Friday, June 13, 2014

{First Birthday} Under the Sea: Food and Favors

Well I finally made it to the party DIY and tutorial post! At the rate I am going these days, I wasn't sure I was going to get done with his first birthday posts before his second one came around! I still have one more post to go, but that one should be out next week and then I will have finished with two months to spare (his birthday is in August). If you happened to miss any of the first birthday fun check it out here: 
Now that you are all caught up, let's get to the crafty stuff. I tried to explain things the best I could, but sometimes my writing can get confusing, so if you have any questions, please leave me a comment below. 
Here are all my Under the Sea Birthday Party Theme DIYs and Tutorials:

Birthday Cake

In my most recent first birthday post, I shared Myles eating his cake and opening his presents. I also talked about why I decided to nix the traditional cake and opt for a jello one instead. So the night before the party, I frantically scoured Pinterest to find some sort of inspiration for a jello cake that would go with our Under the Sea theme. I happened upon this pin for sand pudding and poof! the creative side of my brain started working! While searching my mom's storage unit (aka her basement) for party platters and dishes, we found a jello cake mold that had a star cut out on top. See where this is going?... So my idea was to make a beach inspired jello and sand pudding cake! 

How I made it:
I made two packets of blue raspberry jello according to the box. I poured the jello mixture into the mold with the star part put into the top (just an added part of this mold, but not necessary). Fill the mold to about two inches from the top. Let it set for about 30 minutes and then add some fish/sea animal/shark gummies to the jello.
*Two things I learned from doing it wrong: make sure to grease the inside of the mold and prepare this part the night before to let the jello set overnight.* 
 The next morning, when the jello is set, add the sand pudding layer. Put back in the fridge to set until party time.

Sand pudding:
I used this recipe but altered it a bit. Instead of layering it cookie crumble, pudding mixture, and then cookie crumble, I combined the cookie crumble with the pudding mixture. 

Super Simple DIY Cake Bunting

I used this pin to inspire my very first cake bunting DIY and I love the way it turned out.
How I made it:
I picked out two pieces of normal scrapbook paper: one for sand and one for water. I cut them into diamonds and laid them out how I wanted them to be placed on the twine. I folded them in half to make triangles and then wrote out 'Myles' and 'One' in permanent marker. I used a regualr glue stick to attached them to the twine. I just glued the two side of the diamond together with the twine in the middle. I then tied both of the twine buntings onto wooden skewers and placed them into the cake (see cake picture above).


Gummy Skewers

When I saw these Gummy Skewers on Pinterest, I just knew I had to make them! They are so cute, super easy to make, and a total hit with the kids.
How I made it:
I started out with some wooden skewers and then added the shark gummies and fish gummies (really my aunt did this part and I wrapped and tied them). I used gum drops for the spacers, which worked okay but were a little hard to get through. In the picture I pinned, I think she used gummy lifesavers; obviously a way better idea since there is already a hole in them, but I didn't think of that at the time. I used the left over popcorn bags (see below) to wrap them up and then used twine to tie the bag shut.

Fish Tank Popcorn

Next on my favors list is what I have named "Fish Tank Popcorn Bags". I got the idea from this pin and then just changed it up a bit to suit my theme and colors. 
How I made it:
My cousin made the popcorn portion of this favor. I had never used the chocolate candy melts before and this tutorial wasn't very thorough, so I wasn't really sure what we were getting into. We pretty much just winged it and somehow it turned out amazing... not that you can really go wrong with any sort of combination of chocolate and popcorn! She made these in several small batches to make sure they would turn out okay. First she popped the popcorn using my mother's popcorn machine (microwave should work just fine though). Next, she took a handful of the blue candy melts and heated them up with the microwave. Then she poured the melted chocolate into the popcorn bowl and mixed it up with her hands. Once the popcorn and chocolate have cooled, place into plastic bags and add Swedish Fish. *We learned that it is very important to let the popcorn cool first because otherwise the chocolate is not hardened onto the popcorn and it will smear all over the plastic bag.* 
 I made these tags a couple nights before so they would be ready to be put together once the bags were filled. I bought a pack of circle stickers at Party City in the dessert making aisle. I placed them onto a piece of orange paper (that I had already cut down to size). Then I stamped them with a starfish and wrote "Had a Whale of a Time" on them. I punched a whole in the top, tied them up with some green ribbon, and cut off the extra orange paper. 
These were super yummy and a fun thank-you for all the guests.

Party Favors Table

Here is the table for all of the party favors:
On the far left is different kinds of blue and green candies in the glass jars. The kids were able to pick these out as a prize for one of the games. Next to that are two jars for the gummy skewers. I gave one to each kid in their buckets before they left. In the middle is the fish tank popcorn. These were a thank you/favor for each family to take home as they left. Most were ate during the party as a dessert though, which turned out just fine. And on the right are the sand buckets that each kid got to decorate and take home with all of their goodies inside.

