Beachy Mermaid Party

Beachy Mermaid Party--super cute (and budget-friendly) party ideas for a beach or mermaid-themed party!  All the projects & decorations for this party were done for less than $200.  Amazing!Every time I throw a party I declare it my favorite party of all time, and this Beachy Mermaid Party for Trouble’s fourth birthday was no exception!  Sand, starfish, & mermaids….what’s not to love?  Best. Party. Ever. (Until the next one, of course!)

There were so many fun elements that came together for this party, but what I loved most about it is that most of the “beachy” decorations are now able to do double-duty as my summer home decor, which meant that my party decorating budget could be stretched even further.  Over the next few weeks I will be sharing a lot more details about all the individual DiY projects that went into this party, but for now, here is the final result:

Beachy Mermaid Party

Burlap Wreath with Starfish

Beachy Mermaid Party

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Happy Birthday Trouble

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Sandcastle Cake for a Beachy Mermaid Party

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Beachy Mermaid Party

mermaid photo op

Beachy Mermaid Party--darling beach and mermaid themed birthday party (on a budget!)  So many cute ideas for throwing a high-style party for not a lot of money.

Message in a Bottle Party Favors

My budget for kid food, treats, cake, decorations, favors, & outfits for the girls was just under $200.  We did spend a little more than that on additional food & drinks for the adults that joined us.  (We had about 65 guests overall.  I didn’t include photos of the guests because a.) I was too busy hostessing to take a lot of photos and b.) I would’ve had to get permission from 60 people to post their photos online which just seemed like a hassle! :-) )

Here is the breakdown of how I spent my budget:

  • Invitations ($0)–My graphic design student niece Coryn designed me the cute little mermaid, which I then used to design my own invitation.  I printed it on matte photo paper I got free at Staples during back-to-school time last summer, then cut it and put them in 4×6″ envelopes I already had on hand.  And just because I’m nice like that, I decided to make up some free mermaid printables for you guys in case any of you are planning a mermaid party of your own.  You can find them all here.

mermaid invitation

  • Pallet Projects ($0)–The beachy pallet artwork, “mermaids this way” sign, and the mermaid photo op stand were all built by my husband using old pallets that we picked up for free and a piece of scrap wood he had in the garage.  It is so nice to have a handy husband!  He carefully deconstructed the pallets then re-constructed for each project.  I did all the painting & embellishment, which meant that our only cost for those was basically a few pennies in paint.
  • Seashells & Sand ($20)–most of the sand and seashells were collected ourselves at the beach–we do live in Florida, after all–but I did have to purchase a few “fancy” shells and starfish.  I found some on Etsy, then found a few more (for cheaper) at a local store.
  • Craft Supplies ($15)–Most of the craft supplies I used for this party were things I already had on hand, but I did have to buy some burlap ribbon for the burlap wreaths, as well as a few bottles of aqua paint.  Since JoAnn’s accepts competitor’s coupons I was able to use coupons on pretty much everything!
  • Home Accents ($22)–I bought the galvanized tray & “net” candle holder at TJ Maxx, and then I found 4 corked bottles at a local thrift shop for $0.75 each.  Score!  The mini lanterns were borrowed from a friend, while the large glass candle holder was something I already had on hand.
  • Table Decorations ($25)–The skirted tablecloth on the round table was not made specifically for this party, but I did sew it myself using Edie’s awesome tablecloth tutorial.  The aqua tulle I used on the food table and then again on the chairs outside was actually something I already had on hand, since I’ve been meaning to use it to make tulle tutus for the girls for some time now.  I was careful to cut it in the lengths I will need so I will still be able to use it for the tutus!  The plastic silverware and basic white napkins were both things I already had on hand, but I jazzed them up by adding some twine (stolen from Husband’s supply in the garage) and some mermaid tags that I printed myself.  The main expense was this ruffled aqua shower curtain I purchased to use as the backdrop to the table.  I hung it with Command hooks and it worked like a charm!
  • Sand Castle Cake ($15)–The cake was definitely the focal point for the whole party!  I was able to keep the costs WAY down because I had almost everything I needed already on hand in my baking stockpile.  The only things I specifically needed to purchase were this seashell candy mold and this starfish candy mold, as well as some white chocolate candy melts and some butter & cream cheese for the frosting.
  • Kid-Friendly Food ($40)–For the kiddos we served PB & “jellyfish” sandwiches, tuna “starfish” sandwiches, starfish rice crispy treats, goldfish marshmallow pops, pretzel & cheddar goldfish, oyster “pearl” cookies, and saltwater taffy.  It was all a lot of fun to make, and not too expensive since I was careful to stock up items while they were on sale.  In fact, the most expensive part of the kids food was the saltwater taffy from a local candy store!
  • Drink Station ($10)–As usual we served homemade lemonade made from our own lemon tree.  The plastic “mason” jars were special-ordered several years ago (from a wholesale container store) just to use for parties, since we have a very strict no-glass policy around the pool.  We have gotten SO much use out of them since then!  The paper straws were ordered from Etsy.
  • Favors ($20)–Rather than goodie bags, this year we opted to give out little “messages in a bottle.”  The mini corked bottles were a daily deal on Pick Your Plum.
  • Party Outfits ($24) –I also found the girls’ blue skirts on Pick Your Plum for only $9 each!  They have pretty much worn them every day since they got them, so I think it was a pretty good purchase.  I found the white t-shirts on clearance at Target for $3 each, and then added the mermaids using printable iron-on transfer paper that I already had on hand. (Get the free printable mermaid graphic here)

