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Beach Party Decoration Ideas

Kashmira Lad
Beach parties are great fun, even if you are not really residing next to a beach. Cool beach party decoration ideas can help you add some zing to the bash!
Beach parties mean a lot of fun amidst the sand and the surf. This is a perfect way to celebrate the sweltering heat of the summer and boogey the night away!
But planning them is another matter, the food, decorations and entertainment options all need to be decided; and it's a humongous task.

So, here are some ideas that will simplify the process for you and make it even more enjoyable for the guests and you.


For many guests, an invitation card is the first glimpse to your party. Use it to build-up their anticipation by sticking to the theme.
Design aside, there is some vital information that you must mention on your card:
  • Place
  • Time
  • Occasion
  • Date
  • Dress Code

Request the guests to dress as per the activities you have planned, for example, if you have arranged for some water activities, ask the guests to bring along their swimming gear or a change of clothes.
There are lots of card designs to choose from; if you want to keep it a bit formal, just use an embossed paper or a simple design featuring shells. With a kid's or teenager's party invitation, you can play around with the design a lot.
Try sticking beach-themed pop-up appliques on them, they are cheap and available at any craft store.

You can make the invitations extra fun by sending them on or in unusual objects, such as -


Breezy and cool, a beach is full of surprises and so are one-dollar shops. Head to the nearest, to find beach-themed items, such as -
  • Small beach umbrellas
  • Corals
  • Seashells
  • Beach balls
  • Waves wall deco
  • Tiki heads
  • Sea animals - sharks, turtles, octopi, fish, sting rays, seahorses, etc.
Once you have collected the stuff, scatter it throughout the house. Here are a few arrangements you can use -

  • Place a "beach" road sign at the entrance of your house or party venue.
  • You can also place arrows to show the direction, or draw footsteps to show the location.

  • Pile up sand in different nooks and crannies of your abode, and top it with starfish, colorful pieces of corals, shells or beach umbrella and some glitter.
  • For something classier and less messy, just use shells and beach stuff like sunglasses, towels, sun screen, etc. and skip on the sand.
  • Take an ironing board, drape it with a colorful sarong, and place it behind a pot of palms, so that only the top shows - you get a surfboard!!
  • You can even use a life size cardboard cut-out of a surfboard.
  • If you can find enough shells, string them up and make a seashell curtain. Add mirrors to give it some glitz.
  • Or make a seashell wind chime or chandelier.
  • Cut out colorful triangles, and paste them on a string to make garlands, hang them throughout the house. You can cut out different shapes too, like fish, octopus, umbrellas, etc., and drape them with string lights.
  • Cover a wall with blue, green and brown wavy streamers, suspend some seahorses and fish cut-outs.
  • Spread out beach balls around the house, guests will have fun kicking them too!
  • Place cut-outs or inflatable palm trees in the corners; make sure they are out of the way.

  • Place colorful beach buckets or pails, fill them up with sand, seashells, bead and pearl necklaces, etc.
  • Roll up beach towels and place them with suntan lotion and sunglasses.

  • You can place small toys like cute turtles, to add to the feel.


A good, comfortable seating arrangement is particularly important if it is a formal event like a wedding reception or involving small kids, like a birthday party. Here are some pointers that you might find useful -
  • Drape chairs with sea green or aqua cloths, place similar table-mats or napkins.
  • Place a sheer net-like square of a fabric over white tablecloth, to add a burst of color.
  • Colorful plastic chairs and tables are fun, but try to find them in beach-colored themes to enhance the feel.
  • Place a sailboat in the center of each table.
  • Candles with a few shells on the table, will give your room a relaxed, breezy vibe.

  • Fill a sturdy beach pail or bucket with ice and cold beer and set in the center of the table.
  • If you have space, you can also have some beach chairs and parasols, it will definitely make the guests feel they are right on the beach.

  • Put some sand in a flat plate, decorate it with some shells, artificial starfish, tall grasses, and place it on the table.

