While seeing a local production of The Little Mermaid, my dear friend asked me to help her create an “Under the Sea” themed party for her son’s upcoming second birthday. She had looked online for party supplies that she liked, but wanted to incorporate a subtle rainbow theme to celebrate that her son is a Rainbow Baby.
When I thought of a party and beautiful colors, my first thought was the Pop-Tone paper collection! These are my favorite papers to use because, as you can see, they perfectly match the party supplies that are available at the Big Box Stores. I just love to break out the die cutting machine and craft my own party!
Come on in and enjoy!
The design for the party was based around the sea creatures on the “Create a Critter” Cricut Cartridge, but Silhouette also has cute little sea creatures available! I used the following colors to create my die cuts for this party:
Cardstock Warehouse Cardstock Papers: Wild Cherry, Orange Fizz, Lemon Drop, Gumdrop Green, Sour Apple, Limeade, Blu Raspberry, Berrylicious, Sno Cone, Grapesicle, Grape Jelly, Razzle Berry, Black Licorice, Parcel Wrap Kraft-Tone, Brown Box Kraft Tone, Madero Beach Speckletone, and Oatmeal Speckletone.
Many of these sea creatures had extra elements that I didn’t include, like hair bows and rosy cheeks. You can choose how detailed you want your creatures to be by hiding or showing the layers in Cricut Design Space. I also added extra details, like the party hats, from other cartridges. Here are the colors I used for the main portions of each creature:
For a Cricut cutting machine, you will want to set your machine to the dot between “bonded fabric” and “poster board” using a regular cutting blade. This will do a double-cut with extremely clean and crisp cuts!
My favorite tools for assembling layered die cut paper creations are scor tape and glue pens. Scor tape is inexpensive on Amazon, acid free, super sticky and basically the only adhesive I use unless I need something special. You can add as much or as little as you like to adhere your pieces, but I have found that a small amount of scor tape goes a long way.
For small pieces and corners that might snag, I add a couple dots of glue from a glue pen. There are a few brands available online and at Big Box Stores, and I have found that they all work well, as long as you buy the roll ball/ball point variety. If you can’t find a glue pen, a toothpick and any regular liquid glue will work.
For these sand dollars, I used the scor tape in the larger sections and put a couple drops of the glue pen on the points to keep them snug.
Once you have all your die cuts made, you can use them to create the different decorative elements of your party. I used my die cuts to create an invitation, garland, some centerpieces, and an underwater scene on a large wall.
I also used some different sized circle punches and my scraps of blue paper to make small paper bubbles. I drew white "shine" marks on them with a white gel pen to make them look like bubbles. They make great table confetti, and also look great on the wall with the fish.
First things first, this party needed an invitation! Printed invitations are cute, but I LOVE invitations with some die cuts and paper layering. I created the 5x7 invitation in illustrator and then added die cuts to it to complete the look. It takes a little trial and error to get the fonts to line up properly with the die cuts, but it is definitely worth the extra work! I printed test prints on cheap copy paper until I got it exactly right, then used my trusty glue pen to attach all the pieces!
The final invitation was printed on 8.5x11 Stardream Crystal paper. I printed two 5x7s to a page and then cut them down using my paper cutter.
To create a garland with your die cuts that won’t lay against a wall, I HIGHLY recommend hanging your string or ribbon first, and then attaching your die cuts to it. Paper die cuts don’t always lay the way you think they will, and it is best to attach them as you go so you can see how each one will affect the way it hangs.
For this garland, I used a thick jute twine and attached it to the counter top using small pieces of scor tape. (It will peel right off when you are done! Just don’t put it on a painted surface like a wall.) I attached the die cuts to the twine using pieces of scor tape placed on the back of the die cut, then lined them up on the twine so they would hang upright. How cute do these little guys look?!
Using lollipop/cookie sticks from the baking isle, I created decorative sticks to use as centerpieces. Fill small metal buckets with sand, hot glue the die cuts to the white sticks, and stick them in the buckets! Seriously the easiest and cutest centerpiece for a beach/pool/ocean themed party! You can just break the white sticks with your hands to shorten them for the pieces in the front of the buckets. You can also stick these in the tops of cupcakes, on top of cakes, in flower vases, etc. We even let the kids carry them around. They had fun pretending they were puppets and wands!
You can’t have an ocean party with basic cups, and what better way to jazz up some cups than to turn them into pineapples? To execute this idea I found on Pinterest, I simply designed a leaf on Cricut Design Space, cut 5 pages of them, and used glue dots to attach 5 leaves to each cup. I used five 12x12 pages of leaves to create 30 pineapple cups. They were so easy, I had my 7-year-old assemble them for us the morning of the party!
UNDERWATER WALL WITH BANNER LETTERS
We had a huge wall to work with, so I decided to make big letters and attach them directly to the wall instead of making a banner that would hang. Then I thought, “how about some fish to go with the letters.” This idea continued to evolve, and next thing I knew, I was planning an entire underwater scene!
Our scene starts with the big letters. The phrase I wanted to put on the wall was 18 letters, so I chose 9 paper colors to use each one twice. The colors I used are: Wild Cherry, Orange Fizz, Lemon Drop, Sour Apple, Gumdrop Green, Sno Cone, Blu Raspberry, Grape Jelly, and Razzle Berry. I then created my die cutting file by making the letters big enough to get 2 letters on each 12x12 sheet of paper. To attach them to the wall, I first laid them out on the floor to get the spacing right, then put sticky tack on the back of them and hung them one at a time. You can use a level to keep them exactly straight, or you can place them randomly for a more whimsical look.
Once I got the letters the way I wanted them, I started adding fish. In one section of the wall, there were a couple screws where we had removed a picture. To cover these, I simply used sticky tack and put a fish on the end of them. I loved how it made the fish pop so much that I replicated the look with thick globs of sticky tack on other fish.
Once the fish were up, I put tiny blobs of sticky tack on the back of the bubbles I made to make it look like the fish were actually underwater. I put more tack behind some than others to make them stick out further.
To complete the wall, I made some extra large creatures with big party hats to put on either side! A pillar in the middle of the room also got an underwater makeover.
We sprinkled the remaining bubble confetti on the tables with a bucket in the center of each, added a few die cuts to the mirror and picture frames, filled two inflatable pools full of miniature beach balls, and our ocean paradise was complete! The kids and adults both loved all of the decorations, and the birthday boy loved all of the little creatures!
To purchase beautiful papers to create your very own one-of-a-kind party, you can shop our entire collection on our SHOP ALL page!
Have an idea, question, comment or concern? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Wow, I love these ideas. I nanny a little 20 month girl, and she would absolutely love this. Thank you
Seeing this makes my heart go pitter-patter! Thank you again for your amazing work – Logan had a blast and these decorations will be saved for a long time!