Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Owls All Over (Part II)

When I was planning the baby shower for my friend, I really wanted everything to coordinate. Who doesn't, right? That's what pulls a party together. A cohesive look. If you are like me, you want everything to match. Most of the showers I attend, I come as an attendee. A few of them I'm part of the planning, but not many. Most of the time for orders I make diaper cakes to match a theme of a shower. I only hope that the cake coordinates since I don't often see pictures. I've made a few gift sets with diaper cakes that coordinate with other items, bouquets or whatever to go along with a theme, but again, I'm not usually part of any of the decorating. This time was different.

As previously mentioned, my friend loves owls, so I wanted to do an owl themed shower. I made sure that accents and ribbon that were on the diaper cake were seen in other places at the shower. I made decorations that pulled in the same colors and designs that were on the cake.

The individual mobile pieces
The first item I made was what I called a mobile. It was the best descriptor I could come up with. Basically, it was made up of decorated shapes with pictures and images that were hung by string. Accents on the cake had an owl image that matched the shower invitations. The same image was on some of the pieces of the mobile. I used scalloped edges which coordinated with the accents on the diaper cake as well. I also pulled in some other images of owls and onsies with text like "Look Whooo!" and "Little Hoot" on the mobile.

Finished mobile as it hung
Next, I made a banner with the baby's name. It was a standard pennant banner. The letters coordinated with the theme colors and I added extra accents to the ends that matched the mobile.

(Sadly, not my TV.)
The final item I made for the shower was cupcake toppers. These toppers were made in the same design as the accents on the diaper cake with the owl image and scalloped edged background. They were double sided so they looked cute from every angle.

Cupcake toppers in various
color combinations
Scalloped edge owl accent
on the diaper cake
In addition to the decorations I made, we added even more accents to coordinate with the overall theme. We had orange flowers displayed in multiple vases around the shower area. We wrapped some of the owl ribbon from the diaper cake around the vases. We also had orange, brown, and turquoise balloons displayed. And because I can't help but go over the top, I made an owl out of a pineapple and some other fruits and made owl chocolate molds.

It was exciting to see how so many decorations could pull the theme together and I loved being able to create so many items that could coordinate with the diaper cake so well. I'm considering offering some of the shower decorations as options for diaper cake customers. It would certainly help to make shower prep easier and really ensure the overall theme is tied together. I'd love feedback on this idea! Please let me know either in the comment section of on my Facebook page!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Owls All Over (Part I)

If you've read my recent posts, you saw that I made an adorable owl cake for a friend and customer with some super cute owls made of completely usable washcloths. You probably also noted that I mentioned I was using that cake as practice for a shower I was throwing for a close friend of mine who loves owls. This diaper cake was epic. I have to say that it's one of my favorites (but I also have to be honest that most of my cakes become favorites) and I think I really achieved something I've never seen before in the diaper cake world: a cloth diaper diaper cake that rivals traditional diaper cakes. This cake left nothing to be desired when it comes to diaper cakes. I'm certainly proud to have it in my gallery of works.

My friend had registered for prefold diapers (these are the ones most people think of when they hear about cloth diapering and they are more often than not used as burp cloths these days) so that is what I used to form the cake. With careful folding, the diapers were formed into spiraled tiers that have become my standard style for diaper cakes. After the cake was built, I commenced with decorating. I had chosen turquoise, orange, and brown for the shower colors. Using those colors and some owl print and striped ribbons, I decorated the cake. The cake was also adorned with the washcloth owls in coordinating colors. A few pairs of socks and a handmade crocheted plush owl were added as accents. One more detail added to the cake was several owl "badges" that coordinated with the shower invitation and other decorations for the shower. A few more decorative additions and the cake was finished.

This cake thrilled me to no end. It looked so far gone from the other cloth diaper diaper cakes I had made for practice, and in my opinion, blew them out of the water. At first glance, it's almost difficult to tell that this cake was made with cloth diapers instead of disposable. It certainly proves that just because a mom chooses to cloth diaper, she doesn't have to miss out on a diaper cake at her shower. My friend adored the cake, but I'll be honest, I didn't really have any doubts.

 Please check back for the follow-up post that will show you all the shower decorations and accents that coordinated with this cake! I'm hoping to make various decorations available on future orders so customers can have a truly cohesive shower.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monkey Trike!

