Last week we finally did our cake smash for our daughters 1st birthday and it's only fuelled my Pinterest addiction. I spent days searching through lots of amazing pictures for inspiration and trying to figure out what would go well together. At one point there was going to be a tissue paper flamingo in there but we (by which I really meant I, because my partner just has to bear the pain of listening to my thought process on these matters) decided to keep it simple as we wanted the focus of the pictures to be my daughter and not a zoo of animals around her. I'm not normally one for pink but I liked the thought of balancing it out with blue and then a little bit of gold to add some sparkle.
So here is a brief break down of what you need to think about before the day and links to the tutorials I used.
As I mentioned, we tried to keep it simple for the background but there was a couple of things I wanted to get in there so that we broke up the stark white a little.
Tissue Paper Number
There are lots of different way to do this on Pinterest but I used a mixture of a couple of different tutorials. I started off by cutting the 1 out of some cardboard boxes we had left from her birthday and duck-taped pieces together. I then created tissue paper pompoms to cover the main area of the number, but only used one straight line of them.
This meant their was lots of little gaps but I filled this with twisted pieces of tissue so that I had more control over the shape of the 1 and didn't make it too think with extra pompoms.
I used my Cricut cutting machine to cut out the bunting from card I bought on ebay but you can easily cut this using scissors and a hole punch. I then just stringed it all up using parcel string but you can use ribbon if you want the colour showing. I had made a blue triangle one as well but decided on the day it would be too much. I'm still glad I did it as better taking more with you than getting there and thinking something is missing when you lay it all out.
There are lots of other styles and themes your can use for your inspiration. Check out my Cake Smash Pinterest board for more ideas.
You may want to keep things simple here and just go for a naked baby in nappy but I really wanted to use a tutu. I love this easy no sew tutu by MomDot as it's finished in no time at all and you can go with whatever colours and lengths you want.
The only thing I'd say is that a tutu done this way means it's itchy around the waistband and if it was against delicate baby skin could be sore, so it's definitely best to use a vest with it so that your baby stays happy throughout the shoot.
I also created a flower headband to further soften the image and create a kind of fairy feel to the image. You can find my tutorial for this on Cut Out and Keep
The cake is the most important element, apart from your little one of course. I spent a lot of time looking up sugarless healthy options but as a friend pointed out, your baby will eat such a small amount of this cake that it's not really worth the cost or time unless it's something you are really passionate about.
I've made a lot of cakes in my time but none have come out as well as this super easy victoria sponge by Mary Berry. I've never had a cake rise so flat and it split perfectly between my 3 six inch cake tins.
I tried my hand at an ombre cake but my icing skills are not great. It came out looking not too bad but you should check out the tutorial by Style Sweet CA to see how it really should be done
The cake topper is just left over bits of card from the bunting, more parcel string and 2 wooden skewers. If you don't think you could cut out the letters, then you could use a gold sharpie or buy stick on letters instead.
I then took a plastic cake stand I've had lying around for years and glued some flowers around the edge with a glue gun. For more info on how to make the flowers then check out my headband tutorial above.
The one thing you can't plan for in a cake smash is if your child will actually want to smash the cake. I'm not going to lie, a lot of this smashing was done my me, as even the lure of a drumstick didn't lead to more than a light tap on the cake...which is surprising considering the mess she makes around the house! However, if there is little cake smashing going on then why not jump in on the action and have a family smash shoot (if only I'd thought of this in advance, we would have made ourselves look presentable)