Instead of being sad when the end of summer comes around, I say, it’s party time! Instead of feeling like your ship has run aground at the end of summer, why not host an end-of-summer night that is fun for the whole family … maybe even the whole neighborhood?

If the idea of ​​having a party is similar to walking on the board and jumping into the dark abyss, then think of me as your life saver! I’ll walk you through the process of throwing a party using my simple formula for creating memorable events. When we’re done organizing your summer party details into six easy-to-remember items, you’ll seamlessly navigate an experience your guests will treasure for many summers to come. Ahoy friend!

Element # 1 – Theme, Mood, and Color – Carry out your theme in everything you do

Every great party starts with a great theme! For the night of the end of summer, organize a party on the island of the castaways! What is your party on the island of the castaways? Well, it’s not an island luau, although a luau-style party could certainly be part of the festivities. It’s not a pirate party, although some pirates in attendance can add a bit of fun, and it’s not a homeless party, although you’ll want lots of sand and seashells in your decor. Think of a desert island inhabited by a group of ragged castaways waiting to be rescued and you will get the picture.

When creating the theme for this party, I found it helpful to use my “Imagination Board” for a “brainstorming” exercise. An Imagination Whiteboard is a large dry erase board that gives you plenty of writing space and allows a free flow of ideas. To start, I wrote the name of my theme, “The Shipwrecked Island”, in the center of the board and then I wrote around everything that came to mind, such as boat, candles, treasure, stranded, beach, shells, trunks, chests, mosquito nets, fishing nets, palm trees, flowers, coconuts, fish and crabs. Then to help my creativity flow, I thought of all the great movies, TV shows, and music that had to do with shipwrecks, islands, and castaways, like “Titanic,” “Lost,” “Swiss Family Robinson.” “Castaway “,” Survivor “, the title track of” Gilligan’s Island “and melodies by Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley. I used these ideas as inspiration for my invitations, decorations, signature menu and drink, activities, and special touches.

Element n. 2 – Invitations: make them attractive

If you were on a desert island somewhere and needed help, one thing you could do is write a message in a bottle and throw it into the sea in the hope that someone will get your SOS. This is a fun and easy idea because there are many places you can find message-in-a-bottle invitation kits, both online and at physical craft stores, or you can make your own from real glass bottles.

Most craft kits include paper, but if you don’t like the choice of paper, you can go for yours. Start your invitations with a great opening line that ties into your theme. Something like: “Come get stranded for a while” (taken from my brainstorming exercise). This opening line sets the tone for the party and lets people know that a little fun awaits them. Be sure to include the details of who, what, where, when, and why. Encourage guests to wear tattered clothing – the best castaway clothing – to add a fun, casual feel to the party and another layer of authenticity. Add interest to the inside of the bottle by including some sand and some tiny seashells. Finish off the invitation with a twine ornament simply wrapped around the neck of the bottle, stick your shipping label over the ends of the twine, and you’re done. You’ve created a fun invitation that will make people want to come and get lost for a while!

Element n. 3 – Decoration and atmosphere: the setting and the environment are everything

The trick to decorating for the end of my Summer Shipwrecked Island Party was to keep in mind that it was all about creating illusion. My home was the ship and the shipyard the island. To board the ship, guests had to walk across the board that was surrounded by an interesting display of washed treasures that included a small antique chair, some sand to give the illusion of the shore, an old hand mirror, jewelry, chandeliers. tarnished pewter tiles and other items that looked water-damaged and worn with age.

To enhance the island feel, around the perimeter of the outdoor party space I placed a “Scene Setter” vinyl of the sun setting brilliantly over the ocean titled “Sunset Beach” (available online at Party City). A few potted palms, dried palm fronds, and lush bouquets of tropical flowers completed the look I was looking for.

Regardless of how you are going to create your end-of-summer theme, there are two things you need to keep in mind to keep the authenticity from your group: (1) Remember that if you were on a desert island, you would be surrounded by water; and (2) When selecting decorations, choose items found in nature, things that you might actually find on a desert island, such as palm fronds, shells, leaves, driftwood, and tropical flowers, and use natural colors and fibers like the brown raffia. , twine and brown rope.

