When the little princess insisted on a mermaid birthday party I got right to work researching, brainstorming, creating, and plotting. While she had in mind a Disney Little Mermaid theme I prefer doing a general theme to specific characters. So I needed to keep in line with mermaid colors and the general feeling. Purple, hot pink, lime green, and teal flow are not only fun and bright girly colors but flow well with ocean and mermaid scheme.
The first thing I did to set the mood for our mermaid party was to hang strips of green streamers onto long lengths of twine to serve as seaweed. I put some behind the food and here and there throughout the party area. I borrowed a large fishing net that was hanging on my sons wall to drape over the purple tablecloth on the food table, further creating an ocean feel. Inexpensive bowls, and trays in party colors from Dollar Tree held the majority of food items, while sand pails and shovels were a perfect serving bowl and scoop for chips, goldfish crackers, and pretzels. Inexpensive shells can be picked up at craft stores or Dollar tree to use as table scatter. Painted wooden accents in ocean animals and mermaids shapes make a great accent for aluminum cans covered in themed paper as well as on several decorations throughout.
Goodie Bags– The goodie bags for the mermaid birthday party were fun and overall inexpensive to put together. I used sand buckets with a shovel from Dollar Tree, I made some for girls and the boys. Inside I included an individual packet of goldfish, mermaid gummy treats, girly tattoos, plastic sparkly bracelets, a small bubble (available in a case of a dozen in the wedding section of Dollar Tree) twisty straws, tiara hair combs (Wal-Mart party section), and a couple of individual wrapped candy items. For the boys I subbed the bracelets and tiaras for a pirate bandana from Hobby Lobby, and pirate tattoos in place of the girly ones.
Mermaid Wreath– I picked up all the pieces for this project, including the pretty grapevine wreath at Hobby Lobby. The wreath was available in several tropical colors and it reminded me of driftwood so I thought it would go perfectly with our theme. I wrapped 1/4” ribbon in a contrasting color.
and while it was still wet I sprinkled it in glitter- because in a girly girl world you can’t have enough sparkle.
Finally I finished it off by securing finished wood pieces on the number and directly on the wreath itself.
The project cost less than 10 dollars to make, I glued the number in such a way, with just a few dots of hot glue that I can easily remove it, replace the mermaid and still use the wreath in her bedroom indefinitely. I had paint and glitter already on hand, but you can pick them both up for $1.00 or less at craft or dollar stores.
Mermaid Birthay Party Welcome Sign- I have seen similar signs at other craft stores but again this pink metal sign was from Hobby Lobby. I hot glued on another finished wooden mermaid piece from Dollar Tree, alpha stickers for my wording and finished accenting with ocean stickers. This too cost under $10.00 and will hang in my little girls room, so while the individual cost may be a bit higher than you would normally spend on one decoration, using it double duty as home décor makes it a very frugal craft indeed!
Jellyfish Lantern- Bundle crepe streamers or strips of tissue paper in party colors to make jellyfish tentacles, wrap with tape and then attach to the bottom of a paper lantern. Make several in different colors to create a real undersea feeling.
Mermaid Birthday Party Printables– Print the attached mermaid cards on cardstock and use them to label food or as name tags on goodie bags. You could also print a set and use it as a memory match game for the birthday girl, or print a set for each party-goer and add it to the goodie bag.
Mermaid Cards –> mermaidprintable
The Mermaid’s Welcome sign would be adorable printed and placed in a brightly colored frame to great your guests.
Mermaid Sign –> Mermaid Welcome
Sandcastle Cake– While I love to bake from scratch sometimes with so much going on you just don’t have time. To save some time and stress I made a mix from the box and a homemade buttercream frosting (recipe HERE), with chocolate seashell accents.
To recreate the sandcastle that I made you will need 3 pans in graduating sizes ( I used a set of spring form pans) and a clean empty aluminum can. Prepare 3 box cake mixes according to package directions, to give them a little bit more of a homemade flavor i added a tsp. of almond extract and a tsp. of orange extract to each mix.
Use whatever combination extract flavors you like. Grease pans and can well with vegetable oil, dust lightly with flour. Fill can 2/3 of the way full and distribute remaining batter into your 3 round pans. Bake according to package directions. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. While cakes are cooling make your frosting and “sand”. Cover a large baking pan in parchment paper or brown wrapping paper. Flip and stack round cakes so that the flat, smooth bottom of cake is facing upwards, if the cake is to rounded slice off some of the cake until each side is almost flat so it lets better.
Top with cake in aluminum pan, secure with a dowel rod in the center.
Sand Coating- Spread an entire bag of coconut on baking sheet in a thin layer, toast coconut on 350° for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted golden.
Remove from oven and cool, place in blender or food processor with a sleeve of graham crackers, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup granulated sugar., until almost smooth. Set aside.
Spread an even layer of buttercream all over cake, beginning at the top, and working your way down. ( if you like, before stacking cakes add a layer between each one).
Start at top of cake again and pat sand mixture into frosting. Repeat until cake is well covered. Spread remaining sand around pan.
Candy Accents- I found a seashell candy mold at Hobby Lobby to create edible shell decorations for the cake. Use white chocolate and butterscotch chips to fill. I did some of each as well as swirling both together to create more variations. Place 2 oz. of chips in a microwave safe dish, microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each cycle, repeat until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate into molds, pressing in well to avoid air bubbles. Allow to set and pop from mold. Scatter on and around sandcastle cake.
Top with a flag tapped onto dowel, with your child’s age, name , or initial. I used her little people Ariel mermaid as a nod toward her hero.
Additional Mermaid Birthday Party Resources:
Starfish – Real Starfish
Mermaid Pinata – Aztec Imports Mermaid Pinata