This nautical theme first birthday party is so sweet! It was styled by my wonderful customer Jenn for her son, Jackson.

Adorable nautical theme first birthday party

Even before entering the party, each child received an embroidered sailor hat from Miss LuLu’s. The homemade sign reads, “Ahoy Mates! Grab your sailor hat and come on in!”

Nautical theme birthday party - personalized sailor hats Nautical theme birthday party decor ideas

The front door wreath is a ship’s anchor made from a yarn-wrapped styrofoam ring and wooden stir sticks (so clever, and perfect for a nautical party!).

Nautical theme birthday party - 1st birthday chalkboard

Jackson’s chalkboard sign is a printable by PickleNoodle Boutique that Jenn printed at Costco on a poster size sheet, then taped to a chalkboard.

Nautical theme birthday party ideas

The food table backdrop is made from anchor patterned and chevron patterned fabrics, plus a large wooden anchor.

Nautical theme birthday party - printables from Chickabug

Strips of coordinating nautical fabrics were used to make a table garland.

Nautical theme birthday party decor ideas Nautical theme birthday party supplies Nautical theme birthday party - DIY printable buffet cards from Chickabug

Kid-friendly nibbles were labeled as “Anchor Bites (snacks for little hands).”

Nautical theme birthday party - DIY printable buffet cards from Chickabug

The “Marshmallow Buoys” were marshmallows dipped in melted red chocolate candy.

Nautical theme birthday party foods

“Life Preservers” are made from powdered donuts criss-crossed with melted red chocolate candy.

Nautical theme birthday party foods

Sweet Art Bakery made the cake balls and Cravings made the cookies.

Nautical theme birthday party - printables from Chickabug

Fresh fruit was served in ice cream cone bowls.

Nautical theme birthday party - DIY printable cupcake toppers from Chickabug Nautical theme birthday party - DIY printable buffet cards from Chickabug

The “Catch of the Day” included Goldfish crackers.

Nautical theme birthday party - DIY printable buffet cards from Chickabug

“Ships Ahoy”: Blue jello with mandarin orange boats.

Nautical theme birthday party - printables from Chickabug Nautical theme birthday party - DIY printable buffet cards from Chickabug

Rosie Posie Designs made the personalized melamine plate.

Nautical theme birthday party - DIY printable buffet cards from Chickabug

The “Sea Water” is blue punch served in mason jars. Baker’s twine and jute twine were wrapped around each jar with a Life Saver candy.

Nautical theme birthday party - personalized water bottle labels from Chickabug

The personalized chevron water bottle labels are from Chickabug.

Nautical theme birthday party - "sea water" in mason jars with daisy cut lids and vintage straws Nautical theme birthday party - "sea water" in mason jars with daisy cut lids and vintage straws Nautical theme birthday party - personalized water bottle labels from Chickabug Nautical theme birthday cake

The blue ombre ruffle cake was made by Sweet Art Bakery. I love how the ruffles look like ocean waves!

Nautical theme birthday party activities

A homemade sailboat served as entertainment for the kids, and as a photo booth prop! The backdrop is a fabric panel by Michael Miller. Jenn says, “I used spray adhesive and mounted it onto plywood so it would be sturdy.”

Nautical theme birthday party games Nautical theme birthday party - DIY mini aquarium party favors

The kids made snow globe aquariums as a craft, and then they doubled as party favors!

Nautical theme birthday party - personalized sailor party hats Nautical theme 1st birthday party

Jackson’s personalized hat is by Pixie and Penelope. His personalized bib and “ONE” high chair banner are from Miss LuLu’s.

Nautical theme 1st birthday party Nautical theme birthday cake

Birthday cake time!

Nautical theme 1st birthday party Nautical theme birthday party decor ideas

Jenn made an adorable display in honor of Jackson – “Do you know how much we love you? Let us count the WAVES!”

Nautical theme birthday party favors

For party favors, in addition to their monogrammed sailor hats, each child took home a nautical themed notepad and a package of markers wrapped in a bow.

Nautical theme birthday party

Thank you so much for sharing, Jenn! Happy 1st birthday to Jackson! : )

Party hat – Pixie and Penelope
Printable birthday sign – PickleNoodle Boutique
Cake balls and birthday cake – Sweet Art Bakery
Cookies – Mandy Hinerman of Cravings
Melamine plate – Rosie Posie Designs
Pirate ship – made using a tutorial from Parents
Ship and waves backdrop – fabric from Michael Miller
Snow globe aquariums – tutorial here
Personalized sailor hats – Miss LuLu’s
Personalized bib – Miss LuLu’s
“ONE” high chair banner – Miss LuLu’s
“Ahoy mates” sign – homemade
Nautical party water bottle labels and party printables – Chickabug

Nautical party paper goods & printables from Chickabug!

