It’s a Pirate’s Life Third Birthday Celebration

It’s a Pirate’s Life Third Birthday Celebration

Ahoy Mates! The Celebration Inspiration Linky Party Starts tomorrow so I thought I would share another Birthday celebration we hosted for our little guy. We went full force with the pirate theme for this one. I was a little apprehensive at first as I thought ‘pirates’ may be a little too old for our three year old, however with a little creativity we turned it into a fun atmosphere for all ages to enjoy.

The invitations were messages in a bottle. I searched forever for the perfect shaped plastic bottle. {Poland Springs Sparkling water was the winner} Even though no one here like the taste of sparkling water it was still less expensive to buy 60 bottles then to purchase the empty bottles direct from a manufacture. {which were at least $1 a bottle plus shipping} The bottles were filled with sand, chipped shells and ‘ocean clean’ scented oil so when they were opened they smelled like the fresh clean sea.

The invitation itself I designed in a publishing program and printed on kraft paper. The edges were burned for an authentic feel then the invitation was rolled up, tied with jute and placed in the bottle. The jute tie was long enough that it stuck out of the top of the bottle so our guests could easily remove the invitation. We were able to hand deliver most of these but still had to mail out a few. {The post office will mail these as is…I just had to seal the lids on with a piece of clear packing tape} The label on the front was simply printed with the address information.

Outside was decorated with handmade fabric pendent banners and pirate flags.

The centerpieces for our tables were small ships that I put together using stamped muslin fabric sails and a terra cotta flowerpots. The ship is made from a piece of grapevine that was cut and secured with floral wire.

We had a few activities set up outside to keep our little guests busy. I purchased this bounce slide from Disney {Pirates of the Caribbean} which fit perfectly with our theme.

All of our sandboxes were filled with gold coins that the kids spent hours digging for gold in.

We had a total of 48 kiddies attend ranging in all different age groups. It’s a challenge to come up with things for all of them to enjoy, however I am always surprised how much the older kids really take part in the fun.

We even filled our play set sand tire with gold…the kids just loved digging in the sand.

A bubble machine was set up and ran continuously throughout the party.

It was a huge hit with my little guy and the rest of the toddlers.

I made a sail to bring some fun to our play set.

It was made out of muslin painted with black acrylic paint and attached to a piece of piping sprayed black.

The play set provided more free imaginative play for our little friends ~ True pirate style.

A pirate party isn’t complete without a plank. This was constructed out of scrap wood that was bound together with some decorative jute. I hand carved ‘walk the plank’ into the top of the wood.
It was a great addition to the party, especially for the older kids.
We started the games off with a treasure hunt walk. I painted a simple treasure map on a piece of muslin that contained six stops along a path on our property. Hidden in the woods were red ‘x’s’ that marked the spot for each stop. The first stop was a Parrot which was a Beanie Baby hidden in the trees. Next, Bars of Gold & Silver stacked high which were bricks spray painted with metallic spray paint. Then Cannonballs piled together which were stuffed brown lunch bags, tied at the top with a piece of jute hanging out, and sprayed with black spray paint. And finally shovels and picks staged in our horseshoe pit sand area.

We stayed together as a group and walked from spot to spot telling little tales of the objects we were looking for. The kids pretty much kept the conversation going by asking questions and telling us what they thought the pirates may have used each item as {I love seeing the kids imaginations run free and the things they come up with are priceless}
The final stop on our treasure hunt was a real pirate with the treasure chest. The kids were thrilled to say the least.
The ‘treasure’ was eye patches and scarves made from cut fabric for each kid to wear. Some wore them as head scarves and others tied them around their waist. It was a nice addition to the pirate costumes many of our little guests already showed up in.

Our second game was Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate. I put this together using cut felt attached to a piece of plywood. A tiny piece of velcro on the back of each patch allowed all the pieces to stick just where the kiddies put them.

Our last game was a homemade Pirate Piñata I made out of paper mache, painted and decorated with tissue. We used a wooden sword to swing and beat the poor guy down.

The piñata was filled with individual wrapped goody bags to ensure everyone got a prize with so many little friends in attendance.

I took the stress less route on the food as I had a pit beef chef on site. It is so much easier to have someone else present to take care of the main food and well worth it when you have a crowd to feed. {It also allowed me not to go insane and enjoy our guests instead of running around crazy}The simple menu consisted of pit beef, hotdogs and hamburgers. I set up a snack table {shown above} for our guest to munch before the meal. All the glass containers were decorated with ribbon and tags labeling the variety of snacks; a simple easy way to dress up the food.

The main birthday cake was four stacked rounds alternating between vanilla and chocolate flavors. I am not a professional cake decorator by any means but I love to come up with different creations that seem to work. The second layer was rolled fondant laid like a crinkled map with a red ‘x’. The top layer was decorated in blue buttercream icing and topped with crushed graham crackers and another ship {as used for the centerpieces}.

