Finding Dory “Tail”gating Party!

Every year my daughter has a summer sleepover / party for her friends and close cousins. This year we decided that with the release of Finding Dory, we would do our usual swim party with an under the sea/finding Dory theme. And we would combine it with a watch party of Finding Dory at the drive in.

After some discussion with the kids, we decided instead of setting up our treats at home with the swim party, we would instead set it up at the drive in as a “tail”gate party.



For our “tail” gate party we served Popcorn in a large blue fish punch bowl.  The kids could grab their under the sea popcorn boxes (that we sell the printable of – or even will make and ship to you) and fill up with yummy popcorn!


We also served sugar cookies with sugar fish toppers.  We purchased the sugar cookies from our local grocer and just added the fun sugar toppers to give it a more themed appeal.

And the sugar fish cookie topper decorations here:


Our “coral” sticks were made by skewering red sour punch belts on wooden skewers.  I loved how this gave some dimension to our background and also built on our “under the sea” theme.

You can also purchase the sour belts on Amazon:


Mini bite sized yellow Chocolate Beach pails filled with pudding and toffee bits for “sand” were placed inside mini fish platters.  These beach pails were originally supposed to stand alone as the pail was made from molding chocolate inside plastic shot glasses.  But since our party was held on a very warm summer night, the pails simply were not going to hold up on their own in the humidity.  So we ended up just leaving them as is in their mini shot glass holders and they worked just fine!

We originally got the idea for these treats from a post from Hungry Happenings.


We placed some mini chocolate bars wrapped  with Dory and friends wraps.  Theses and other printables can be found on my Finding Dory Free printables post here.


I also thought that having some chocolate seashells and star fish would make an excellent addition to our under the sea treats!

You can purchase molds for the sea shells on Amazon:

And for the Star Fish on Amazon here:


We also served gummy candy sharks over delicious candyfetti!  They looked great in this gorgeous blue serving bowl!  The Candyfetti gave the look of the gummy sharks swimming in bubbly swished water.  Candyfetti is one of my very favorite treats at our parties!



I made some “Hank” octopus truffle pops by making some cake pops on sticks that I added extra melt drizzles for tentacles and then I added paper hank eye cutouts to finish him off.


And last but not least, our kid friendly version of Shark Attack drinks.  These were inspired by Thrillist’s Shark Attack Drinks (, but since all of our parties only feature kid friendly drinks, we opted for a similar yet fun, non-alcoholic drink instead. For our shark attack drinks we used colorful Swedish fish, blue gummy sharks, “Under the Sea” candyfetti from Sweets Indeed (, fruit punch and 7 up. We purchased mini fish bowl globes from Dollar Tree. And I used my tall, skinny glass dessert dishes out of a set from Bed, Bath and Beyond – for the shot glass of “Blood”. We filled each shot glass with punch and added one shark inside. Then we pressed the shot glass to the inside of the overturned bowl and quickly turned it to the upright position, leaving the shot glass filled but stuck to the bottom of the fish bowl. We then added candyfetti as our “Sea Pebbles” and added about 3 different colored Swedish fish. We then filled the globes about 1/2 way up with 7 up. The colors of the candyfetti and the fish then gave the water a murky blue/green tint – like ocean water. Each child then took their turn lifting the shot glass and letting the shark inside “Attack”. You could of course omit the shot glass with punch and just use the other ingredients for a little less violent drink. But since we had brothers and boy cousins for the movie part of our party, we knew they would love the special gruesome addition. The girls even loved it as well!








For the decorations, I used a few of my FREE printables I offered on one of my blogs post – that I created in honor of the release of Finding Dory. I also used a few of my “under the sea” items that can be purchased from my online Etsy shop as printable at home items.



The FREE printables can be found here on my blog:

To find some of the “Under the Sea” items I sell (some used here), you can look at these items on my shop link here:

We had a great time at our “tail” gate party! Thanks for reading!


