Check out these quick and easy tips to take your hosting skills to the next level with this killer charcuterie board how-to!
This cake looks almost good enough to eat!
(but I wouldn't recommend it)
Earlier this week I showed you our fabulous "Ready to Pop" themed baby shower (click HERE to download our FREE Ready to Pop party printables!), now I'll show you a simple tutorial on how to make the beautiful diaper cake we used as the centerpiece for our food display. Diaper cakes are a great way to dress up a practical gift, and if you decorate in the colors of the party, they can also become a beautiful focal point of the shower decor.
Some might say they pull double doody....er, I mean duty. Ahem.
Let's start out with the supplies you'll need:I made this whole diaper cake for less than $30, simply by shopping smart and utilizing some supplies that I had around the house. When you know you're going to be making one of these in the near future, start collecting empty toilet paper rolls (these can be used for other fun crafts as well) and an empty wrapping paper roll. I use the empty wrapping paper roll as the "base" of the cake, to help hold everything securely in place. It helps the cake transport easily without falling apart and keeps everything centered.
With the exception of the diapers, I found all of my supplies (cake plate, ribbons, flower, crinkle paper) all at Michael's...so it really was a one-stop-shop kind of project. PLUS I used my Michael's iPhone app for a coupon and saved some money!
STEP 1: Cut down your wrapping paper roll and glue it to the center of the 12" cake plate.To cut down the wrapping paper roll to the right size I took the three toilet paper rolls and laid them on the floor one on top of the other (to form a tower), then laid the wrapping paper roll beside it and marked it about 1/2 inch shorter than the length of the three rolls (so that it wouldn't stick out the top).
NOTE: You might ask why I didn't just use a paper tower roll since they're similar in height - the problem with paper towel rolls is that they are generally the same diameter as toilet paper rolls, making it hard to slide one onto the other. I have found that wrapping paper rolls are generally smaller in diameter and work perfectly. And bonus...they're long enough that you can cut it and get TWO cakes out of one roll!Jackpot! While the glue on the base is drying, you're ready to start assembling your layers. This is where you bust out the diapers and take a good whiff because they smell incredibly of fresh clean baby. (ahhh). I used Pampers Size 2 Swaddlers that I got from Buy Buy Baby at 2 packs (72 diapers) for around $22...not bad! I've found that this size diaper is the perfect size for the cake, and it allows the mommy to enjoy the cake on display in the nursery for a little bit after the little one arrives (if she chooses) without having to take it apart in the first week for the newborn size diapers she'll need.
STEP 2: Attach diapers to the toilet paper roll with rubber bands.Make sure you turn all of the diapers with the patterned side facing inwards (so they all look solid like a vanilla frosted cake), and begin to wrap and rubber band them in stacks of five. As you add more and more diapers, you can begin to fan them out (instead of one thick stack) so that the outer rim looks smooth and symmetrical.
You might need an extra set of hands to do this for the base if you haven't done it before...but if you don't have help, just be patient, it may take you a couple of tries to get the diapers in the right place and rubber banded before they fall over! I promise you can do it - I did this one solo!
Repeat this step for the middle and top layers.
Here's the breakdown of the number of diapers I used for each layer:
BASE: 30-35 Diapers
MIDDLE: 20-25 Diapers
TOP: 10-15 Diapers
The best way to do this is just eyeball it. Start with your base, and as you make the next layer measure it on top of the layer below it to make sure it is slightly smaller in size. Once you get your three layers rubber banded, you're ready to assemble.
STEP 3: Slide layers onto base, placing crinkle paper in between each layer.Adding the crinkle paper isn't absolutely necessary, but I think it gives it a fun pop of color and distinguishes between the layers. (and it looks like frosting to me...we all know I LOVE frosting...just saying.) Note: I originally didn't put crinkle paper on the very bottom (between the base and the cake plate) but I went back later and added it in to give it a consistent look across the layers - you'll see it in the finished product at the bottom of this post)
STEP 4: Attach your ribbon with paper clips and glue.You don't want to glue your ribbon directly to the diaper because it will ruin it for actual use, so what I did was use a paper clip to attach one side of the ribbon at the back. I then wrapped the ribbon all the way around, cut it just slightly longer (so it overlaps) and then used a little bit of hot glue to attach the ribbon to itself.
NOTE: Be sure to put something in between the diaper and the ribbon as you glue the ribbon together so that the glue doesn't seep through to the diaper.
