While the food, games and music are easy to come up with, the beach party decorations may be tricky. In order to transform any location into a tropical paradise, decorations that are inexpensive and effective are a must. Because most people don't have coconut trees or tiki torches lying around, getting beach party decorations requires creativity and imagination.
Transform the party room into a beach village with some brown and green butcher paper. These large sheets of colored paper can be purchased off the roll at most craft stores in a variety of colors. Make green and brown tropical fringe similar to palm leaf thatch by cutting strips into the paper about two inches apart. Affix the fringe on every edge you can find, from tables to chairs to windows to create a beach hut atmosphere.
Use inexpensive plastic sand toys from the dollar store for clever decorations. Fill buckets half full with sand and place a colorful pinwheel in each one. Line the sidewalk and porch with the cheery buckets. When night falls, replace the pinwheel with a tea candle and use them as luminaries. At the buffet table, use plastic buckets to hold food, such as popcorn, chips and even wrapped utensil bundles.
Take all the shovels that came with the buckets as well as any other inexpensive beach items and make a beach garland. Use twine to string the items, tying a knot to separate. In between the items, string large wooden beads, bottle caps, or even plastic fruit. Some other ideas for the beach garland are flip flops, clear plastic bottles with notes inside, sand dollars and children's sunglasses. Hang the garland in doorways, along the wall or above the dinner table.
Flip flop trees
Use inexpensive flip flops, available at most dollar stores, to decorate a flip flop tree. Find a large dead branch (anywhere from 2 to 5 feet tall) with lots of twigs and set it in a sturdy bucket. Then fill gravel or sand around the base of the branch. Hang colorful flip flops as ornaments from the tree and fill in any bare spaces with ribbon or other decorative material. Wrap a colorful beach towel around the base for a homemade tropical beach tree.
Give guests some party favors that double as decorations. Purchase silk or plastic flower leis to adorn each neck and brighten up the room. Pass out hula skirts to everyone just in time for the hula contest. Drape each seat with a colorful beach towel that's been personalized with each guests' name that they can take home afterwards. Blow up inflatable beach toys and place them strategically as decorations. Let guests choose on to take home when the party is over.
The perfect complement to a sun-and-sand-filled party is great beach party music. All you need is a CD burner or an mp3 player. The idea is to have catchy, upbeat tunes that keep the happy mood going and possibly get people dancing. Think of mixing up different styles from the suggestions below, and add your favorites, too.
There is one thing that almost every American has in common in summer: attendance at the summer cookout. We gather around the grill with neighbors for a block party, with the soccer team for an end-of-year celebration or with our cousins for a family reunion.
Incorporate the best of what the tropics have to offer when creating beach party invitations and give guests a hint of the upcoming party in paradise. Use the invitations as a springboard to other beach party ideas and ensure that everyone can't wait to put on their Hawaiian shirts and sandals.