Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Gift Concept for Easter or Whenever

With Easter only a week away, I was again inspired to create a holiday baby gift. Ok, technically, I made it several weeks ago, but now, you get the inside scoop on my latest creation. Over the past couple of months I've created unique holiday inspired mini diaper cakes that brought to diaper cakes new ideas for themes. This month, I turned to the next major holiday: Easter. While I originally intended to create an Easter inspired diaper cake, I decided to go in a different direction. After all, an Easter basket is much more iconic.

You may be familiar with one basket I made in the past for a friend who was expecting a baby girl. The basket was intended as a centerpiece for her shower and given that the new baby was to be given the name Rose, I felt it was especially appropriate to create a Baby Bouquet for her. This was no ordinary bouquet, however, and I developed a diaper basket to hold the bouquet. (Check out the inside scoop here) The basket was created with ribbon woven into hand-rolled diapers and gave an awesome effect.

So, incorporating this idea to a certain extent and adding in Easter as a theme, I created a new option for baby gifts: the Easter Basket. This basket, similar to the first one I made, was formed of completely usable baby items - no actually basket was included. This basket was started as a spiral diaper cake with diapers creating the base of the basket. A burp cloth was used to wrap and decorate the outside of the basket and a handle was formed with a coordinating burp cloth making the basket cohesive. The basket was then filled with crinkle paper (rather than plastic grass). A stuffed bunny and wash cloth roses were then included to fill the basket with usable baby items and complete the effect.

Of course, the most exciting thing about this gift is that it's not limited to an Easter theme. This basket can be filled with a baby bouquet as it is here, or it can be filled with Baby Candy (baby items rolled and wrapped to resemble candy) or other baby items. The size is also variable, although larger size baskets may require structural adjustments. I'm excited about this newest addition to my product line, although, because of the versatility pricing may be a bit difficult to figure. The most exciting part of this project is that while many of the gifts that I make are available in similar forms from other boutiques and diaper cake producers, I have never seen a basket similar to this one, making it an incredibly unique option for a gift.

Versatility of Baby Buggies

Recently, a friend contacted me seeking a baby gift for a friend of hers. She wanted a buggy and while she started out saying anything was fine, after some discussion about specifics, we turned to looking at the expectant mom's registry. This really is my preferred method for developing baby gifts. I do have some ready-made inventory in stock which is great for last minute gifts, give-aways, auctions, moms who are unsure what they need or want, etc.; however, I feel customized gifts are more personal and take into account items that the mom wants (assuming she knows, of course). I never was particular about coordinating blankets with my little one's nursery, but many people are and by using registry items as a guideline, even if specific items can't be incorporated in the gift, a diaper cake, buggy, bouquet, or other gift can be made to coordinate and is sure to be a gift the expectant mom enjoys. Of course, ideally, registry items would be able to be used. This, luckily was the case for my friend's friend, though it did take me out of the box a bit and I incorporated registry items in new ways.

As I mentioned, my friend requested a buggy which are a very popular item since they are less commonly seen and tend to be more compact (and lower in cost) than a diaper cake but carry a lot of the same impact. I began "construction" with hand rolled diapers. The registry contained burp cloths which I felt could be incorporated beautifully where I traditionally use a blanket around the main structure of the buggy. A baby duck printed hat was used for the "blanket" in the buggy and matching baby mittens decorated the front. The hat and the mittens were both on the registry.

Aside from the use of the burp cloths and hat which were fun alternatives to my regular "components" I like that this gender neutral buggy stood out from the commonly seen green in gender neutral items. Yellow is, of course, also commonly used, but the beaks on the ducks printed on the hat and mittens really called for the use of orange on the buggy hood which really makes this buggy stand out. The printed hat allowed for the use of solid colors around the buggy and pulled it together quite well.

I also updated the packaging for the buggy in a small way. Buggies are presented to the mom-to-be (unless otherwise requested) on a cake board and shrink-wrapped. The wrapping is tied with curling ribbon and a tag is attached to let the recipient know what items are included in the gift. For this buggy, I included crinkle paper on the base to give it a more professional look. The effect turned out just as I had hoped and gave a great final presentation.  My friend seemed pleased with the buggy and I hope the expectant mom also enjoyed this adorable presentation of items she selected as well as a few extras.