Last Fall I threw a nautical baby shower for my friend who was expecting her first boy. You might remember that I just had my first baby boy last year, and Aimée helped me celebrate with this darling Farm Boy baby shower. Well my friend Mandy picked a nautical theme for her baby’s nursery, and drawing on that as inspiration, I created this sailor-themed baby shower. A quick word about the photos in this post… I wasn’t planning to share this party on the blog, and I sadly never got out my “real” camera. So all we have are a handful of shots from my iPhone, but this party just turned out too cute not to share.
If you ever have a chance to meet my dear friend Mandy you would never forget her stunning, red lips. As I was brainstorming ideas for her shower, this classic sailor kiss photo called V-J Day in Time Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt, kept coming to my mind. I knew I had to create something to frame for my fireplace featuring a bright, red kiss! I’m sure Mandy’s little sailor will be covered in these kisses.
I love to make baby shower’s reflect the Mama’s style, and for Mandy who is an aspiring singer and model, the typical nautical baby shower would have been just too cute. So I limited my color palette, which helped to create a look that was more rough and edgy, yet chic. The circle, swirl pattern and “It’s a Boy” anchor sign are both reminiscent of a sailor’s tough, tattooed arms.
We are so excited about how things turned out, and we decided to share all the printables needed to recreate this party in our Supermom Co-Op. There are 15-pages of printables — including an invitation that you can personalize and print yourself — all available in one handy Instant Sailor Party Pack for less than five bucks!
We kept things fun with a few healthy doses of whimsy including references to the famous, cartoon sailor Popeye and his girl Olive Oyl. Plus those fabulous Cheese Sail Boats. This idea struck me as too cute at first, but by putting the names of the cheeses on the sails in tattoo-inspired lettering, I was confident they would fit right in, and really they were my favorite part.
We served up lots of yummy party food, but the menu was remarkably easy to pull off. First, we had friends who wanted to help, bring loaves of french bread and baguettes. We sliced some and left others whole for display. A selection of cheeses styled to look like boats, a bowl of olives and platter full of grapes sat alongside the Popeye’s Spinach Pesto and Olive Oyl’s Bruschetta that we prepared the day before.
POPEYE’S SPINACH PESTO RECIPE
1 cup firmly packed Basil leaves
1/2 cup firmly packed Spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Almonds
2-3 large cloves Garlic
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil
TO MAKE: In a food processor combine all ingredients except the Olive Oil. Turn the motor on and off several times to chop up and blend the ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue blending until the pieces are quite small. Turn your machine to low and, while running, slowly add the olive oil through the pour spout. A paste will form as you blend a few seconds more. Move to a sealable container where you can store in the fridge for one to two days or freeze in small portions for up to three months. Serve on bread, crackers or over cooked pasta.
OLIVE OYL’S BRUSCHETTA RECIPE
3 pounds Roma Tomatoes, diced
3-4 cloves Garlic, sliced
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
14-16 fresh Basil Leaves, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
TO MAKE: Slice the tomatoes and placing in a large mixing bowl, try to preserve as much of the tomato juices as possible. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix gently. We like to make this a day ahead to let the flavors combine, and it will stay good in the refrigerator for up to three days.
To satisfy a sailor’s sweet tooth we offered Sand Bars, Million Dollar Bars (recipe below), and the most delicious sugar cookies ever, made using Vintage Revival’s recipe only we swapped the frosting for lemon curd from Trader Joe’s — easier than making frosting and seriously soooooo delicious!
MILLION DOLLAR BARS RECIPE
1/2 cup Butter
1-1/2 cups Graham-Cracker Crumbs
1 14-ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 6-ounce package Chocolate Chips, semi-sweet or dark
1-1/3 cups Flaked Coconut
1 cup chopped Pecans or Walnuts
TO MAKE: Melt butter and pour into 9×13 pan. Sprinkle graham cracker over butter then pour on condensed milk. Top evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool completely before cutting into 24 bars.
We created the backdrop for our food table by screwing together 2×4 boards that had been used as forms for pouring a concrete sidewalk. We thought the dried concrete gave them a seaworthy appearance. We also filled a jar with sand and smooth stones that we’d doodled nautical designs on using a white paint pen. Check out the inspiration for this project and other nautical party ideas on our Pinterest nautical inspiration board.
At the party we passed around a container with twine and scissors to play a guessing game of how big is mama’s belly, and we also painted month-by-month onesies like we did at my shower. We bid guests bon voyage with a party favor — handmade hemp friendship bracelets featuring an anchor charm. that we packaged up on a cute, “thank you” card and placed in a glassine bag.
About the author
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares what she's dreamed up for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and simple ideas for holidays. She is a single mom of three girls and one boy. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local television. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. During quieter moments, she enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Bettijo lives with her four kiddos in Phoenix, Arizona.