Party: Goldfish Second Birthday

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How am I the mother of a 2 year old already?! We celebrated my rapidly aging little guy’s 2nd birthday fishy style. I styled the party around graphics from Kindly Reply, who was wonderful to work with. Because Logan still hadn’t met his entire extended family, we decided to host the party in New Mexico where my family is from. Planning a long distance party is quite the challenge, but thankfully my family was a huge help. My parents backyard was transformed into an orange, blue and polka dot fishbowl. Fun was had by all!

Remember the ONE letters I used for Logan’s first birthday party? I reused and painted over the O and added the T and W to my collection. I get at least 1 email a week asking me where I got these letters, they are pretty popular. I found my cardboard letters at Jo-Ann and just spray painted them and added mini cardstock bunting to the O. I stuck them in an old wagon my dad already had in his yard and added some balloons to let guests know where the party was. An orange and blue balloon wreath hung on our door. You can find the step by step tutorial on how to make this wreath over at How Does She. I added a few extra rows because I’m crazy and didn’t mind this project taking me a year to finish to make it look fuller. Under the tent and around the patio, I hung fish lanterns and crepe paper chandeliers. My very awesome mom and grandma sewed blue and orange crepe paper together to give it a ruffled look and I glued them to large metal rings that I found at the craft store. For the fish lanterns, we glued giant googly eyes and tails to orange paper lanterns I found at Hobby Lobby.

Live fish made for  super cheap centerpieces and I’m happy to say that no fish were harmed during this party. I added blue glass beads and artificial flowers to the bowl. Whoever wanted a fish bowl at the end of the party took home a new pet with baggies of fish food and care instructions.

I tend to go a bit overboard when it comes to desserts, but I don’t think our guests minded. We had chocolate covered pretzels rods with orange and blue sprinkles, polka dot chocolate dipped blue filled oreos (isn’t that fish plate awesome? My dad thrifted it!), fishy marshmallow pops (inspired by a picture I saw online and haven’t been able to locate since), orange and blue cupcakes, fishbowl cookies and cake. Allow me to brag on the cookies and cake. My talented mother made them and they were so perfect. Her cookies matched my fishbowl banner I cut using my cricut. And can we just sit in awe of the blue and orange cake layers for a few minutes, be still my little party planning heart! I came up with the cake design, that matched the cupcake holders I cut using my cricut, and she went to town. She’s only been decorating cakes for a few months and she is amazing! Please help me convince her that she needs to open a bakery! Of course, my healthy eater wanted nothing to do with cake, but he enjoyed playing with the swimming fish fondant topper.

We served our guests BBQ turkey, BBQ beef brisket, corn, potato salad, baked beans and fruit served in cups and topped with a fish cutout. For the kiddos we served PB&J cut with a fish cookie cutter and gummy fish jello. I found the orange gummy fish at the dollar store, score! For beverages we had sodas, water and “ocean water” available (which was blue Hawaiian Punch). I cut a fish shape out of sticky chalkboard paper to label the “ocean water” and we had matching polka dot straws and blue cups complete with a fish on each one.

I couldn’t decide on just one favor so we did them all lol! We bagged up my mom’s fishbowl cookies so the guests could enjoy them at home and we also had a goldfish cracker bar, where the guests bagged up different flavors of goldfish crackers. My rockstar grandma and mom sewed fish pouches for everyone and we placed goldfish crackers inside. I made fish crayons for the kiddos using ice molds from IKEA and fish soap in a bag using Little Birdie Secrets tutorial.

Because we had a wide range of ages at the party, I decided to have activities available that the kids could do at their own pace if they want to. The kiddos colored fish puppets, fish cutouts glued on popsicle sticks, and enjoyed a bubble station. We also had a bubble machine going, which the birthday boy loved! Mostly, the kids just ran around! We also made sure to take a photo of the guests with homemade party hats on, a tradition we started last year. I made the birthday boy’s hat and shirt out of felt.

Fish graphics, party printables: Kindly Reply

Polka dot cups & straws: Bake It Pretty

Orange cupcake liners & nonpareils: DK DeleKtables

Orange paper lanterns, polka dot plates, goldfish bowls: Hobby Lobby

Cardboard TWO letters, polka dot oreo molds, bubble machine: Jo-Ann

Cricut cartridges used: Cricut Lite Cupcake Wrappers (purchased on ebay) & Create A Critter (purchased at Michaels)

Cake, cupcakes, cookies: My Mama!!

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27 Responses

  1. Holy cow! I thought you went all out last year with Logan’s birthday, but you seem to have topped yourself! What a lucky guy (and lucky guests)! You have a great family for helping you set up everything in another state =) I always enjoy looking at your blog. I hope your next year is fantastic Logan!!!

  2. I love everything about this party!! Can’t wait for my sons birthday in a couple months. This is the theme I’m going with and some of the ideas I was thinking you put to use in such a great way! Total inspiration!!

  3. SO SO SO amazing Vanessa!! Everything looked absolutely perfect! It makes me want to start planning some sort of party (I guess baby shower is next on the list!!)

  4. Wow, Vanessa this is amazing! I knew it would be fabulous but this is so much more awesome than I could’ve imagined. I love every detail, great job! 🙂

  5. You are so talented! I’m a graphic designer and I think you have such great concepts and creativity. Like someone mentioned, you should make this a business…seriously! I’m planning my daughter’s 1st year birthday, so I’ve been browsing around for inspiration. From what I’ve seen so far, yours is at the top!

  6. Just had our two year-old’s goldfish birthday party! Loved all of your ideas here–especially the japanese lantern goldfish–so easy and cute. Thanks for the ideas!

  7. Hello,

    Your fish party is adorable! I was just wondering, how did people transport the fish home? I’d like to do something similar but I’m not sure if I would have to transfer the fish into baggies?


    1. Hi Mary! We decided not to give everyone a fish, but only those who wanted one. Only a few people took them home and they transported them home directly in the bowls without issue.

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Hi, I'm Vanessa!

Welcome to See Vanessa Craft! I’m Vanessa, an MSSW and mom of two in Arizona, and I’m happy you’re here to get inspired with me. It’s my mission in life to spread creativity through crafts, recipes, travel and more in order to live a life well lived.