First, I took one 5 year old and popped on a home made mermaid costume. (She has a pearl headband on too.) Mermaid tail instructions here, and the top was just two green felt shells sewn on to a pink singlet. I got the fabric for pretty cheap. I think this costume cost me all of $10 and didn't take long to sew.
A sweet little welcome sign drawn by Miss 7 to greet our guests. (It's a mermaid walking her merdog. Cute, huh!?)
The party room. Fairy lights, balloons, streamers for seaweed, and paper puff balls feature for decorations.
I made this jelly fish light by covering an old light shade frame with white rice paper, and hanging paper, ribbons and lace from the middle.
The cake! Whilst searching for ideas on Pinterest, I discovered sandcastle cakes! I love the fact that they look really effective, with no food colouring. In fact our party was an artificial-colour-free party, and the cake was made from spelt flour (an ancient form of easier to digest wheat). I made four cakes which I then cut up and stuck together with toothpicks and bamboo skewers. The cake was iced with plain butter frosting and covered in a sand mixture that was made from baked cake crumbs (like how you make breadcrumbs, but with offcuts from the cake), and shredded coconut whizzed up in my thermomix.
I collected all kinds of sea themed decorations from around the house, like jewellery and shells, and I also found some things in the op shop. The toy shop had some play star fish. The seaweed grapes were another idea from Pinterest. The treasure chest was just a box I already owned. Chocolate gold coins worked well in that.
This is a mobile I received last year for a Mother's Day gift. Mermaid-y, yes? The fishy back drop was from the girls' dress up box.
Jelly cups were the natural coloured kind with a bit of the 'sand' sprinkled on the tops. Cookies were homemade in the shape of starfish and sand dollars. (Recipe here. Although I did use spelt and an extra cup or so of flour.) I used a star cutter for the starfish, and pinched each point skinnier to get a more realistic shape. (Thank you for that tip Steph!)
White and milk chocolate seashells with 'sand' were made a few days before the party.
The craft. A kids party will not be held at my house without a craft!! There was so much glitter and sequin-y goodness :)
A painted shell for cute mermaid-y photos was propped in the corner. A bubble station provided some sparkly fun too :)
Party favours included some handmade shell necklaces with pearl beads & glitter, and some cute mini mermaid brooches I got from Etsy.
The party bags were paper (because paper is recyclable & if there's a more environmental choice, I will choose it. I struggled with buying balloons, as they don't degrade), stamped with a seahorse stamp that I made years ago with wash tape around the top. I included a couple of 'natural confectionary' lollies, but other than that there were the necklaces, brooches, hair clips and sea themed stickers. I hope the other parents appreciated the lack of extra sugar!
We didn't have one lolly on board (except for in the party bags) but the kids were really happy and there were no complaints. There was still chocolate and jelly and bikkies and fruit.. and cake! :)
I like to take my time and put thought into the best food choices for the party. For example, we had plain chips cooked in sunflower oil and seasoned with sea salt (a much better choice than cheezels, for example. I do lots of reading of labels in supermarkets.) We had homemade meatballs and chicken nibbles with a homemade marinade. Homemade bbq sauce, and an organic tomato sauce. We also had star shaped sandwiches which neglected to be in a photo. We had biscuits, cheese and a homemade basil pesto dip for the grown-ups. Our cutlery and cups were recyclable or compostable. Me being me, I can't do it any other way! I torture myself, I swear.
Oh, and we had a cute mini beanie boo turtle for the pass the parcel prize! I was going to make something for the prize (like I did for a dragon party we had in the past, but I ran out of time.)
It was a lot of work but careful planning got me there in the end. And then I collapsed into a heap when it was done.. And napped. I hope Miss 5 remembers it. I'm planning on getting a little album printed for her as a momento.
I hope all the kiddies had a great time as I may never plan another party like this again. Although... how cool would a woodland themed party be!?