Element n. 4 – Food and Drinks: Never Worry About Food and Drinks

The menu for the end of my Summer Shipwrecked Island Party included an exclusive cocktail that I created called “Blue Lagoon”. Made with blue Curaçao, a liqueur flavored with the dried peel of laraha citrus grown on the island of Curaçao, this delicious drink, with its beautiful deep blue color and served in a large bowl of clamshell punch, is reminiscent of a lagoon. tropical. . If you’ve taken the time to make a great cocktail, the best way to do it justice is by pouring it into a proper glass. Using the right glass for the right drink can accentuate the smell, texture and taste of the drink. So for my signature Blue Lagoon cocktail, I chose coconut cups, although another fun idea would be to use combo glasses, mugs, and stemware that have apparently washed ashore after a shipwreck. Both are reusable and environmentally friendly options in place of plastic or paper cups.

Which brings me to the serving pieces: To create a clever and unique buffet table for this shipwreck party, use combo serving pieces that, again, have apparently been washed ashore or that you would find in the wild, such as leaves. palm tree, tropical leaves, bamboo. mats, driftwood and shells. Fringed Luau placemats are fun, as are beach hats, which also make great serving bowls when flipped over. Additional table decor can include an eclectic mix of twine-wrapped clear glass bottles filled with seashells and flowers.

Element # 5 – Activities: Involve your guests in an activity

“Ahoy Matey! This is the spirit of Captain Bluebeard from the once feared pirate ship the Marine Pearl. If you are reading this [ARGH] It means you found me treasure maps! So, make two teams and give each one a map. If you want to find me gold, you have to find me clues first. Maps will show you the way. When all the clues are found, join the teams to decipher the words. This will point the way to my treasure chest and your reward! “

A scavenger hunt can be a lot of fun at a party but difficult to carry out. However, I’ll break it down into seven easy steps using the scavenger hunt created specifically for this Shipwrecked Island party plan.

For this activity, you will need: – 2 blank treasure maps – A Sharpie pen – Gold coins – A treasure chest with loot or treasure – 2 pieces of note paper – String to tie the rolled maps.

Step 1 – The maps. Start with a blank map (which can be purchased online). Customize it to reflect the key areas of your party space where the treasure hunt will take place. Make a copy to have two identical maps, one for each team.

Step 2: Decide where to hide the treasure chest and make up a clue that describes the location. I hid my treasure chest in a back corner of my garden, so my clue read, “Between two gates on the southwest shore.”

Step 3: With a Sharpie pen, write your clue using letters, letter combinations, and words on 16 gold coins, so that there are 8 clues / coins per team.

Step 4: Separate the coins into two piles. While hiding a set of coins, mark one of the maps with each location of the hidden clues. Repeat the process with the other map and the coin set using another part of the party area.

Step 5: Roll up the maps and tie them together with string.

Step 6: Write the above note from Captain Blue Beard and attach it to the maps so everyone knows the rules of the game. If you work with young children, it is a good idea to have at least one older child on each team who can read and help others understand.

Step 7: Hide the treasure chest full of loot.

For a change, put a lock on the treasure chest and ask your guests to do something fun or silly to earn the key to open it. Done right, this scavenger hunt can be fun for grown-ups too. Think of all the creative things you could put inside the chest. I leave that to your imagination.

Element n. 6 – Special touches: distinguish your group, give them something of the heart

Get your guests in the mood for the end-of-summer castaway island party with a favor to enhance their experience during the party itself. Upon arrival, give each of the adult males a lei made from the leaves of tropical ferns, orchids, or seashells; women, flower hair clips. Give the children something very special. Fill goody bags with a pirate hat, eye patch, hoop earring, telescope, chocolate gold coins, and some other fun costume pieces that will transform them into pirates. Equipping children as pirates ties in wonderfully with their later treasure hunt as an activity. To enhance their pirate experience, create a Pirate’s Cove or a place where they can meet and play during the party.

A smart and simple way to link a birthday item is to have your young buccaneers sing Happy Birthday to the birthday guest of honor in exchange for the key to the treasure chest at the end of the Scavenger Hunt.

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