Repeat this for all three layers, making sure your seams are all in the same place at the back of the cake. Next, take your 1/2 inch ribbon and wrap it around to the front of the cake, tying a bow in the center of each layer.
STEP 5: Trim your decorative flower and place on top.The great thing about this is that I literally just had to cut the stem down to the height of the cake, and then it slid right down into the wrapping paper tube...no glue, no muss, no fuss. Easiest cake topper ever. (I used a silk gerber daisy from Michael's)
And voila...you have a beautiful gift and a beautiful centerpiece for your baby shower!
I have an entire drawer full of all the cutest wedding favors I've ever received...
...said no one ever.
Let's be honest - most wedding favors don't even make it out of the car on the way home. They either get left at the reception, or they're in the next round of things you toss in the garbage can when you're bored at the gas pump and decide to start cleaning out the trash in your car. I am well aware of this rule.
Even so, at our wedding I wanted to do a simple an inexpensive favor that made each place setting feel a little more personalized (and tied to our theme). A sweet treat they could actually enjoy at the reception (if they wanted to) and not feel like I wasted a ton of time when they were tossed later. And bonus: lots of people use mason jars at home, so these bad boys are reusable...they make a great traveling jewelry jar for the nightstand!
Here's how I made them:
Step 1: Do a little research.
You can find Mason Jars everywhere...and I mean everywhere. They even have them by the case at Publix! We did tons of online research and found them really cheap on several websites...however the shipping wound up being almost three times the cost of the actual jars! Crazy.
We landed on wanting the 4oz Ball Mason Jars, and we found a great deal through Ace Hardware, of all places. They were $9.99 for a case of 12 online, and even better...they ship them FREE to a local Ace near you, all we had to do was swing by and pick them up!
Step 2: Printable Labels.
We found the perfect printable labels online as well, from a company called lablesbythesheet.com. They were super cheap (less than .75 per page) and they have a ton of online templates you can dowload directly into Microsoft Word to design and print...it was super easy!
For a 4oz jar, we needed the 2 inch diameter round labels. We chose ivory, but there are other colors available. You can find those labels here: 2in Round Labels.
See how nicely they fit?
Since the free template downloaded into Word, I just created the text from there. You don't have to be a super-pro designer to do this, either! There are all kinds of free pretty script fonts that you can download...two of my favorite font websites are dafont and Scrap Village.
Our name logo at the bottom I did design in Photoshop using some of the free fonts, however if you don't have Photoshop or don't know how to use it, you can still create something similar! Back in the day when I was just experimenting with designing things, I would actually create them in Power Point. You laugh, but it totally works.
Because the paper margins are square and the labels are round, I did have to print a few test sheets onto plain paper to make sure the text I inserted didn't get cut off of the label. Be sure to do this before you send all of your labels through the printer!
Step 4: Fill them with yummy goodness!
My two accent colors for the wedding were dark purple and green, so I knew I wanted to use those for a pop of color on the gray linens. I ordered Jelly Bellies in bulk...in just those two colors so that I didn't have to spend days upon days eating, I mean sorting candy. I ordered those here: Bulk eCandy
Step 5: The finishing Touch.
To finish them off, I took two pieces of the Dollar Store raffia and wrapped them around the lid, tied them in a double knot and cut off the excess. Volia! Finished product:
That's it! What's the best favor you've ever received? Or maybe that actually made it home...
When it comes to weddings one of the most beautiful, yet most expensive budget line items always winds up being flowers. You wouldn't believe some of the quotes I got from florists, just for the bouquets alone, mind you (we're not even talking centerpieces, decor, etc). I literally could have funded our entire honeymoon with what some were asking. (hmm...sit on the beach and sip fruity drinks with my love, or have pretty flowers that will last about 3.2 days. Yep, that was a no brainer)
But the good news is, with a little elbow grease and some creativity, I made my own bouquets for about a third of the price, AND I got to sit on the beach without feeling guilt for the money I was throwing down the drain for flowers! Winning!
Here's what I made:
1 Bridal bouquet
9 (yes, NINE) Bridesmaids bouquets
2 Mothers mini-bouquets
4 Grandmothers mini-bouquets
2 Ceremony floral arrangements
Rose Petals for the flower girls
And do you know how much that all cost me (including supplies and ribbon)? A whopping $345.64! And guess what, they were just as beautiful as the bouquets I had picked out in the magazine...I couldn't have been happier!
