Sunday, April 25, 2010

Seashells by the Seashore Party

I feel like birthdays are a perfect time for showing my kids how much their presence in my life means to me. Because they bring me so much joy and happiness, I try to do this for them not just on their birthdays, but especially on their birthdays! My 10 year old is in love with anything and everything concerning rocks, seashells and things of the natural world. My first thought was, "Oo, I might get off cheap if I went with a rocks theme!" However, I wasn't coming up with any ideas, creatively-speaking, with the rocks bit so I turned my attention to seashells. The ideas started flowing and once I started digging around my house, I had more props and things to use than I had initially thought. So, not only did I come out on top with the creative-side (I think), but I didn't sink my budget either!

She handed out these invites to the girls at school. So easy to make and very inexpensive. Cellophane bag filled with sand (clearance item at Target...$4 for a huge tub of it. I used it throughout the whole party for different things and still have 90% of it left). I printed the invites on shimmery cream-colored cardstock which said "Abby is having a Day on the Beach birthday party at her house. 'Shell' be so happy to 'sea' you!" Then, I included the date and an RSVP number, but no address. This ensured the parents had to call me to get directions and this allowed me to get the name of the girls who were attending so I could put their monogram on their favor boxes (shown at the end of this post). I hot glued the paper to the shell base (it was the same length as the bottom of the shell so it fit perfectly). The large seashells I got at Hobby Lobby for $.50 each. I tied the bag closed with coral-colored ribbon and a silver fish charm ($.25 each). The whole invite cost me about $1. I had moms calling me just to tell me how cute the invite was even though their daughter wouldn't be able to attend the party. lol!

I decorated the dining room, which has always been the room that gets decorated for birthday parties. Old habits die hard, I guess. I hung seafoam green sheer ribbon and cream-colored pearl strands (both half off at Hobby Lobby) from the chandelier. The table was covered in a cream plastic tablecloth and ran an irridescent wrapping paper runner along the lenth of it. I then laid blue pearl strands along the length of the table as well. I had some glass candle holders that were beachy-looking that I added to the tablescape.

Each place setting had a large clear dinner plate and a smaller dessert plate. I set out silver buckets with sand in the bottom and placed their plastic stemwear inside along with cocktail party sticks I made using small wooden skewers (which ended up being like a $.01 each!) with a seashell or starfish I hotglued to the top. The silver plasticwear was wrapped in a cream-colored napkin and tied with the same seafoam green ribbon which I then glued a small starfish to. So simple and so effective for the overall look of the party!

Closer look at the place setting. I love how the irridescent paper just sparkled all day!

The cake!! Ok, so I'm no master cake maker and it's a good thing I didn't decide that was a love of mine that I wanted to pursue because I would've failed miserably at it!
This was supposed to be a 3-layer cake but for some odd reason, despite no difference in the way I cooked the individual layers, the middle medium-sized layer crumbled all to pieces when I popped it out of the pan. *frowning* However, the 2 layers still ended up being plenty for the girls. I made seashells from molds of white and peanut butter melting chocolate. I made coral from leftover white chocolate by piping it onto parchment paper and letting it harden in the fridge then popping it off and keeping it in an airtight container in the fridge. I sprinkled the entire cake, all the seashells and coral with edible pearl dust to add a measure of sparkle to the cake. It turned out beautiful, I think! I set it on top of a silver cake stand (which was really a silver drum-shaped potpourri holder from my Christmas stuff that I cleaned out and turned upside-down because I couldn't find my real wedding cake stand. lol!).

The luscious food buffet. I do LOVE a food buffet!

We had goldfish, swedish fish, keylime cookies and more chocolate seashells...

...there was blue Hawaiian Punch set on top of a cake stand filled with seashells and sand...

...and the shrimp cocktail was a hit! Glad I bought plenty. (This was the most expensive thing about the party. But well worth it since not a morsel was left.) I also served saltwater taffy and seasalt caramels.

Here we have shell pasta stuffed with tuna salad and I drizzled an alfredo sauce over it. I'll admit, the girls were not as excited about eating it as I had hoped they would be. But once one girl tried it and commented on how good they were, they all ate it up. *Whew!*

This was an idea I found online (don't remember where, sorry!). I put blue jello in a clear mini trifle cup and added a little swedish fish, let it set up in the fridge then, just before serving I added crushed graham crackers for the seashore sand and whipped cream for the ocean waves. So easy and so fun to look at!

