Under the sea party table

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Hello there! It’s been a while since I last wrote, the past month has flown by with the end of the summer holidays, two birthdays and a week away. I have so many posts stored up that I want to share but I’m going to start with my most recent project – an Under the Sea birthday table for my sweet babes.

If I’m setting the table for a family event I like to use a personal reference for the theme. This year I went with a sharks and mermaids as we have spent the summer swimming and being on the beach as much as possible. I’d also been promising Stanley a shark balloon after he has a proper lie-on-the-floor tantrum when he couldn’t have one, months ago.

This table, although it looks detailed was really simple to put together. Apart from the foil curtain, which was a £2.99 Aldi buy (this iridescent fringe curtainwould really work well as an alternative.) I didn’t buy anything extra, I made a paper garland and used decorations that I already had for the whole set-up. I love putting these tables together but never want to pressure other parents (or anyone for that matter) to feel that they need to buy a huge amount of extra decorations which adds extra financial costs at an already expensive time. The only place I do spend money is ordering a cake – I use the most fantastic local company called Wilma’s – I serve tea, chocolate cake and bubbles which always feels like a decadent way to spend an ordinary Sunday afternoon.

To make the garlands, we cut out and coloured in paper fish. I used handmade paper that someone had given me ages go and worked brilliantly with the colour scheme. Now that Stanley and Milly are a little bit older I think its really important to get them to be part of the set up. Whilst I love doing it, I think they need to know what goes into making a day special. With the extra paper from the fish, we ripped it into very rough squares (again they loved doing this) and sewed it together on a long stitch on my sewing machine. I must have made six or seven metres of garland in about 15 minutes which is far quicker than finding parking or even waiting for Amazon deliver!

When setting up a party table always start from the back and work forward. I stuck the foil garland to the wall (Blutack is best) then hung a stick which had been previously painted to a nail that is permanently in place on my chimney breast. I added the fish and then draped the paper decorations over the stick. I pushed my dining table up against the wall and added a vintage striped cloth that I had in my tablecloth collection. I re-used Milly’s wooden cake stand from her birthday last year and added Sparkling Fountain grass that I had growing in the garden (if you like growing plants then grow this, its so good), any simple grass/foliage would work as an alternative. I then added paper pin wheels and odd decorations (I always have a few dotted around the house) in amongst plants.

As a little extra touch and one I found extremely enjoyable I drew a few brightly coloured mermaids and mermen onto plain card, cut them out and stuck them onto skewers. Which I then popped into the vases to create an underworld mermaid party. I think these were my favourites, its been such a long time since I last did any kind of drawing and I loved it. If you want to add your own mermaids, you can of course draw your own, if that feels a bit daunting find some images online to print or use these mermaid toppers instead.

To finish I used a selection of my many vintage plates in under the sea colours. I know I say this allthe time but there is so much joy to be found in using what you have and making the everyday beautiful. I loved this one as did Stanley and Milly and I really hope you do too – dive right in and enjoy all the photos.

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