Here's how I did it:
I first spent days looking online to get an idea of what type of flowers I wanted. I knew I wanted to include hydrangeas in my bouquet because not only are they beautiful, but they are very full...so a little goes a long way in making a bouquet look bigger with less flowers to purchase. I love roses, so I knew I wanted to include a few of those as well. And I knew I wanted my bouquets to be round and a pop of green (to match my shoes and my color scheme of gray with dark purple & green accents).
I went to the Sam's Club website and here is what I ordered:
Lime Green Hydrangeas (30 Stems)
Green Baby Hydrangeas (40 Stems)
Green & White Roses (125 Stems)
Green Hypericum Berries (100 Stems) Note: I loved the added depth these surprisingly gave the bouquets!
The total for all of the flowers came to about $326 (and BONUS: Sam's Club had FREE shipping!). Then I spent about $20 on green floral tape, burlap and ribbons. I would recommend ordering the flowers so that they arrive by Thursday for a Saturday wedding. That gives you a day to receive them, clip and put them in fresh water (as soon as they arrive...this is important) and still be able to make them Friday morning while having the rest of your day to enjoy the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner & wedding without having to feel rushed! This also gave us a buffer for shipping error...which happened to be a great thing, because my roses were delayed a day due to a hurricane! Yikes!
Once you receive your flowers, clip them, and let them drink some water over night (they travel a long way, those puppies are thirsty when they arrive!), here are the other supplies you'll need:
Green Floral Tape (I used about 2-3 rolls for 10 bouquets)
Ribbon of your choice
Clear plastic rubber bands (they help hold the bottom of the bouquet together where you want it while you wrap with floral tape)
An extra pair of hands to help hold the bouquets while you wrap is super helpful.
I started with the bridesmaids bouquets...I had 9 to make, so I knew they'd take the longest! Here are the flowers I used for each of these bouquets:
3 large hydrangea stems
2-3 mini-hydrangea stems
4 green roses
3-4 hypericum berries
I stripped the leaves off of all the flowers except the large hydrangeas...I used those as the "base" greenery around the bottom of the bouquet. Once you arrange the bouquet in your hand how you like it, place a clear plastic rubberband at the top of the stems (about where you want to start your tape...leave a small space at the top to see a little bit of the stem) and one at the bottom, where you will end your tape. Have someone else hold the bouquet while you wrap the stems tightly with floral tape and secure. (this tape is sticky, so it will stick to itself...no need to glue it down)
Once your'e done with that, place the bouquet in water and set aside. Note: It was easier to do this process for all the bouquets first, then add the burlap and ribbon together as the last step, because the floral tape will leave your hands sticky!
Next I made the bridal bouquet:
5-6 large hydrangea stems
3-4 mini-hydrangea stems
8-9 white roses
5-6 hypericum berrie stems
I basically did the same procedure as the bridesmaids bouquets, I just made mine slightly larger, and used only the white roses (instead of green ones) to make it look a little different. I used green ribbon with my bouquet to match my green shoes, and on the bridesmaids bouquet I used dark purple ribbon to match their shoes.
The mother's & grandmother's mini-bouquets were basically smaller versions of the bridesmaids bouquets with 3 roses, 2-3 mini-hydrangea stems and 2-3 hypericum berries...sadly I couldn't find a picture of those - sorry!
Once you've got all of your bouquets assembled, it's time for the burlap and ribbon. We cut a piece of burlap just slightly larger than the width of the floral tape around the stems, and left room to fold down the top and bottom sides (so that the edges were smooth and not jagged). Fold down the top and bottom edges of the burlap, wrap around the base of the bouquet and secure with one line of hot glue (be careful not to burn yourself!) you'll need an extra pair of hands for this process as well to get it tight and secure.
After the glue dries, tie the ribbon of your choice around the center, where the tie will face outward. I chose to tie mine in a knot, you can do a bow as well...it's totally whatever look you prefer!
For an extra touch of glam, as well as my something old and borrowed, I added a beautiful brooch from one of my grandmothers, and underneath it, I tied my other grandmother's original wedding band. They looked beautiful and made my bouquet extra special...I felt like I was carrying them down the aisle with me!
Once you're done with your bouquets, be sure to store them in a vase with water and also in a cool place - hydrangeas are absolutely beautiful, but they do wilt easy...keep them cool!!
And that's it, beautiful bouquets for about a third of the price... I couldn't have been happier with the way they turned out and the money we saved!
Hope this helps for any brides who are toying with the idea of doing your own bouquets...please feel free to comment below with any questions! Happy arranging!
Photos Courtesy of : Sugar Snap Photography
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