{Party Total:  $191}

Beachy Mermaid Party--super cute (and budget-friendly) party ideas for a beach or mermaid-themed party!  All the projects & decorations for this party were done for less than $200.  Amazing!

Finally, for those of you who are wondering (and since I get asked about it almost daily on the post I wrote about taking my kids’ toys away), we are very adamant about our birthday parties being gift-free.  Thankfully our friends know us well enough to honor that request!  While Trouble received lots of very sweet cards (that she loved), she was thankfully not overwhelmed by a huge stack of gifts, and she was just super excited about being the birthday girl.

mermaid party birthday girl

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What do you think of the beachy mermaid theme?  How do you maximize your party budget?

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{ 21 comments… add one }

  • KC @ The Real Thing with the Coake Family May 31,

    What a gorgeous and fun party! So pretty and love how you will be able to use the decorations in your home decor. Perfect.
    KC

    Reply
  • Amanda May 31,

    WOW. Just wow. Trouble is one lucky little birthday girl! With a party like that, who needs gifts?

    Reply
  • jackie May 31,

    Ruth, so cute! Just love the pallet art, the messages in a bottle & the tulle! It was a party to remember!

    Reply
  • Kim June 1,

    Awesome post! Ruth how do you do the little signs that read “peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches” or the tags around the cultery. What program/punch do you use? They are gorgeous!!!

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup June 1,

      I create my own using a word processing program, then punch them out using my Fiskars squeeze scalloped circle punch (the extra large size) I think the punch is around $15. I bought it several years ago and I have gotten SO much use out of since then! The food & mermaid tags are available on the free printable page! :-)

      Reply
      • Kim June 10,

        Thanks for the reply ruth! What is the name of the word processing system? I am interested in purchasing it for my preschool. Thanks again for your time and your awesome blog…I read it daily :)

        Reply
        • Ruth Soukup June 12,

          I use one for Mac called Pages. Microsoft Word has similar features though!

          Reply
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  • Jessie September 3,

    This party looks so fun and gorgeous, great attention to detail. Thanks for sharing this. Out of curiousity, how did you make that fantastic sand castle cake?

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  • Amy @ A Journey of Purpose October 11,

    I am reading your ebook and saw the reference to a mermaid party. I just had to come check it out, and it’s adorable! I’m planning a ladybug party for my almost three year old. But now I’m already thinking next year’s party needs to have a mermaid theme. thanks for the great ideas! And I’m loving the ebook, it’s AWESOME! ;)

    Reply
  • Shana January 21,

    HI! I loved your Mermaid party theme, I’m actually making my daughters party not exactly like yours but she’ll have mermaid also. I was just wondering how you made Troubles sand castle birthday cake?? I LOVE IT! Such a brilliant idea you did, I would also LOVE to make this cake for daughters party. If you don’t mind telling me how that would be really appreciated. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Fiona Mathews March 6,

    this is an excellent idea..
    I homeschool my 4 little monsters and i am always on the look out for great party ideas that they can get involved with as well

    keep it up
    Fiona

    Reply
  • Megan May 16,

    You have mentioned your homemade lemonade several times in your party posts and I am dyint to try some! Do you have a reciepe your willing to share?? Thanks!

    Reply
  • Carrie Jane May 29,

    OK- plastic mason jars- wonderful idea!! What is this mysterious wholesale container store you mentioned? I’d love to get some for parties, too!

    Reply
  • Allie Gilbuena June 4,

    What kind of paint did you use for the mermaid stand? We put the pieces together for this over the weekend, but I can’t decide what paint is best.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup June 5,

      I just used regular acrylic paint that you get at the craft store because that was what I had on hand. It has now been sitting outside for a year and still looks as good as new!

      Reply
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