First Birthday, Mermaid Themed DIY Extravaganza

Custom made shirts for the Mermaid Mama, King of the Sea and the coolest little shark loving brother.

My baby girl recently turned one and I’m not quite sure how that happened. I feel like we only brought her home from the hospital last month, I’m still trying to figure out, and often failing at, this parenting 2-kids thing, and I’m definitely not back into my pre-baby clothes (that day may never actually come, and I’m okay with that…. most days). While this year feels like it’s passed in the blink of an eye, at the same time it feels like it’s been a very, very long year – mostly due to her hip dysplasia diagnosis and the countless doctors’ and hospital visits working to mend it.

But here we are, my happy and healthy, beautiful little girl is ONE! So brave, silly and dramatic, we have to celebrate this beauty. When I wasn’t busy tearing up in disbelief that a year has gone by, I was in full on party planning mode. And there’s nothing I love more than throwing a party. It gives me an excuse to get my crafting on.

We’re an ocean loving family. Growing up, my parents had a boat, we were always diving and snorkeling. Summers spent at the beach. And now, my son is obsessed with all things marine related, especially sharks. He can identify more species than I can. And from the moment I found out I was pregnant with a girl, my dad started calling her “the little mermaid.” So it only makes sense we threw her a mermaid themed party!

Leading up to this party, I spent many, MANY hours, designing on my computer, cutting with my Cricut and gluing non-stop. Some DIYs were a success and some were a total Pinterest fail (i.e. my attempt at French macaroons – they certainly weren’t pretty but they tasted alright so I still put them out.) I’m sharing pictures and details of all my DIYs. If there’s any project you want more information on, let me know. I’m always happy to provide guidance.


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Follow me, under the sea! To set the scene, guests were greeted by a larger than life mermaid friend. She stands over 40 inches tall! She is made from cardstock with a foam board backing.  As with most of these projects, they were cut with the assistance of my Cricut.

First Birthday DIY Extravaganza


Of course the birthday girl has to have her own mermaid tail – or mermaid scale butt ruffles, at least. I had to call in reinforcements for this one. Thanks to my amazing mom for sewing this beautiful romper. It was truly made with love!


I previously shared a tutorial for these super easy, show stopping, large confetti balloons.

DIY Confetti Balloons


I dazzled up gold paper straws found at Target with sparkly seahorse and octopus friends. These custom straws were a labor of love!


These pink to teal ombre, mermaid scale letters contributed to my paper mache letter obsession! Below them, a banner featuring pictures of my daughter every month of her first year.

Mermaid Themed Paper Mache Letters


The dessert table was the focal point of the party, and my favorite area to create. The main background piece is made of 3 different size paper fans, or rosettes. The centers are glitter gold sea shells or our sea creature friends.

Following, you will find links to many of the items featured on this table.



A simple smash cake by the delicious Publix bakery is decorated with another mermaid and a “ONE” mini banner. (Side note: if you do not have a Publix near you, I feel for you. The best bakery and some pretty amazing subs too!)


Desserts are my favorite to make…and to eat! For this party, sweet treat included vanilla Publix cupcakes, French Macaroons “clams” (or my interpretation of them, anyways), chocolate cake balls, rock candy “coral”, Sixlet “pearls,” chocolate coins and “sand dollar” snickerdoodles.

I totally had intentions of making these cookies from scratch, but I over-plannned my day and reverted to a pre-made bag. I’m all about the semi-homemade! Press almond slices into the cookies 2/3 the way through the baking process and you now have sand dollars.


Cake smash time meant outfit #2 for the birthday girl. I didn’t want to get frosting all over her romper. While you can’t really see it, it’s a custom-made one-with-a-mermaid-tail shirt and mermaid scale skirt. I also made the high chair tutu and the glittery Happy Birthday banner.


Lastly, we can’t let our guests leave without a small thank you. I created “mermaid bark” using pink, purple and white melting chocolate and decorated them with gold and blue sprinkles and more Sixlet pearls. 


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