Our DIY Watermelon Smash

Our DIY Watermelon Smash

Emilia's Watermelon Smash

Due to the timing of Emilia's 1st birthday (Christmas Eve...I know bad timing) we are in fact fortunate enough every year to have family around from near and far to celebrate with her.

We thought it would be a lot of fun to get her big cousins involved in a fun 'smash' at the elderly Grandparents house so they could enjoy the moment too.  We opted for a watermelon smash... purely for something different and certainly fresh and cooling on a warm Summer day on the Sunshine Coast.

DIY cake smash sessions became extremely popular during lockdowns in place between 2020 - 2022.  With limited options to go out and celebrate baby's birthday, families took to creating their own special moments from home!

If you are planning on saving a few $$ and have the time to plan your own baby's cake smash photo session, let's start at the beginning...

1. Where to set up

Whenever you are planning photos the most important thing to consider is lighting. Have a look around your house/backyard/park to find a spot that has a lot of natural light but is not hit with direct sunlight that will cause shadows. We decided on a shady spot in the garden when the sun was hidden by trees.

The next thing to consider is your backdrop. If you have a nice white wall that would be perfect! If not, a crisp wrinkle free white sheet / tablecloth could work or you could even head to your local Bunnings and grab a vinyl flooring piece (a metre should be plenty). Here we opted for a green hedge in our outdoor set up.  A beach set up would be fantastic too, either the ocean or sand dune would make a wonderful backdrop depended on where the sun is shining.

Consider your flooring. If you have some nice tiles, vinyl or floorboards in your photo space this is perfect, obviously carpet is a nightmare to clean. If you do not have appropriate flooring extend your sheet/vinyl to cover the floor also.


2. The Cake (and in our case the watermelon)

The colour of your cake will completely depend on your colour scheme for your photo session.  Having trouble deciding on a theme?  You could either start with something special you want to incorporate into the session, perhaps a favourite headband, toy or simply gain inspiration through one of the hundreds of outfits we have in stock.  

Consider the colour of the cake frosting too. White frosting may look good, but it is also the hardest to photograph, since white objects are more prone to becoming overexposed highlights. Blue icing does look good but blue does tend to stain more than other colours.

A few tips to consider if you make your own cake...
  • Height always looks good - think about stacking 3 layers high 
  • Texture - The cake needs to be soft enough for the baby to grab it but not so crumbly that it falls apart before they get it to their mouth.
  • Buttercream icing is ideal  for messy fun. 
  • Decorate the cake the way that bests suits your theme.  Whilst cake toppers and candles look fun - ensure you remove them before the smashing part begins!
  • You will need something to put your cake on, cake stands are perfect!

PRO TIP: If your baby is unfamiliar with cake...hide a little toy at the back of the cake to encourage them to scoop/dig it out.

3. The Props & Decor

Perhaps you are a minimalist and want the baby and cake to shine in the photos or you LOVE the idea of an over styled backdrop, but their are so many wonderful props that can be sourced from cheap stores.

Bunting, paper tassels, balloons and floral wreaths can all be created from cheap materials.  


4. The Outfit

With your cake, decor and theme in mind, its important that the special outfit is not overlooked!  After all, the baby is the star of the photo session.  You will need an outfit to withstand that level of fun - all of our nappy covers, singlets, bow ties, rompers, overalls and playsuits are machine washable, yay!

As you may have guessed, the outfit is always my favourite item to see in photos! 

For boys I simply can't go past a little dapper outfit with suspenders and a bow tie, so cute and handsome for these 'little men'.  We have a huge range of 1st birthday crowns too as a little way to further accessorise the outfit.


5. The Timing

Timing of a baby's day/schedule is crucial to planning your photo session!  You know what time of the day your baby is at their best - either first thing in the morning after wake up, perhaps after their 1st nap of the day, perhaps after their 2nd...whatever timing you choose, ensure baby is at their happiest to ensure lots of smiles!


6.  Siblings & Family

This is a special moment for the baby and if you have siblings or family members around for the photoshoot, get them involved too!

7.  The Clean Up

Keep in mind its super important to clean up too.  Have plenty of paper towels / wipes handy and consider taking baby straight into a bath or perhaps for more photos - into a cute tub/bucket.
To avoid staining, get those cake smash outfits straight into the wash too!


8.  Conclusion

A cake smash photo session is a fun way to celebrate a 1st birthday - a cake smash allows the child to do anything they want with their cake.  Drool on it, eat it, throw it and smash it in their own faces.

It's very exciting and the cake is meant to be destroyed by the birthday boy or girl.  So have fun and cherish this memory that will last forever!

Happy planning!
Rach x
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