Some of you will remember that J loves the Octonauts. In fact, he doesn’t simply love them, he eats, breathes, sleeps and dreams them. Captain Barnacles, Kwazii, Peso and all the sea creatures J has learned about are frequent topics of conversation and play. How many kids ask for a whale shark for their birthday? So, the Hubs and I really felt we had no choice but to go with an Octonauts theme.
Some of you will also remember that Octonauts merchandise is not yet sold in the US.
It all has to be ordered from the UK via Ebay or Amazon.
So, armed with a computer, an arrray of HP printer papers, some self laminating sheets and my “mad” photoshop skills (read “mad” as basic), I created invitations, labels, signs, t-shirts and cake toppers for my undersea adventure loving almost-three-year-old.
I am thankful for all the Octonauts pictures and screenshots available on the internet. Google quickly became my best friend.
When our guests arrived at our apartment for the party, this is what they saw:
The Jellyfish were made from craft coffee filters that I painted with watercolors. After they were dry, I added light and dark pink streamers, as well as red curling ribbon. An opened paper clip inserted in the middle of the coffee filters was used to hang them.
Behind the jellyfish, covering our bookcases, was ocean bulletin board paper, some fish that J had made in preschool (they did a unit on sea creatures) as well as the undersea blow up animals from Oriental Trading Company. The orange paper ball hanging from the ceiling fan was a puffer fish I made by simply adding googly eyes.
Here are some more pictures of the decorations. We hung streamers and blow up animal sea creatures everywhere we could in the living room.
Using a $4 Target T-shirt and the HP Iron On Transfer Ink Jet paper I found in the bottom of our printer supplies drawer, I made our birthday boy his own Octonauts T-Shirt.
On our food table, guests found:
The shark fruit salad my husband made after looking at my Pinterest board.
Shellington’s Sea Samples, which were simply blue jello with red swedish fish inside. (Note to future Jello-ers – the swedish fish got kind of funky – I wouldn’t make this a whole day in advance next time.)
Vegimal’s Fish Biscuits (and Hummus) – which consisted of some Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers and these really yummy Whole-Wheat Cheese Crakers I baked using this recipe from Weelicious.
We used these plates and napkins from Birthday Express (thank you, Groupon)! For the cups, I printed the orange version of the Octonaut logo onto full sheet sticker inkjet paper, cut them out and presto – Octonauts cups!
The cake was a boxed Chocolate Fudge cake (J picked it out himself) with homemade buttercream icing. I used Food Coloring Paste to dye it ocean blue. Encircling the bottom of the cake are chocolate rocks that I picked up at World Market. The coral reef is made from Nerds candies. Fish, sea stars and one lone squid were made using Cake-Mate and drawn freehand. I will admit that decorating the cake took the entire time the Hubs and I watched “Underworld: Awakening.” Those Nerds were a pain to place – they kept dropping before I could get them in place. In hindsight, I would use tweezers rather than my big ole fingers.
The characters were simply the characters printed onto cardstock that I cut out. I then put them in those self-laminating sheets and then cut those out. I think it worked rather well, all things considered.
When our guests left the party, they took one of Peso’s Medical Bags which had a bag of goldfish crackers, a small bottle of water that we personalized (what I used is available on the craft printables page), shark fruit snacks (Ralph’s Brand), a small plastic shark and whale, seashells, undersea stickers and a shark water squirter.
It was a really fun day, and J was so happy to have his friends come over. I won’t tell you how late we stayed up the night before doing all this. Ok, I will tell you, 4:30 am. BUT, it was a lot of fun, and I would do almost all of it over again.
Until next time!