So our little F is turning 7! As her birthday falls right at the end of July and after the holidays have started we tend to do her party a little early. After the craziness of last years ‘Greatest Showman’ Party (and 24 children!!) We opted for something a little smaller and F chose a ‘mermaid’ theme!
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Decorations: I have gathered quite a stash of decorations now so that was my first job to see what I had which could be used. I gathered any fans and pom moms in shades of green, blue, pink and purple and a few white one too.
We have masses of tissue paper and this was perfect for creating quick and simple decorations. Keeping the tissue folded I cut wavy strips from the green papers (two different shades). I then layered a handful on top of each other and gathered them in the centre to create a loop at the top which I then secured with a bit of tape. I could then either thread a cord through to make a garland or hang individually. We thought the green looked a little like seaweed so we hung those individually in the hallway with the green fans.
I found a decorative ‘net’ on Ebay for a few pounds so hung that across the door leading through to the playroom and lounge, we strung some ‘pearls’ (old necklaces from ‘fancy dress’ days!) through the net and across the mirror. I also then cut some simple mermaid tails from glittery card and added a sparkly ‘7’ to them and added these to the net as well along with some shells.
Hobbycraft do brilliant packs of tissue paper pre-cut into large discs. You get masses in a variety of colours. Link here. So using the discs, we made a huge number ‘7’ and a mermaid tail. I simply drew and cut the shapes from large pieces of cardboard (I keep a stash in the shed from deliveries/big boxes etc!) then layered the tissue paper in alternating colours just using the blues, purple and white. I used strips of double sided sticky tape to make it quick and easy to do and a lot less messy than using glue! I then dotted a few gold stars around just to add a bit of extra sparkle!
We hung the mermaid tail in the lounge. The number 7 was suspended from a long thin branch from the garden (just hole punched and then strung up), I then added lengths of satin ribbon and crepe paper streamers (both from Hobbycraft) either side. I thought this would work well as a little backdrop for photos etc. We hung this in the hallway so it created a bit of an ‘entrance’ too.
Using the same method as with the ‘seaweed’ we strung blue tissue paper up into a garland and used these in various places to look like the sea.
In Home Bargains I found little packs of sequinned ribbons in perfect ‘mermaid’ colours so we bought a few of those and used them in various ways – one of which was to just simply drop them over balloons and across garlands and the cake table to add a little extra sparkle etc.
The cake table was fun to decorate. We’ve got lots of shells and starfish etc that have been collected over the years so we used those as props and dotted them around the table. F has a dairy allergy but Sainsburys do dairy free chocolate coins and seem to have them in all year round so a few packs of these around the table and in the shells worked well as treasure. We also dotted some of my Nanny’s old ‘costume’ jewellery and (fake!) pearls around and some more of the sequin ribbon and some fairy lights in a glass vase.
Party games/activities: We had all sorts planned and we actually ran out of time to do it all. When the girls arrived they had to discover their ‘mermaid names’ – I found a fab free printable here on Pinterest, which I used for this. We only had 2 boys at the party F’s little brother and cousin so I used the ‘Pirate name’ one for them. They wrote their names on little mermaid tags I had cut out of sparkly card.
They then attached these to shell purses (made from the same glittery card) which we’d made. To do this i simply found a shell template image and printed it onto the card, folded in half and cut around. Download my free template here. I did have a bit of a problem with the ink not drying so i put them all outside and gave them a quick spray with hairspray which seemed to do the job! We then used the sequin ribbon as the strap and simply stapled around the edges and stapled the strap on. (I couldn’t find a glue or tape that would adhere properly which is why I opted to staple instead). The glitter card was also from Hobbycraft, one pack was enough make 10 purses, all the tags, invitations (just the same shell shape with the party details printed on reverse white side) and numerous mermaid tail shapes used for decorations.
Treasure hunt! With their little bags on we then sent them a treasure hunt around the house! I cheated slightly and found the wording for clues just through a google search then printed them on little cards. Each card was attached to a little cotton bag (which I use for my Bumble& Bees necklaces) inside was a different ‘treasure’. The treasure was simply a different colour and shaped gem. I found a multi pack of large gems in B&M bargains. One pack was enough for all 10 children with several spares in case any were lost. The final bag of treasure though was a special one which we had made. I used old fake pearls (from another old necklace) and use a hot glue gun to stick them inside a shell (which we’d collected from the beach a few weeks ago). They were really effective and the children loved them ‘real treasure!!’
We had a couple of crafts planned, which went down well: Mermaid hairbands and bracelets.
I had pre-cut a variety of shapes from felt and glitter fabric: seaweed, shell, starfish, mermaid tail, coral etc.. The girls then decorated their shapes using fabric pens, glitter paint, stick on gems and pearls etc. I had picked up some plain hairbands from B&M and pre-sewn a strip of felt onto the hairbands to give a wider surface to decorate. We then attached their felt shapes to the hairbands with a combination of fabric glue and double sided sticky tape. They all loved this activity and spent a long time on it – several of the girls were then wearing them at school the following week which was lovely!
The next activity was bracelet making – we seem to have thousands of beads so I spent a ridiculous amount of time going through them and picking out the purple, blue, white, clear and pink beads! I found some more special charms on Ebay so they could each choose one of these then make up the bracelets with a variety of the other beads. I have lots of bracelet toggles so used these to fasten the bracelets but you could easily just thread them onto elastic and knot them.
The last activity was slime making!
Again Hobbycraft was fab and had some brilliant make your own kits which we used. Each child had a little pot (baby food pots from Poundland!) which we added a “Mermaid Slime’ sticker to and then they could mix in sequins, shells, glitter etc. This was fun – but messy! Link to slime kits.
The boys didn’t want to make hairbands and bracelets so I had a couple of little wooden treasure chests from The Works for them to decorate instead.
They then all played a few dancing games in the lounge and ‘mermaid limbo’. I kept the giraffe limbo stick from E’s party and simply recovered it in a mermaid wrapping paper I had found in John Lewis.
Food: F had requested fish fingers and chips as it was ‘sea’ related so that was easy! We then just did a tray of fresh veggies and strawberry and blueberry skewers (with a marshmallow in the middle!). For dessert they had ice-cream in wafer oyster shells.
I want to stop using disposable party stuff but I had these bits already (bought in a sale years ago – ‘just in case they were useful!’) so I’m going to use up what I’ve got then not buy anymore! The silicone straws did come out again though which was great as everyone has their own colour so knows whose drink is whose!
Cake: I always tend to keep things simple and do 4 sponge cakes stacked and then just ‘theme’ the icing and decor. I found some silicone mermaid tail moulds on eBay and used these to make some sparky chocolate tails which I used on the cake along with a bag of mermaid cake sprinkles from Hobbycraft.
Party bags: The girls had collected their jewels and treasures in their purses, they had their hairbands, bracelets and slime pots which they made, I then just added a sheet of mermaid stickers, a little starfish and a long swirly lolly pop to little paper treat bags for them to take home.
I hope this gives you some ideas for a fun party with a few activities to keep them all busy!