You would not believe how excited I was to get my first order for a trike. I had made a few prior to this request and I was armed and ready with new ideas and techniques. What can I say, after making a few, there was definite room for improvement and that's exactly what I intended to do, improve.

The request for this trike was for a monkey theme which worked out wonderfully since monkeys are very popular on baby items and once we decided on the color green, I knew just which blankets to order for this trike. I built this one up slightly different than the ones I had done in the past. This one had the back wheels positioned outside of the front wheel rather than just behind. This gave the trike more stability and made it look more like a trike in pictures. I used several baby items to build it up including blankets, washcloths, a burp cloth, and bottle; and of course, the monkey driver. Finished off with ribbons, this gift was done.

I am so proud of how this one turned out and I learned some new tricks along the way. These trikes are so fun to make and I can't wait for another opportunity. My customer loved it, of course, and I now have one more awesome gift to brag about.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Little Man

It seems that "Little Man" is becoming quite the popular theme. I've made two cakes within the past 4 months with that theme and I'm in talks for a possible third. My first Little Man request came in December. The colors selected were green and blue and my customer wanted to incorporate mustaches, bodysuits, and bow ties.

I had difficulty finding appropriate baby items for the cake that would match the theme that were also at a reasonable price, so I relied heavily on decorations to set the stage, so to speak. I made the 2-tier cake as requested and covered the tiers in blankets to match the colors selected. I added baby items to match the colors as well. For the topper, I wanted to do a mustache on a stick. For that, I created a plush crocheted mustache and attached it to the top of the cake on a tall dowel. Mustache, bow tie, and bodysuit printed accents were added, also in coordinating colors.

The cake was adorable and achieved the look I was going for. It went over great with my customer. This cake is a great example about how any theme is possible. I like to pull from the blankets I use, the baby items, and/or the decorations to create the theme I'm going for. Sometimes, baby items are available, sometimes, they are not, but that doesn't mean that you are restricted from getting what you want.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Owl Tell You All About It

This cake was a hoot! Ok, maybe not a hoot, but I had to get in the owl jokes somehow. This cake was extremely fun though. If you haven't guessed, my next requested cake was an owl cake. I was thrilled beyond belief for two reasons. First, I loved the challenge. Owls are crazy popular these days and it's fun to jump right in there and see what I can do. Second, a close friend of mine was expecting a baby and I was hoping to do an owl theme for her shower, so this let me try things out a bit as a sort of practice cake to see what I could come up with that might be incorporated in my friends diaper cake as well.

Final owl concept with ear tufts and belly patch
Early owl concept, no ear tufts
I was determined to find something that would work for this cake, but I had one big snag. The color scheme was hot pink and lime. While owls aren't terribly difficult to find in baby items, finding them in those colors proved to be a bit tricky. I had to pull out all the stops and see how I could get this done. Fortunately, because I had  obtained hot pink wash cloths for my "About to Pop" cake, I knew I could incorporate those. What I wanted to do was make some washcloth owls, but had no idea how. Fortunately, after playing around a bit and trying to find instructions (which didn't exist, except for a paid pattern) I came up with my own design for creating some adorable little owls. It seemed the more the I worked on them, the cuter they got. The best part of all is that they are completely usable after they are disassembled. I was so excited to find another washcloth creation that could be added to a diaper cake, facilitate a theme, and provide a new mom with a usable baby item. Multi-tasking decorations. As if all of that wasn't enough, these owls can be made out of washcloths of any color meaning that there is more variety in color schemes for the same basic decoration. The creation of these little owls inspired me to create a new album on Facebook that highlighted the different things I can make with washcloths. These little "washcloth creations" can be used as extra accents and decorations on diaper cakes or other gifts and some can even be stand-alone gifts. Its wonderful!

With the owls made, my cake was pretty much done. This cake was a "naked" cake, so with the diapers stacked, ribbon secured, and the owls applied, only a few more accents were needed. I added some socks and no-scratch mittens to the middle tier as the owls were placed on the top and bottom tiers. To finish off the cake, I made a crocheted plush owl in the chosen colors and used it to adorn the top of the cake. This owl could be an adorable keepsake from the shower or be given to the baby as a play toy. Some paper shred finished off this cake.

I was beyond thrilled with the outcome of this cake. It definitely added to my repertoire, adding variety and more customization that could be done to future cakes. It also gave me a launch point for ideas for my friend's cake. Of course, my customer loved the outcome which is better than me being happy about it. I look forward to more owl cakes and more opportunities to test my creativity.