mermaid birthday party for a little girl

January 19, 2010

Juliet turned 3 earlier this month and at her request, we celebrated with a mermaid birthday party. I have to admit: I had a lot of fun putting this together!

The Inspiration

The first thing that came to my mind was this gorgeous mermaid figurine Ben gave to me years ago. She lives in my bathroom and is most likely the first mermaid Juliet ever laid eyes on. I LOVE her colors and thought she would be the perfect centerpiece for the party's overall decor.

My next source of inspiration was, yes, you guessed it, two books! The first one is a vintage book called A Maxton Book About Sea Shells published in 1954. I love the illustrations of shells and undersea life and wanted to include an aspect of it in the party as well.

The second book Father Bear Comes Home  by Else Holemund Minarik, Illustrated by Maurice Sendak features a very charming mermaid. Since we read this book quite often, I'm sure she is part of the reason Juliet requested this party theme (along with a certain red-haired mermaid!)

The Invitations

I found these gorgeous shells at the most unlikely place--Wal-Mart! They were perfect for our invitations.

I simply used a permanent marker and wrote the party details inside. We then hand-delivered the shells to her little friends. I think this got the mermaid excitement going for this fun group of three year olds!

The Party Wear

I considered making Juliet a mermaid costume, but in the end I didn't have enough time (nor enough skill), so I just had her wear a mermaid inspired party outfit. I found this metallic skirt at Old Navy and thought it was perfect for a little mermaid to run around in.

I did manage to fashion a beautiful starfish headband for Juliet to wear by hot-gluing a starfish to a plain white headband. And while it was very cute, it was apparently not very comfortable because Juliet wore it for a total of 30 seconds.

I had grand ideas of making these lovely mermaid crowns for the little guests, but ran out of time. Luckily, I found these shell-y looking crowns at the dollar store. (Juliet wore the green one for the ENTIRE party after she ditched the starfish crown.) For the boys, I had glow-in-the-dark tridents for them to carry around and beat things (like my walls and furniture) and people (like all the little mermaid girls) with. As it turns out, all the little girls were disappointed that all they got was a crown--the tridents were the coveted item! Probably, they wanted in on the beat-down fun!

We also had this treasure chest filled with jewels for the guests to wear.

The Decorations

I found some discounted green and gold Christmas garland and the dollar store that I used to make a bubble curtain in the kitchen entryway. Ben taped green streamers to the ceilings of the kitchen and living room to create a "seaweed effect". I think he did a beautiful job*. We also hung a tissue paper fish from the center of the kitchen over the kids' table.

*WARNING: If you give your husband some tape and two rolls of crepe paper and FULL CREATIVE LICENSE for decorating, then you must be prepared for things like the glass globe on your ceiling fan to be shattered with no apparent explanation.

I made a giant oyster shell (complete with pearl) to serve as a present holder. (It was inspired by this one if you are interested.)

The pearl was irresistible to little mermaid hands!

I placed some of Juliet's mermaid dolls around to add to the ambiance.

The food table and the kids' table were both decorated with shells and various sea/fish objects we had around the house.

My lovely mermaid acted as the "cake decoration" even though we didn't have a cake, but cupcakes.

The Food

And we finished with pink frosted cupcakes! (Juliet insisted that mermaid cupcakes were pink.)

The Activities

The kids had fun decorating place mats and mermaid boxes with sea-themed foam stickers.

The Favors

Each mermaid box was filled with aquarium rocks, tiny shells, and a clothespin mermaid that I made after seeing this ocean in a box idea at Pink and Green Mama.

Each child took home an Ariel bubble necklace (you knew she would show up eventually!) and a bag of rainbow goldfish crackers along with their place mats and mermaid boxes.

Do you have any favorite mermaid books, mermaid craft activities, or special party memories to share?


{I'm linking up to Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple and ABC and 123.}
SYS Thurs


Ana said...

Vanessa you did an amazing job! I love the decorations, the theme, favors and every single little detail of it! Stunning.

Jackie said...

I love it! You did a great job and I am sure everyone had a great time.

Debbie said...

What an amazing birthday party right down to every detail.

I love the invitations!

Chels said...

What a PARTY! You must have been exhausted when it was all over! But it looks and sounds like it was all worth it!

Elise said...

Hi Vanessa

I saw your comment on the blog titled: Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns and thought I would stop by for a visit.

I also have a three year old daughter, one year old son and as a former teacher we read our fair share of books too.

I ooohed and aaahed my way through your post about the mermaid party. You came up with so many fabulous ideas. How lovely to use shells to make unique invitations. I imagine all of the party guests must have been in their element choosing special jewels from the treasure chest. Your present holder was spectacular.

I hope you get a chance to visit my blog.

Raising a Happy Child said...

I am so very impressed with everything that you did for Juliette - what a memorable party planned so meticulously. I bet she and her friends enjoyed it a lot.

Melissa said...

Very cute, very fun party... what a great idea for a 3 year old girl!

pink and green mama said...

So fun!! I love it : ) It reminds me of the Frog Princess' 3rd birthday was an ocean/fish theme and I never even thought of adding mermaids at the time. So fun!! I may have to try to convince one of my girls to do this soon.

So glad you made the clothespin mermaids and I love that you made the ocean in a box into mini boxes as party favors!! So clever : )

pink and green mama

Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

my daughter would love this!

Vanessa said...

What a great idea! I want a birthday party like that for myself!

Mandi @ It's come to this said...

So fun!!! You did a great job. LOVE the food - a goldfish bar ... so clever!!!

Denise Marie said...

Looks like you love books as much as I do. Girl, you rocked it!! What a precious party. I love the shell invites.

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

So your streamers and fish blow mine out of the water... as does your awesome frosting piping job!

Katy said...

This is adorable! Such great ideas for a party! :)

Christine said...

That's a very clever MERMAID INVITATION that you could use for any under the sea party. Well come! Also, love the Mermaid aquarium box with the clothespin mermaid. You added just the right touch of Ariel in the party.

Christine said...

Oops. Meant to say "Well done!"

freckled laundry said...

Such a beautiful party. Those invitations are to die for! Found you at CSI.


Megs said...

I love the seashell invites! What a cute idea. I am wishing I had a little girl to throw a mermaid party for! Found you through CSI.

Winklepots said...

The invitations are so cool and I love the spread. Goldfish crackers! That's cute. :o)

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

This is the coolest party EVER! The big oyster with the pearl for the gifts...genius! And I love how the frosting on the cupcakes looks like coral. Awesome job! Visiting from CSI project.

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