REAL PARTIES: Retro Surfer Birthday

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Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

This fabulous Retro Surfer Birthday Party sent in by Kate from Australia-based I Love Parties is full of so many creative details!

As a SoCal girl myself, the surfing/beach theme immediately caught my eye… but who wouldn’t appreciate ultra-clever ideas like surfboard-shaped sandwiches, “Shark” and “Sand” cupcakes, retro tin Kombi vans, homemade wooden surf signs and “Coconut Bowling”?! Such a perfect theme for summer parties too…

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Read on for LOTS more pics and all the fun details, as told by Kate

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

“We recently held our much anticipated I LOVE PARTIES RETRO SURF 2ND BIRTHDAY PARTY, and I am pleased to say it was a very big success! Beautiful weather and lots of fun. {Photos are from the wonderful Jill at}

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

For the guest favors, we set up a table where everyone could fill their own gift bag with surf and beach-themed accessories.

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

The accessories included cool black shades, custom coloring books (available from I Love Parties) with crayons, surf tattoos, “Surf Screen” (with custom labels) – and personalized surf wax from Cakes Around Town. We also set out hibiscus lollipops, pineapples jellies, bananas, and Bounty coconut chocolate bars.

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Tall glass vases were filled with blue jelly beans, gummy milk bottles, and large faux banana leaves, and the homemade banana cake was decorated with an Edible Surfboard Decoration purchased from Cakes Around Town.

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

I also framed some pictures of the Birthday boy Photoshopped onto old surf magazine covers and displayed them alongside his surf trophies.

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Handmade Retro Surf Favor Bags from I Love Parties:

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

The cookies and cupcakes were created by the AMAZING Libby at Polka Dot Cookies. There were “Shark” and “Sand” designs, and I decorated the “Sand” cupcakes with handmade “No Surfcraft” signs and blue flags.

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

The fabulous sugar cookies were designed to look like colorful surfboards and waves!

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Cool Kombi vans (available from I Love Parties) were the perfect decorative accent for the table!

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

I used surfboard-shaped cookie cutters to cut “surfboard sandwiches” and decorated them with homemade flags. We also served jelly oranges, fruit skewers, mini hamburgers, chicken and pineapple skewers, potato salad and mini hot dogs.

retro surf party ideas

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

I was so in love with the honeycomb pineapple decorations – they were huge and looked fantastic!

The Sunset Bar
Drinks were given fun, themed names and included jugs of lime cordial (“Green Room Juice”), pineapple juice (“Mellow Yellow”), orange juice (“Sunny Delight”) and blue powerade (“Blue Hawaii”). The hula girl straws were a big hit!

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Custom surf shack signs were made from fence paling and paint:

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas


Fish Out of Water
For this activity, we cut fish shapes from colored cardboard and attached each one to a large paper clip. A magnet (available at most hardware stores) was attached to a broom handle with a string to create the “fishing rod” for the cardboard fish.

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas

Coconut Bowling
This was VERY cute! I bought two real coconuts and made “palm tree” bowling pins using colored card stock attached to empty juice bottles. I recommend playing this one on the grass because the coconuts can crack on a hard surface.”

Retro Surfer Birthday Party Ideas


Thanks again to Kate for the fabulous party inspiration!

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

50 responses to “REAL PARTIES: Retro Surfer Birthday”

  1. elle sees says:

    I absolutely LOVE this!!
    I want this party for myself.

  2. This is so clever! I love all the smart details. But tell me more about those jelly oranges – never heard of that before!? :)

  3. Cassandra says:

    Far Out!! What a great theme! The details are amazing. You obviously put a lot into this party! I would have loved to have been there!

  4. Stacey says:

    so many fun details! I especially love the jelly oranges!

  5. Sabrina says:

    Cutest party ever. Everything looks amazing.

  6. this is darling! what a great idea!

  7. Missus Lisa says:

    Amazing! I love all the details. I definitely want to borrow some ideas for my future parties.

  8. Jen Gentry says:

    Oh my gosh!! So so cute :) The whole looks amazing, and I bet it was so much fun!

  9. Sandra says:

    Wow loved do you make those jelly oranges? They looked yummy!

  10. Anne says:

    Coconut bowling is such a cute idea! Love the surfboard sandwiches…so clever!

  11. Anetra says:

    I had the same question on the Jelly Oranges. Neat!

    Great Party!!

  12. Judith says:

    This party looks so much fun!! You did an amazing job!!!

  13. wow! that is amazing. cute without being over the top cutesy. i want her to be my mom. :)


  14. Heather says:

    Wow! Just wow! So much love went into these details. Totally wicked party, dude!

  15. Cindy says:

    How fun!
    We need some sunshine here for sure.
    This would do the trick!

  16. Melissa says:

    I love this! Every detail was not overlooked! What a great theme.

    Regarding the jelly oranges:
    Cut an orange in half, take out the pulp, leaving the peel. Fill with Jello and refrigerate. When set, cut them in half (to get quarter oranges).

  17. ochottie says:

    there amazing idea to work with

  18. ghost chair says:

    looks like an incredible party! brings back fond memories of a Hawaiian luau-themed going away party my parents threw for me when I went off to college. Intricately planned parties with details like this you remember forever!