So, I want to start out by saying that I take a lot of pride in my family. I always go out of my way and make every birthday party big because I didn’t get that growing up. My sister’s birthday is 8 days before mine so we always shared a party and it was never anything grand in today’s terms. I love my humble beginnings because it taught me how to appreciate more today. I am now at the point in my life where I have birthdays in pairs all over. 2 in February (currently 8 F, and 17 M), 2 in June (currently 2M and 3 F) 2 in July (currently 20M Twins) and 1 in November (currently 17). I even throw a party in there for myself in July (19th) and it’s usually a bunch of friends and family (kid-friendly party), and we bbq, play games and just have a great time hanging out with each other.
Since I started having kids, I always promised myself that I would give them the memorable themed parties I had dreamt about. The wonderful thing about these parties is that I do as much as I possibly can, by myself. I don’t hire in an event coordinator, or a cook, or whatever. I start planning out the party MONTHS in advance. I know that life happens sometimes and I don’t want there ever to be an excuse why I couldn’t give more to my children. So let’s run through this process together. I will link up some of the items that I did to those blogs posts for the details.
First off, I bought a lot of my decorations from a website called Hollar.com. You will see me mention this website throughout my blog posts. It is an amazing online store where you can find everyday items for less. This is a staple in my party planning and I sprinkle the purchases throughout the months leading up to the party. However, I would give every order at least 2 weeks to deliver, so watch that date when you are ordering close to party time!
Ok, let’s get started! When I decided on the birthday theme, I knew that I needed to start collecting blues, greens and white! Those are universal colors so I knew I wouldn’t have a hard time finding them. So I started out with the basics to include table cloths, balloons, and swirls. I tend to purchase solid color decorations that can be used over and over again, to build up my party inventory!
After I gathered all the supplies up, I started putting on my creative hat to design theme specific items. I started with the outdoor water sponges. These sea sponges were fairly easy to make and they are still holding up long after the party. You can see the step-by-step process here.
After I got the outdoor games setup, to include water sponges (pictured above), sandbox (birthday gift) and kiddie pool, I decided to turn my attention to indoors. I started with the gift table. I wanted to create a guard of some sort for the gift table. That is always a big focal point in the party and I wanted it to be noticeable. You can see the tutorial here.
After the guard was done, I moved to the mood lighting in the kitchen to go over the food table. What a better way to create mood lighting than a blue light coming from a jellyfish. I took the light over the table and hung ribbon, swirls and streamers to act as the many tentacles. You can see that tutorial here.
Next, I wanted to work on the birthday banner. I knew that my wall was going to be underwater so the logical banner would be a school of fish. I really like the way the banner turned out and it was personalized not only to my kids, but to the party theme. You can see that tutorial here.
After I got the focal point, banner, done on the wall, I wanted to create more of a scene behind it so it didn’t look out of place at all. So, I had my kids help put googly eyes on some paper fish, I twisted streamers for seaweed, and my mom drew some under the sea characters to sprinkle around the house. I couldn’t have been more happy with the outcome. It was better than I could have imagined. I don’t have tutorials for those things because they were just simple little touches that brought the whole room to life.
Next, I turned my attention to the living room. I knew that most people would hang out in there, so I wanted to extend the theme in there. I sprinkled some of the school of fish my kids made throughout the room in little groups. I also made bubble balloons out of white balloons and blue ribbon. I also enlisted the help of my kids to create a faux fish tank and then I created fish out of paper lanterns. I didn’t have the time to create the tutorial for the fish but it is pretty much patterned paper cut out to the shapes of the fins and large googly eyes attached as well. These lanterns actually had the ability to light up which would have been awesome if it was a little darker in the room, but I didn’t turn the lights on for this event.
A silly play on words poster was created to greet all the guests as they came in the door. My mom happens to be extremely talented and we work well together on creative projects. She surprised me with this adorable poster board after I made a mention about how adorable it would be to have a seahorse for each child represented.
Now to move on to one of my favorite things about birthday parties, the food! Anyone who knows me knows that I love to make an abundance of food. If you look at the feature picture of this post you will see the food table once the food was added to it! At the party I had so many themed foods to include the following:
- Black Olives – Caviar
- Potato Chips and Goldfish – Fish and Chips
- Sugar Cookies – Sand dollars
- Cheetos – Coral
- Grapes – Seaweed
- Strawberries and Watermelon – Mermaid Munch
- Gummy Worms – Bait
- Sandwiches – Submarine Sandwiches
- Pretzels – Driftwood
- Punch – Ocean Water
- Tootsie Pops – Octopus (Tutorial here)
- Green Pepper, Cucumber, Carrots – Octopus Guarded Veggie Tray
This brings us to the #1 themed party treat, the cupcakes. Now, for the first time since as long as I can remember, I had a bakery make the cupcakes. All I needed was 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla with whipped icing sprayed blue to look like water. I was going to take care of the actual decorations on them. I didn’t make a tutorial for the cupcakes because I was completing them last minute. This is the last time I will rely on a store to complete them. Not only did I not get the amount that I asked for, but the white cake was really dry. Its way easier just to do it myself.
So onto my decorations. I bought candy eyes, gummy worms, fruit slices and chocolate melts. My intentions were to make the chocolate cupcakes shark fins, and the vanilla cupcakes octopus. So, I melted the chocolate and cut crescent moon shapes out so that I could push them in the tops of the cupcakes. I mixed the chocolate melts with white chocolate chips to get that beautiful grey color. I then used the gummy worms as tentacles for the octopus, attached candy eyes to the fruit slices with a little tube of icing I had, and had little octopus staring at you.
Overall, my kids had a blast, which is all I can possibly hope for. I love that I am able to do all of this for them to remember for years to come. Next year’s theme?! Stay tuned to find out. I typically decide just after the February birthdays.
I would love to know what your favorite part of this diy part was. Let me know in the comments below!