Something else that came to mind when the decision of this kind of cake was decided - was to make home-made play dough for it, because I know that preschool uses play dough! Plus, it's one of the simplest things to make, and I'd made it for Ben's birthday party bags earlier this year. I just refuse to make it for my kids at home because the last time I did, Jonathan filled up his brand new shoes with it... :/
Overall, the process from beginning to end was about 3 weeks.
I loved that exactly 3 packets of textas fitted perfectly around the gift box. It was like I'd actually measured and planned it all! Alternating them upright and upside down, direct from the packet and around the box, held there with rubber bands. Then, like another thing that (eventually) fell into perfect space, was the play dough, that I'd made and put into zip lock bags, and twirled them (lengthways) around the paper towel holder. It meant that I couldn't put the lid on the box, and the play dough acted as the base for the next tier. I'm not sure if you can see in the picture, but in between each of the play dough bags, I also stuck a white board marker.
The next tier came with so much indecisiveness it was ridiculous. Eventually, I cut two lines in the middle of the masking tape packets and slid them down the paper towel holder. I ended up collecting the coloured pencils (making sure that the brightest colours were around the edges, of course!), and slid them over the top of the paper towel holder, to sit nicely on top of the masking tape.
Three packets of blu tac squeezed perfectly around the pencils, too, and everything was held in place by rubber bands, and then tightened together with ribbon.
It was when I wasn't sure what to do with the glue sticks I'd bought (as they had originally been where the coloured pencils ended up), I got some balloon sticks, a hot glue gun, and pieces of cut out paper to make them stand up and out like flowers. Much like 'floating stars, etc' sticking up out of a cake. The sticks fitted in between the gaps of play dough & whiteboard markers. I also stuck the Clag glue pot onto a balloon stick for extra support, and fed it through the middle of the pencils, down to the top of the paper towel holder.
Ribbon in a bow around all the 'tiers', and the supply cake was finished! I was really happy with the way it looked once it was completed with all it's final little touches :)
The final list of ingredients/supplies for the cake:
1 round gift box
1 paper towel holder
3 packets of 24 coloured textas
2 rolls of masking tape
3 packets of 24 coloured pencils
7 whiteboard markers
3 packets of blu tac
4 glue sticks
7 zip-lock bags of home-made play dough
Ribbon, cake board, rubber bands & balloon sticks.
It was a heavy cake. But it was really fun to make and decide how each tier was going to look like (again, there were many rearrangements!)
My kids were a bit confused when I had excitedly told them that I was making preschool a cake for Christmas, but all they saw was glue and textas stacked up everywhere...
But I didn't want to just give this 'cake' to the preschool teachers and leave. So, feeling some poetic inspiration a few days beforehand, I wrote a poem to go with it, which I laminated and gave to preschool with the 'cake':