I always make a personal cake for our little guy himself. This was made from half of a Wilton Ball pan and decorated completely with rolled fondant.

I also made a couple ice cream bombs to accompany the cakes. {I didn’t get a picture but you can see one on the table to the right} These were so easy to do and so cute to add to our theme. I let several gallons of ice cream soften and layered them into round bowls lined with wax paper. Refreeze and release onto a plate adding a piece of jute to the center ~ so cute!

For take home favors every guest got to leave with their own boxed cupcake.

The cupcakes were decorated with pirate faces and flags made from homemade fondant.

In addition we had a candy bar set up with red, black and white candy along with small tokens that our little guests could package up themselves.

Thanks for letting us share our celebration with you! {I’ll be sharing our second year celebration shortly}

I hope everyone will stop back tomorrow and check out the Celebration Inspiration Party links! If you have a party to share be sure to link it up! {it can be any type of celebration – share your most creative party ideas, themes, and planning tips}
The linky will go up tomorrow at 9:00pm. Enjoy!


  1. Wow mama! You can put on a party for sure!! All that work is sure to ensure your little guy will remember how much fun he had when he is 40!

  2. Holy smokes! I want to be adopted by you! Or at least be invited to a party at your house. The whole party is so creative and the cakes are spectacular!

  3. WOW!! What a fun birthday party! I love the bottle, it looks great. Everyone looks great!

  4. How freakin’ cute is this!! I’m bookmarking it! Thanks -Shelley

  5. You are amazing!

  6. What an amazing party. And, girl, if you are not a professional cake decorater then I don’t know who is. Incredible!!

  7. I love this! What a great idea for a party. My son would be thrilled if I did a party like that for him.

  8. What a darling party idea. Looks like you didn’t forget a detail. What a cute little pirate your have. Happy Birthday to him!

  9. Wow! That looks like one awesome party! My boys would love it!

  10. Oh my gosh! This party is amazing. Please rewind my life 27 years, I want this party for my next birthday too! I saw you on Keeping in Simple, and am now following along to see your next adventure! :O)

  11. What a fantastic party! He will always remember the year he turned 3!

  12. SOOOO stinkin’ cute!!! I can’t even compare Bucket’s Superman party to your pirate party … seriously, you are amazing!!

  13. You have definitely made a memorable experience for your little one! It brings back memories of some of my son’s parties. The pirate cake and cupcakes were fabulously decorated! My husband would love this party, Joan

  14. That is a party any kid or adult would love! I love pirates…my son thinks they are spooky – he thinks everything is spooky. You did a fabulous job on every detail.

  15. Now thats one party I would love to go to! FUN!

  16. What a fabulous party filled with wonderful details!

  17. Holy COW!!! Everything about this is amazing!!
    That looked like the best party ever!!!
    Awesome ideas! I LOVE the invitations!!

  18. My daughter’s 9th birthday next week is going to be a pirate theme, so I was really excited to see this! You did an amazing job! I was excited about our little party and thinkin’ I was all Martha with my homemade pirate invitations and pirate ship cake I’m making, but then I saw this and feel so inadequate, LOL!

  19. Very cute! We had a pirate party a few years ago and did a lot of the same things! I love the pirate boat centerpieces…very creative!

  20. Wow what an amazing party!

  21. love love love it!!!! So many fabulous details. I’d love to feature it on my blog, with your permission.

  22. You did an awesome job! I’d like to know how many all-nighters it took to get ready! Makes me wish I had a boy – perhaps one of my girls will have an “I love pirates” phase. 🙂

  23. You thought of EVERYTHING! What a terrific party!! It all turned out so cute!
    Thanks for linking up to our first Anything Related Party!!! Hope to see you back next week!

  24. Visiting from All Thingz Related. Oh my, what can I say. There are so many things to love here: the priate sail, boxed cupcake favors, the cake, the invitations. You really went all out. Everything, including your photos, is beautifully cute. I can’t wait to look around to see what other wonderfully inspiring ideas you have shared.

  25. I want to be invited too. Awesome party, love the pirate map treasure hunt!!

  26. Looks crazy amazing and I wish I could have been an honorary pirate!

  27. Just adorable. Thanks for linking up. Love this idea!

  28. I love, Love, LOVE it! You did a great job – I want to throw a pirate party for my son now! Seriously ADORABLE!!!

    Thanks for linking at Lucky Star Lane!

  29. Looks like it was a blast! I can’t believe those individually boxed cupcakes and that cake! Awesome!

  30. Absolutely AMAZING! I bet all the kids in the neighborhood love being invited to one of your parties!

  31. This is so over the top cool. Wow. My little boy would LOVE that birthday cake.

  32. I just love your pirate party! All the details are perfect and I am lovin’ those adorable cupcakes. Thanks for linking up to Be Inspired today!