Food and Drinks

Here comes the toughest part of any party; the right choice of food. However, as there are lots of easy-to-make foods we associate with a beach, planning the food can be simpler. Here are some food presentation ideas that will fit right into your theme -
  • Make beach-scene cupcakes, and cover them with blue frosting, and sprinkle crushed vanilla wafers on one side so that it looks like sand. Place a small animal-shaped cookie or a gummy bear on the 'sand', and add a cocktail umbrella. Finish the scene with a small ball-shaped candy, like skittles.
  • Fill up clean, new beach pails with chips, crisps, crackers or salad and use plastic toy shovels as scoops.
  • Cut colorful construction paper into triangles. Skewer the top and bottom in plastic straws. You can use these 'sails' on hot dogs, cakes, watermelon or cantaloupe cut into slices to make sailboats. You can even make them from walnut shells. Just skewer a leaf or paper in a toothpick and stick it into the walnut shell.
  • Fill a fishbowl with blue cotton candy, then add some Goldfish crackers. Alternatively, you can fill the fishbowl with blue jelly and add some candy fish.
  • Celery sticks, filled with hummus, tuna and veggies or Caesar salad, are great bite-sized snacks.

  • Make cones out of a thick paper, tie with a blue ribbon or jute string and serve fish and chips with a lemon wedge in them.
  • Take a Polo mint, draw red or blue stripes on it with fondant, so that it resembles a life saver. Insert a toothpick on the side of a blue jello shot, and hang the life saver on the toothpick.
  • Arrange sliced fruits in the shape of beach balls and serve!
  • Cut out a large watermelon in the shape of a shark and fill up with fruits like grapes, strawberries, cherries, etc.
  • Cookies in the shape of starfish or any other sea animal are a great hit at any party.
  • To go with the theme, cut some sandwiches in the shape of a fish, using a cookie cutter.
Cocktails, mocktails, smoothies, milkshakes, all are perfect at a beach-themed party. Be creative with how you present them; some ideas that will be well-appreciated are -
  • Find sea-themed party cups to serve the drinks in.
  • Use a hollowed-out pineapple or coconut to serve the drinks.
  • Moisten translucent plastic cups and dip their rims in brown sugar - sand-rimmed glasses are ready!!

  • Decorate the drinks with dainty cocktail umbrellas.

  • Garnish with colorful flowers to give it a tropical look.
Cakes these days are available in any size, shape and flavor. Many places can also recreate a beach scene, but first talk with your local bakery to see what they can make. Here are a few suggestions -
  • Cruise ship
  • Sun
  • Swim tube
  • Crab
  • Mermaid
  • Sea serpent
  • Surfboard
  • Sailboat
  • Beach ball
  • Flip-flops
  • Sandcastle
  • Turtle
  • Octopus
  • Sea monster
If you are planning to make the cake at home, here are a few easy decoration tips -
  • Cover the sides with blue icing, make seaweed and fish with icing. You can also use gummy candies to make an ocean scene. Top the cake with beige icing and sprinkle with brown sugar or crumbled digestive biscuits to resemble sand. Put some brown sugar around the bottom too.
  • Top a dark brown or blue cake with small 'shells' of white icing.
  • Cut the cake in the shape of a fish, cover it with bright colored icing, use M&M's to make eyes, and use a fork to create scales on the icing.
  • Cut the cake in the shape of a hull and cover with white icing. Put in a chocolate straw for mast and use fondant to make its sail.

Fun and Games

A beach party is great fun anytime and anywhere. Here are some tips to make it even more enjoyable -
  • Place a cardboard cut out of Kate Upton and Zac Efron (without their heads), ask the guests to stand behind them and take their Polaroid photograph. Place these photos in the goody bag.
  • Arrange for a few inflatable kiddie pools, fill them with sand or water. Place a few shovels and shells in the sand. Kids will be engrossed in no time!
  • Limbo! You can also decorate the limbo bar with green streamers and flowers.
  • Have a craft bench. Make cardboard cut-outs of surfboards or fish; let the kids decorate.
  • Fill up beach pails with costumey things - bright blue glittery sarong for a mermaid or a tail fin for a shark, funny sunglasses, hats, etc., and distribute amongst the guests.
  • Add to the fun by putting some color or bubble bath in the kiddie pools. Check with the parents if it's okay, as some children might have allergies.
These are just a few ideas you can use to decorate a beach party. If adults are involved, keep it subtle and light. For teenagers and young children, fun comes first, and they might not even notice little things so keep the decorations simple and colorful. Lastly, be prepared for a huge mess, especially, if you are using sand and water.