photo picture frames together with a nautical flag print in each frame. Find a nautical flag alphabet chart online and spell W-E-L-C-O-M-E, F-A-R-E-W-E-L-L, or P-A-R-T-Y (pictured above). Size the flag to fit in the designated photo frame, print on plain white paper, then cut to fit.
Alternatively, you can use printed pictures of other nautical or travel symbols, such as knots, navigational equipment, life rings, anchors, maps or charts, destination posters, ships, lighthouses, etc.
Port & Starboard Navigational Lights
Buy one red light bulb and one green light bulb and use in a pair of
light fixtures by the front door, in the bathroom, or flanking the bar to represent a ship's port and starboard sides. The red light is for the port side, which is the left side when facing forward on a boat. Conversely, the green light is for the starboard or right side.
Other filler ideas to use in clear vases or bowls to highlight color, include metallic shred, shells, glass beads, ornaments, candy, and colored water.
Submersible LED Ice Cubes
Add submersible LED ice cubes to cocktails or water glasses for a fun and original splash of color. Use the Nautical colors of blue, white, yellow, and red. This unique drink accessory is safe, non-toxic, and FDA-approved.
Naturally, these reusable ice cubes are waterproof and are shipped with the batteries included. Each cube has four settings: steady-on, flash, fast-blink, and off.
Floral Vase Lights
In addition to LED ice cubes, you may want to use submersible LED floralytes in flower vases to create areas of glowing colors throughout your home. Floralytes are available in blue, white, red, and other colors. These floral vase lights typically only have an on and an off setting. Bar Backdrop
If the kitchen or an unsightly area is behind your bar, hang a double window bamboo shade from the ceiling as a backdrop. Not only will you add style to your bar service and party atmosphere, but you will keep your preparation of surprises hidden. You can easily roll the shade up and down as needed and reuse for all of your parties.
Or add atmosphere by covering the wall behind the bar, along a corridor, or in the party area with bulletin board colored or scene paper. For example, we have used an underwater scene behind our nautical bar.
Place beads in a bowl or giant martini glass on the bar, and let guests help themselves. Liven up the party, by passing a tray of party beads in between hors d'oeuvres.
For a dinner party, loop a strand of beads several times around a rolled up dinner napkin to make a colorful napkin ring that your guests can wear.
Set the tone by decorating yourself in the spirit of your event. Not only does this reinforce your theme, but it also lightens the mood and makes your guests more comfortable.
Furthermore, when you make this extra effort, your guests will want to get in on the fun by dressing up for your future parties. This is how your great parties will become more spectacular over time.
Make it as dressy or casual as you want your party to be. For your Nautical theme, wear a captain or sailor's hat, a blue blazer, white skirt or slacks and red scarf, or a blue & white striped shirt.
Dress up the guest bathroom further with floating candles in your bathtub. Use fish, shells, or starfish with the nautical theme. Sprinkle rose petals on the water for an added touch of soft elegance.
Red, blue, yellow-gold, and white string lights are an excellent way to add indirect lighting, while reinforcing the Nautical theme. Using mini-lights can eliminate the need for overhead lights, such as in the bathroom or along a deck or walkway.
String mini-lights on the outside of the house, around the front door, circling columns, or climbing trees and plants. Indoors you can run them along the top of cabinets, bookshelves, the mantel, or around door frames. Place a strand of lights in a crystal bowl for a dazzling effect.
Use evite.com to find more distinctive party invitations that will create excitement. Then use Facebook to send a follow-up of the details, otherwise your Nautical party invite is more likely to get lost in the Facebook clutter.
For a dinner party, a personal telephone call with a follow-up email of the details is recommended. If you are mailing invitations, create a passport or ocean liner ticket with all of the details.
When entertaining, use real glasses for cocktails. Bar glasses are inexpensive and a great investment for future parties, but if you cannot afford to buy them, rent them.
Double old fashioned glasses are suitable for most cocktails, especially when entertaining a large number of guests. You may also wish to keep martini and wine glasses on hand for stemware. Highball glasses are optional, but great for drinks with a number of ingredients.
Miscellaneous Decorating Ideas
Fishing Net - Hang a fishing net decoration on the wall and add shells and sea life, photos of your guest of honor, or sea travel destinations.
Nautical Flags - Buy and hang real nautical flags around the party area. Portholes - Buy a couple of brass portholes to hang on the wall, then insert scenic ocean travel photos.
Signage - Create signs in the style and terminology of a ship, such as, Galley,
Head, Bridge, Deck, Engine Room, Boiler Room and Quarters.
Maps & charts - Use maps and charts in picture frames, hung on the wall, and as table coverings.
Candy - Fill candy dishes with white life savers and gummy fish.
Toy boats - Create a mini-scene on a food buffet with a glass bowl of blue-colored water and floating toy boats; add a mini-palm tree alongside. Bubbles - Use a bubble machine to create champagne bubbles for a bon voyage party; or bubbles reminiscent of the ocean and water for your nautical theme.
Glow In the Dark Stars - For an extra subtle touch, stick glow in the dark stars on the ceiling in the party area or dining room for a dinner party.