Finding Dory – FREE inspired printables

Finding Dory comes out this Friday, June 17.  We are super excited about this around here.  We are even gearing up for our own watch party with a drive in / after swim party.  In honor of this, I made a free fun party printables for our party.  But since I am waiting to display our party for a week or two, I didn’t want to make all of you wait that long for the FREE printables that I made – just in case you are having your very own watch party!  I will later post pictures of our own setup of these printables, but for now here are the files for you to enjoy!!

Cupcake Toppers

Print on cardstock, trim around each of the toppers leaving a white edged border, and glue a lollipop stick, straw, or toothpick to the back of the toppers.

Dory cupcake toppers


Character Pennants Pieces for a character banner

Just trim around each of the banner pieces.  Also note the accessory files that follow each of these two character files (with 4 characters).  You will trim those out and tape or glue them from the backside of the pennant piece.

Dory inspired pennants 2

Dory inspired pennants 1


Pennant Accessory Pieces

Trim each of these pieces out and glue/tape them to the back of the matching character pennant.

Dory inspired pennants accessories


Character Treat/Favor Boxes

The next four files are mini character treat/favor boxes.  Simply cut them out, score on the bottom of the front of the box (at the bottom of each face where line is and also score at same spot on side flaps).  Then again score at bottom of back side along with flaps.  And score vertically on bottom piece lined up with each side of the face.

Dory inspired favor boxDory inspired favor box 4Dory inspired favor box 3Dory inspired favor box 2


Mini Character Choco Wraps

Print on either plan paper and then trim, wrap and secure with tape.  Or print on sticker stock, trim, and wrap around mini chocolates.


Dory choco wraps

To download these files, simply click on the image to pull it up to full screen.  Then right click the full screen image and click save file image to your hard drive.


Also, please note the following:

There are characters that inspired this artwork.  I lay no claim to those characters or to the rights of them.  There is no transfer of ownership of the rights of those characters.  The rights of those characters remain with their respective owners.

Please note that this particular arrangement of artwork is copyrighted by Shawna Fisher 2016.  You are allowed to use this art for your own personal projects and pieces.   You are not allowed to re-use this art for business purposes or to sell this art in any fashion – physical or digital.  The rights to this art remain with me – Shawna Fisher.  Please do not share this file, but direct others back to this link.  If you do use this file and post pictures or use it in a public fashion – I simply request that you give credit back to me.  If posted online, please use a link back to my blog/page.  If you are a stylist or planner, you may use this file – FREE OF CHARGE TO YOUR CUSTOMER – as long as you credit me and my blog/page for the files.  Please do not take credit and/or charge for my artwork or my files.

Again, thank you for taking the time to visit and read my blog!  For more of my party items and artwork that is for sale, please visit My Etsy Store.

You can also follow me on my Facebook at Water Walker Events.  Or on Instagram – Water Walker Events. Twitter – FisherShawna

Movie Party – At the Theatre

Movie Party – At the Theatre

Plus a behind the “scenes” breakdown at budget!

Movie party table for online pic 2

A few weeks ago, I put a bit of décor together for a birthday party at a local movie theatre.  Overall, I would say that experience is a bit of a hectic one.  My recommendation is that you book the room for at least two bookings for this type setup and more for extended setup.  They charge $50 for an hour in the room.  Now, I was able to set this party up in about 15-20 minutes.  But that is only because we got lucky and the manager showed up a few minutes early and opened up early (this is what I had hoped for) and also we took a few minutes into the party for setup.  AND I had several hands to help out with this.  Overall it wasn’t bad though.  But everything had to be prepared to just slap on the main tables and the food table.  Had I had to do more extensive sweets setup – it just wouldn’t have been possible.  However, if you are hiring me to do this for you – the packages would not include the extra help and you would need to allot enough setup time and also photo shoot time.  When setup happens in a hurry – you don’t get the alignment and placement to everything for the photos as you wish (not to mention shooting around little heads and missing some items since you are in a hurry!).  We knew we wanted to budget this party for the smallest amount of setup time (one hour booking) and just a small amount of sweets and holders (for easy cleanup) so this package might be a little different than some packages but it shows how a party can be customized to fit the needs of the participants.

