Surf’s Up! Summer Party

I’ve been DYING to to share this party with you and I’m SO excited to finally post it!  It’s a little late because I just got back from being on vacation in Jackson Hole for a week AND I entered the party in a contest over at the amazing entertaining website, Pizzazzerie and we had to wait until the winners were announced before posting the designs on our own blogs.  And No, I didn’t win :-(


I decided I wanted to have a party for my son Jackson and his friends to celebrate the end of school/beginning of summer.  We live in Utah so we’re nowhere near a beach, but I wanted that theme because when I think of summer, I think of the beach!  And, my 8 year old LOVES sharks, so I thought we could use both ideas for the overall design.  I found an invitation on Etsy designed by Sarah at Chachke Designs that was exactly what I was looking for – I seriously loved it!

I came up with the idea of having surfboards for the backdrop of the dessert table and thought I could easily make them out of cardboard.  My husband quickly responded that cardboard simply wouldn’t work and that we needed to make them out of wood.  So that’s what we did!  We cut 8 foot tall surfboards out of plywood with a jigsaw and then painted them fun stripes in the colors I had decided on for the party…orange, blue and green.  Most of the paint came from the ‘reject’ paint cart at Home Depot, so it was really cheap!  They took a little time to make, but I thought they turned out GREAT!

For the main table, I used a white tablecloth with a simple blue net as an overlay to give it more of a beachy feel and created the “Hit the Beach” banner out of scrapbook paper.  I couldn’t find printables to match the theme/colors exactly, so I created the dessert labels myself using a digital paper design.  But, Sarah (who made the invitation) now has matching printables, so you can order everything for your party from her!

For the center of the dessert table, I filled my apothecary jars with candy in the same 3 colors, with striped ribbon to match…orange slices, peach gummy bears, gummy sharks, cotton candy, blue raspberry jelly beans, green apple licorice and lime taffy.  The kids took home a treat bag filled with whatever candies they wanted from the table.

For the desserts, I went to my wonderful cake designer, Sprinklebelle Cakes, for some fondant surfboard and shark cupcakes.  I sent her a picture of the surfboards and just told her to make something that matched the colors, and as usual, I absolutely LOVED them!


shark cupcakes

Push pops are all the rage lately and I knew I wanted to use them in my table.  I created layers of orange, green and blue jello in the push pops with a gummy shark in the blue layer.  The pushpops were displayed in fun green cardboard suitcases.

I found plastic shot glasses in the exact colors of my party at Dollar Tree and knew I had to use them for something…M&M shots is what I came up with – the kids thought they were great!


I also had a local lady make the wonderful shark and surfboard sugar cookies with buttercream frosting and they were as yummy as they look!  The details of the sharks were just amazing!

I had another small table to hold the party food…hot dogs, chips, fruit, nutter butter flip flop cookies, drinks and paper products.

This kids played outside with water balloons, big squirt guns and raced on the slip-n-slide until it got too cold to be outside anymore.

The weather wasn’t exactly perfect for an outside water party.  You may have noticed the dessert table was set up INSIDE the house with the lanterns on the floor…about an hour before the party started, as I was setting up the dessert table outside, it became really windy and a huge gust of wind knocked EVERYTHING over…ladder, table, surfboards and all!!  Luckily I hadn’t put anything except the tablecloth on the table yet!  I had to move the table inside and thanks to some wonderful friends and family we got it set up inside the house, just in time!  I guess that’s what you get for June in Utah – you just never know!! :-)

A big thank you to the always amazing Laura Sheneman for capturing photos of everything!!


    • Holly says

      Andrea, so good to hear from you! Hope you’re enjoying your summer there in AZ! Thank you for your sweet comments!!

    • Holly says

      Dawn – yeah, too bad there were lots of losers ;-) I just checked out your summer stripes entry on your blog and it was darling and very original!! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Holly says

      Oh thank you, Marcie!! You’re too kind! By the way, I’m a fan on Facebook and love to see your posts…keep em comin’!

  1. says

    LOVE it!!! The theme and colors are amazing!!! Your husband sounds like mine, I did a milk and cookie bar for end of school year and didn’t know what to make backdrop from and my husband hit Home Depot and made a wood free-standing backdrop! Gotta love that they want it to be perfect for us!! lol

  2. says

    I’m seriously in love with this party! Such an adorable idea… love the color schemes… in love with the desserts and the surfboard back drop! Amazing! I have a post written up to share this with my readers this Thursday – please swing by to check it out! :)

    Fabulous job!!

  3. Michelle says

    OH MY STARS! Totally A.W.E.S.O.M.E! I’m doing a Luau carnival for my daughter & have been contemplating just doing a fabric backdrop for the food table or photo booth or surf boards. I think you’ve pretty much sealed the deal for me. Do you mind sharing how tall/wide you end up making your surfboards? Thanks!

    • Holly says

      Hi Michelle, sorry for the delayed response! Yes, the surfboards ended up being 2 feet by 8 feet tall. I started with 4 x 8 sheets of wood and had Home Depot cut them in half, to make 2 x 8. Have fun! Any other questions, let me know!!

  4. says

    I wish you were in AZ and I could rent these surfboards from you for an upcoming party. Not sure I have the time or money to DIY my own, but they look SO fabulous! Looking forward to chatting with you again at SNAP!

    • Holly says

      Hi Kendra! Yes, I have rented them out to people here in Utah! Too bad you’re not closer and I’d totally let you borrow them! I am SOOOO looking forward to catching up at SNAP! Only a month away – yay!!

  5. Carrie says

    LOVE love love!!! I’ve been searching for a fun theme for my 1 year-old boy’s birthday party over labor day weekend. This is perfect for an end of the summer party…and we live in MI, so I’m excited to bring as much beachness as I can to the ‘burbs of Detroit! :) I just ordered my printable party pack from Sarah and I cannot wait to get started on everything! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas! Surf’s up!

    • Holly says

      Carrie, thanks so much for your sweet comments, I’m so glad you like the theme…it’s a fun one, both for the beginning and end of summer! Have fun with the party, I’d love to see pics when you’re done!

  6. aziansweety says

    I loved the party idea and the surfboards! Too bad we’re not in utah…because we would definitely rented them….by curiosity what did you use to get the shape of those surfboards? a print out of some sort?

    • Holly says

      Thanks! We actually just drew the shape onto the wood with a pencil, measuring from the top and sides to make sure they were all about the same size.

  7. Rachel says

    Love this party! So bright and fun!

    Do you mind sharing where you got the aqua netting on the table? I’m styling a shark party for my som’s birthday and have looked all over for aqua or turquoise netting with no luck.

    Thank you!

    • Holly says

      Thanks Rachel! I got the the netting last year at Michaels craft store so I’m not sure if they have it this year or not :-) Have fun!!

  8. Annie says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this party! I am planning a “Stitch” themed party for my soon-to-be two year old son (as in Lilo and Stitch) and I was struggling to find a way to include lots of Stitch-y details without going too girly. I didn’t want to do a true Lilo and Stitch themed party, but I needed another dimension other than just Stitch. So now I will mix it up with the “Surfer Dude” theme also!

    • Holly says

      Thanks Annie, I’m glad you like the party and I’m happy that I could give you some inspiration for your Stitch party – it sounds so fun!!

  9. Stephanie says

    Do you have any tips or tricks to making the jello push pops? I really want to do plankton push pops with green jello for my son’s spongebob birthday but worry that all I’ll make is a huge mess.

    • Holly - Paisley Petal Events says

      Hi Stephanie! When I made them I didn’t think it through and I had the containers sitting on a baking sheet and put them in the fridge to let each of the layers set up. When they were ready to display, I couldn’t add the stick part because it would just push the jello out. If I did it again, I would use a cookie cooling rack with the stick part hanging down through the rack and set up some sort of risers in my fridge for the rack to sit on. I don’t know if that makes sense, but maybe it’ll help ;-)

  10. Angela says

    LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS!!!! planning my second sons, 1st birthday party and we went to Hawaii last year so we wanted a surfer themed party! Same main three colors and everything! !! So classy and fun! Can I rent any of your stuff,?? Its just awesome! !!!!!! And anymore advice! I’m totally excited after seeing how wonderful yours came together and thank you for sharing! !!

      • Angela says

        I live in MD! I would pay for shipping! ?? However, the surfboards may be pretty expensive! You just did such an amazing job , it was wishful thinking! !

  11. Deena says

    I just came across your blog! Love this theme. I have a son and daughter with birthdays in August and would love to rent the surfboards from you. How do I do this?

    • Holly - Paisley Petal Events says

      Hi Deena! If you live in Utah I’d be happy to rent them to you. They are $25 for the day and you would need to come pick them up and bring them back the next day. Send me an email: if you’re still interested!

    • Holly - Paisley Petal Events says

      Oh my gosh, that’s the nicest thing I’ve ever heard, thank you – you made my day!! Michaels crafts stores sell the push up pops and if you need a large quantity I would go to :-)


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