Nautical-themed Birthday Party: DIY Lighthouse Centerpiece!

Get everything ship shape for your little sailor’s birthday party! Carry on the nautical theme throughout the scene—from sea-worthy kiddie tablescapes, to a snappy sailor cake, to nautical favor ideas to gift guests with. And as part of those table settings, what could be cuter than DIY lighthouses as centerpieces?

A whole lighthouse, you ask? Sure! It’s made from just basic art supplies, so it’s very affordable. Plus we’ve got an easy-to-follow tutorial right here, so it’s totally doable. Climb aboard, then, for some fun lighthouse building!

Step 1: Get the needed materials together.

DIY Lighthouse Centerpiece from The Party Suite at Bellenza

What you will need for the lighthouse are the following basic art supplies (*links will lead you to Amazon):

  1. 1 whole sheet of light cardboard stock (approximately 125 gsm), white red and navy blue construction paper
  2. red and navy blue ribbon (solid colored or striped)
  3. sheets of clear acetate (at least 12 inches in length)
  4. black marker pen
  5. a compass
  6. a ruler
  7. a pair of scissors
  8. double-sided tape
  9. straight sewing pins
  10. a length of string or cord (not shown)

Step 2: Mark your cutting guides on the board stock.

Nautical Lighthouse Centerpiece. Mark your cutting guides on the board stock

Using the compass, mark off a circle around 2 inches in diameter on the board. This will form the top opening of the light house.

Then, using a 12- to 14-inch length of string to link the compass and its pencil, mark off a larger circle around the first small circle. The radius of the large circle will be the height of the light house. Hint: If you happen to have a round tray or other item of the right size, you could simply trace around it to mark your larger circle. Wish we had thought of that while doing this tutorial!

Step 3: Cut along the marks to create a half-cone.

Cut along the marks to create a half-cone of the lighthouse centerpiece

Cut along the marks you’ve made for the larger circle and the smaller circle. Then, cut right through the radius to create two half-cones. These will end up as two lighthouses.

Step 4: Assemble the cone into a lighthouse shape.

Assemble the cone into a lighthouse shape which forms the body of the lighthouse

Take the double-sided tape and run it down the length of the cone edge. Peel off the tape backing and press the facing edge of the cone over it, to create a neat seam with no tape showing. Note: Remember that the top of the cone is meant to be open as shown.

Step 5: Wind the ribbon around the cone in a diagonal spiral.

Wind the ribbon around the cone in a diagonal spiral.

Start by tucking one end of the ribbon over the top edge of the cone, and taping it in place. Then, guiding it at an angle, wind the ribbon around the length of the cone. Tuck the other end under the bottom edge of the cone and tape it in place.

Step 6: Create the lighthouse door and railing.

Create the lighthouse door and railing of the lighthouse

Cut the acetate sheets into strips about 4 inches wide and 12 inches long. On one strip, draw a door using the black marker pen. On another strip, draw a series of vertical and horizontal lines to simulate the railing on the lighthouse’s viewing platform.

Step 7: Position the lighthouse door.

Position the lighthouse door of the lighthouse

Form the acetate strip with the door into a cylinder shape and secure it with tape. Then, slip it onto the lighthouse cone, starting at the top end. Position it at the wide bottom end of the cone.

Step 8: Form decorative bands out of construction paper and ribbon.

Form decorative bands out of construction paper and ribbon.

Cut a strip from the navy blue construction paper and a similar length of ribbon (a striped red-white-and-blue one would be nice and snappy!). Form these into a band and secure with tape. Then, slip this band over the cone and position it at the wide bottom end of the lighthouse as well (see next photo).

Step 9: Insert straight pins to support the lighthouse railing.

Insert straight pins to support the lighthouse railing.

After positioning the decorative band at the bottom end of the cone, insert straight pins into the cone—approximately 5 inches from the top end. Leave the pins sticking out about half of their length.

Step 10: Position the lighthouse railing.

Position the lighthouse railing at the top

Finally, form the acetate strip with the railing into a cylinder shape and secure it with tape. Slip it on over the top end of the lighthouse and rest it on the straight pins.

And there you have your very own lighthouse centerpiece, ready to grace your nautical party tables!

At the party: Create fun composite centerpieces for each table

Nautical-themed Birthday Party: DIY Lighthouse Centerpiece from The Party Suite at Bellenza

Let your DIY lighthouse share the limelight on each kiddie table with other fun accessories! Get the little guests all excited to see it paired with a model of a sailing ship on a bed of sand and seashells. Then, mark each table with a hand-lettered sign bearing a popular seafaring destination, and set out saltwater taffy treats to welcome the youngsters to their seats!

Affiliate Disclosure:
This post on “Nautical-themed Birthday Party: DIY Lighthouse Centerpiece!” contains affiliate links to various sites for which we are an affiliate of. Affiliate links that convert to a sale result in a commission for Bellenza.

5 Comments

  1. samantha  /  07/27/2016, 8:21 pm Reply

    How clever! I love the way you pulled it all together in a nautical party. Thanks for joining the Family Joy Link Party!

  2. Mary-the boondocks blog  /  07/22/2016, 8:28 pm Reply

    That is such a cute lighthouse. Thanks for the how to. I live in a coastal town so it is very appropriate.

    • Melanie (Bellenza)  /  07/27/2016, 10:25 pm Reply

      Hello Mary (The Boondocks Blog)! Thanks so much for stopping by again. And so glad you like our how-to post. Cheers!

  3. Chloe Crabtree  /  07/22/2016, 1:13 pm Reply

    Om my goodness this is so adorable! I love this, and how wonderful that you have included all of the directions. I see one of these in my future for a tablescape! Thanks so much for sharing at Celebrate Your Story! I am sharing this one on FB and Twitter, and pinning, too!

    • Melanie (Bellenza)  /  07/27/2016, 10:29 pm Reply

      You are so sweet, Chloe! So flattering to know you like our lighthouse DIY, and really appreciate all your support! Have a wonderful “rest of the summer”!

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