August 22, 2011

Under the Sea Birthday Party

My daughter turned four at the beginning of this month, and we threw an under the sea birthday party in honor of her big day. With bright, whimsical decorations, fun activities and tasty food galore, the party was a great success! Here are the details for how I put it together.

The Graphics

In planning any party, I have found that the adorable graphics collections and fonts from Lettering Delights make coming up with a fun theme a no-brainer. When I saw one of their latest collections, Birthday Fishes, I knew it would be perfect for this event! I rounded out my purchase with the coordinating Something Fishy Paper Pack and Alphabet. 

I knew that armed with all of these elements, putting together the decor for the party would be a breeze!

The Menu

One thing I have discovered over time in planning parties for little ones: if something works, go with it! I very nearly replicated the entire menu used for Charlotte’s Ice Cream Birthday Party last year, since it went over so well back then. 

Ribs, Kielbasa and Hot Dogs
Macaroni Salad
Corn Chips and Homemade Salsa
Herb Dip with Fresh Veggies and Chips
Fruit Tray and Creamy Fruit Dip
Sand Pail Cupcakes with Festive Cupcake Toppers
Cake Balls/Pops, inspired by the immensely talented Bakerella

Because the cake pop recipe made so many, I opted to use those for the party favors, as well as in supplementing the cake display. Using the Something Fishy Patterned Papers, I made little tags for each pop that said, “Thank you for POPPING by!” 

The Cake Display

Cupcakes baked in ice cream cones are a dream for children’s birthday parties. They make serving and cleanup a breeze, and kiddos absolutely love them! For my Sand Pail Cupcakes, I used the same method for baking my cone-cakes that I did for last year’s party. I frosted each cone with sand-colored frosting, and then sprinkled gold sprinkles on each to look like sparkly sand. I then embellished each cone with a sand pail cupcake wrapper set (my own design, which I’ll share with you tomorrow) and a cupcake topper cut out using my Epic cutting tool and Nesting Lace Circle dies. The center of the display was a mini-layer cake, with each layer baked in two ramekin dishes and then frosted in turquoise frosting. I printed a large cupcake topper for this center cake (I’ll be sharing a simple cupcake topper how-to tomorrow), and then added a bright number four candle. All of the graphic elements I used for the cakes were made using the Something Fishy goodies I purchased from Lettering Delights (linked above). 

I displayed the finished cakes on a crystal cake plate, along with my cake balls and a sand shovel to go along with the beachy theme.

The Party Activities

The themes of water and sand were the main focus of all of our activities:

Water Play – Slip ‘N’ Slides, sprinklers and pools made for lots of fun in the sun!

Buried Treasure Hunt – We filled our backyard sandbox with loads of toys and trinkets for the kiddos to dig up with shovels and sand sifters. With guests ranging in age from 8 down to 18 months, every child in attendance loved this activity!

Sponge Water Bombs – Remember this terrific post that Allison from House of Hepworths shared for the Summer Survival Guide? I made a batch of these guys, and they were a hit! 

Octopus Pinata – I absolutely love to make pinatas for my kiddos’ birthday celebrations, and I knew from the moment I began working on this sea theme that an octopus pinata would be a perfect fit for this party! I’ll post full details for how I created this Hula Girl Octopus on Wednesday.

Be sure to head over to check out my posts detailing how I created the sand pail cupcakes and the octopus pinata!

Have a great week!


Linking this to…
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Today’s Creative Blog
Tip Junkie
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16 Responses to Under the Sea Birthday Party

  1. Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage August 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    How adorable Amy!! 🙂 I love it!! 🙂

  2. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} August 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Its looks adorable! I love the vibrant colors. The sand pail cupcakes are too fun!

  3. Stacey August 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Oh my gosh, I adore that octopus pinata. What a fabulous idea. Can’t wait to see how it was made.

  4. Amanda @ Serenity Now August 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    What a fun party idea! You pulled all the details together so nicely, Amy. 🙂 Super cute pinata!

  5. Heidiopia August 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    OMG, this is soooo super cute! Makes me long for the days of little girls. 🙂 Looking forward to the sand pail cupcake details ~ they’d be perfect when we do our sea curriculum in May!
    Thanks, Amy!
    Heidi @ Show some Decor

  6. Leslie August 23, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    Too adorable! I love the giant octopus and those two-dimensional cupcake pics are fantastic!

  7. kami @ August 23, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    Darling party! I LOVE the pinata! That thing is awesome!

  8. Sue August 23, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    What a fun party! I LOVE the octopus pinata! 🙂

  9. Christina August 23, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    I love the printables, they turned out great! Also, love the flip flop napkins. I would love it if you would share this at my August, “It’s a Celebration” link party. Such fun inspiration in your party.

  10. Marie August 23, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    So dang cute! My daughter would love this! I’m co-hosting a link party and I’d love it if you’d come link up on Wednesday at

    See you soon!

  11. Erica August 24, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    What a fun and cute party! I love the cupcakes are in ice cream cone sand pails. That is really creative. I hope you will link this up to my Delight Me party over at Doodles & Doilies!

  12. Vivienne @ the V Spot August 24, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    How cute! 🙂 I bet she had a fab time!

  13. The Outlaw Mom August 24, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    What a cute party! Love the octopus. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Melanie @ bear rabbit bear August 25, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    Super cute! You are so talented!

    I’d love for you to link up to our Crafts for Under Twenty Somethings party going on now. It’s a blog hop specifically for kids and teens related “stuff”, so your post would be perfect! Any party linked is also added to an ongoing party directory so others can find your ideas later, too.


  15. Jenn Erickson August 25, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Amy, I love the way you made the cupcakes look like little pails, and all the creative touches on the pinata. What a wonderful party!


  16. WithAShotOf_Brandy August 26, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    This is lovely way to bring under sea theme to life! I love party planning. Hope you will stop by and share your project @ Coffee & Conversations Thursday *new linky party* registered & protected

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