Under The Sea Baby Shower | Photography Portland, OR

One of the great things about having a photography studio is having a space big enough to hold fun parties. Throwing parties and crafting happen to be two of my other loves, after photography.   I had a great time planning this “Under The Sea / Mermaid” baby shower for my friend, Jessica. And of course, we all had a blast at the party. So I wanted to share some fun photos from the event.

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I found this banana dolphin grape dish idea from a party blog, that you can see here, but there weren’t any instructions so I just winged it. I cut two bananas in half and only used the ends with the stem. (The other ends made for a nice snack while I put all the food together for the party) I cut a slit in the stem and stuffed a grape in to the slit. I used a black permanent marker to make a dot for the eyes. On the party blog, it looks like they used blueberries for the eyes but I went the lazy way. haha! I had a little trouble getting the bananas to stand up. I put some frosting on the bottoms of them which sort of helped to “glue” it to the glass plate. But it didn’t help that much. Mostly they are just leaning against the pile of grapes.


I found this candy crab idea on a party blog, which you can see here, but again, there were no instructions. For the base, I used orange slice candies. Then I cut a pinch ring candy in half to make the arms and attached them with toothpicks. I couldn’t find any candy eyeballs like what they used on the party blog and I had no idea what the orange eye backing was that they used. So I used white jellybeans cut in half and black jellybeans cut in to small circles. I just smashed the smaller black circles in to the white jellybeans and they stuck. Then I attached the eyeballs to the crab with toothpicks. My eyeballs look a lot more like crazy eyes, but I kind of like them that way. haha! I spread a layer of brown sugar on a glass plate to look like sand under the candy crabs.


The red bell pepper octopus was easy. I just cut the top off the pepper and threw out the seeds. I placed the pepper upside down in a tray of ranch dip. I cut up a second bell pepper in to strips and used 8 strips to make the octopus legs. I cut up a bunch more peppers and had the slices in a bowl next to the dip for eating. First I tried using black olive slices for the eyes but I wasn’t sure how to attach them. So I just used some white Sixlets that I already had on hand.2015-05-12_0004

For the oyster cookies, I just used two Nilla Wafer cookies with some pink frosting from a tube in between them. I used white Sixlets for the pearls. I placed the cookies on a glass plate topped with brown sugar to look like sand.


I bought pre-made croissant sandwiches at Costco and made them look like crabs by attaching olive slices with toothpicks for the eyes.


The starfish suckers and gummy fish I bought at Target. I put the gummy fish in a pink sand bucket. I topped deviled eggs with a triangle of cheese using a toothpick to make them look like sale boats.



I found some branches that had been trimmed off a family members tree and spray painted them burnt orange to make them look like coral. I couldn’t find coral colored spray paint but burnt orange worked pretty well. After the orange paint dried, I sprayed some gold glitter on them to pretty them up. I hung plastic pearl necklaces from the “coral” branches and the branches are in a mason jar that I decorated with burlap and green ribbon.


I made turtle paper plates buy cutting out legs, arms, and a head using this pattern.   I glued the paper pieces to the green plate with hot glue. The party favors were pieces of salt water taffy inside a burlap bag, tied with coral ribbon and a little charm. Each charm was a different kind of sea creature. The one pictured is a dolphin.


I made Jello sand cups by making Jello in a clear plastic cup, then adding a layer of Cool Whip and vanilla pudding mixture. Then I topped the cups with crushed up Nilla Wafers to look like sand. I bought candy sea creatures to put on the top.


I pierced salt water taffy with shish kabob skewers to look like sea weed and arranged them in a mason jar.


The octopus hot dogs were made by cutting the bottom half of a hotdog in to 6 strips. I know octopuses have 8 arms but 8 hot dog strips seemed too floppy.   6 was more sturdy. haha! Then I wrapped the top of the hot dog with biscuit dough and baked them.


We also had shell pasta salad. As well as a tray of cheesy whale crackers that I found at Target. They were arranged in some super cute pink and white striped baking cups. The plastic forks were held in a cute green polka dot metal pale I found at Target in the dollar section. The napkins looked like onesies with starfish on them. I ordered those from Etsy.



I used another of the metal pales as a centerpiece, tipped over with plastic pearl necklaces spilling out.


I bought this newborn mermaid costume on Amazon and put it on my build a bear for the party. I gifted it to the Mom-to-be after the party.



Other centerpieces included a miniature beach set (I’m obsessed with miniatures), a vase filled with sand, shells, and a candle, and a little treasure chest filled with plastic gold coins, jewels, and pearl necklaces.


Oh, look, another metal polka dot bucket. Can you tell I loved them? This one is tipped over with brown sugar spilling out of it to look like sand and topped with white Sixlets to look like pearls.


These jellyfish were my most favorite decoration at the party. I bought some paper lanterns in various sizes. I bought gold, off-white, light pink, and light purple. I also bought some plastic disposable table cloths in matching colors and cut them in to strips. I used my hands to stretch out the table cloth strips, which makes them wavy. I discarded the metal structure that is supposed to go in the paper lanterns because I wanted them to be a little squished down and not perfectly round.   I hot glued the table cloth strips around the bottom edge of the paper lantern. Then trimmed the bottom of the paper lantern with a table cloth strip. I used string to hang them to the ceiling. Although, not exactly how I did mind, here is a tutorial that shows a similar idea and how I stretched out the table cloth strips.




The ice cream station was made by filling a kiddy pool with sand. I bought the sand at Home Depot. The toppings were put in to pink sand buckets. The ice cream isn’t pictured but I bought the kind of ice cream that comes in a big bucket to go with the theme.


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I decorated mason jars with burlap and green ribbon. I placed a brown polka dot paper straw in each one. I bought blue punch to drink.


One of the games was to have each guest write down a question that a new mom might ask on one card. And to write the answer to the question on a second card. The cards were mixed up and then the Mom-to-be drew a random question and drew a random answer and paired them together. There were lots of laughs at the combinations.


I set up a wall for a photo booth background using crape paper and paper cut outs of fish. I collected a few props that went with our theme. And I took photos of all the guests.


Pin the egg on the sperm. Hilarious! We played this a little differently than the typical pin the tail on the donkey. Instead of having each guest blindfold themselves, spin around, and try to get their piece in the right spot, I just had each guest put their sperm piece wherever they wanted. Because, seriously, who really wants to spin around blindfolded? They wrote their names on the back of them so we would know who’s was who’s. Then the Mom-to-be covered her eyes and put her egg piece on the board. The winner was the guest who’s sperm was closest to the egg. I drew the uterus freehand and cut it out of paper. The sperm pieces were made using a photo of the Dad-to-be’s face and the egg was a cut out of the Mom-to-be’s face. So funny!


Another game we played was a relay race. There were two teams and they raced to dress up like babies. I made the bonnets and bibs from scrap fabric I had. I bought adult size diapers from Amazon and pacifiers from the dollar tree.


The guests from the winning team from the relay race then had a race amongst themselves to see who was the ultimate winner. This race was to see who could drink all the apple juice from the bottle the fastest. I only filled the bottle up about a third of the way but it still took quite a long time for them to get all the juice out. So if you try this game, make sure you don’t fill it very much.



My dog, Rivers, dressed up for the party in her finest Under The Sea themed doggy dress. 🙂


Rayleigh Leavitt : Boudoir and Glamour Photography, Portland, Oregon
503.828.2973     info@byrayleigh.com

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