Shop for personalized nautical theme party paper goods and printables here.
Or, check out more nautical party ideas on Pinterest or here on my blog!


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  1. 1
    Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 10:39 am
    Kristen says:
    Love ALL of your ideas! In the process of planning my daughter's 1st birthday party, (nautical theme as well,) and thought the mini aquariums were the cutest! Can you share details on what you used to make them and if they held up well?
    • 1.1
      Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 2:00 pm
      Heather says:
      Hi Kristen! Here is a tutorial on how to make the mini aquariums: http://blog.chickabug.com/2012/03/how-to-make-under-the-sea-snow-globe-aquariums.html

      I hope this helps! : )
      • 1.1.1
        Monday, November 2nd, 2015 at 11:53 am
        jamie says:
        very cute!
        with the aquariums you put a link to the tutorial, but she used glitter and i really like yours better. what are the blue things you put in yours? is that the rocks from a fish tank?
  2. 2
    Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 11:21 pm
    jen says:
    Whats the sailboat made with? It all looks way fun!
    • 2.1
      Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 10:14 am
      Heather says:
      Hi Jen! I'm not exactly sure what Jackson's parents used to make the sailboat. It looks like cardboard was used for the hull and plastic plates were attached to the sides. I did find a tutorial on how to make your own cardboard sailboat here. Hope that helps! : )
    • 2.2
      Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 6:57 am
      Jenn Gadd says:
      We loved planning Jackson's first birthday! Here is how I made the boat:

      http://www.parents.com/fun/birthdays/themes/nautical-party/

      It was really so easy and the kids LOVED it! :)
      • 2.2.1
        Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 9:07 am
        Heather says:
        Ooh! Thanks for the link Jenn! I'll add it to the post : )
  3. 3
    Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 10:23 am
    Lisa says:
    Everything is absolutely precious. My baby boy is 28 and getting married. I'm using a nautical theme for his rehearsal dinner. Looking for a boat the size you have the sailor hats on would you tell me where you got it?

    Thank you
    Lisa
    • 3.1
      Saturday, March 21st, 2015 at 4:28 pm
      Heather says:
      Hi Lisa! I'm not sure where Jackson's mom, Jenn, got that boat. Sorry!
  4. 4
    Saturday, July 18th, 2015 at 2:29 pm
    Connie says:
    I love these ideas! I am busy planning my son's first birthday party and we are doing a nautical theme as well! I was wondering where she purchased the nautical notepads and markers?
  5. 5
    Monday, July 20th, 2015 at 1:50 pm
    lauren says:
    Hi I love this party! I was curious where you got the boat shelf that the sailor hats sat on? Thanks so much!
    • 5.1
      Monday, July 20th, 2015 at 4:20 pm
      Heather says:
      Hi Lauren! I don't know where the bookshelf is from, but here is a shop on Etsy that sells a similar product: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PoppasBoats
  6. 6
    Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 at 6:36 pm
    Gracia says:
    I really love the sailboat!!! I'm gonna try it this week for my daughter's school play.
  7. 7
    Thursday, May 26th, 2016 at 3:47 pm
    Paula says:
    Reference: "Nautical Party-Jackson is One."
    I am "Sail-A-Brating" my 50th Birthday with a nautical themed party and would like to know if the ship with the grommets holding the plates/cutlery was purchased or was it a DIY project?

    If it is a DIY, where can I get the instructions? If not, where can I buy it? It would be absolutely perfect on the buffet. I am eagerly "Aweigh-ting" your response.

    -Paula
  8. 8
    Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 at 2:32 pm
    SJ says:
    Where did you get the boat that holds the sailor hats? Also, can you share directions for how to make the big boat for the kids?
    • 8.1
      Thursday, September 1st, 2016 at 5:07 pm
      Heather says:
      Hi SJ! Sorry, I don't know where Jackson's mom got the boat with the hats or how she made the large boat.
  9. 9
    Monday, September 12th, 2016 at 10:34 pm
    Tricia says:
    Hello, I am in the process of planning a nautical themed baby shower. I absolutely love the ideas above. One question: any idea where I can find the ship prop the embroidered hats are on? That would complete my sweets table. The fabric background was a great idea. Love it!!!
    • 9.1
      Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 8:41 am
      Heather says:
      Hi Tricia! I'm very sorry, I don't know where Jackson's mom got the prop.