Candies and Food Favors

  Sand Bucket Party Favors

Here is a close up of the buckets we used for the party favors. Each bucket had a 'bigger' favor inside and every child got to pick out which one they wanted and decorate their bucket. We set out a jar of sharpies and a bucket full of marine animal foam stickers that my mom found at Michael's. I just made sure they wrote their names on their bucket and then let them decorate them however they wanted!   


Sand Dollar Cookies

By the time we had planned out all of the food, desserts, and favors, I was pretty sure we had enough and maybe even too much (wait is it possible to have too much food or dessert at a party?), but I seriously could not have an Under the Sea themed party without these Sand Dollar Cookies! Talk about a 'pin-worthy' picture... yum.. I just could not resist these!
How I made it:
 In all actuality my fabulous mother made these! They turned out so stinkin' cute and everyone loved them! I'm pretty sure my mom followed this recipe straight from the site.

Shark Fruit Bowl

How I made it:
My mother made this as well. I think she did a great job, but we laughed that it looked a little more like a monster than a shark! Regardless, the fruit was yummy and the intention was spot on :)

Silverware/Napkin Wraps

These napkin wraps were the first thing I pinned onto my Under the Sea: 1st Birthday board when I officially decided on the theme; and then the craziness ensued from there. I went a little DIY, Pin-spiration wild, but I just had so much I wanted to try out and these were at the top of the list.
How I made it:
These were another DIY that got delegated to the troops. Since this was our first project planned, my mom began wrapping the silverware with the napkins over a month before his party. We were trying to get a head start on the things we knew were going to do. Unfortunately, this ended up being the only thing we got done prior to the week leading up to the party! Anyway, something was better than nothing and it did help to at least have them all wrapped up when my cousin took over the project. She finished them by tying the twine around the napkin, adding the lifesaver mint, and securing it all with a cute little knot!  

Drinks, Snacks, and Sandwiches

We had two drinks at the party: one was iced tea and the other was this Ocean Water Punch (one part Blue Hawaiian Punch, one part lemonade). Obviously, I took this picture before we added the punch, but I wanted to show the sign that I made at least. I just used a food label sign that I made (see below), hole punched the sides, and attached it to the cooler with twine.

I put all of the snacks into these sand castle buckets from the dollar store. I dropped in a shovel and gave each one a food label that I made. I just bought a pack of blank wedding table cards at Michael's and DIYed them to match our theme. I used a crab stamp and on the right and three cute little bubble stamps in the upper left corner. I wish I would have gotten a better picture of them because I was really pleased with how they turn out for a one-minute DIY. 
The snack labels read "Gold Fish" "Sea Shells" "Crunchy Coral" and "Drift Wood".

For the main meal we had submarine sandwiches. I got two cheeses, three meats, and toppings for everyone to make their own sub sandwiches. We also had "Conch Shells and Cheese" for a side that my mother made. I didn't get a picture nor do I remember the recipe, but it was the talk of the party! You can also see the cupcakes on the back table that my aunt made. I showed her these fish cupcakes for the inspiration.

Hope you enjoyed reading and checking out all my DIYs for the food and favors!
Which one was your favorite? Do you prefer to DIY or buy from the store? 
This year I am definitely buying more pre-made than last year!


  1. Wow! What a spectacular DIY Birthday party. It was certainly a birthday to remember. I can't think of one thing I liked more than another. It was all great and very creative. Thanks for linking up with Creative Style.

  2. These are very cute ideas! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I love everything about this! So creative! I'm so impressed!

  4. Brittnei WashingtonJune 16, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    How clever was this! I love so many parts. It's so creative. The sand cake looks absolutely amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this idea with us at the Creative Style Linkup!

  5. Awe thanks girl! I really love being able to get creative and crafty. Although party planning is a little more stressful because of the time deadline! I had fun, but once a year is enough for me!

  6. Well thanks so much for stopping by and for your very sweet comment! It was a big undertaking, but I had tons of help and I actually enjoyed it for the most part. The time crunch was the only stress, but it was worth it in the end! Only once a year though!!!

  7. Omg I am so freaking scared. I was just talking with my husband about Dylan’s 2nd birthday and how we gotta go big because we didn’t throw a part for his 1st and seeing all the work that went into Myle’s first birthday is making me super nervous! Each thing takes time! OMG NO!!!!!!! But ugh, the final result (at
    least yours) is so worth it. You had so many little details that I LOOOOVE! You rock! PS. I really like the napkin rings and the watermelon. So neat!

  8. April @ 100lbcountdownJune 18, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    I have yet to throw a themed party, and when I see something like this, I'm completely intimidated to do it! I'm sure that they'll like it though. You did a great and creative job with the Under the Sea theme! Thanks for sharing with Creative Style!

  9. For me it was easier to pick out things I wanted and keep focus with a theme. I know Myles didn't care because he really didn't know what was going on, but I wanted to try my hand at some party DIYs and see if I could do it. Thanks so much girl :) it was a lot of hard work!

  10. What type of chips did you use in that "sea shells" bucket?

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