Friday, September 23, 2011

Let's Make a Cake :: Diaper Cake Tutorial

One of my favorite gifts to make for baby showers/diaper parties is the Diaper Cake.  I experimented on one for one of my best friends last year and now I’m hooked!  There are several tutorials out there with good information, but I decided I would create my own tutorial to throw in the mix.  Sometimes the photos I find online of diaper cakes are WAY too busy for my taste and some of them just drown you in steps.  I wanted to create a tutorial that is super simple, so anyone can do it!  Today, my focus example is actually two diaper cakes, for a TWIN Diaper Party.  (O:

My good friend is pregnant with twin boys and her diaper party is this weekend.  I knew she and her husband were decorating the boys’ room in a Cards vs Cubs theme (starting that ol’ rivalry early!) ;-)  A few weeks ago I came across some soft baby baseball mitt and ball sets in the perfect colors of royal blue and cardinal red!  I didn’t know at the time how I would use them, but I knew I needed them.  ;-)  Once I decided to whip together a couple diaper cakes for the diaper party, I knew these would make the perfect toppers!

Let’s start with a supply list:

Diapers:  This will vary depending on the size of your cake.  For this example, I used 23 per cake.  (I should have used one more for each..I will explain later)
Mini Rubber Bands:  I use the kind that you can find in the baby section at Walmart, used for little girl’s hair.
Big Rubber Bands:  One for each layer of your cake (just a regular sized rubber band, but for the sake of descriptions later, we will call them Big rubber bands)
Cake Topper
Coordinating ribbon:  Thick enough to cover the middle and hide all the rubber bands.
Extras:  Socks, spoons, travel size lotion/shampoo/etc, pacifiers, brush/comb, whatever you want!

**Disclaimer:  Please excuse the spray paint left over on my fingers in these photos…I had been working on another craft idea before this one and wasn’t very smart about watching the paint!  Also, please excuse the poor photo quality.  By the time I decided to turn this into a tutorial, I was too lazy to run and get the good camera. ;-)

The first step is, of course, to roll your diapers.  I like to start at the “top” end and roll as to cover up the design on the Velcro section.  Try to make your rolls as tight and straight as you can.

Once your diaper is completely rolled, secure it in the middle with one of the mini rubber bands.  I use Pampers Swaddlers brand diapers and they have this handy little yellow line running down the center, so they are very easy to rubber band in the middle!  If your diapers don’t have this line, just eye it up and make sure all your rubber bands are at about the same spot.  (This makes hiding them with the ribbon much easier!)

Once all your diapers are rolled, it’s time to start putting each layer together.  I used a plastic toddler plate as my base, so she can use them when the boys get bigger.  Another easy base is a cut out piece of cardboard wrapped in coordinating paper, or even white paper would be fine.

My cake only had 2 layers and I knew I needed 8 diapers for the top layer.  So I used all the remaining rolls for the bottom layer.  As I mentioned, I really should have had one more for the bottom layer, but that would have meant opening another package of diapers, so I decided against it. 

There is no magic trick to gathering all the rolls to create a layer, you just have to be quick and group them all together- try to get the group to stand on its own to free your hands for the next step.  It doesn’t matter at this point if your layer is perfectly round; you can adjust them once you secure them with the big rubber band. 

Once you have all the rolls standing together, take your big rubber band and stretch it around the entire layer.  This is what will keep your rolls from shifting when you add the ribbon.  Now, let’s take a look at what Not to do…this is an example of my cake right after I put the rubber band around the layer. 

Do you notice how you can see the ends of some of the rolls?  It doesn’t make for a very clean looking cake.  I always make sure all the ends are rotated to the middle, so the outside perimeter of the cake is nothing but smooth little rolls.

Much better. (O:

Once you have your other layers completed, like so:

It’s time to stack your cake!  

Once you have your layers stacked, and you’ve rotated the layers to have your best sides forward, it’s time to start decorating!  For this cake, I used double sided tape to secure my ribbon.  I will Definitely do this again- it worked perfectly!  Start your ribbon in the back and make sure to keep it centered all the way around your cake.  Add another piece of double sided tape at the end of the ribbon, and voila!  (*Note:  If you have more decorations, maybe some buttons even, the ribbon placed in the back isn’t as important because you can cover the end with a sock, button, etc.)

