1. Gather your supplies. You'll need a papier mache cake (I have a handful left in my store), You'll need paint, paint brushes, adhesive for the paper (I chose Mod Podge this time, but in the past I've used my Xyron 850) and embellishments of your choice.
2. Pull aside the bases for each of the five tiers. Decide what papers you want to use on each one. Then decide what color you want to paint each of the tops (so that they coordinate with the bases). I chose a black paper with white polka dots from Chatterbox, red/white gingham from Karen Foster Designs, eyelet paper from Making Memories & an unknown ladybug paper I've had for forever.
4. Measure the height of each base & trim your paper accordingly. Here the base is 2", so I trimmed my 12" x 12" down to 2" x 12". On some of your larger bases, you may have to use two pieces of 6" x 12" to have it wrap all the way around. Adhere your paper with your favorite adhesive. I've used Xyron in the past, but this time I used plain old Mod Podge. Liquid adhesives (such as Mod Podge) give you additional flexibility if you don't get your paper down right the first time.
5. Once everything dries, start embellishing:
(Here I covered Fancy Pants chipboard leaves with green patterned paper & painted the edges. I added a wooden ladybug I had purchased at Wal-Mart. To plus it up, I added Diamond Glaze and Doodlebug Designs glitter to the ladybug's dots)
(Another wooden ladybug rests on top of the first layer. I had her sitting on a chipboard leaf. I used a black sharpie marker for the polka dots on the first layer & then added Diamond Glaze & black glitter. To make the top sparkle on the second & fifth layers, I added Diamond Glaze and clear glitter.)
(The monogram is from Colorbok. I covered it with patterned paper & then painted the edges. I punched holes using my Crop-A-Dile & added large red eyelets. I tied it onto the tier with plain white tulle -- you can find it by the roll in the wedding section of most craft stores.)
There you go! One ladybug cake, ready to be used as a centerpiece for her first birthday party and then as a time capsule to be opened on her 18th birthday. We plan to fill it with contemporary things that will seem like antiques in 17 years -- imagine how huge a Blackberry will look in 2027! I'm hoping to gather handwritten letters from friends & family for her to open when she's an adult.
I made a similar cake back in 2006 for Baby G's first birthday and I am so thrilled that my grandmother wrote her a letter for her time capsule. My grandmother died in early 2008, so that letter will be truly cherished (it is killing me to not open it now!). Who knows what treasures will await Baby A. in her time capsule!