Little croissant is 15 months now, and I just started to edit his cake smash + birthday photos. If it tells you something, prepare to have a similar rhythm for life when you become a parent But wow how time flies. I still feel like making Mini Victoria Sponge to celebrate his first month and little croissant is officially a toddler now!!
If there’s no COVID-19 going around, I probably would just hire a professional photographer to do little croissant’s photos. It is not hard, but time-consuming to DIY cake smash photo. However, it is definitely possible (and safe) to do it at your own home! I will write an ideal timeline below from what I learned and the list of supplies I got. If you don’t have help, the key is to do it little by little every day. Don’t be discouraged In the end, I am very happy with the photos and glad I didn’t skip it.
Best tips I have for you:
1. Separate the cake smash photoshoot and first birthday party photoshoot into two occasions. Your baby won’t corporate with two photoshoots in one day and you will be burnt out too.
2. Which means you will need two cakes. You can either buy or bake them yourself. The one I baked for little croissant’s actual birthday is a baby-friendly one – low sugar, less oil, made with banana (his favorite), and ice with low sugar cream cheese frosting. For cake smash? I did King Arthur Flour’s chocolate zucchini cake. I love it but little croissant didn’t seem to care So by all means use cake mix. Save yourself some time and focus on making it pretty!
3. If you are terrible at frosting cakes like I do, use coconut flakes!!! You don’t need to worry about if your frosting is smooth enough. Just scoop lots and lots of coconut flakes onto the cake and call it a day.
4. Start prepping things early. I thought I have started early enough, but some of the birthday party stuff didn’t arrive until way after little croissant’s first birthday. So have fun planning and start shopping early. It will also reduce your pressure for later on.
5. But do it little by little! Bake the cake in one day, maybe ice it the day after. Decorate the wall a week in advance when your baby is napping. It can be flexible, just don’t put all the tasks together. Again, you will burn out.
Supplies I got:
1. A white backdrop – If you have a perfect white wall with enough lighting towards that wall, then you don’t need to buy a backdrop. But I found it very handy, especially thinking how many future birthdays I can use it for. I have considered to iron it, but it was clearly too much work for a mom. I liked the raw feeling too!
2. Artificial leaves – I chose a naturetheme with green and craft brown as the main colors. So buying a bunch of artificial leaves gives me the freedom to decorate it however I want.
3. Burlap banners – I like the unfinished & natural look it gives. Plus it’s cheaper than many other banners (especially those designed for first birthdays)!
4. Craft paper windmill – Buy craft paper and make it yourself. It’s cheap, fun and looks great!
5. Cake smash outfit – you can use regular outfits, but I found these looks so cute in photos and they’re not expensive at all.
6. Wood cake stand – again, go with the nature theme.
2-3 months before DIY cake smash photo/birthday
Brainstorm the thyme, create a Pinterest board, pick the recipe for cakes, and start to buy supplies.
It’s never too early to buy stuff, especially if you buy supplies from Etsy. Small business owners don’t have the resources like Amazon do, so expect a longer delivery frame.
1-2 weeks before
Start to set up the backdrop and decorations. You can use the same set up for both cake smash and 1st birthday photo. Do the cake smash later if you worry it will mess up the backdrop and decorations.
2 days before
Bake the cake and make all the other components for the cake.
1 day before
Frost and assemble the cake. Keep it in the fridge.
The day of cake smash
Make sure you pick a good time (AKA when your baby is well-fed, happy, and willing to corporate). Before that, get everything ready. Test the position of the cake. Test your camera setting. And start the photoshoot! Your baby may have a good manner and doesn’t want to destroy the cake you carefully made – destroy it for her/him. Most importantly, have fun!
The post is getting long so I think here we have it! How to DIY cake smash photo at your own home. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below Awww I’m going to look at little croissant’s cake smash photos again until he woke up from his nap. Happy 1st birthday my dearest baby! I love you to the moon and back!