Last year's Carnival 1st Birthday was a huge hit but the San Diego sun practically melted all of our guests so this year we decided to take our celebration (or "Shell-ebration") to the pool and since our Charlie is a fan of "The Little Mermaid" we felt like a Mermaid party was the perfect theme to celebrate our little one turning 2!
Cool blues and light purples were colors I have never used for my daughters' parties (it's usually pink!) so I really wanted to do something I hadn't done before.
I like to do it BIG while staying on a budget! I DIY everything I can to achieve the vision I dreamed up yet I make sure to use what I have or opt for cheaper materials so I don't break the bank.
- Invitation: I browsed Pinterest for weeks and saw many different styles I liked but I wanted something different and I ended up creating something I really ended up loving which I tried to carry through with some of the other details in the party.
- Decor: I have a huge stash of streamers at home and I knew that that would be the cheapest way to get the backdrop style I wanted. I used different shades of blue (Spritz brand Turquoise & Light Blue from Target and another shade of Light Blue from Party City), Lavender, and Light Pink. I cut shimmer circles taped to fishing line to make "bubbles". I traced and cut out the silhouette of the mermaid on posterboard then painted it using watercolors. On the dessert table, I made sure to have a treasure chest (found it at a Goodwill store & will reuse for an upcoming party) which had toy rings, necklaces, and pirate eye patches for the kids + candy coins and rolos. For added umph I splurged on a $7.99 Betta fish & fish bowl…it wasn't necessary but I was able to gift the fish to my mom since she wanted a new fish anyway.
- Dessert table/desserts: I mostly used things I already owned or borrowed from friends to fit all the desserts I wanted to serve. I love cooking & baking so I baked the cupcakes and cake, made the jello cups, dipped the marshmallows, and made edible seashells from a mold. The ombre cake was decorated by my friend who has more experience with icing cakes. The other desserts were Krispy Kreme, Vons cookies, pecan tarts (made by a friend), Madeleines from Costco, and candy.
- To go bags & sticker labels: I made seashell sticker labels for the baggies so our guests could take home desserts. I also put stickers on sunblock for our guests to use before they swam.
- Chalkboard: I have chalkboards I made from plywood which hang in my house and sometimes use for parties. On Charlie's actual birthday, I wrote out a greeting for Charlie just to take her picture on her birthday at home then realized it would go great on the sunblock/floaties/drink table.
I really love how the entire dessert table came out. I was worried that the cinder block wall would be hard to work with…but nothing some clear command hooks and fishing line couldn't fix! ;)
I used to stare at BEAUTIFUL, elaborate parties and think "I could never do that! It is way too expensive to pull off something like that!" Don't think you can't -- because you CAN! I learn to do things myself and I am very happy with the outcome! Plus everyone enjoyed the food, the desserts, the pool, they loved the decor and Charlie had the time of her life.