First Birthday Smash Cake

1 year old Girl Smash Cake

Sister is turning the big O-N-E!  Where has the time gone?  November is our crazy month.  We have both kids’ birthdays, 8 days apart(!) and then we finish up the month with Thanksgiving.  I remember making Monkey’s birthday cake last year, about to go into labor any minute and kept thinking to myself, “just let me finish this cake. Please don’t go into labor!”

Although Monkey had a smash cake for his first birthday, I never had professional photos taken of the event and thought it would be fun if I attempted it with Sister, DIY style.  I read up on some tips, gathered ideas and went to town.


I looked into buying a photo paper backdrop online but it was super difficult to have anything shipped through our APO without paying an arm and a leg.  Then I remembered I had some canvas/duck cloth on hand for another project so I tested it to see if it would work in my situation.  Surprise! It did and this made me do a little victory dance.  I added a Gold Dots Paper Garland and some balloons and I was in business!

ellacake11 ellacake10

After my own DIY photoshoot, here are some tips I’m passing along:

  1. Light is key.  If you don’t have big fancy studio lights (which most of us don’t), utilize those windows!  I pushed my couch over to my big window and used the back of it to hold up the backdrop for these photos.
  2. Don’t crowd your space with too many props.  Besides making the space look busy, it will limit movement of your little one and may distract them from the big event…smashing that cake!
  3. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put your cake in the refrigerator.  (Go ahead, laugh.  Rookie mistake, right?) After icing the cake I was so worried that the temperature in the house would make the rosettes fall right off the cake so I put it in the refrigerator and when it came time to take pictures, the cake (and icing) was solid and Sister had a heck of a time actually digging into the cake which is why I wasn’t able to capture some really messy pictures.
  4. Set everything up while your baby is taking a nap.  This way, your little one is refreshed and ready to go and won’t get cranky (or start to pull down your set up) while you’re making your backdrop photo-ready.


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