This beachy mermaid party was perfect for our little girl. With all of this, our party budget came in under $200!

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!)

Beachy Mermaid Party

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:

My little mermaid ready for her beachy mermaid birthday party! Here's how we created these darling decorations.

Burlap and starfish make adorable wreaths for the doors. These are so easy to make.

Directional signs and cute printable mermaid signs told guests where to go for the party.

These two girls loved their beachy mermaid party, especially the birthday girl.

The sandcastle themed cake, starfish sandwiches, goldfish crackers and cakepops were a huge hit.

This beach themed table is adorable for a mermaid birthday party. the decorations are easy.

Starfish rice crispy treats were a huge hit among the party guests.

These peanut butter and jelly "fish" sandwiches were loved by all the kids at the party.

Seaside saltwater taffy is the perfect treat for a beach party.

The birthday girl by the table of beach-themed party treats.

"Oyster" sandwich cookies are easy to make with Nila wafers, frosting and M&M pearls.

The sandcastle cake was a huge hit--complete with little mermaid, Ariel decoration.

These little goldfish pops are easy to grab and go (and come together fast).

Each napkin was tied with a cute mermaid printable tag and twine to keep everything together.

Mason jars with blue and white straws give a beachy vibe to the party.

The poolside dining table and chairs were tied with piece of tulle to keep the underwater theme going.

This beach side art was made with a pallet--an easy DIY project that looks adorable.

Table centerpieces were made of sand, "sea glass" painted jars, shells and twine.

Hurricane lanterns filled with shells and sand make stunning party centerpieces.

A photobooth, complete with mermaid cutouts is a great addition to the party.

Lanterns hung around the room, tied with twine.

Beachy party favors included messages in a bottle for each guest to take home.

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.

The mermaid beachy party invitations were easy to print and customize.

  • 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.

{Party Total:  $191}

Budget-friendly and adorable beachy mermaid party--all the details!

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.

The happiest little mermaid party girl in her frilly blue skirt and t-shirt with Mermaid transfer.

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

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Ruth Soukup
Ruth Soukup is dedicated to helping people everywhere create a life they love by follwing their dreams and achieving their biggest goals. She is the host of the wildly popular Do It Scared podcast, as well as the founder of Living Well Spending Less® and Elite Blog Academy®. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of six books, including Do It Scared®: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears, Overcome Obstacles, and Create a Life You Love, which was the inspiration for this book. She lives in Florida with her husband Chuck, and 2 daughters Maggie & Annie.
Ruth Soukup


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