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Nautical-Themed Party Decor

Create a nautical-themed party with our easy and affordable decorating ideas.


Striped Drop Cloth Table Covering

An inexpensive five-foot square drop cloth from a hardware store can easily be transformed into a durable outdoor table covering.

  1. Adhere two 5-footlong strips of painters' tape to the cloth, dividing it into thirds.
  2. Paint the outer sections with white paint, leaving the middle section unpainted. Let dry completely, then remove the tape.

Paint, by Martha Stewart Living Paint, in Pure White; and drop cloth, by Sibiu, $8;

Rope Tablecloth Anchor

Don't let the wind prevent you from setting your table outside.

  1. Run a piece of standard boat rope along the underside of a table (the rope should be 4 1/2 times the width of the table); bring the 2 long, loose ends to the top of table.
  2. Tie ends in a square knot on the top of the table. (For instructions on how to tie the square knot, see our Nautical Square Knot How-To.)
  3. Bring the loose ends back down under the table, and tie them.
  4. Repeat with another piece of rope at the other end of the table.

Paper-Boat Saltcellar

Hand-folded paper boats make fitting vessels for flaky sea salt. They couldn't be easier to make: All you need is an 8 1/2-by-11-inch piece of plain white paper. Follow our folding instructions to create the boat.

Painted Salt Spoons

These wooden spoons look like little oars.

  1. Wrap a piece of painters' tape around the handle an inch or two above the bowl of the spoon.
  2. If your spoons are varnished, sand down the area above the tape, and then apply primer and let dry.
  3. Apply paint, let dry completely, and remove the tape. Unless you are using foodsafe paint, make sure to avoid painting any areas that will come in contact with the salt.

Bamboo salt spoons, 4", $3 each,

For even more nautical-themed table ideas, see our Red, White, and Blue Nautical Party.

Martha Stewart Living, July 2012

Reviews (9)

  • lanarina12 28 Sep, 2013

    The paper-boat saltcellar and painted salt spoons look great, I think I can Find affordable ergonomic office furniture at to fit with the nautical-themed party that will take place the next week-end. I made a Facebook event and I am expecting a lot of people to come. My house is now such a mess, I have to finish the bathroom remodeling in time.

  • Genie 26 Jul, 2012

    I always enjoy going through M.S.'s e-mails as I do her magazine. If you have such big complaints as you do, you should unsubscribe!

  • medplantwoman 26 Jul, 2012

    I agree gramma, being so negative means you need some chocolate or something to sweeten you up. There are ways to give constructive criticism without being rude. I think the idea is fun and cute and great for a beach party. I do remember seeing this before but had forgotten about some of the ideas so I appreciate a rerun now and then. Have fun and come up with ideas to change or update an idea and then send in a suggestion MS. Grumpy.

  • grammab7 14 Jul, 2012

    WOW, why so negative. If you have a flair for crafting which is what Martha Stewart is all about, look past what you say is terrible, junky, and too much trouble. I see ideas for Christmas decor, a change of color to be used anytime, ideas are a foundation for you to take it and run with it. Why keep looking if it's so disappointing, life is to short be happy and do and look at things you enjoy.

  • Mssocean 14 Jul, 2012

    Cloth, fine, but do we really need to paint salt spoons? Too much time on your hands. Volunteer work, maybe??

  • boychildsmom 14 Jul, 2012

    I love this idea! I am going to make my design more incorporate some green paint that I already have on my drop cloth. This will look great with the drop cloth slip cover that I made for my sofa and my drop cloth window coverings.

  • Ewehaulmomma 14 Jul, 2012

    I appreciate the old and new helps, being a new "Martha" viewer !! Thanks!!

  • MVB29 14 Jul, 2012

    Your emails are becoming junk. You need someone new and you need to quit sending out repetitive emails on items you have had posted on your website for YEARS, YEARS and YEARS!!!!!!!!!

  • MVB29 14 Jul, 2012

    Too busy......... I can't even SEE the theme.. what a terrible photo!