The party highlights:

Real, moving clapboard plates and boxes.  Personalized Popcorn boxes, A movie styled marquee backdrop, Sign-able star placemats and sign-able star water bottle wraps, movie reel centerpieces with actual photos.

Mini clapboard favor boxes movie reel mini centerpiece place setting2water bottle wrap and napkin wrapPopcorn boxesPopcorn box centerpieceCake and mini chocolate bars

Overall this was a simple party to style.  The work is really in the preparation.  It takes several hours to put together a party like this ahead of time.  There is the initial design.  But even if it is one that I currently already offer, you still have to spend the time printing, HAND CUTTING most items, HAND SCORING most items, hot gluing, labeling, wrapping, and more.  This can be time consuming.  My parties are hand crafted parties.  That means most items are not pre-fabricated – though some might be, but you still have some piece of it that will be “spruced” up by me – even if it is just labeled.

The other time consuming part of this party was the sweets.  Do you know how long it takes to pull and cut apart mini marshmallows to top the cupcakes, marshmallow pops, and cake pops so they look like popped kernels of corn? Or how long to draw those lines on the marshmallow pops along with the “POP”?  And how long it takes to make cake pops?  Let’s just say that I started on my sweet items at 11:30 the night before the party (yes, I know that is past bedtime – but there is no sleeping the night before a party – another reason you pay me… so you can sleep!) and I didn’t finish until almost 4:00 in the morning! And that is just for 20 cupcakes, 15 cake pops, and 12 marshmallow pops!!  I DO NOT envy those in the bakery dept!  There is a reason those decorative cake pops run $2.99 (plus shipping if ordered online!) a piece and up!!

marshmallow popsside view table

I have decided that every once in a while I will do a party breakdown to show certain costs involved.  That way readers and interested parties can understand exactly what goes into parties as far as cost and time. There are some who might wonder why packages can run (what some and maybe most might consider) high.  When in fact, most packages and pricing do not even cover the cost and time of what a party planner / stylist SHOULD charge.  The reason I would like to add this in sometimes is for this – perspective and appreciation.  There are some who might not even blink at pricing and then others who are frugal (and there is nothing wrong with that!) want to get an idea of just what all the pricing is about.  I cannot do this on all my parties.  Why?  Because it has taken me several hours just to detail out and price the items here and also write this blog!  I just do not have time for that for every blog!  But this can give you an idea for future reference!!

Here is what this party package included (these prices are figured individually and with what they would be if I had to order the food items (professional):

Sweets table Setup:

  • 24 mini chocolate wrapped candy bars. ($3.50 plus tax)
  • Mini Chocolate wraps – 2 pks of 15 ($8.00 basic standard)
  • Bowl of white sixlets ($5 plus tax)
  • Bowl of white gummy bears ($5 plus tax)
  • Dozen – Homemade marshmallow pops (professional online would be $40 & up for 12 qty)
  • Dozen – Homemade “popcorn-shaped” cake ball truffle pops (gourmet $47.50 & up for 12 qty)
  • Bling Sticks for popcorn pops ($2.99 +TAX)
  • 24 qty – Homemade “popcorn” themed cupcakes – (not sure exactly what they charge but probably around $1.50-$2 a piece for store bought)
  • 24 qty -Popcorn Cupcake wraps (standard) – ($14.00)
  • 24 qty – Movie style Cupcake toppers (standard personalized) – ($15.00)
  • 16 qty – Mini Popcorn boxes with personalized marquee thank you tag topper on back (Individually $2.50 each or 12 for $24 = $32)
  • Cake topper and mini laminated picture prints for cake (Starting at $10.00 & up)
  • Mini Happy Birthday Banner – Movie Theme ($18.00 + TAX)
  • Mini Name Banner – Movie Theme ($12.00 + TAX)
  • Movie Party Centerpieces ($15.00 per set X 2 sets = $30)
  • 16 qty – Personalized Clapboard favor boxes (Individually $2.50 each or 12 for $24= $32)
  • 2 qty Personalized Mini paper reel centerpieces with actual pics ($15 each x 2 = $30)
  • Straws ($4.50 plus tax)
  • Straw flags – pkg of 30 ($6.00)
  • 16 water bottles ($2.00 plus tax)
  • 16 Water bottle wraps ($12.00)
  • 7” Black Square Paper Plates ($3.50 +TAX)
  • 16 qty – 7” Plate Toppers ($13.00 + TAX)
  • 16 star placemats ($2.50 each or 12 for $20)
  • 24 napkins ($1.00)
  • 24 forks ($1.00)
  • 24 napkin wraps ($8.00)
  • Usage of two red satin runners (to purchase $8.50 each at least = $17.00)
  • Black Plastic Backer Board with Personalization on the Marquee, red satin drape, & star cutouts. (if you were to order just the marquee backer and then attach to a black backdrop (cloth) and get a red drape) $102.50 and that isn’t even a hard backer but one you would attach to a wall – hard backer would run 150.00-175.00
  • Usage of a few (minimal amount) of party sweets containers. (use your own holder or purchase some for about $30-$40)
  • Minimum art setup fee starts at $23.00

