Skip to main content

NewFolks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

8 amazing DIY nautical party decorations you can make in a weekend

Ahoy matey! Setting sail for a nautical birthday party? Then you’d better make sure the decorations are ship shape. Sure, you can head online and order some splashy nautical-themed decorations or you can have a little fun with the kiddos and create DIY nautical party decorations. There are quite a few easy do-it-yourself nautical crafts you can make that’ll give party-goers that pleasant ocean breeze feel. Here are eight cool DIY nautical decorations that catch the wave.

Crafty nautical party decorations
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nautical birthday party

Before pulling up the anchor and diving into a nautical birthday party, take a look around the house and see what you already have. Anything related to the ocean, such as paintings of the beach, lighthouses, shells, flip-flops, and buckets or pails, can help add a nautical theme to the party. Once you’ve seen what you have to turn the backyard or designated party area into a coastal scene, it’s time to get crafty.

1. Sand jars

This is a very simple craft and one that’s ideal for younger children. To make these nautical decorations, all you need are empty glass jars and craft sand. Mason jars are a perfect pick, but you can also clean and use jars from the recycling bin. Just make sure the inside is dry before spooning in the sand.

Since it’s a nautical theme, pick colors that remind you of the seaside like blue, green, and white. You can find craft sand online or at arts and craft stores. To create, spoon in the different colored sand. Make a pattern to mimic waves or be eclectic. When finished, the jars make for pretty accents on the table or mantle. If the party is outside, add a votive candle.

2. Shell jars

For a seashore-inspired table topper or accent, take empty glass jars or vases and fill them with small shells or broken shell pieces. Small shells are available online and at craft stores, as are shell pieces. If you live near the shore, collecting your own is a wonderful activity for the whole family.

3. Starfish garland

Add a festive touch to a nautical-themed birthday party by making a starfish garland. All you need to create this decoration, which you can hang on the window, railing, or above the door, is twine and starfish. You can find starfish online or at most craft shops.

To make this garland, cut a piece of twine to the desired length. Make a loop on each side to hang. Then cut shorter pieces of twine about 4 to 5 inches in length. Tie one end around the leg of a starfish and the other end to the longer piece of twine. The starfish hangs down from the twine. Tie the next starfish about 4 inches away. Keep adding starfish until you come almost to the end of the twine.

4. Shell garland

To make a shell garland, cut a piece of twine to the needed length, making a loop on either side to hang. Then cut pieces 4 to 5 inches in length to tie to the garland. Using a hot glue gun, glue the string to the back of small shells.

5. Starfish wreath

For a cute starfish wreath to hang on the door to greet guests or around the room where the birthday party is taking place, take a natural grapevine wreath and hot glue starfish all around it. Allow it to dry before hanging.

6. Shell wreath

Instead of starfish, a shell wreath makes for an inviting decoration for a nautical party. Take different sizes of shells and use a glue gun to attach them to the natural grapevine wreath.

7. Hanging fishnet

Hang a decorative fishnet on the wall. Have the kiddos use paint markers to decorate scallop shells. Attach the shells to the netting using a glue gun.

8. Painted oars

You can’t have a nautical-themed party without oars. Take unfinished oars and have the kids decorate them using paint markers or acrylic paint. When the oars are completely dried, take a black paint marker to print the birthday child’s name. Hang the painted oars to add a decorative nautical touch.

Easy DIY nautical party decorations
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Other nautical DIY party decorations

  • Anchor garland – Have the kids paint unfinished wooden anchors. When dried, string them on twine for a fun garland or hang them from ribbons around the room or along a railing.
  • Life preservers – Using paint markers, turn unfinished wooden napkin rings into life preserver rings. When dried, put the guest of honor’s name or “Happy Birthday” on each ring.
  • Fish garland – Use different colored construction paper or felt to cut out fish. Use the fish cutouts to make a garland or hang from ribbons.

Concluding thoughts

Going nautical for a birthday party is a fun and festive theme. Take a good look around the house to see what nautical-inspired things you can use to decorate before getting crafty with these easy DIY nautical party decorations. Whether you’re hosting the birthday party at home or at a venue, you and the kids can put together some sea-worthy nautical decorations with these eight DIY craft projects that’ll make you want to sail away.

Editors' Recommendations

Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
10 great party favors teenage girls will actually think are cool
Celebrate your teen with cool party favors their guests will love
Three teenage girls in matching pajamas

Shopping with a teenage girl can be a huge headache, but what happens when it's time to buy a birthday present? Parents dread the process and remember fondly the times buying gifts for their daughter was actually fun.

When it comes to buying gifts for teenage girls, the process can be grueling. Picking out party favors for teen girls as a group is just as difficult. Yes, teens, in general, are notoriously hard to buy for. As kids get older, tastes change dramatically and quickly. Today’s social media-crazed world is constantly on the move. What’s trending on Monday is dead by Friday. Since teens are joined at the hip to their smartphones, they are always up on the latest trends on whatever the hottest social media is lately. So, what is a party-planning parent to do?

Read more
5 easy Thanksgiving sides kids can help make for this year’s feast
Make a new tradition this Thanksgiving by having the kids help cook
Family cooking together in the kitchen

It may be hard to say goodbye to summer, but there's quite a lot to love about fall. From apple picking to Halloween and those super fun hayrides, autumn is jam-packed with family-friendly fun. Once those trick or treat bowls are empty, it can only mean one thing; Thanksgiving is on the horizon. Once the calendar turns to November, everyone's prepping for Thanksgiving and the subsequent December holidays.

Yes, Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to spend time with family and friends. If you’re cooped up in the kitchen all day, you feel a little left out of the Turkey Day excitement. Invite the kids into the kitchen this year to help with arguably one of the best parts of the holiday dinner -- those side dishes.

Read more
5 fun, creative, and easy Thanksgiving crafts kids can make this holiday
Easy Thanksgiving crafts for the whole family
Thankful fall background

Fall is such a thrilling time and full of so much family fun, including all the anticipation and excitement of Halloween. When November rolls around, it can be a bit of a letdown when those cool Halloween decorations get packed away. The house looks out of sorts, inside and out, without all of those jack-o'-lanterns and black cats. So, it's a good thing Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Of course, turkeys grab the headlines during Thanksgiving, but there are a lot of other DIY Thanksgiving decorations to help set the stage for the family-centered November holiday.

Creating easy Thanksgiving crafts with the kids to get the house back in a festive mood helps generate excitement for the upcoming holiday. It's also a perfect way to make a cute centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table or make placemats for when the extended family gathers around the table to celebrate. Here are five do-it-yourself Thanksgiving crafts to get the family started decking the halls for Turkey Day.

Read more