DIY Diaper Cakes

In preparation for my sister-in-law’s baby shower this past weekend, I’ve been working on some diaper cakes that I thought I’d show off. In case you’ve never seen one before, a diaper cake isn’t as gross as it sounds. They’re not for eating, just for looking. Clean Diapers are stacked to look like a cake and can be used as centerpieces or party decor at a baby shower or other baby-related event. Now, just like with most types of crafts, there really aren’t many wrong ways to make these. My personal opinion is that the only wrong way to do it is to use glue or other adhesives that ruin the diapers and make them unusable. While they make cute decor, they really serve as another gift for the parents-t0-be when they take the cake apart at home and have a ton of extra diapers on hand. So you’ll probably find lots of alternatives to how I make a diaper cake, but here’s my method (I apologize in advance for the poor pictures- sometimes my cell phone is the only thing handy!):

Supplies:

  • Diapers! – the quantity and size will vary depending on the size of the cake you’re making. For these small two-tiered cakes pictured here I used a total of 14 diapers, size N and 1. I also prefer name brand diapers that are good quality so they actually go to good use. I’ve seen many a gorgeous diaper cake before that, when taken apart, goes right in the trash after a night or two of major baby leakage because the diaper quality wasn’t the best.
  • Rubber bands- one for every diaper you use and a large one for each tier of the cake.
  • a cake board (like Wilton’s)
  • an assortment of ribbons
  • Glue dots or strips
  • a glue stick
  • long shrimp skewers
  • decorative embellishments of your choice; in my cakes pictured here, I used travel sized baby soaps and lotions as well as themed stickers to match the party decor and large 12×12 scrapbook paper to cover the cake board
  • scissors

Instructions:

    • Begin by rolling each diaper into a tight tube shape. I like to start with the top of the diaper so the elastic is on the inside of the roll and the ‘tush’ of the diaper is the outside; it makes for a neater roll. Wrap a rubber band around it just tight enough to keep the shape, but not so much that it damages or squeezes the diaper.
  • When you have a small pile of rolled diapers, begin to stand them upright around one another. Use a large rubber band to hold the first 5 or so together in a circular shape and then continue to add more diapers around the ring until the layer is as wide as you’d like it.
  • *MONEY SAVER: If you’re making an especially large diaper cake with several layers, having enough diapers can get pricey. A money saving trick is to “hollow out” the inside of the layers by using a place holder; something else that has a tube shape to build around. It can be as simple as a toilet paper or paper towel tube, or something more fun and creative like a bottle or sippy cup.
  • 2. Repeat the above steps for each layer of the cake you’d like to make, adding less diapers as you go up the cake to make smaller tiers. If you are using an assorted size of diapers, use larger diapers for the bigger, bottom tiers and smaller diapers toward the top. As you continue to add layers to your cake, keep them symmetrical in shape and size. Use a shrimp skewer down the center of the diaper cake, being careful not to pierce any diapers, to stabilize it.
  • When you’ve made all of the layers that you’d like (in my case, just two; I was in need of small diaper cakes), place it on your decorated cake stand (I used scrapbook paper traced and cut out to the shape of the board) and begin decorating! Use your ribbons, secured with glue dots or strips, to cover the rubber bands. Try to avoid getting any adhesive on the diapers so that they remain usable by the new parents after they take it apart.
  • You can decorate your cake with any embellishments you’d like- mini soaps and lotions are the perfect size and shape to nestle into rolled up diapers, but you could also add things like: pacifiers, teething rings, small stuffed toys, blocks, tiny baby socks and shoes, etc… There are also endless possibilities for embellishing with stickers! I added a teddy bear sticker to the front of each cake to help cover the seam where the ribbon ends met because of our teddy bear theme at the shower. Curling some gift wrapping ribbon is also super easy and adds a little extra to your cake with very little effort. You can mix and match colors and even use the ribbon to hide an imperfections you might notice in your cake 🙂 I’ve also added layers of scrunched up tissue between each layer of diapers to give it some “flare” on bigger cakes, but on these small 2 layer cakes it was a little too much.

  • If your skewer sticks out at the top of your cake like mine does, you have several choices: snip it off, paint it, or find a way to incorporate it. I added a small teddy bear stuffed animal from Babies R Us to the top and glued his paws to the skewer to look like he was holding on. I also added a small pacifier charm to his hand as an extra accent.

Sometimes I finish my diaper cakes off by wrapping them in clear cellophane or easter basket bags, especially if I’m giving it as a gift. I haven’t yet decided if I will wrap these or not, since there will be 6 of them used as table centerpieces at the baby shower. Each one was made using the same method, although slightly different embellishments were used (I mixed and matched different shades of blue and green ribbons and used different trios of mini lotions and soaps around the tiers).

SO there you have it! My diaper cake “recipe”. As I said at the top of the post, there are SO MANY ways to do a diaper cake. I’m by no means a pro- I’ve seen some really gorgeous cakes that put mine to shame- but I think this method will get even the beginner a cute looking cake that you’ll be proud to show off or give as a gift. It’s also a great “starting place” to begin and then let your creativity take over. If you have any diaper cake tips please post them in the comments and let me know your favorite way to make one! Happy crafting 🙂

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Vanessa Vasquez
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 16:56:30

    It looks so cute! You did a great job!

    Reply

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