While I LOVED the BBQ theme last year, I decided to scale down a bit this year with everything going on. We had an afternoon celebration with light snacks instead of a full meal. I also toned down the decorations a bit and focused on easier projects that would still look nice.
It’s been fun choosing birthday party themes for Parker while he is still too young to know the difference. I actually started pinning ideas shortly after his party last year for a nautical theme this year.
Follow Mary’s board Nautical Birthday Parties on Pinterest.
Overall, we stayed close to our initial of $100 for food and $150 for decorations. Luckily, the nautical theme is very popular and I was able to sell most of the decor so we only ended up paying about $50 in the end. I definitely recommend joining your local Facebook Yardsale group. It’s a great way to sell unwanted items and get some money back for them!
My Grandparents loved to sail and it was a huge part of their lives and my Mom’s growing up. My Grandmother was able to come down for the party so I asked her to bring along some photos and trophies for the mantel. It was great having the memory of my Grandfather there.
I didn’t want to spend too much money on items I knew we would never use again so I had to get a little creative. I asked my local Facebook yard sale group if anyone had any items they were selling. As luck would have it, a local photographer who had purchased some props from me previously offered to let me borrow a few items for the weekend for $5. Pretty good deal for both of us! I think the wagon wheel was a really nice touch to the mantel.
I got the 2 lanterns from And That for $3 each and the lighthouse
was a cardboard cutout I put together from Oriental Trading for $4.25.
Rob had the brilliant idea to spell out Parker’s name with signal flags
. I wasn’t sure if people would catch it. Turns out most people knew me enough to know that I wouldn’t use the same flag twice unless there was a reason! The anchor and life preserver were cut out using my Cricut and the Life Is A Beach cartridge
My parents even contributed a craft for the party. They had an old life preserver and decided to fix it up a little for some outside decor. It looked adorable outside and was just the right amount of pop for the special occasion.
Inside I had all of the food in the dinning room and used the hutch in the background to add some festive decorations. I got the TWO letters from Michaels for about $10. All I had to add was some paint and twin.
The photo holders were from And That for $3.99 which held a newborn photo, 1 year photo and current photo of Parker. I can’t believe how much he has grown in two year… The photos were printed at Target right from my Instagram account for a total of $.89.
The chicken wire basket was a last minute addition from Jo-Ann Fabrics I got on clearance for $12.
Using my Cricut and the Life Is A Beach cartridge and Microsoft Word, I put together a menu. This definitely helped me day of so I didn’t forget food!
Even the chalkboard got a little sprucing up! I had planned on hand drawing something but just ran out of time. I used the Life Is A Beach cartridge for my Cricut to cut everything out.
I loved making Parker’s digital chalkboard last year and knew I wanted to have another one this year. They have been a popular item in my Etsy shop, designsBYmcm. Since I plan to do one for both kids each year, I found a frame at Michaels for $18 that I could reuse for each birthday party. I was able to order the 16×20 print through Costco for $5.29.
Rob was sweet and whipped up a mini table for me to go in the dinning room so that I could display the print above the desserts. We usually have a wedding photo hanging there but that got the boot for the weekend!
I borrowed quite a few ideas from Pinterest but after seeing the “you float my boat” Cricut image on the Just Because cartridge, I knew I had to add rootbeer floats to the menu. They were a huge hit with the adults and I even caught a few toddlers sneaking sips.
We used milkshake straws and I tied Life Savers around each of our Aladdin plastic mugs. Those were great to use since everyone had ventured outside to play in the pool by the time we made them.
While I could have loved making my own cupcakes we were able to get 24 for under $10 at Giant. For that price, I was instantly sold! The cupcake stand what on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $15 and completely disassembles for easy storage. I had to add a little something to the cupcakes and found a lot of 25 Sailor Picks from Oriental Trading for $5.
We still wanted Parker to have his own cake and Giant’s “baby cake” was perfect. I found a tutorial on YouTube of how to make an origami boat to put on top with the candles.
We decided this year to stick with simple drinks. We offered water, lemonade, and Honest Kids juice. We used one side of the blue cooler for ice and the other for water. The boat was another piece we borrowed which I thought fit nicely on the table. Although I would have loved to avoid plastic cups, we didn’t have nearly enough of our own for everyone. Everyone wrote their name on their cup so at least they were able to keep better track.
The juice pouches were great for the kids and I even caught some adults taking a few sips when they thought no one was looking!
We kept with a light menu consisting of meatballs, pretzel bites, deviled eggs, fruit, Crispix Mix, and Swedish Fish. There was also a cheese sauce for the pretzels. I couldn’t believe what a hit the pretzel bites were. We couldn’t heat them up fast enough!
I spent quite awhile during the week laying all of the dishes and trays out to figure out the best arrangement and used post it notes to keep track of which dish was for what.
The balloons I found on Oriental Trading and had a local party store blow them up. They ended up costing $1.09/balloon which was cheaper than buying a disposable tank since we only needed 10 balloons total.
I came across this idea on Pinterest for a favor and loved how it fit the theme and was perfect for both kids and adults. I designed the imagine in Photoshop, printed, cut and folded them in about an hour. I used Treat Bags I got at Michaels for $5 (pack of 50) to put the fish in and then stapled the cards on.
I found this adorable treasure chest at Jo-Ann Fabrics for $15 after using a 40% off coupon.
These were two easy ways to add a little nautical spirit to the table. I used my Cricut again for the Live Bait card and a glass vase from Jo Ann Fabrics for $3. We purchased forks from Walmart for $.97 a pack and napkins from IKEA for $1.99 a pack. I used the same bag of Life Savors from the rootbeer float mugs and tied them up with twine.
This was a really easy and inexpensive addition to the table. I got the popcorn containers from Oriental Trading for $6 and the fish bowl from Jo Ann Fabrics for $6. My Mom found a small fish catcher that went perfect and contributed her famous Crispix Mix.
The kids loved carry these around to snack on during the party and the parents didn’t mind “holding onto them” when they went into the pool.
This was a super easy addition to the table that didn’t take much time at all. We just cut a watermelon in half and scooped it out using a melon baller
. My Mom use small dowel rods, fabric and Stiffy
to make the sails.
Rob did a fantastic job building a miniature dock for the table. It only took about an hour to make and we got all the supplies from Lowes.
This was the last addition to the table but just as easy as the rest. My Grandmother and Sister had fun cutting up all the peppers for the sails and took the responsibility very seriously!
I had such a blast putting everything together for Parker’s birthday and couldn’t have done with without the help of Rob, family, and friends. He won’t remember the day but I will and he will have pictures to look back on for years to come.