One of my favorite (self-imposed) duties of motherhood has got to be party planning! My kids and I have such a fun time dreaming up their ultimate party themes and fun homemade cake ideas to match. This year, my daughter Juniper turned 4 years old and requested a mermaid birthday party.
I think she was probably envisioning something fit for Ariel, while I was busy thinking of ways to do this theme without the red-headed Disney character plastered on each dinner plate and napkin. The party was a lovely event certainly fit for a mer-princess like Ariel, but still kind to the Earth, my wallet, and my eyes!
I wanted to share my table decorations and themed treat ideas so that you can also easily throw together a fanciful mermaid birthday party for the special mermaid or merman in your life!
Earth-Conscious Party Supplies
I know a lot of children’s party supplies are often made from plastic—like flatware, cups, and even plates. Not to mention party favors and cake decorations. While paper plates and cups are still coated with material designed to prolong their lifespan, they still eventually break down and are a much kinder choice compared to plastic alternatives.
I decided to combine paper party products with compostable items like plates made from pressed palm leaves and flatware made of birch. This is the perfect party theme for these types of product since they go with the earthy vibes associated with the beach.
My sequined tablecloth is something I decided to buy last year, knowing it would probably coordinate with most birthday party ideas my girls dream up. (They love sparkles, and the white color matches everything!)
So far we’ve used it for a My Little Pony party and this mermaid party. This time around, I covered the tablecloth with one of the two fishnets that came in this set. (The other fishnet is hanging on the wall behind the table.)
For party favors, we simply made starfish wands with ribbon streamers. I wasn’t sure what to do about the starfish, to be honest. I know that using real starfish seems like an eco-friendly choice, considering they’re natural byproducts of the ocean.
However, I also know that not all starfish you buy at stores are ethically sourced and may have been alive when caught. Even if they weren’t alive, I’m learning that taking shells from the beach does have an impact on other sea/beach creatures’ natural habitats. In the end, I decided to use these resin starfish I found on Etsy.
Mermaid Birthday Party Supplies
- Clear Bubble Balloon Set
- Lilac Paper Cups
- Lilac Scalloped Napkins
- Holographic Shell Paper Plates
- Birch Flatware
- Resin Starfish
- Compostable Palm Leaf Plates
- Natural Fish Net Decoration (set of two)
- Drink Dispenser with Natural Base
The starfish “mermaid wands” were a cute addition to the table settings, and the kids absolutely loved playing with them through the entire party.
These were a breeze to make, and more fun and imaginative than a lot of the little trinkets often used as children’s party favors. Here’s how to make your own.
Starfish Wand Supplies:
- Starfish (I used these resin ones)
- Ribbons in colors to coordinate with your party (Mine are all from JOANN)
- 12″ wood dowels
- Hot glue gun
Step One: Cut the ribbons into 18-20″ lengths
Step Two: Knot one of each ribbon type around the top of each dowel. Stagger the lengths so that one side of the tied ribbon hangs lower than the other side.
Step Three: Apply a line of hot glue across the tied ribbon as shown above right.
Step Four: Press a starfish onto the hot glue and hold for a moment.
These starfish wands were a big hit, which got me wondering why didn’t we think about doing mermaid headbands as a party craft? Maybe we’ll do that for our next mermaid birthday party. (I’m already getting requests from sis for a similar party because—mermaid dresses!)
For a party backdrop, I kept it simple with a hanging the two fishnets that came in this set covered in various sizes of clear bubble balloons. I purchased this set of bubble balloons from Etsy and was pleased with the mix. They were really difficult to blow up by hand, so I’d recommend using a pump of some sort if you’re not using helium. I strung them up with monofilament and 3M hooks.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have really questioned my sanity when you saw me spend the better part of a week practicing making macarons until I found the perfect method for making shell-shaped macarons. I’ve made macarons before, but had never really achieved perfection until my self-imposed macaron boot camp.
These little guys looked really special and were admired and enjoyed by each of our guests. (The chocolate pearls are sixlets I found at a party store.) I made them a few days before the party and kept them sealed up until the big day.
You may be wondering about this sandcastle cake, so don’t worry! I shared a tutorial around how to make it! It was sort of a grand experiment that I had planned for a while and ended up making the morning of the party. It went really well and ended up being a straightforward (though a bit time-intensive) project.
I really think this party wouldn’t have been the same without the sandcastle cake. I would certainly make it again if I were to go back in time! Plus, it was amazingly delicious and gave us good leftovers for a family gathering the next day.
We have ourselves one happy little mermaid! It was such a fun day. My heart is always filled with so much joy to see my kiddos truly enjoy the fruits (or cake) of my labor!
Party planning can be a lot of fun, but obviously can be a lot of work too, if you let it. Do the amount that you find fun and works with your schedule and family lifestyle. I’m just the crazy lady scrolling through Pinterest already planning the next big bash! – Mandi
Looking for more birthday party ideas?
–Frozen-Themed Birthday Party
–Nova’s Star-Themed Birthday Party
–Mermaid Birthday Party
–Puppy-Themed Birthday Party
So incredibly cute! Those macaroons look amazing. In case anyone wants a low-key version of a shell shaped cookie – madeleines could be a great option. The special pan is needed but the recipe is easy and not as time consuming.
Can you pls share your recipe (and technique) for macarons? They are so tricky to make!! 🙁 thank you!
O my gosh this is so adorable!!! Thanks for sharing!!
Looking forward to the Sandcastle Cake tutorial!
This is so cute! I love that you thought about our planet and tried to use more sustainable materials! That said, I feel like there‘s more that could be done to make this a truly sustainable party. How about using real silverware/plates/cups instead of single-use items? And you could skip the balloons entirely, because if you‘re avoiding plastic for the cutlery, why hang it on the wall instead? And the starfish wands could have been made out of wood or of paper?
I truly love that you tried to make this party eco-friendly, but I feel that there‘s more that could be done without much effort 🙂
There’s always ways I could do better, but I’ve come a long way from using styrofoam plates and plastic flatware for parties. Eeek, I cringe a little saying that!
This is honestly amazing. The cake and macarons are unbelievable.
Source for mermaid dresses please! I have a mermaid – crazy granddaughter and would love to get or make this for her.
Thank you so much for your reply / any info you can give me.
Hi Petra! This is a dress I sewed using an old dress pattern I found on Etsy. It’s McCall’s #M7175. Hope that helps!
Everything turned out so cute! I could see those wands being a great addition to a dress-up wardrobe. And that sandcastle cake is amazing! Looking forward to the tutorial on that one! My sweet girl is just about to have her first birthday, so she’s not quite able to request a theme yet, but I’ll be happy to have this tucked away in case she ever wants a beach/mermaid theme. Great job!!
I can’t believe you DIYed so much of this! Looks so good! 😀
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog