Hello! It’s-a-me, Damien! A very special happy first birthday to this little guy celebrating his NJ Cake Smash! When Damien’s parents came to me with the Super Mario cake smash set up theme, I couldn’t have been more excited. Growing up, video games were a big part of my life (yes, I’m a nerd, but I’m okay with it!) The first game I remember playing with my sister and brother was Super Mario on Super Nintendo. I was totally the BOSS, get me a Yoshi and I could conquer any board! I got to work right away on props so that this could be a completely unique and memorable experience for Damien.
It’s the best of compliments when the parents say they had several New Jersey photographer’s websites open and went back and forth and choose yours. Honestly, it was the best of feelings and completely made my day. Not only did they decide upon hiring me they drove an hour and twenty minutes from mid NJ to come so that I could take his NJ Cake Smash portraits! Seriously I have the best clients ever!!
I can’t get over gushing how adorable this family was together! I can honestly say this family was a pleasure to work with! They have such a beautiful and true bond, when Damien put his hand on his father’s cheek I almost died!
How cute is this one on his butt?!?! The “O” is a gold coin!
Damien was all smiles from start to finish and destroyed his cake like a boss! He is also quite the adventurous little guy and he smashed his cake and destroyed it he went right on the move trying to crawl all over and look out the window. He was such a blast and such a happy baby. Seriously he just smiled the whole time!
How to make your own Props
I had a few people after this shoot ask me about how I made my NJ Cake Smash props and I’d love to share, a lot of love went into the making these!
Needed: For the brick boxes, I used red wrapping paper, brown and maroon paint, two rectangular sponges, 2 paper plates, paper towels, toothpick and a 12 x 12 box. I always check my South Jersey local dollar store before I start my projects and was able to get many of my items there. The paint and boxes I bought at a craft supply store close by. Always makes me happy to save money!
- Unfortunately the red wrapping paper wasn’t large enough for me to wrap my box like a present so instead I cut enough for it to go around 4 of the sides- 12 x 48. I then cut squares 12 x 12 for the top and bottom out. There’s a few different ways you can adhere your wrapping paper onto the box, the best way I found was to glue gun the paper on.
- I then took white paint and squeezed it into one of the plates and squeezed the brown paint onto another plate. The maroon paint I added a few drops onto the brown and then swirled them around with a toothpick. I wanted to make the bricks multi colored that way it gave it a little more realism.
- After my paint was all set up, I took my rectangular sponge and dipped it into the brick mixture paint. To get off the excess paint and not have paint dripping down the box, I blotted it onto a paper towel and then I started making my bricks. I made sure to stagger the bricks so it resembled real bricks. Make sure to leave a small space between each brick as well be adding the white in between as mortar.
- After you make all your bricks, it’s time for the white mortar. I took the second sponge and cut it to be able the same size as the spacing left in between the bricks length wise. I also cut another slice and made this one shorter and the same size as the bricks on the shorter side. The using the same method, I finished off the painting. I did accidentally get some of the white a few times onto my bricks. I used a wet paper towel though and lightly wiped it off, luckily it worked each time. Wipe it off right away though so that it doesn’t have time to dry.
- I suggest doing one side of each block at a time and then doing one side of another this way you don’t touch wet paint.
Needed: Topiary plant in craft aisle near the Styrofoam balls or if you cannot find a large Styrofoam ball 6″, round wood dowel (stick) 3/4″ and a cylinder Styrofoam 6″ or smaller so that this fits within your clay pot. I only used the Topiary plant because it was much cheaper than buying all the parts separately. Also, make sure to look for coupons for your NJ local craft store. I bought all these things at AC Moore with a 40% off coupon. You can also substitute these sizes to make a larger or smaller plant as needed. I think if I ever made this again I would probably make a slightly larger plant. You will also need a 6″ clay pot, green and white felt, cheap wire, small corks, white, green and red spray paint.
- I started off by first cutting my Styrofoam before spray painting. Make sure you do this step first so that you do not need to respray paint. I cut my cylinder to fit firmly in my clay pot. This will hold everything together so make sure it is snug. And cut a slice out of the top of my Styrofoam ball. There’s many ways to accomplish this. I suggest googling ways to see which way would work best for you. My husband just used a saw.
- Spray painting everything first. I did about 2 to 3 layers on everything so that it was nicely coated. You will need to paint the wooden dowel, cylinder Styrofoam and clay pot green. The small corks white and the ball red.
- Once everything is dry its time to being assembling. Add the cylinder into the clay pot. Gently push the ball into the wooden dowel. I did not add any glue as I wanted to be able to rotate it when wanted. If you would like yours more secure, feel free to add a bit of hot glue. Then add the wooden dowel piece to the cylinder. Wow, your plant is starting to look life like!
- I cut 6 round circles from the white felt, about 2″. I hot glued these onto my plant. Then I rolled up a bit of felt an 1 and 1/2″ and outlined the mouth and hot glued it on. I also took my 6 corks and added my teeth.
- Finally to make the leaves, I used a pen to trace out a pattern on the felt into a leaf shape. Make two. I then took my wire and glued it onto the middle of my felt pieces to look like real leaves. Add a little extra wire on the inside of the leaves so that you can poke it through the Styrofoam and attach it.
This was by far the easiest thing to make. I bought some small yellow plates at the dollar store and strung them with fishing line poking holes with a knife on each side of the plate. I used some masking tap to keep on the opposite side of the plate to hold the coins in plate. Yup, its that easy!
Reach out to me for your child’s NJ Cake Smash!
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