mermaids and pirates, oh my!

saturday we had a birthday party for gracie. she had asked me even before her 3rd birthday if her next birthday could be a mermaid party! i don’t know where she gets these planning instincts ;)! here’s a pic of the invites. we did a “message in a bottle”. it was soooo easy, much easier than assembling most any other invite i’ve ever done, and relatively inexpensive. each bottle cost about 60 cents i think. this year i decided to try a different party than we normally do. i wanted it to be much smaller so i let grace make the invite list – kids from school + a few others that she plays with regularly, all her age.

i told her i wanted to take a picture of her and she instantly went into this pose! she said she was diving like a mermaid. she had this hand-me-down costume that she was so excited to wear, and we (my mom and I) made outfits for all the other kiddos to put on (although very few actually did).

my sister-in-law, courtney, is an event planner and had all these turquoise lanterns from a recent wedding that she let me borrow. they were supposed to be bubbles. i made a bunch of fish, sea horses, jelly fish and an octopus out of cardboard then covered them in scrapbook papers i already had. after a bit of glitter and some string, they turned out pretty cute hung from the bubbles. i took inexpensive plastic tablecloths and cut squiggly lines in them to make “water” over all the doorways.

if you haven’t guessed yet, my mom is amazing. she made this cake! she is so creative and a huge help. i loved having her here for a couple days and was sad to see her and my dad go back home.

here’s a pic of grace and pirate david. notice his little mustache!

we had a treasure hunt and when the kids found the treasure chest (a painted cardboard box), it was filled with shells and seaweed (actually pasta), and they had to dig in it for their treasure.

we also played “pop the bubbles”

and musical starfish. you can barely see on a couple of the girls the mermaid skirts and shell tops we made for them. the boys had hats, eye patches, tatoos, and mustaches. except for nate – he wanted to be a knight!

here’s gracie and zekie. aarrgh!

so the party was generally a success, but i decided about 1/2 an hour into it that i don’t like this kind of organized party. i set up a bunch of activities and games, and i think maybe the kids were a bit too young for all the structure. i’d rather do the usual and have a bunch of families come for a day of hanging out while all the kids play freely.

so i have a lot of decorations that are up for grabs if anyone wants them. i can’t bring myself to throw them away even though they were all free. i’ve got a treasure chest and about 20 different fish and sea creatures. they could be really cute hanging from the ceiling in a kid’s room, play room, or for a party like this! first come first served, and i have lots of close up pics of the fish if you want to see them.



  1. 1
    Shannon says:

    Ohh my gosh – another hit party by Lindsey. When I grow up I wanna be YOU!!! Or reincarnated as your daughter!! (so I can be known as having the cool party mom). I have presents going in the mail this week for you and Gracie! I hope you had a great birthday! I miss you guys! And I wanna see your belly before you get all skinny again! Love you!

  2. 2

    very fun! Gracie looks ADORABLE!

    i understand the thing about organized parties. it did work very well however for Josie’s 5th (maybe because it was a rainy day, and i needed a plan).

    if i have an all family members join their kiddo birthday party, i try to include a game and prize (movie tickets, starbucks)for the adults. They always like this little touch.

  3. 3
    Lisa Leonard says:

    great pics–the one of david & gracie is so sweet! I’ll take a few lanterns–they are so cute!!

  4. 4
    lindsey says:

    unfortunately, lisa, i can’t offer the lanterns! i have to return them to court – sorry!

  5. 5
    Kristen Borland says:

    oh, i want a girl someday!! girl parties are so fun!! what a cute idea. you’re amazing. it all looks so great! gracie is adorable. it totally looks like “under the sea” with all the decorations on the ceiling. way to go, party mama!

    nehemiah is having a rescue heroes birthday party (manily because last september i found the plates and napkins on a super duper clearance sale– can’t beat paying for things with quarters!). i’m struggling with decoration ideas. fire trucks… that’s all i got so far! plus it will be a bit of a swim party too, so we’ve got a little coast guard theme too.

    on the cake, what did your mom make the mermaid’s fish tail out of? it looks so much like seaweed! green fruit roll-ups?

  6. 6
    lindsey says:

    kristen – you guessed it – fruit roll ups for the tail! i’d love to give suggestions for a boy themed party, but not having a boy puts me at quite a disadvantage – i don’t even know who the rescue heroes are!

  7. 7

    I love the message in the bottle idea. Your mom did an awesome job on the cake. That’s so funny that Gracie has been wanting a mermaid party for such a long time! Your home is already perfect for a beach/ocean themed party!

  8. 8
    Kristen Borland says:

    yeah, i don’t know who the rescue heroes are either. but it’s cute firetrucks/helicopter, “rescue” vehicle stuff. so i’m just making the rest up. :)

  9. 9

    What a great party! Looks like the kids still had fun within the structure. You are so great at planning these kinds of gigs. Your ideas, creativity, and thriftiness are

  10. 10
    Joyful Weddings & Events says:

    It turned out so cute Linds! I am so glad that you were able to get some use out of those lanterns. Gracie is the cutest mermaid ever!

  11. 11
    Joyful Weddings & Events says:

    It turned out so cute Linds! I am so glad that you were able to get some use out of those lanterns. Gracie is the cutest mermaid ever!

  12. 12
    The Popes says:

    If nobody requested your decorations I would snatch them up in a heartbeat!
    My daughter is having a "turning three under the sea" party in February and I will be making all the decorations!

    If your's are gone, I plan on copying yours! I hope you don't mind!

  13. 13

    Hi! This is amazing! Thank you for sharing! I was wondering Where you got the bottles?

  14. 14

    Love your ideas! What rules did you give for pop the bubble?

  15. 15

    I forgot to check the box to be notified of your response. What rules or directions did you give for pop the bubble?

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