We threw a surprise engagement party for our sister Chaya and her fiance Russ a few months ago, endearingly titled “Fishpony Soiree 2014.” To align with our awesome event title, we knew we wanted to have a beach themed party with beach themed crafts. [More on the backstory of the title in a separate post, coming soon.]
You guys, I’m so excited to (finally) share all this with you. We had a whole TEAM of people working together for months leading up to the party (with extra super awesome reinforcements the day of – aka our guests :-)). We were so thrilled to create an atmosphere that would delight Chaya, Russ, and our guests. Here’s everything you’ll find in this post:
- Fish Paper Lanterns
- Mason Jar Lights
- Pool Noodle Garlands
- Tissue Poms
- Seahorse Cake Toppers
- Photo booth and Props
- Ombre Cake
- Watermelon Shark
- Lavender Scented Cold Process Soaps
- Beach Themed Gel Candles
To pull the surprise off and make sure that our party was properly crafted up, we had to engage in some covert craft operations. As you can imagine, the day and night before Chaya and Russ arrived were a flurry of crafting activity (as were the month or so beforehand). We even got Mike involved. Sort of (and maybe against his will….or so he says.)
When we begin our party planning process [we’re developing a series of posts on this very topic – stay tuned!], we like to start a Pinterest board to organize our color palette(s), crafts, decor, favors, and menu ideas. As we get closer to party time and it becomes time to purchase supplies, then we start narrowing down to a reasonable number. Here are the beach themed crafts (with links to tutorials) that we made for the party. The photos with labels on them will take you to another post with more detailed instructions.
Beach Themed Crafts
Fish Paper Lanterns
Our parents have an enclosed pool area. It’s fairly spacious so we wanted to find a crafty idea that would have a large decorative bang for the dollar (and effort). So, we embellished paper lanterns to look like cute little fishies. Click on the photo for the tutorial. I think our parents still have these up!
Mason Jar Lights
We wanted to schnazz up the typical mason jar light craft a little bit and took flat glass marbles (one side of the stone or marble lays flat) and hot glued them to mason jars. Full disclosure: this is a somewhat tedious thing and we lost a few marbles along the way (literally and figuratively). But, it’s still a cute effect.
Pool Noodle Garlands
If you have a beach or pool themed party, you *must* make a garland out of pool noodles! It’s SO easy. Get a few different colored pool noodles, cut ’em up into equal-ish sized pieces, and string them together. We alternated colors as you can see in the picture below. It’s a cute, fun little touch!
Man, do I love me some tissue poms! They are so fun and festive. I’ll have to do a tutorial for these another time but basically, layer a bunch of tissue paper together, accordion fold it, cinch the middle with floral wire, cut the ends, fluff out the pieces of tissue paper. There’s a little more to it, but that’s really the gist of it.
Seahorse Cake Toppers
Parties have cake, yes? Cakes have toppers, right? Jaya made an amazing cake (dyed in an ombre pattern of our color scheme, to boot) (I know, she’s so talented, that one.) Any-who, Jaya found cute little adirondack cake toppers, which we embellished with little seahorses. We found ModPodge mod melts in “seaglass” (how perfect!) and the beach molds had a seahorse shape – WIN! We created our seahorse mold, painted it, and hot glued it to the adirondack chair topper. Done!
Photobooth & Props
We wanted a photo booth (because, really, what’s a party these days without one?) and found a great backdrop over at Oriental Trading. We also picked up a bunch of costume props at a nearby Dollar Store to serve as photobooth props. Definitely, definitely recommend scouring your local Dollar Store for fun finds like that.
Remember Jaya’s ombre cake I mentioned earlier? Check it out! To get this effect, take your cake batter and divide it up into 3 bowls. Add different amounts of blue and green food coloring to each of the bowls (this will take some trial and error, in all honesty – but it’s worth it!!). Bake as usual, layer them (you may want to flatten/level each layer first), and then ice when cooled.
I’m not going to lie to you. I have no idea how Kevin, Jaya’s boo (pictured below), did this. I am pretty sure he looked at a picture we found on Pinterest of this watermelon shark and just magically replicated it. As a result of his ridiculous skill, he has been designated as our family’s Food Sculptor. I wonder what we could ask him to sculpt next…!!
Beach Themed Party Favors
Of course, a party isn’t a complete without a little token favor, right? We gave our guests two gifts: lavender scented cold process soaps and beach themed gel candles. Click on the photos below to go to the posts!
Try some of these out for your next beach party and let us know how it goes!