Tuesday, May 5, 2015

In the Jungle...

I can't believe it's been over a year since posting a blog about the creation of one of my diaper cakes. Time gets away from us so fast! I'm going to try to get caught up again on my blog posts and give my awesome fans some more behind the scenes looks at my creations.

I was thrilled when I received a request for a Lion King set. There are so many adorable Lion King baby items and some great possibilities when it comes to accents that when I received the order request, I instantly started having ideas. I was even more excited that this order was the largest one to date. My customer not only wanted a large 4-tier cake, but she also wanted a coordinating buggy. I was pumped!

One of the pitfalls to doing licensed items on baby gifts is balancing costs. While these themes are so fun to work with, the costs can add up quickly. Like the previous LSU cake I had done, I had to consider the budget I was working with and make sure to include enough accents to ensure a uniform and identifiable theme while keeping costs down with coordinating, but not necessarily licensed baby items.

For this cake, I opted to create a more neutral base that was reminiscent of the Lion King baby items that were widely available. I kept with browns and greens and used these awesome blankets that had leaf patterns on them. They worked great with the leaf accents seen so frequently on Lion King paraphernalia. I also incorporated some giraffe ribbon which again was a common print seen with Lion King baby products.

Of course, I included plenty of Lion King officially licensed goodies including teethers, pacifiers, a soft book, and of course an adorable plush Simba for the cake topper. I also included a few additional washcloths, just to match the colors.

As final accents for the cake, I added some additional Lion King badges and leaf die cuts.

For the buggy which was made to coordinate, I used a matching blanket and the same ribbons I used on the cake. I included color coordinated washcloths as well. My favorite part was an adorable Simba lovey, that when positioned just right, made it look as though Simba was tucked into the buggy. I loved the effect it had! I also finished the buggy off with the same Simba badges and leaf die cuts so the two pieces were a complete unit.

Just like all my other gifts, this set became my new favorite. I love the opportunity to make the larger cakes because there is so much to work with. This cake had tons of items and visual appeal without going overboard and costing a fortune. My customer loved it, which is, as always, the best part of what I do.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

School Spirit!

In an attempt to show examples of diaper cakes that were school or team spirit based, I grabbed several items I had for my own kiddos and put together several example cakes and gifts to demonstrate what something of that nature would look like and let my potential customers know it was possible to make a diaper cake that showed loyalty to their favorite school or team. Thus was created my "Fan Series." These example cakes were created more than two years ago - I remember because I was in the middle of working on them when my labor started with my second son. Needless to say, I ended up finishing the project after the baby was born. In any case, that was the last time I created a diaper cake for a specific team, until a couple months ago when I was approached to make an LSU Tigers cake. Now, this hurt me a little since I'm an Aggie, but I had to be a good sport and I was excited about creating another team cake to add to my collection.

The LSU cake was a 2-tier "naked" cake. I found some awesome options for ribbon and finally settled on a purple ribbon with tiger and LSU logos on it. The rest of the cake was adorned with purple and gold items. I'm glad I found a supplier of dark purple washcloths because darker colors are not typical among baby items. To top the diaper cake, I found an adorable plush tiger. I also added several paw print die-cut accents in purple and gold to finish out the cake.

Now, you may notice that one of the differences between this cake and my other Fan Series cakes to date is that the decorations and color scheme created the theme rather than the baby items themselves. One big thing to remember when it comes to baby items (or other items in general) is that licensed or specialty items typically come with added costs. For those on a tighter budget or those that prefer to keep the theme more subtle, incorporating items in the chosen colors and a few theme specific decorative accents can present the theme just as effectively. It really leads to a decent amount of flexibility so a gift can be created for a whole range of budgets and personal preferences.

My customer really liked the cake which is awesome. I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to make a team spirit cake and I look forward to helping more expectant parents celebrate their teams and share their spirit with their new additions - especially if they are Aggies.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Monkey Cake!

Can I just say, I love monkey themes for babies? I really do. So when a monkey cake was requested, I was more than happy to oblige. I have frequently purchased a set of adorable green blankets with monkeys on them which give a great green and chocolate color scheme for a diaper cake. Add in some super cute monkey baby items and you can't help but have an adorable gift!

For this diaper cake, a 3-tier cake, I started with the stacked tiers. On this cake, I opted to include two blankets for the middle and bottom tier and added some waterproof multi-purpose pads to the top tier that matched the monkey blanket. I also found an adorable monkey beanie hat set that I included and a super cute monkey teether toy. Coordinating washcloths and baby lotion completed the baby items on this cake. Of course, I had to add the adorable plush monkey as a topper for this cake - I really like that monkey. To finish off this cake I added some monkey die-cuts, because obviously, I didn't have enough monkeys on this cake. They were just too cute not to include.

The final cake was adorable. My customer loved it. If I had one complaint, it would be the lighting when I photographed it since it ended up with a bit of a glare on the top. Natural lighting really can cause issues at times! Regardless, the cake was a winner, so I can't really complain too much.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dinos!

The Noah's Ark "diaper cake" led to another order since my friend's co-workers were so impressed by that one. This time, I had the opportunity to create a cake using some blankets that I'd been waiting to use with some adorable dinosaurs on them. I couldn't wait to put it together and add all the details and decorations!

