How to DIY a Cake Smash Backdrop for Baby’s First Birthday

When I scheduled good friend and local Cleveland photographer Dale McDonald to come over to get some first birthday photos of our Baby Brenna, I knew I wanted to do something special to end the shoot. And what’s better way to make something fun than to add cake?! I saw so many shots of baby smash cake experiences on Pinterest, so I thought why not figure out How to DIY a Cake Smash Backdrop for Baby’s First Birthday…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cake or supplies to make a cake (bonus if you have a cake stand too)
  • A place to set up your tablecloths (& items to hold it in place, i.e. tape, heavy stuff)
  • Two tablecloths
  • Decorations: balloons, paper garland, streamers, etc.
  • An adorable baby

Step One: Prep your cake. Many bakeries will sell you a “smash cake” – a 6″ single layer cake with a TON of frosting, or you can get your bake on and make your own. I’m still pretty proud of this double layer Funfetti cake I made. My mom had this lovely cake stand which added some height and interest to the shots.

Step Two: Assembly of the scene…

One tablecloth will be used as your backdrop, the second will be used as a drop cloth. You’ll want to find a way to hang the first cloth — I have a shelf in my kitchen leading into the dining area, so I was able to drape it from that shelf down to the floor. You can see in the picture below I had to find some random items to keep it there, but I’m sure some heavy duty tape would have done the trick! Then, lay the second tablecloth on the floor, “poofing” (that’s a technical linen term, BTW) the cloth around to add interest to the scene.

Once your tablecloths are in their spots, drape your decorations accordingly. I grabbed two kitchen table chairs to hang a garland I made from organza sashes, but I also considered hanging this tissue garland from Oriental Trading.

When everything is in place, set the cake in the center of the drop cloth right before you’re ready to take some photos.

Last and most important step: Add in the baby and let her go at it!

The end result of seeing your little one with frosting and cake all over is worth the effort of the clean up after!

Professional photos by Dale McDonald Photographer.

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