby to wear, without any decorations that can be pulled off!
Why not sign on a blank picture frame instead of inside one? Then the mommy-to-be can put any picture she likes on the inside and not risk losing the insert containing all the signatures. Simply choose a frame that is wide enough to fit all the signatures, or have two or more of them if there are many guests. Pass the frames around the tables while the guests are seated. It would be nice to provide two sets of colored pens for everyone to choose a color that they like. The frame can be sealed with a water-based clear coat to protect the signatures.
Instead of signing a decorative plate, why not have your guests sign a baby bottle, baby food dish or tray, or even a sippy cup instead? The keepsake then becomes something practical to use and keeps the names of the people dear to you front and center everyday.
These are beautiful ways to remember your friends, instead of hiding
them away in guest books which sometimes just molder and get dusty.
Wouldn't you love to be remembered this way?