Ready to burst with delight, over amazing Sea-life party details?! Dive into this adorable Modern Under the Sea Birthday by Jackie Hempel of Finding Lovely, out of Wellesley, Ma!
Featuring the cutest sweets and treats this side of the deep blue Sea! And accenting with adorable stationery and decor, this birthday celebration is simply stunning!
While floating through this spectacular occasion, be sure to spot these incredible details:
- Adorable yarn pom pom wreath
- Modern Under the Sea stationery
- Ruffled Under the Sea Birthday Cake
- Honeycomb Jelly Fish decorations
- Fish scale table cover
- Under the Sea-inspired sugar cookies
- Framed Under the Sea photo booth
- And more!
Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography
Cake: Joceyln Morales via email
Favor Boxes: Paper Eskimo
Invitations: Posh Paperie
Tassel Garland: GLAMlovesPARTIES Etsy Shop
Paper Fans on Staircase: BirdandBowerstudio Etsy shop
Party Hat: Pipsqueakandbean Etsy Shop
One Balloon: The Party Dialect Etsy shop
Cookies: KessaCakes and Comfy Sweets Etsy shops
Photo Booth Backdrop: Supplies from Party City
Photo Booth Headband props: Party Ears Etsy Shop
Modern Under the Sea Birthday Party
Modern Under the Sea Party Details:
This is what Jackie said about styling the party- “There’s something beautiful about celebrating the lovely in life, I’ve made it my mission to find it because life is filled with the hard and ugly far too often–when given the opportunity to celebrate good things, you run straight at them and party your heart out. Our sweet Asher Kai turned one November 17th, 2016 and his sweet under the sea celebration a week earlier was nothing short of lovely.
While pregnant with Kai, I found this beautiful wrapping paper at the Paper Source here in town and bought a roll, thinking, “this would make a beautiful first birthday party for a little boy”–a modern update to the under-the-sea theme in aqua, navy and pops of orange. Kai’s name means “ocean” so what could be more fitting? When envisioning this sweet babe, I only pictured a calm, angelic baby as he is our second son and I figured he had to be easy-going. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He cried for 7.5 months and is a fire cracker, so really, this celebration was equally about celebrating momma’s survival as it was baby’s first precious year.
DIY and Etsy Love
I could not have done this party without all the beautiful supplies. Most of the supplies were from different vendors mostly off of Etsy (I love small businesses!). However, I am crafty, detailed-oriented and love party planning, so I made most of it from scratch. I pulled it all together with my hubby’s help and Pinterest inspiration board.
Starting with the wrapping paper as my inspiration piece, then everything fell into place. I framed two sheets and cut a number 1 out of the paper to make the center sign for the table backdrop. My husband made the reclaimed wood backdrop out of an old pallet and wood found up in our garage. Once I had the theme, I sent a picture to my favorite invitation studio, Posh Paperie in San Diego. These lovely ladies made our first son’s birthday invitations and they couldn’t have been more fun to work with. The custom under-the-sea invitations are lovely and were the first glimpse our guests saw of the event.
Center Table Runner
I made the center table runner by hand, cutting hundreds of circles of fabric using a quilter’s tool and using iron-on hem to secure them on to some linen yardage purchased at JoAnns, staggering them in a way to mimicking fish scales. I used a regular muslin fabric and a silky navy, the two textures played well off each other. This was definitely the most time consuming project as there is not a single stitch on the whole runner, I hate sewing. Thank goodness for iron-on hem!
It’s in the Details
For weeks every night, come bedtime, it was party planning heaven. Googley eyeballs hot-glued on to tooth picks to make crab sandwiches, paper sails turning oranges into sailboats, lollipops turned in to octopus with napkins and pipe cleaners, pom pom garlands and a front door wreath, nautical knots tied onto the kid’s favor boxes–I had a to-do list about a mile long and just kept at it.
Pinterest provided quite a bit of inspiration with tweaks to make ideas match our theme. My favorite project was making the beautiful milk glass decorations for the “Reef-reshment” table. I bought washi tape in different patterns (polka dots, solids and stripes) and made flags on toothpicks, slipped it into another piece of coordinating washi tape and aqua bakers twine and finished it off with a die cut starfish. Each was unique and fun, definitely hard to pick a favorite. Behind the drinks on the “Reef-reshment” table was the sweet month pictures of Kai, pinned onto twine o n our gold framed chalkboard.
Cake and Delicious Eats
The crowning jewel of the table was the beautiful cake made by the talented Jocelyn Rosa, a dear friend from church. She is incredibly gifted and if you are in the Boston area, look her up. Not only gorgeous, it was also delicious. The detailed cookies were made by Jessa Cakes and Comfy Sweets, shops on Etsy. I provided pictures of the inspiration wrapping paper so the frosting colors would match. Little pearl sprinkles were added to the macarons from WOOPS to make them into oysters.
When setting up the main table, I knew it had to function as both the dessert table and luncheon food table. With an eye toward symmetry, I set up one side with adult foods. These included “crabby” croissant turkey sandwiches, “seashell” pasta salad, “seaweed” dip with vegetables and “driftwood” pretzels. The other side with kid-friendly options. Including “peanut butter and jellyfish” sandwiches cut out using a starfish cookie cutter, “sand buckets” filled with hummus, and criss-cut carrots. These were made using a plastic cup, waxed twine and a hole punch. Cups of blueberry “bubbles” and goldfish crackers and orange slice “sail boats” completed the food. When you have a theme the beautiful details can really shine.
Ombre and solid color paper fans from BirdandBower studio on Etsy lined the staircase adding a festive touch to the entry. On the entry table were party favors–“for the little guppies” a cupcake box from Paper Eskimo that we filled instead with a little bean bag under-the-sea toy from Amazon and custom ocean creatures sticker sheet from Lee Street Planners, a shop off Etsy and tied them with a nautical knot in coordinating orange yarn. My husband gets a huge shot out for tying 24 of those.
For “the big fish” favors we used self-sealing clear 3×5 plastic envelopes filled with aqua jellybeans, orange gummy bears, blue gummy sharks and sour apple strips which I cut into thin strips to mimic seaweed. We also had a stack of Sea Salt chocolate squares from Lolli and Pops.
In the playroom we set up a “photo booth”. I made the backdrop out of a large barn wood frame I already had on hand. Adding an aqua plastic table cloth from Party City, decorated with hand made tissue paper seaweed and coral. I made some of the photo props and combine them with cute little under the sea hats purchased from the Etsy shop, PartyEars. We left a camera out for guest to snap pictures and pose with the props.
The day was beautifully captured by the talented Ruth Eileen Photography. I could not be more thankful. Having a professional photographer allowed me to relax and truly connect to the guest and sweet birthday boy without feeling like I needed to capture every detail.
My tip for throwing the sweetest little party is to find your inspiration piece first, whether a piece of fabric, wrapping paper or theme, let all the details come from that starting place. It gives you direction and grounds your design. Give yourself enough time and grace to enjoy the journey. There are few celebrations in life you get to do again and it’s worth putting the thought into if you enjoy the process. At the end of the day, there is no perfect party but that is what makes it lovely–the unscripted, whimsy of the day that stays imprinted on your mind and brings happy smiles for years to come.”
Love Kara’s Party Ideas? Keep up with the latest party ideas, FREE party printables, tutorials, recipes and more by following Kara’s Party Ideas on Pinterest!