Today I made the backdrop decorations for the boys smash cake set.
Smash cakes are a recent trend for 1st birthday parties where the birthday boy/girl is sat in front of a cake (usually layered with a pastel buttercream) and ‘smashes’ into it. Sometimes it’s when they are sitting in their high chair, and sometimes it’s on the ground with a colourful backdrop which is great for photos.
I have no idea what this backdrop is specifically called (let me know if you know?), but it’s a whole lot of material knotted around a rope to form a colourful backdrop.
Smash Cake Backdrop
The boys are having a nautical theme for their party so I chose 5 different types of fabrics, with the 3 nautical colours (blue/white/red). You could choose any types of fabric, even just 1 type, but I think it creates a lot of texture and colour with a selection of fabrics with a coordinated colour palette. I had 1 metre of each type of material cut so that when it is tied onto the rope it would have a height of 50cm.
You could use any rope to tie them onto, but I chose a rope I got from Bunnings (like the anchor rope), and I also found wooden anchors from Spotlight to add to it too. I cut the piece of rope about 3 -4 metres, so that the fabric could cover a length of about 1.5 – 2 metres with excess rope to attach to the wall. I made it really wide as it has to fit 2 babies in front of it, however if it was just for 1 baby, I would make it narrower with a width of about 1 metre.
Rope, fabric and wooden shapes
With each piece of fabric, I cut it into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide. You could either cut the length with scissors. However, some cotton fabrics you can snip about 1cm from the edge and tear the rest of the way, so I tore it – sooo much easier and faster than cutting every single piece! AND it’s fun!
Snip approx. 1cm from the edge
When tearing, there will be some loose threads on the edge, so you will need to smoothen the piece of material and pull off the excess bits of thread.
After tearing the fabric with excess thread
Smoothen fabric and pull off excess thread
Repeat with all the material, and order the fabric prints in order of how you want to place them (I put them on the back of a chair).
Place lengths of fabric in order
With your pre cut rope/string, loop the length of fabric by folding in half, and looping the ends around the rope through the middle loop as illustrated:
Fold fabric in half
Loop ends of fabric around the rope and in between the middle loop of fabric
Pull fabric through and tighten
Repeat with all pieces of fabric and push together so it sits tightly together on the rope. I then knotted the ends of the rope to finish the ends off.
Loop all the fabric around the rope and tie a knot at the ends
I then tied the wooden anchors onto the fabric to go with the nautical theme.
Add wooden anchors
Finished product – ready for the smash cake session!
This was the first time I’ve made something like this and was inspired by all the creative backdrops on Pinterest. I wanted something really ‘rugged’ and boyish but still suitable for my little baaabies (which are growing up so quickly!!) as I feel like I have overdone the bunting and tissue flower decorations.
It was sooo easy to do, and I started and finished it in one day with a lot of errands and running around in between. Skill level: Beginner! 🙂 🙂