Minimum total without tax if you had to purchase most items – $579.15 (& up)

To style this party as a package would currently run (4-21-15) approximately $350.00 (& up depending on the cost of the popcorn cupcakes and if the cake pops and marshmallow pops stayed the same price.)

As you can see, it is cheaper on you to hire me to just set your party up than to order individual items from me.

 The reason you save?

Here are just a few:

  • You are borrowing certain pieces: Centerpiece holders & some picks & ribbon, sweet containers & platters, the back display pieces, tablecloths & runners,
  • You are getting a discount as a package (multiple ordering)
  • I throw some pieces in for free! (Cake topper, pics)
  • Your Design and some personalizations are included!

Plus, My styling services are included – You don’t have to setup the table or place settings!!

If you are wanting a designer / boutique party, it is really a no brainer to hire a stylist!  That is if you are wanting to put on a party such as this.

There ARE ways to still get this look and save and do-it-yourself.  I DO offer my art as printables online to purchase for printing and setup yourself at home.  I also can print the items for you and you can trim them out and craft them yourself which will save some.  So if you are a diy-er, then there are other options to throwing this party.  Please keep in mind though; my styling services are not free!  I do not give ideas, setup suggestions, vendor suggestions, etc. for free.  That is what I am hired for.  However, I also can make up a general Pinterest board with a small list of vendors for you as a package as well.  That starts at $50.00 for an idea board and list.  Keep in mind the items on the board will not be mine (at least most) but are to be used as inspiration for your own pieces.  You are not paying me for that as “my” ideas – you are paying for my time to look up, brainstorm ideas, and time in researching the ideas and vendors.

The other way to save is to make treats yourself.  Yes, they don’t always look “gourmet” or “professional”, but that is OK.  You can dress them up with a bit of sugar shimmer, or add on some candy embellishment.  Or put them into a box or wrap.  Another way to save is to order a few gourment, and then add in some homemade or simple store bought treats that are easy and simple, yet look nice on a table.  You don’t have to go broke dressing up your dessert table!  Although I am starting to use more professionally made items in my own parties, the only reason I do – because it is my business.  They need to look that way and also because I have setup a business that will pay for my special treats and favors!  However, If I think I can get away with making something at home (and not overstress myself in the process – which I usually do) – then I will!!

In the end, having a beautiful party can be simple and sweet!

Thanks again for reading!


Vendor Credits:

Printables by Shawna Fisher of Water Walker Designs

Vinyl Marquee sticker/decal print by Jason of Digital Prints Plus

Marquee Design & copyrighted by Shawna Fisher of Water Walker Designs

Cupcakes, Marshmallow pops, cake pops – Water Walker Designs

Tablecloths – Dollar Tree

Black Square Plates and napkins – Party City

Bling Sticks – Hobby Lobby

Real tablecloths and runners – Tableclothsfactory

Centerpiece popcorn holders – Dollar Tree

Water bottles – Walmart

Gummy Bears – Oriental Trading

Sixlets – Oriental Trading

Straws – The Shindiggity Shoppe

Do Others Have a Gift You Wish You Had?