  33. WOW! What a great party planner you are! And what a lucky little boy!

  34. I loved your pirate party so much, I featured you on my blog! :)

  35. slap-yo-mama adorable! VERY well done! That cake is delightful and that first photo with all the bubbles is scrumptious! You deserve a soak in the tub, girl. That party was the best! Hope to see you back at my place again real soon. until later…

  36. LOVE THIS!!!!

  37. Stephanie Lynn,
    You need to submit this to Kara’s Party Ideas and Hostess With The Mostess! This is amazing!

  38. Someone needs to do a reality show about you and follow you around with a camera. You are just beyond amazing! You belong in a magazine…spectacular!! I wish I was related to you! : 0

  39. Are you sure you’re not a prof. cake maker? Those are AWESOME! The whole party rocks!!


  40. At this point, it’s almost like you’re not even human. You made all those cupcakes for people to take home??? I just can’t get over it. What an entertainer you are!

  41. i LOVE your pitate ideas! so adorable! i especially love the desserts you made! great job!

  42. Wow! You are amazing. Thanks for linking up last week. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for another great Tot Tuesday! 🙂

  43. Fantastic party! OMG! I love every detail! The outfits totally make it! ps. the photography is great too! the one with the bubbles – genius!

    Kim @
    party inspiration

  44. I love all of this. You really went all out and it looks great. I am featuring this as part of ‘Look at me, I’m SO Crafty!’ at Fun to Craft. Come by and snag a featured button later.

  45. Holy cow girl! That is one intense party!! Such cute ideas! I’ll be featuring this tomorrow on Creative Cats!

  46. Ahoy there Matey 🙂 I am a mommy of three beautiful children (1 set of twin 1 year olds. I am beyond in love with party planning and intense details that go along with it. I do not usually like to copy ideas, but your party is gorgeous. I need a little help because my time with two additional boogies is very limited. Would you be willing to make and sell to me a pirate pinata? Would you be willing to sell your pin the eye patch on the pirate or make another and sell it to me? I have a party room reserved for 1.5 hours and I have to stay in that room before we proceed to the next event which is an indoor water park . Please help by calling 5405201853 or responding to [email protected]

  47. should be a party planner!!! Your ideas and creativity are amazing! Why don’t you have any pictures of you? The creative genius? I am so happy I found your blog. I watched the video of your son…very touching! I will have him and your family in my prayers! God can change things and there is a lot of power in prayer! I just fought breast cancer and learned this first hand! XO

  48. You are amazing! What a great gift for your son! I am sure he will remember it forever! Mine are 17 and 21 and I have only an Ernie and Barbie party to compare!



  49. I love this, hope you dont mind but I shared it on facebook, so awesome!

  50. I love this party and think my readers will too! Do you mind if I feature it on my Boy Mom blog in our ‘Time to Party Tuesday’ feature?
    http://[email protected]

  51. Oh my word! Hostess with the mostess!

  52. Cute, cute, CUTE! Love it =)

  53. What a wonderful party!

  54. Debbie Rios-Lombrana :

    wowzers!!! everything is wonderful. the cakes marvelous. seriously wow! love all your ideas. you did a fantastic job! 100 thumbs up!

  55. This party is amazing!!!!! Where did you get the glass bowls all the snacks were in, and where did you get the boxes the cupcakes were in? I can’t believe you can put all this together yourself. You really should go into the party planning business!

  56. Hey Stephanie: I’m doing a pirate party for my 7 year old this coming weekend. I was wondering if you could tell me the snacks that were on your table. I was thinking of goldfish, swedish fish gummies, chicken nuggets for golden nuggest and carrots/celery cut into spears. I was just curious as to what you hand on that table that might be related to pirate You can reach me at [email protected]. Thanks so much. You have awesome parties!!

  57. Wow, an amazing job… Lots of work and well worth it!

  58. what fun! I love the games, my son would go nutz for walking the plank.

  59. I’m stopping by from the CSI project. Wow! Amazing. I love your pictures–you totally captured the kids’ excitement! I love the invite idea as well. I don’t think you left a stone unturned with this party!

  60. WOW! This is all so amazing! I have decided on a pirate theme for my little one’s first birthday. I have been looking for the perfect treasure map invitation, and yours is it! Would you be willing to tell me what kind of program you used to create that, or be willing to sell a template? I LOVE it! [email protected]
    Thank you!

  61. i am throwing my son a pirate party in a few weeks and having a hard time coming up with clues…can you help me out by letting me know what yours were? we are having 30 kids so that is making it challenging for me. i really appreciate it

    [email protected]

  62. We’re doing a pirate theme in May, and I came across your beautiful invitation while searching. Looks like a really fun party! Hope ours goes as well. 🙂

  63. Hi Stephanie I was wondering if you could tell me what your invitations say? Please?

  64. I LOVE the pirate invitation. Are you giving the file out for it? If so I would love it! [email protected]

  65. Where did you get your bubble machine?


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