Friday, December 24, 2010

Tis the Season...

Since Christmas is nearly upon us, I wanted to step outside of the traditional blue and pink box and explore other theme options. Now, one problem I have run into is that there seems to be a lack of Christmas-themed (or other holidays for that matter) baby blankets. These provide a key component in what makes my diaper cakes stand apart from many others. Blankets, towels, sheets, or similar baby items create the design and main decoration for my diaper cakes and often form the foundation of a theme.

I decided to create a sample cake using some items I had to create a concept for future holiday themed diaper cakes. I was lucky enough to have a Christmas receiving blanket which provided the foundation for the cake. Another thing I wanted to experiment with was the size. I wanted to see how a smaller cake would look and see if it held the same appeal as the larger cakes. This could provide a spring-board for mini diaper cakes to fill the gap of customers that desired a less cumbersome cake or needed multiple cakes but needed to keep within a tighter budget.

Like with all of my diaper cakes, I started with hand-rolled diapers. The tiers were smaller in circumference, but I felt that the cake still needed at least two of them to give the same look as a larger cake. I used the Christmas receiving blanket on the lower tier and a red wash cloth for the upper tier (although, truth be told, it didn't quite fit and a future cake would benefit from two wash cloths). Holiday specific baby items are fairly easy to come by, but the variety is limited compared to what is typically found. I chose to use items that can be found year-round (with the exception of the topper) since I had them in stock - after all, this cake was for display and experimentation. White socks and a green pacifier provided decoration. A snowman topper was added as the final touch along with appropriate colored ribbons.

Over all, I'm happy with the way it turned out. The topper is a bit large, but still within an acceptable range for this size cake. I also like that despite that fact that this cake is much smaller, it still holds a lot of the same appeal that a larger cake would have. Major differences between this 2-tier cake and a standard one are fewer diapers (at least 10 less) and blankets or towels used (as this cake only allows for one larger item). The size mandates either a burp cloth or wash cloths for the top tier, which are, of course, wonderfully usable baby items. Smaller baby items like toys, teethers, etc. can just as easily adorn the sides of these cakes just as they would on the larger cakes, though size of the individual accents would need to be a factor so as not to overpower the whole cake. I believe this trial of mine was a success and in the future, I may continue to produce these mini cakes along with the larger ones and other gifts I make. And, of course, I'll continue to try out new gifts on a continuing basis.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Buggy Order!

It seems the more the baby buggies are seen, the more popular they are becoming. Diaper cakes are still popular as gifts and centerpieces, but I think that the novelty is starting to wear off. It is hard to attend a shower without seeing one somewhere. So, while their popularity is wonderful, it certainly encourages new ideas and gifts. My buggies got a lot of oohs and ahhs at the craft fair I had participated in and a buggy sale was the only one I made that weekend. They are less common and since they are a little smaller, they fill a niche that was previously void - small, affordable, adorable, and clever.

I recently received an e-mail from a friend wishing for a small cake or gift to act as a centerpiece at a shower. She opted for a buggy. I was limited for time on this particular gift, so it made matching the mom-to-be's character nursery theme a little difficult (most of the character items had to be ordered online). Instead, we decided it would be best to create a basic boy buggy.

I approached this project with the idea that I'd use a basic non-themed design so as not to conflict with the chosen theme. I avoided items with pictures like cars and sports items and selected a simple striped design for the main portion of the buggy. I hand rolled the diapers to form the structure and added the details. To this buggy, I added a teether as well. I printed up character sticker labels which matched the nursery theme to apply to the decorative ribbon around the buggy. This gave it a personal touch for the expectant mom and allowed the additional detail without ordering specially made baby items (since I didn't have the time before the date of the shower) or ruining any of the items included in the buggy.

Overall, I think my friend was pleased. She mentioned that the buggy was for a centerpiece so I asked if she wanted it shrink wrapped. She said to go ahead and wrap it and they could undo it if they felt it would look better as a centerpiece. She picked it up a few days before the shower. I sure hope the expectant mom liked it. I'm happy to get those extra little challenges to see what I can come up with!