Finish adding ribbon to each layer of your cake.  At this time, you would also add any extras you have.  (I will post an example of the other diaper cake I’ve made at the end of this tutorial- it has lots of cute extras).  Now add your topper.  I wanted the baseball mitts to stand up a little bit, so I took a small piece of cardboard and stuck it in the middle of the top layer, then leaned the mitt on the cardboard.  I also added some more tape to help it stay still.  Once you’ve added your topper and possible extras, step back and take a look at your handiwork!

Here is a look at the other diaper cake I put together last year.  It had some handmade burp cloths and receiving blankets adding in, as well as lots of fun extras!  (O:

A year ago, I never would have guessed a diaper cake could be This Easy…but now you and I both know that something can be easy AND cute!  Good luck in your diaper cake adventures!! (O:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ribbons and Rejoicing!

This past weekend I was blessed to participate in part of a local Women's Retreat.  Several months ago, a coworker asked if I would be interested in hosting a session at the retreat doing something crafty.  After much discussion (and praying for courage, lol), I agreed to teach a class called "The How-To's of Hairbows".  I was completely petrified of being in front of 6-15 ladies at a time, but I knew I should follow God's prompting...right out of my comfort zone.  I am SO glad I did!

This retreat is really wonderful- so much better than I was expecting.  (That isn't nice to say, but it's the truth.  It was in a small town, and I didn't have high expectations.  Boy, was I wrong!!)

I planned to teach each class (3 sessions with only 6 ladies per class, whew!) how to put together a flower clip and also a korker bow.  We dubbed the korker bow the "Salvation Bow"- using all the colors from the salvation bracelets we used to make as kids.  I also handed out corresponding bookmarks describing what each of the colors represented.  I thought it would be a simple and effective tool to talk about salvation with the young girls in our lives.  And they turned out so stinkin' cute!

In keeping with every time I allow God to work through me in situations where I'm scared to death, He blessed this day.  I was so encouraged by the appreciation from the ladies in my classes.  Their excitement was contagious and we really had a great time!  Once again, I was reminded that God is bigger than my fears and he will never give me more than I can handle with His help.  I love this type of reminder because it helps me look at the big picture and know that just as He helps me in the smallest of things, He will do so even more in the great things.  I pray I always continue to seek His will and do whatever I can to spread the joy I have in Him.  To God be the Glory!

Have a great day! (O:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Marshmallow, anyone?

First, I have to admit that I am *completely* addicted to the website Pinterest.  If you haven't hopped on that train yet, you really, Really should! ;0) 

Anyway, I have been spending many, many company-paid hours perusing Pinterest recently (work is boring in comparison...) and I keep coming across yummy, Fall-inspired recipes.  Recently, I found one for "Smore Pops" and I knew I had to give it a whirl.  Don't get on my case about the fact that there is absolutely ZERO nutritional value in a marshmallow...I already know, and I don't care because they are so stinkin' good!  (O:

I purchased a bag of marshmallows last week and was waiting for a good night to do try these out.  I wanted to pick a night when Emilia could help me because I knew she would love it.  Next time, we will have two batches...the "pretty" ones and the ones my 2-year-old helped with. ;O)  Unfortunately, I didn't exactly have what I needed...I only had orange melting chocolate discs at home and had to improvise.  I decided, "hey, it's fall...and orange is a fall color...perfect!"

I'm sorry for the poor picture quality, but believe me, they weren't too pretty! (I hope to do much better next time!) Even if they aren't that beautiful, they were very tasty!! (O:

The more I think about...these would be super cute with green toothpicks and jack o lantern faces!  Maybe for a Halloween party! (O:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Workshop and Safari

Good Morning!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking part in a photography workshop and safari, put on by Capturing True Emotion Photography Workshops.  (You can check out their website here..and I definitely recommend it!)  Jason found a Groupon for this workshop/safari and I was able to attend for a fraction of the actual price value.  I am SO glad I went!  The speaker broke down everything I was still confused on with my camera- ISO, Aperature and Shutter Speed are now my friends!  I used to try and "google" as much as I could to understand how to use the different modes on my camera.  I always ended up feeling more confused than before my googling.  Now, I completely understand each function of my camera and how the work together and how to MAKE them work together for perfect exposure!  I'm a little nervous to actually venture to "manual mode" on a real photo shoot, in case I mess up (haha)...but, I will definitely  start by practicing on my favorite subject, Emilia! :)

Here is one of my favorite images from the "photo safari" (where we practiced using the techniques we learned during the morning session).  I don't know this girl, but she was one of our "models" and this shot was when she had about 25 other cameras up her nose too.  I love that it just looks like a beautiful, summery day!

Have a great day! (O: