Nautical Theme Party Ideas


It's time to take to the high seas for the best nautical theme party ever! And what better way than on a real boat. Not.

We've got better ideas and they're cheaper too. So if a real yacht's out of the picture, read on.

Turn Your Living Room or Backyard into the Captain's Quarters

Use lots of navy, some touches of red, and gold roping to set the stage.

Tack up some fish netting onto a wall to denote the bar area, or just for decoration. You could drape some over a tall piece of furniture or, if you're outside, hang some off of tree branches.

You can find large nets online for less than $10.00. Check out The Fish Net Company for a large selection of nets and some decorating ideas too. Stick a few shells, starfish and large plastic fish in the netting once you have it hanging where you want it.

For a boating party centerpiece, check out a great idea submitted by one of our visitors. It's an elegant and simple centerpiece using candles, rope and shells.

Hang a life preserver on your front door or by the entrance to your yard to greet your guests when they arrive. You can make one by wrapping white and red or white and navy yarn around a foam florist's wreath. Accent it with roping or a piece of netting. 

Next, create a boat name for your party, one that says something about the guest of honor. For example, "Gone Fission" for your favorite nuclear scientist/fishing enthusiast. Or how about "Crewsin' and Brewsin' " for a beer-loving boater? For your high maintenance girl friend, try "H.M.S. Princess ______". Paint the name on a wooden sign to use as a party decoration. You can also add the name to the life preserver wreath. 

Start your party with a christening, complete with champagne. Another option would be to hold the christening as a prelude to bringing out the birthday cake.

Present your guests with white or black skipper hats and demand, er, request that they wear them for the entire party. If one hat per guest is too costly, just give one to the guest of honor. (If it fits your guest of honor's personality, you can even find pink skipper hats online. Love it!) 

Keep your menu in the seafaring theme with a selection of seafood appetizers. Think fancy canapes on silver trays. For drinks, nothing says "yacht club" like a vodka and tonic in a thick highball glass garnished with a wedge of lime.

As for the birthday cake, how about one in the shape of a life preserver? This is a pretty straightforward DIY cake and it looks fantastic. The easiest way to make the life preserver shape is to buy a ring-shaped pan. Use regular buttercream frosting to coat the cake or try making fondant. Fondant will give a smoother and more realistic look. 

When the boat has docked and it's time for all guests to go ashore, send them off with a nautical themed party favor. Perhaps a ship in a little bottle, a ship's whistle, or an ascot personalized with the party's "boat" name.