This cake was truly fun and I love the vibrant colors. The order was for a 2-tier covered cake so I began as usual with the stacked tiers and, for this cake, the dinosaur blankets. I added wash cloths, socks, spoons, and other baby goodies to the cake to provide some usable baby items (along with the diapers and blankets).

My favorite part of this diaper cake was the dinosaur die-cut accents. I was fortunate enough to have designs that matched pretty closely to the dinosaurs on the blankets, so I made them in colors to match. It was so exciting to be able to add this kind of detail to the diaper cake. The topper for the cake was also a die-cut dinosaur, but a much larger one. For this I actually placed two of them back to back so there was a finished look from all sides of the cake. Die-cut toppers are a great option as they won't add as much to the final cost of the cake as a plush toy will. This means they are really advantageous for those with a limited budget and they still help to give the cake a finished, polished look.

My customer loved the cake which as I've said before is one of my main goals. I really love how this cake turned out!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Butterflies and Flowers

Not long after creating my Noah's Ark "diaper cake," another friend of mine contacted me about creating a diaper cake for a friend of hers. She wasn't sure what would work, so I asked for the registry information to see if I could find some inspiration. Fortunately, a lot stood out to me. The expectant mama had registered for a lot of butterfly items and a few thing with flowers. One thing in particular was a butterfly and flower carrier toy set that I decided to use to guide the direction of the cake.

My friend wanted a "naked" cake, so I created the form and began to add items that coordinated with the toy set which was hot pink and pale pink with a little bit of yellow. I created some adorable washcloth butterflies which is something I've done before, but these were smaller and had a different look to them. I also added several washcloth flowers to coordinate as well. I also included some additional items such as socks and teethers. The final decorations included some die-cut flowers.

I really like how this cake included a lot of usable baby items which is a signature thing about my diaper cakes (unless requested otherwise). My friend loved it and so did the mom to be, which is always my main hope.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Unique Diaper Gift for the Mom with Everything

I was contacted by an individual requesting a unique gift for a third time mom. The expectant mom pretty much had everything she needed for a new baby, but my customer was looking for something diaper cake related and small. More importantly, she was looking for something unique. She mentioned that the mom was doing a jungle sort of theme.

This discussion sparked me with some inspiration, so while my potential customer was looking over some various buggies I had available, I grabbed some items I had in stock and put together a unique gift that I had been wanting to try out. I figured I'd offer it to her and if she didn't want it, it was no big deal and I'd be happy to get her the buggy of her choice.

Inspired by some other projects I had seen I wanted to make a jungle tree with a monkey. I used diapers on the base for a portion of the structure and wrapped it up in a brown blanket. Additional diapers and a leaf printed blanket created the canopy for the tree. I added a few washcloth flowers at the base of the tree to give a few additional baby items. The top of the tree also included a washcloth.

I presented the picture to my customer and let her know my final vision included a plush monkey. If she liked this idea, I'd order the monkey and she'd have a truly unique gift.

Well, she absolutely loved the tree and it provided several baby items in a smaller gift than a large diaper cake. I ordered the monkey and added to the tree for the final gift. If we are looking at it realistically, the monkey is a bit big, the trunk a bit wide, but the general idea is there and it's still adorable. I would love the opportunity to create another similar gift in the future. I'd likely make a few tweaks to make the trunk narrower and taller, but otherwise, I think it's a fantastically adorable concept! I love opportunities like this that stretch my creativity!

Totally Adorable, and I Ain't Lion...

Ok, so the post title needs a little work...

After the craziness that went into projects just previous to this one, I was thankful to have a break from the big challenges and make a more "traditional" cake, so to speak. My customer for this cake wanted a lion cake, but wanted it to be simple. The colors were light blue and light orange.

Creating this cake was really fun and though it wasn't as complex as some projects I've done, it wasn't a cakewalk either. See what I did there? Yeah, I really shouldn't try to be funny. Light orange sounds easy enough, but it's not as simple as one would think. There are limitations on the availability of color options when it comes to baby items. There is a little more leeway with decorations, but I've had to get creative in the past. I was very fortunate with this cake to have exactly what I needed - and I used up the last of some items like light orange washcloths which I haven't seen since. I was also able to find some light orange ribbon which helped out greatly. Add some socks and baby utensils that were not quite light orange, but orange nonetheless and I had everything for a completed cake.

For extra accents on this cake I added an adorable plush lion, which, I'll be honest, was maybe a little big for the cake, but it was way too cute to pass up. I really think that this size plush is the biggest that can work for a diaper cake this size. I also added some little lion head accents which were quite adorable.

This cake came together really nicely and my customer loved it. One of the great things about this cake is that the theme was created by one plush animal and decorations. All the other items were basic baby items in particular colors. This makes it a really good option if people are on a budget since a lot of design specific items tend to come with higher costs. The baby items included on the cake are no less usable, and don't conflict with a nursery theme if one has been selected by the mom. Despite this cake being a more clean and less complex cake, it has quickly become one of my favorite creations. I think it's just adorable.