Today I have a guest contributor.  My sister, Tracy Robbins, blogs at  She’s featuring my design business, Water Walker Events – Design – Planning, this week in her discussion about gifts and talents that God graced us with.  Below is an excerpt of her blog post.  She discusses the event planning and styling of my niece’s movie party this past weekend.  For more pictures of her movie theme / party decorations, you can visit my Instagram page. (@waterwalkerevents) or my faceboook page.

Gifts picture


Do Others Have a Gift You Wish You Had?

By Tracy Robbins

I didn’t get the creative genes gift in my family, at least not when it comes to decorating, crafting, sewing, etc.  My mom and my sister Shawna probably possess the creative prowess in these areas of a hundred people.  Not me.  Nope.  Give me something to write, teach or stick me in front of a crowd of people to speak any day!  But put me in a room of kids to pull off a birthday party, and I’m toast.  That is utter torture to me.

Thank goodness my kids have their aunt and grandma!  Without them my kids’ birthdays would consist of some really sad decorations (or none at all), maybe a really ugly but yummy cake (I can cook even if it doesn’t look pretty), maybe a few family members over to our house (or better yet a restaurant, that way I don’t have to clean up after everyone), and probably some pretty cool presents (I AM really good at shopping 🙂 ).  I guess I’m somewhat of a minimalist.  I typically like to keep things simple—probably more because I’m not very good at the creative stuff.  It’s not one of my gifts or talents.  I am so very thankful that God made us so that our gifts complement one another.

I’ve learned that that keeping things simple is not all bad.  I’ve also learned that my kids can have the really cool birthday parties, and it’s STILL simple.  It’s simple because I’ve learned the art of delegation.  I simply delegate those tasks that I’m not good at or that seem torturous to me to others who actually enjoy doing them and are quite good at them to boot.  In other words, it’s their gift to do those tasks that I despise.

Take this past weekend for example.  It was my daughter’s 8th birthday.  We went to a local movie theater to have her party and watch the movie “Home” (which was quite good by the way).  Thanks to my AWESOME sister, I was able to just show up with the cake, presents and birthday girl.  My sister handled the rest.  It was pretty amazing.  She had the party room decorated in just a matter of time with some of the cutest customized movie-themed decorations that you just can’t buy at Walmart or a party store.

Movie party table for online pic 2

The ideas that she had and the party décor she created were incredible.  This isn’t the first time she’s done it either.  In the past couple of years we’ve had a Duck Dynasty party, a Pet Shop party, a Nerf Wars party, and a Farm party, all that she’s designed and planned for my kids.  I’m telling you that girl is a graphic-arts genius (inherited from my mom who is also a graphic arts genius)!  It’s one gift of her many gifts that God has graced her with.  She’s very humble about it and will tell you she’s not a genius, but she most absolutely is.

I think that’s the thing about our gifts and talents…sometimes we don’t realize that we truly have a gift in one or more areas because it may seem to come so naturally to us.  We think, “Ah, that’s easy.  Anyone can do that.”  I honestly didn’t realize that I was good at teaching until several people pointed it out time after time.  I mistakenly thought, “Anybody can explain things in a way others can understand them.  It’s not that hard.”  I also thought public speaking was fairly easy and that it should be that easy for everyone.  That is until I taught college classes where several times almost half the class would opt to take a zero grade on a class presentation simply because they didn’t want to get up and speak in front of people!  I’m thinking, “What’s the big deal?  It’s so easy!”  However, for many it’s not.  It’s a gift that God has given me, and that’s why it is easier for me.  Just like designing parties, decorations, invitations, game ideas, etc. is easy for my sister but is such a chore and dreaded task for me.

To read the rest of this post visit the original post page here.