Little Mermaid Party Decor - Creating Ariel's Grotto!


Last month was my daughter’s 5th birthday.  Yes, my baby is 5.  Where did the time go?  For this birthday, my Sweet Girl wanted a Little Mermaid theme.  Last year, we celebrated with a Disney Princess theme, but this year, it had to be Ariel alone.

So where to start with Under the Sea & Little Mermaid party decor?  You could go glam because Ariel is a princess, but I decided to go more authentic…which meant…Grotto.

How to Create Ariel’s Grotto:


welcome to Ariel's grotto - lots of ideas!


1.  Choose Sea Colors.

I decorated with turquoise for the sea and a taupe for the color of sand.  (Can I just say how in love I am with turquoise right now?)

With a light brown table linen and lots of gossamer (thanks to, I created a flowing sea and sandy stop for the grotto.  (Here is a quick link for the Turquoise Roll or Ivory Roll.)


ariel's grotto - 8

ariel's grotto - 1


2.  Go for the Usual Under-the-Sea Items.

Pull out your collection of shells, starfish, sand dollars . . . whatever you have, can buy or borrow.  I found one of my very large conch shells at a garage sale for $2.00.  It doesn’t hurt to pick your party themes well in advance and scour the garage sales for items that suit your theme.  Nets are also an inexpensive way to “think sea.”  I had several on hand from our Luau party.  The sea shellsstarfish, and mini sea creatures came from Shindigz.  Their variety of products is wonderful!


ariel's grotto - 3


ariel's grotto - 4


3.  Gather Gadgets, Gizmos, Whozits and Whatzits.

I began looking around my house for items that Ariel might have collected for her grotto.  Old items.  Peculiar items.  I raided my house and then I raided my mom’s.  Isn’t it crazy the amount of junk I found?  And I do mean ‘junk’ in the best sense of the word.  Shindigz had these great corked bottles and black lanterns too.


ideas for creating Ariel's Grotto


Ariel's grotto - 5


4.  A Picture of Prince Eric.

While I would have loved to have found an enormous statue of Prince Eric, Dan would have freaked out just a bit.  Not to mention the issue of storage after the party.  😉

Instead, I searched the internet for a great image of Prince Eric, printed it and put in a frame.  Ariel’s one true love – present.


ariel's grotto - 2


5.  Soften the Lighting

I have a couple options for lighting in my basement.  When it came time for the party, I used all my dimmers and this fabulous lamp.  Lighting should be kept on the lower side.  After all, you’re under the sea and in the grotto!


Fun corner in Ariel's Grotto


5.  Don’t forget the Dinglehopper.

Of course, we had to hang a fork in the grotto so Ariel can brush her hair.


Little Mermaid Party - don't forget the dinglehopper


7.  Create an Entrance for Going Under the Sea

The kids loved going through a wave of crepe paper to enter the sea.  We doubled the crepe paper . . . simple and effective.


going under the sea


It was a wonderful party and the first time I felt like my basement fit right into a theme as opposed to trying to override my basement’s usual decor.


ariel's grotto - 7

Ariel's Grotto created for a Little Mermaid Party

Related Posts:
Little Mermaid Party – Games & Activities
Food, Favors & the Rest of the Sea

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