From left to right: Molly, Julia, Riley, Haley, Abby (the birthday girl), Maddie and Daphne.

The birthday cake all lit up and ready for wishing!

For the activity, I gave each of the girls a paper mache frame (again, half off at Hobby Lobby) and a mini bottle of Elmer's glue ($1.27 ea), printed off some colorful ocean clipart and set out 2 packages of Pixie Sticks ($1 each and we only used one package). They traced the images in the glue and poured the pixie stick powder over it to make sand art to frame. I have never seen a quieter bunch of girls in my life! For 30 minutes, these girls did nothing but paint and glue and sprinkle hardly saying anything other than, "Please pass the purple paint." They loved it!

Painting their frames.

Time to open presents!!
One of the gifts her friends gave her. She was dared to wear it to school.
Mom, said no. lol!
These little favor boxes (by Martha Stewart) were a steal! I got them half off at TJ Max and the silver letters were an even greater deal, also on clearance. I filled them with bubbles and swedish fish. They were also allowed to take their cocktail picks and napkin rings which fit perfectly inside these. All in all these cost me about $2 each.

A look at the favor box opened. There's a perfect spot to write Thank You on the flap, but I had already found little cream-colored cards with scalloped edges that I decorated with sea-themed stickers. (Those cost about $1 each).

I hope you enjoyed this party (through pictures) as much as I enjoyed preparing it for my daughter and her friends and sharing it with you all!


Rachel said...

Wow! You amaze me. So, so, so creative. Thanks for sharing.

Carissa Mason said...

Thanks Rachel! I hope Maddie enjoyed it! We sure loved having her over. She's such a good kid! Although, that doesn't surprise me!

Theta Mom said...

Wow - AMAZING! And welcome to TMC!!!!!!!

Al said...

Martha S. Has nothing on you - very creative!

Leaza In Denver said...

What a great idea! Even for "big girls in their 30s" like me.

Stopping by from LBS...have a great day!

Christy said...

What a precious birthday party! I love the details, very elegant, but oh so fun!

Leslie, the Home Maker said...

THIS is awesome!
I love a party theme and I have never seen just a "beach" themed one-
I've seen luaus and pool parties, but yours is different- I am definitely bookmarking this, better yet, I'll follow you :)
Your cake was adorable, the food so very fun and I especially loved the invitations!
My birthday (and 3 of my other girlfriends) is in June, and I think I am going to do this theme for our party!
I also loved your Paris themed party!
You are some fun mom!
Blessings to you as you make your home today!

Meghan said...

Wow. That party looks great. I think you could even incorporate a lot of the ideas into an adult party or bridal shower.

Heather @ Gerber Days said...

Hi there! I found your absolutely adorable blog on tmc! You are sooo pretty! Makes me want to grow my hair out.

Can't wait to check out your Etsy site! New follower.

Mandi Miller said...

Wow! What a party!! That looked amazing!!!!!

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

So fun!! There's no better theme than shells and beach, this coming of course from a total beach nut!

Lucy said...

WOW! Impressive. And creative. You are an inspiration when it comes to kid birthday parties. So glad you found my blog. Following!

Hannah said...

I'll bet your daughter will remember that wonderful birthday party for a very long time !!! And I'm wondering how you are going to top it next year ***smile**** Submit CUTE or FUNNY photos and tell friends to vote. $2,000 in prizes. No entry fee.

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

What a wonderful party!

Thanks for sharing at My Backyard Eden!

Sally Lee by the Sea said...

Beautiful! Fabulous! I'd like to share this on my Coastal Living blog - may I feature this post with link back to your blog?

Great job.

Sally Lee by the Sea

Carissa Mason said...

Marie, you're awesome!! Thank you for asking to feature me! I'm so excited!

maddie jane ellsworth said...

It was a lot of fun. Thanks for letting me come over.

Lisa said...

Beautiful party!

santamaker said...

What a great party and you are so creative! Makes me sad that my girls are in their 20's now! I used to do fun theme parties like this and they still remember and talk about them. Your daughter is a lucky-ducky!

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! said...

You are one creative lady...Love the fish in the blue jello! Thanks for linking and making this the most successful Modern Craftswoman Monday so far! Hope to see you again next week! Rory

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