Often times when I think about summertime parties I envision the crisp colors of red, white, and blue! Perfect for patriotic celebrations and ALL summer long with clean stripes, polka dots, and nautical images that remind us of the sea! Clam bakes, barbecues, ice cream and s’mores are just a few of the summer food favorites that also come to mind when I’m dreaming of outdoor entertaining and gatherings with my family and friends! So today I’d like to share with you some nautical inspired party ideas that you can use at your next backyard celebration…and when I say nautical, I guess I use the term a little loosely because it might not be exactly what you think! But that’s the fun of party styling…letting your creativity flow with no rules to follow! When I come across decorating items that I love, I just have to share them…in hopes that you can find lots of inspiration for your festivities! I also love sharing ways to use these items outside of what they were intended for…that’s what can make your event (big OR small) unique to you AND let you get lots of bang for your buck by having loads of options for your goodies! Let’s get started on summer fun now that the unofficial beginning of the season has come and gone! Check out this backyard gathering with understated nautical touches!
Lobster-up your nautical!
When you google “nautical images” many designs you see consist of anchors, sailboats, life-savers, nautical knots, ship wheels, whales, crabs…and lobsters at the back of the pack! I LOVE all those nautical decorations but thought this time around I'd focus on the least represented (in my opinion)…that cute, colorful, (and tasty!), lobster! And once I had my “theme” chosen, I could get started gathering some simple supplies to help make a fun food table…like these place cards that I used as a garland on the chalkboard behind the goodies!
If you’re not familiar with Amalfi Decor, I am happy to introduce you today! I adore their dessert servers…they’re so cute and so versatile! You can remove the bases from all styles shown here and mix and match the heights and surface sizes! I'm sure you can imagine how happy this makes me! I was able to take the set of three ribbon stands and create just the right sizes for the treats I was serving up!
I stacked two of the stands on top of one another to create a tiered server for some party time munchies! They come with assorted ribbons to weave through the edge if you wish. I chose red for some stripes of patriotic color in the tiers holding some of my summer-inspired appetizers!
Glass votive holders shaped like flowerpots are perfect vessels for mini servings of potato salad…pop in a tiny wood fork and guests can grab ’em and go!
And beneath the salads are pretty paper baking cups filled with mini seafood sandwiches!
The server in the middle I used for something sweet…
And for the embellishment I replaced the ribbon for a strand of nautical roping. I love the way you can exchange the ribbons for something that might suit your theme…or nothing at all which is equally adorable! I love the knotted rope however for this party…
And another fun twist? A cookie for a cake topper!
With some advice from my friends at The Bakers Party Shop I baked and decorated the topper for the cake! I love the fact that it’s edible and it was an inexpensive way to create a unique and whimsical decoration! Let me show you how easy it was! Just make sure that you use a good cookie recipe that will hold a cutout shape…
You’ll need some cake-pop sticks or skewers and chocolate for melting…
Once my cookies were cool I laid the cake-pop stick on the back and coated the entire backside of the cookie with melted white chocolate. This will hold the stick in place AND add extra strength to a cookie that may have delicate areas that could break off…like the lobster’s claws!
And once the chocolate is dry you can flip it over and decorate! My friends also suggested using Betty Crocker Cookie Icing to flood my cookie with the perfect amount of icing…
It was a really easy way to create a practically professional cookie…
The crowning (and tasty) touch!
I used the Amalfi Decor modern cake stand to hold a grouping of drinks…I think they look extra special propped up on a pedestal!
You can always dress up a plain bottle with something as simple as a strip of paper…just cut, wrap, and tape! I love this striped parchment to match the red “stripes” of ribbon on the cake stands…and if you don’t have a paper cutter, striped papers are the easiest to follow with scissors!
Another little detail on the table is this wire lantern that I filled with artificial flowers and some extra ivy from the cake & garland. a really easy extra pop of color!
Just outside the patio, I set up another table filled with more treats and drinks…
Cutout cookies AND watermelon make whimsical treats for this lobster inspired party!
I used the same lobster cutter for the cookies to also shape the fruit into something thematic! And a small cutter like the mini star helps keep the fruit waste to a minimum! Just cut your melon into slices about a half-inch or so thick and have fun cutting out shapes!! I just patted the excess moisture off with a paper towel and then placed them on my stand!
Extra sips can come right from the fridge to the table when they’re contained in a small bucket…and not having to use ice will keep bottle labels and wraps nice and tidy! For smaller gatherings I find it easier to keep my already filled metal containers right in the refrigerator to pull out before serving…the metal will become icy helping to keep the drinks nice and cold…
I LOVE NiCola LaCroix! A healthy alternative to soda…it’s so refreshing and thirst quenching on a hot day! And the red, white, and blue cans are so cute for a patriotic party!
They’re great for washing down another summertime favorite…the s’more! I really can’t imagine entertaining in the summer without these gooey treats. In fact, I often keep a container like this one in the kitchen at all times throughout the season…easy to transport to the fire pit on any given evening!
How fun are these telescoping roasting sticks with glittered tips! I found them in the Target Dollar Spot so go quick and grab ’em before they’re gone!
And in between the nibbling, sipping, and roasting…a backyard game is always fun at a summer gathering! A good bean bag toss is fun for all ages…
And after a fun game of tossing…some more gooey sustenance!
I hope you found lots of summertime inspiration for your next gathering…the Fourth of July will be here before we know it! Check out the product guide at the end of the post to grab links for some of the goodies I shared with you today…
A nautical twist…backyard fun…family and friends
The Best of Summer!
Some items have direct links…happy shopping!
Lobster place cards Jon Ni Paper Goods
“Let’s eat” food picks Party City
Silk flowers, wire lantern Michaels
Bean bag toss game Home Goods