Please Note:

We are sad to announce that after a wild and wonderful eight years, we will be closing The Little Umbrella on June 1. None of the content will be available after May 31, so please be sure to save anything you love before then. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed along with us and been a part of our journey!

Emilee's Fun Mermaid Themed Birthday Party

The idea for Emilee's first birthday party theme popped up for her mom Ashlee Thomas before Emilee had even been born, thanks to a mermaid invitation design Ashlee's best friend had been working on for a design class. Then, when Emilee arrived with that pretty red hair, the theme seemed like it just couldn't be any more perfect! But rather than go Ariel overload with the party, Ashlee opted to bring out the essence of the character, decorating in such a pretty way with lovely beachy details. From the ocean hued palette accented with bright pink and gold to the festive tissue poms and garland, the party feels so happy and feminine. And this party even came with its own mermaid! Too fun. Read on for all the details from Ashlee, and be sure to see more photos by  in the full gallery!

"I found the 'garden party' color tassel garland first and set my color palette. It worked out really well because Emilee's nursery is done in the same colors so I was able to hang the garlands and poms in her room after. I'm all about reusing party decor. I think it's a shame to pay for things only to use them once and then throw them away."

"Another budget saver was all the beach decor. Most of my house is a coastal theme so I was able to pull things - picture frames, starfish, coral, shells - from other rooms in the house to really make the party come together. I purchased a few of the grape vines (driftwood looking pieces) wholesale and used some strands of pearls to really bring the "shabby ocean chic" vibe to life."

"My favorite part of the party was the photo collage. The idea popped into my head one day and it turned out just like I imagined it. A few fish nets from our local party store, mini clothespins, and pics of Emilee's first year really turned into a great conversation piece. It was fun looking back at her first year in pictures."

"Since we are in Southern California it is still hot in September so I knew it had to be a swim party. And with it being over 100 degrees the day of the party, all the guests were glad to be in the pool. Luckily for me, my mother-in-law knows a real "mermaid," so imagine my guests surprise when they come outside to get in the pool and find a real mermaid swimming in it! She was the highlight of the party for all the kids there."


See more photos in the full gallery

vendors & sources

Invitation, Tent Cards, Candy Jar Tags, Flowers:
Chalkboard Sign Printable:
Tassel Garland:
Tissue Paper Poms:
Cake, Cupcakes, and Cookies:
Cake Topper:
Event Design: Ashlee Thomas