Tag Archives: DIY

Under The Sea: A Mermaid Bridal Shower

My best friend Gina is a walking, talking mermaid, so it was only
fitting that her bridal shower was mermaid themed. I wanted to find the right balance between hinting at the theme and children’s birthday party, since we are in our mid 20’s.  She’s marrying one of my best friends, Eric, and as the MOH, the pressure was totally on! ;) 

 It was a group effort with my other best friend, Maddy, (who’s Gina’s cousin) and her mom (my “Aunt Kathy”) to pull this off (we even enlisted my other “cousin”/bridesmaid, Ali), and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.The photos are all by Daryl Hutchison, so if you’re in Southern California and you need a great photographer, let me know and I can put you in touch.

Venue: Maddy’s house at 11:30a.m. All guests arrived around 11:45, which made lunch at 12 perfect. (Eric stopped by to drop something off, so we grabbed him for a quick before sending him on his way)

Food: Quiche, salad, croissants, fruit, and berry crisp for dessert. Mimosas, Shirley Temples (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and soft drinks a’plenty!

Outside decor: Aunt Kathy painted a mermaid tail welcome sign for the front door. What’s better than a bejeweled painting? Nothing! We also set up balloons on the mailbox.

Photobooth: We found mermaid fabric (considered gift ribbon, but it’s more of a fabric) on sale at Joann’s two days after Christmas. Totally divine intervention. I grabbed three large rolls, which was more than enough. My aunt made a wooden, U-shaped frame to prop up the booth. We then fastened a blue tablecloth behind because the mermaid fabric would have been too sheer, and put the gift ribbon over to give it texture. Bubbles were made by combining glass ornaments with plastic ornaments (be careful of hot glue melting the ornaments). We put pearls on it to give it an extra kick, and then printed a sign to top it off. Props included signs (regular paper glued to foam boards and skewered) and plastic shells.

Gift board: I wanted to give the guests something small to take home with them, but make it into an activity. We used the same mermaid fabric (wrapped around three times each ‘row’) on a large wooden panel. Then we tied two ropes of twine together for each line. We wrote each guest’s name on a clothespin and fastened a bag of Swedish fish to the bag. We added a little rhyme/ribbon to the middle of the board to spruce it up and give it some dimension. We put out a Polaroid camera next to the board, plus markers. Goal? Take your sweet treat, and replace it with a Polaroid photo with the bride. At the end of the day, she had an individual photo with every single one of her guests, and the guests had something to snack on on the way home.

Tassels: Tassels run for about $10 online, so we decided to make them ourselves. We got a variety of tissue paper colors in blue and white hues. Fold hot dog style, cut little strips. Twist, leaving a little loop. Tape to hold it. Then string twine through and pin it wherever you need be. You can get a pack of 30 white tissue paper sheets for $1 at the Dollar Tree. Colored is more expensive, but it’s such a nominal fee.


Table arrangement: Having a seating chart was really important for us. We wrote guests’ names on wooden pieces from Michael’s. Permanent marker smeared, so I used an ink pen. We used white tabe cloths and tulle fabric from Hobby Lobby as a table runner to give it some color.

Bride’s chair: We decorated Gina’s chair with white tulle and a blue bow. Of course, she was head of the table.

Centerpiece: We found a mermaid hanging metal piece at Hobby Lobby in Colorado. We sanded the back down to get rid of the hook, then spruced it up with a little bit of paint. We used a wooden stick and cut a slit down the middle to rest the mermaid in. We glued it together, and then wrapped twine around it to give it some texture. Then we filled a large vase with seashells and put the large stick through. The shells helped stabilize the mermaid stick.

Mini centerpiece: We filled glass containers with sand and sea glass. I wrapped twine around three times, hot glued, and attached a shell to the side.

Games: I jumped on Word and printed little sheets for guests to write their favorite Gina-related memory. I asked them not to write their name on it. I read them out loud, and Gina guessed who it was. It was a fun buffer that we did before and after presents.

Kiss The Miss: Guests put on lipstick and kiss the canvas, then add a sweet note. It’s a perfect keepsake for the bride to take home.

Gift opening: I reached out to floral design teacher friend and had her make Gina a seashell crown, which she wore during gift opening. As the MOH, be sure to have a running list of what each guest brought. It helps with Thank You cards! I used a clipboard so I could attach all the random gift receipts and gift cards so they weren’t flying around.

At the end of the day, my main girl was happy, and that’s all I could have asked for. I’m blessed to be able to play a role in her big day, and all the wonderful events leading up to it. Now the bachelorette party planning begins!

Personalized Pumpkins

Personalized Pumpkins UnderTheSticks.Net


It’s finally October! Time to bust out the spooky decorations, candy, and of course, pumpkins. This year, I decided to put a twist into pumpkin decorating and turn to “unconventional” ways of sprucing up the pumpkins instead of carving. I fell in love with this type of decorating, and while it doesn’t mean I won’t be carving this year, be sure to stop by the blog in the coming days to see what else I’ve been working on. You can use large pumpkins, medium sized, or even mini ones. I will say, though, the smoother the pumpkin, the better. For today’s crafts, I used mini pumpkins…they were just so darn cute.
Painting pumpkins is a great way to put your own unique touch on seasonal decorations. It’s easy for children and adults, and no scary blade is involved. Feel free to be creative…use various paint colors, brushes, and embellishments.




In order to rid your mini pumpkins of gunk and dirt, clean it in a large bowl of water and dish washing soap. Rinse off and dry thoroughly. You don’t want any water leftover, as it will ruin your paint job!


 The way you decorate your pumpkins from here on out, is entirely up to YOU! That’s what makes personalizing your pumpkin a fun task. Here’s a couple ways that I decided to decorate mine.

Be sure to lay down a protective sheet. The last thing you need is a table filled with paint and glitter! I decided to spray paint the three mini pumpkins with a dark, glossy black. Be sure to wear gloves and to breathe carefully when spraying. I held the stem with a glove, sprayed the entire pumpkin, and laid it down to dry. I then sprayed the stem so that it was covered completely.

 I decided to use a blush & neutral color palette for my first set of pumpkins. Sometimes pumpkins need a feminine touch!

Blush & Neutral UnderTheSticks.Net


I decided to do polka dots in all shades for one mini pumpkin. The black really made the polka dots pop and I loved how chic it looked! Be sure to use as little paint as possible for the polka dots, or the paint will drip due to the curved surface. If you mess up, you can touch up the dots with a small paintbrush, or even paint around them in black paint. I plan to make a large pumpkin with the same polka dot pattern to complement it, so stay tuned!

Personalized Pumpkins UnderTheSticks.Net

The second pumpkin I made was painted entirely with pink blush. I then applied gold glitter by sprinkling the glitter very lightly while the paint was still wet. It helps to hold onto the stem and turn the pumpkin with one hand, while sprinkling with the other. If you’re using a bigger pumpkin, you can modge podge the entire surface after the base coat has dried and apply the glitter in steps.


Glitter Pumpkins UnderTheSticks.Net


I went on to paint another pumpkin a neutral khaki color, but I have yet to embellish it. I’m thinking lots of glitter, patterns, and maybe even some decoupage. What are your ideas? I’d love to try them out next. Let me know in the comments below!