How to Throw a Tropical Themed Party Like a Grown Up
Part of my interview for the production assistant position here at Brit + Co was to create a mock post. I was wistful for summer at the time and eager to get my hands on some summery DIYs, like flamingo straw tags and pineapple table accessories. The obvious decision was to throw a tropical-themed summer bash for my application. I must have done something right because my mock party helped me get my job here! Today, my hypothetical party becomes a reality. The DIYs in the party were really simple but time-consuming, so get your Netflix queue in the background as you prep for the dreamiest tropical-themed party ever.
I have a graphic design background and I love creating mood boards and color stories before starting any project. I’ve been obsessed with the Pantone colors of the year for all of 2016, but for this summertime party, I wanted punchier versions of them. Above is the color story for this tropical party.
FLORAL COCONUT ACAI BOWLS
Acai bowls are a no brainer for a tropical-themed party. So fruity, so fresh, amirite? Serve the acai in coconut halves topped with fruit and flowers and your guests will fall in love.
— 2 pounds frozen raspberries
— 2 ripe bananas
— 4 Tablespoons acai powder
— 1 cup milk
— 1 teaspoon honey
— bananas, strawberries, berries
— edible flowers
1. Mix frozen raspberries, bananas, acai powder, milk and honey in a blender. Add more milk to get the blender going if necessary. Blend until creamy.
2. Scoop mixture into bowls. Top with sliced fruit and flowers.
Mix frozen raspberries, bananas, acai powder, milk and honey in a blender. Add more milk to get the blender going if necessary. Blend until creamy.
Scoop mixture into bowls. Top with sliced fruit and berries.
Don’t forget your edible flowers!
If you want to serve acai in coconuts, you’ll need to hollow them into bowls. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as when Tom Hanks tried to open a coconut in Cast Away. Anita, our Creative Project Manager (and wilderness survival aficionado) taught us how to easily open a coconut. Holding the coconut in your hand, hit it with a hammer while rotating it. It’ll crack right open! Here’s a great video tutorial for reference.
OCEAN BLUE DONUTS
Any party, tropical or not, demands donuts. Make box cake mix batter and bake them in a donut baking pan. Melt pre-made frosting in the microwave and stir in blue food coloring. Dip the donuts in the frosting and cover with sprinkles. Mmm.
PALM LEAF BACKDROP
For this palm leaf backdrop, I was inspired by this Brit + Co tropical backdrop tutorial. I changed things up by using different paint colors and adding stems and more slits in my leaves. Then I simply taped my leaves in a circular formation on the wall. I laid the extra leaves on the table to add more texture and color to the tablecloth.
PALM LEAF DRINK STIRRERS
In case you’re still itching to make paper palms, cut mini palm leaves out of paper and use washi tape to attach them to wooden skewers. It’ll make every drink a mini tropical oasis!
YOUR BIGGEST FANS
Tropical parties come with tropical weather, naturally. Keep your friends from melting in the heat by making fans as party favors! I used some leftover painted card stock from my palm leaf backdrop, but if you’re starting from scratch, this is what you’ll need.
— card stock
— paint brushes
— popsicle sticks
— hot glue gun
1. Paint a pattern on the card stock. Feel free to experiment with different textures and shapes!
2. Once the paint is dry, use a plate to trace two circles on the card stock. Cut the circles out.
3. Glue two popsicle sticks onto a circle. Glue another circle on top of the first circle, sandwiching the popsicle stick. Remember to keep the painted sides facing out.
Paint a pattern on the card stock. Feel free to experiment with different textures and shapes!
Once the paint is dry, use a plate to trace two circles on the card stock. Cut the circles out. Glue down two popsicle sticks on a circle. Glue another circle on top of the first circle.
FLOWER ICE CUBES
Aren’t these little guys cute? Add some whimsy to your ice by adding blooms in the ice tray before freezing.
What are we waiting for? Let’s party!
What tropical-themed DIYs are you doing this summer? Share your photos with us on Instagram using the hashtag #iamcreative and tag @BritandCo. Need even more summer inspiration? Head to Pinterest STAT.
DIY Production + Styling: Irene Lee
Photography: Brittany Griffin