Idea No.


Farewell Surprise Party - Beach Fun D├ęcor



September 2006


LaChrisa in The Colony, TX USA

Honorable Mention

Surprise Party

Going Back to Cali was the name of my last party.  We have a friend moving back to California for a job opportunity so we gave them a surprise farewell party.  Not a birthday party, but this is something to add to your MISC. parties.  So what does Cali have, beaches.  Now we live in Central Texas, so there are not any "beaches" around, so we compromised and had a beach/pool themed party. 

We had the party at another friend's clubhouse at their apartment community so we had a pool readily available for those that wanted to swim.  I had so much fun shopping and preparing for this party.  Since we had the party Labor Day weekend, pretty much all summer items where on clearance at all my local stores. 

I had the following items to use as decor through out the space and tabletops for tablescaping. About 40 beach balls on sale 75% off and purchased. 15 pairs of colorful foam flip flops, 6 foam sun visors, and 6 plastic sunglasses.  Summer candles for 90% off.  They were colorful beach chairs, beach balls, Hawaiian girls, and colorful flip-flop shaped candles. I also found a humorous one with a rather large woman sitting in an intertube with a drink.  I think I had a total of 5 candles in all.  I purchased foam sheets and foam and wooden shapes, like a surfboards and flip-flops. 

I used brown paper gift shred(sand), colorful tissue paper, parasol picks, foam blocks, seashells, votives, beach towels, beach blankets and beach pails to make other centerpieces and decorations around the room. I made a several signs using colorful foam sheets and cutting out each letter then stringing it up with fishing wire.  "GOODBYE LEE'S AND "WE WILL MISS YOU" was hung over the doorways for them to see when they first walked in. 

I then made a miniature "FAREWELL" and stuck them in tissue wrapped foam blocks with forked picks with some foam shapes and parasol picks to make a centerpiece on the food table.  I placed a fuchsia plastic table covering over the food table, then placed a box in the center with another plastic table covering over it.  This plastic covering was purple with "Surf's up", "Tiki Lounge", flips flops, surfboard, and tiki graphics over it.  This elevated the centerpiece and enabled me to place some of the summer candles, like the beach chairs and beach balls, around it.  

I took all the other items and made 4 other tabletop centerpieces for the pub tables we had.  I laid out the beach towels and blankets with beach pails, flip-flops, beach balls, and so on around the party room for people to hang out on.  We used metal drink tubs for beer, water, and wine coolers.  We used beach ball colors for the plates, napkins and cups.  I placed the brown shred in the votives with shells and tea light to place through out the room.

I printed food labels and placed them on wooden flip flop shaped pieces that were already painted (10 cents at Michael's) and hot glued wooden picks to the back and placed with each dish, dessert and punch.  I used the parasol picks and stuck them in the food too and lined the food trays, bowls, and so on with tissue paper.  I made some Ocean Water punch with pina colada mixer, blue kool-aid, and lemon-lime soda.  I also put pineapple chunks and shredded coconut in the punch. We had standard party food, like finger sandwiches, chips and dips, and rice krispie treats. I found wooden 4X6 picture frames, glued a seashell or two on it, and gave them away for the adult party favors. 

I printed an insert that stated Thank you for coming to send our friend's back to California with love and great wishes.  You can take this home to put your favorite picture of the Lee's in it We purchased TX souvenirs for them to take back to CA, like I Love Texas t-shirts for the whole family, shot glass, pencils, key chains, and so on.  We put them in a cowboy hat with a photo album that had everyone's picture and their contact information on the back.

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