With Rhys turning 1 this week and me being such an avid Pinterest pinner, it was only natural that I’d have a board dedicated to kiddies birthdays!
I wanted to do some kind of photo shoot for him so that we’d have some lovely memories to look back on and one thing that really stood out to me was the Cake Smash.
Incase you don’t know what one is, a cake smash is pretty much putting a birthday cake in front of your little one and letting them go crazy with it – while capturing the wonderful moments on camera!
I loved the idea so much that I’ve ended up with a whole board dedicated to them and gathered a load of inspiration and tips for Rhys’s very own cake smash.
Now they can get messy, very very messy so here are my top tips on how to make the best cake smash:
1- Be prepared
Make sure to have everything set up and ready before you sit your little one by the cake. The last thing you want is to be hanging up the bunting while buba gets his hands on the cake and you’ve missed that pre-craziness picture moment!
I got everything set up while Rhys was napping – the balloons, the bunting and the chalkboard all in place. As soon as Rhys woke up I put him in his outfit and while he and my mum played in the kitchen (avoiding any messy play) I popped the whip cream and toppings on the cake.
I then placed the cake in position, got ready with the camera and gave mum the signal to sit Rhys in front of the camera.
2 – Don’t go at it alone
If it’s just you and bambino then you could risk them being more interested in you and the camera than the cake. Have another adult with you that can keep them focused and excited about the fun at hand (and help you with cleaning up the mess after!)
My mum was fab and kept Rhys busy while I prepped his cake, played peekaboo with him to try and make him smile during the cake smash and got him spoons and a bucket to keep him interested. She also ran the bath for him while I got the majority of cake off him in the garden.
3 – Wet wipes at the ready!
Have supplies within arms reach to get little one cleaned up as much as you can. Rhys had lots of sticky crumbs on him so I just stripped off his vest, brushed the crumbs off with that and then used wet wipes to get of the excess whipped cream.
We then popped him in the bath and made him squeaky clean again (until dinner time when I let him feed himself!)
4 – Don’t expect to eat the cake!
In most cake smashes I’ve seen the children are let loose on the most extravagant and expensive looking cakes. That’s all well and good as the pictures look fab but as a DIY lover I’d rather do things on a budget, and use that money on other things for Rhys.
I just bought two small cakes, one victoria sponge and one lemon dazzle – both £1 each. I placed one on top of the other and added the toppings.
I was expecting the cake to get more demolished than it did, but Rhys was actually quite dainty with it! Even so, the spoon he was using was then being poked all around the decking and after the cream had melted the cake didn’t look particularly appetising so we didn’t even attempt to eat it!
5 – Go for whipped cream
I’ve never been a fan of icing, I’m definitely a buttercream lover. In fact recent pregnancy cravings have driven me to eating bowlfuls of it on it’s own!
I also thought that it would make for a much easier cake smash as it’s easier to grab and smash about than icing is. At first I was going to use it for the topping but then one of the yummy mummies on twitter told me that she’d used strawberries and whipped cream and I realised how much easier and this would be!
I opted for smarties and chocolate stars instead of strawberries but the whip cream was simple to prepare (bought in a squirty cream bottle), quick to apply and looked awesome in the pictures, even once it had melted a little.
6 – Cheap clothes
Whipped cream does wash away but I decided that instead of buying a new outfit I’d try to make one out of what we already had. I used one of Rhys’s white vests and stuck on a tie that I cut out of some old scrap material I had.
I then cut out a number one out of the same material and stuck it to a party hat which Rhys actually kept on!!
7 – Do it outside
Unless you have a clear space in your home which you can keep clean I would try to do the cake smash outside (weather permitting of course) . That way if little one gets distracted, it doesn’t matter if he wanders around getting his sticky fingers everywhere!
We were really lucky to have a sunny day with a cool breeze, but if the weather is terrible then I’d suggest hanging a bed sheet on the wall (to avoid sticky fingers, and doing the cake smash on laminated flooring. You could even use table cloth for bambino to sit on to keep the floor clean.
8 – Good lighting
Natural lighting is the number one for any good photo shoot. We were outside and our garden get’s a lot of sun so the lighting worked really well (although it may have been a little bright).
9 – Muma make no effort today
You’re probably going to get a tad bit messy in this too so there’s no point in making much of an effort. I just wore old leggings and a baggy top which were used to wipes my hands that got all cake.
A couple of times I had to put my hands in the cake to encourage Rhys and before putting my hands back on Pete’s camera (he would not have been impressed) my top was the easiest place to wipe them!
10 – Have fun!
Sorry for the cliche tip but it’s true. Just go with it. If little one wants to face dive the cake let them, if they’d rather run off and pop the balloons that’s ok too! A cake smash is simply a showcase of how awesome your little one is and a way to show them how funny/quirky and sometimes let’s be honest – odd they were at 1!
Here are some of my favourite snaps from the day that I’m going to try and get on a canvas.
I’d love to see your cake smashes, they’re such a fab way to share little ones 1st birthday!