When Babies Smash your Masterpieces

Meet my baby nephew, Caleb.

My DIY today is for him for his first birthday! My sister-in-law, Ari, wanted to do a smash cake photoshoot with him (doesn’t every mom?) and asked me to make him a onesie for it. She showed me a picture and asked me to recreate it. I felt weird about that – I know it’s just personal use, but still. So instead I came up with a bunch of designs and asked if one would work instead.

Which would you choose?

She picked one out and we were rolling! I used a vinyl cutter to make a stencil of the design, then I used black fabric paint to create the design on the shirt.

Once fabric paint goes on, it does NOT come off. Which is good I suppose…

Attempt #1 didn’t go so well… I noticed after cutting out my stencil that I had cut over someone else’s failed cut but I figured that there was no reason not to use the slashed up stencil since it’s just a stencil and not the final product, right?


All of those little micro-cuts allowed paint to seep through. Ugh.

Attempt #2 went much better. Plus, I added a back.

Not gonna lie, I felt pretty clever for this one
Here’s the shoot!

BONUS DIY: I also made the smash cake. I really wish I’d taken a picture mid-process, but honestly I probably didn’t because I was so. Frustrated. I needed to make a 6″ cake but I only had 9″ round cake pans, so I could just use those and cut a 6″ out of it, right?



That leaves edges of cut cake and you know what that means when you frost it? Cake bits and crumbs EVERYWHERE. The whole thing started falling apart.

That’s when I learned about dirty icing!

Dirty icing is something that I’d heard on one of the many baking shows I watch (Cake Boss, anyone?) but never knew what it was. Basically all it is, is frosting that’s been heated up until it’s really melty, then spread on the cake in a thin layer that covers everything and tends to get mixed up with cake bits (hence, dirty). Then it hardens so when you frost over it, no one’s the wiser.

So that’s what I did and it worked like a charm! After that, I coated it with a crazy thick layer of blue frosting so Caleb could make a huge mess!

The oversight there is that extremely thick layers of frosting are confusing. See the picture above? The kid’s up to his third knuckle in pure frosting. Apparently he wouldn’t tear into it without some help!

One other misstep, though this one couldn’t be avoided, is that I had to use dairy-free butter in the frosting. That stuff melts so fast! Just trying to frost the cake in a room that wasn’t especially warm I could feel the frosting become soupier by the second. I’m sure that advanced bakers have no problem making their dairy-free frostings act exactly like regular frosting, but I certainly did.

Besides, the whole thing was just made to be smashed, right?

I don’t think a slightly bowing cake bothered him a bit.



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