I have a tendency to get a bit carried away with kids’ Birthday parties lately. I don’t really know how it started and I definitely don’t know how to stop it, but I do know that it’s a lot of fun! While visiting Disney World this year, my daughter fell in love with the Little Mermaid ride and begged us for a mermaid themed party. I didn’t want to do a typical Ariel party, so I branched out a bit and just encompassed a mermaid/beach theme in general. In this blog post I’ll go into a little bit more detail about how I achieved the look and where I bought some of the decor and supplies.
The main thing I wanted to do was cover up the ugly cabinet that is located in this room. To do that I used some basic streamers and made a backdrop using the color scheme I wanted for the party. To make it a little more interesting I twisted some green streamers here and there to resemble seaweed and I also used some glitter scrapbook paper to cut out “bubbles”.
For the big shell, I actually used an exacto knife and foam board. I am SO not crafty and was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was. After cutting out the shape I slapped some paint on it and made an outline of a shell in white paint to make it a bit more obvious what it was. After that I printed out silhouettes of my daughter’s name in a pretty font, seahorses, coral, and seaweed, cut them out, traced them onto glitter scrapbooking paper, and cut them out. I then hot glued them in a pretty looking arrangement on the shell.
For the jellyfish, I started with basic paper lanterns (I got mine from Walmart however you can find these at most stores that carry party supplies), wrapped the top in tulle, then used tulle and ribbon to make the “stingers”. Voila! You have some pretty easy to make and convincing jellyfish.
The tables were simple but pulled together very well with the rest of the party. I bought iridescent tablecloths from my local Walmart, however Party City sells them online. The place settings were all purchased at Party City (here are the links for the big plates, small plates, napkins, cups, and cutlery). I added some little jewels to the cutlery with hot glue to make them a bit prettier. For a table runner, I purchased some big decorative fishing nets from Hobby Lobby (but they also have a smaller one as well) — side note, if you decide to purchase things from Hobby Lobby, make sure to watch for sales and grab the 40% off coupon! If you have a store near you you can use it on a full priced item once every day for every person in your party!).
On top of the fishing nets, I added in lots of real seashells. I found many of them at local thrift stores and flea markets, but also used the 40% Hobby Lobby coupon in-store to buy a couple BIG baskets of them. You can also find large lots of seashells online in a few places. I also used a couple of plastic pearl necklaces (reusing those pearls from my daughter’s tea party themed Birthday last year) and I scattered some fake pearls in the nets as well (found at Hobby Lobby). For one of the “centerpieces” on the table, I also found an old bottle and put a rolled parchment paper inside to look like a message in a bottle. This is a super easy and cheap decor idea!
If you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge advocate for thrift stores and flea markets when it comes to Birthday parties. You can find some really cute and unique touches there! I found three of these seashell picture frames and even a little sandcastle! If you’re crafty with a glue gun you could probably even make some picture frames of your own! I also used some twine (and followed this tutorial) to wrap some old bottles I had lying around the house in “fishnets”. You could also do this with mason jars. These were a really cute touch and everyone loved them! The seaweed on the walls was simply cut out of glitter scrapbook paper.
At my son’s Lumberjack themed Birthday party, I fell in love with punny little food signs, and there were so many options for this mermaid theme! I made some cute little signs with some unfinished wood pieces from Hobby Lobby. I painted them and voila! For sandwiches we made some “starfish” with a cookie cutter, ham, and cheese. We also did this yummy spinach artichoke dip recipe to use as “seaweed dip”. Goldfish made a very easy and theme-appropriate snack. I also used this candy mold to make some chocolate “shells”. I bought some white Sixlets and used them for “pearls” and also made some “oysters” to go with them. I made the oysters out of vanilla wafers with icing in the middle, white chocolate drizzled on top to resemble lines of a shell, and one Sixlet pearl in the middle. “Driftwood” was another easy snack by using pretzel sticks, as was “coral” by using rock candy sticks. We also made “ocean water” by using blue food coloring to color drinking water. You could also make ocean water with blue colored Sprite!
Another quick and lovely decor idea is to get a big candle holder, put some sand at the bottom (we used sand from our first beach trip to make it more special – I knew there was a reason I had kept it for the last two years), add in a few seashells and fake pearls, then put in whatever age your kiddo is turning and viola! A beautiful looking detail!