Diaper cakes have become a very popular gift to give at baby showers. They can also be quite expensive to purchase. If you are at least a little bit crafty and possess a half-decent amount of patience, you can easily create a diaper cake at home and fully customize it to your liking. When you’re a mom, you know all the awesome gadgets out there that can be total life savers that a new mom may not know about. It also feels great to give a gift that you made by hand instead of a store-bought gift.
Diaper Cake Tutorial
To make a diaper cake you will need the following items:
- Springform pans in 8″, 6″ and 4″ – remove bottoms – you only need the rings
- Approximately 60-80 size 1 diapers in brand of choice (I prefer Pampers or Up & Up aka Target)
- 3 elastics – 1 will need to be very large to fit around the bottom tier of the cake
- Straight pins
- Ribbon – 2″ wide solid ribbon and 1″ wide coordinating decorative ribbon in your chosen colour scheme
- Lighter or soldering gun for securing the edges of your ribbon
- Roll of cellophane – I suggest a good quality, long & wide roll as dollar store cellophane tends to be too short and too narrow
- Curling ribbon to match your chosen colour scheme or 2″+ wide wire-edge ribbon
- Cake base slightly wider than base of cake – I typically buy 12″ wide, thick foam core from my local Bulk Barn
- Paper towel rolls x2 or baby bath towel (for centre of cake)
- Any items you would like to add to the diaper cake (see ideas below)
There are two main methods for organizing your diapers in each tier: rolling each individual diaper and securing with a tiny elastic or fanning them out. I much prefer fanning them out as it is much less time-consuming for both you when assembling the cake and the receiver when dismantling it. To fan them, simply start arranging them against the inside of the cake pan. Once you have a snug and even ring, place your large elastic around the ring. Tuck in the end of either your paper towel roll or your baby bath towel into the centre.
Place the next cake ring on top of the bottom tier. Complete the fanning process once again only this time you will be working around either the paper towel roll or the bath towel. Place elastic around when complete and follow the same process with the third tier.
Once your tiers are complete and you have adjusted your towel accordingly, remove the cake rings. The hard part is finished! Next you need to measure out your ribbon to fit snugly around each tier. Be sure to seal each end of the ribbon using a lighter or soldering gun to avoid fraying. Use a straight pin to secure the ribbon. Sometimes it is helpful to have an extra set of hands when attaching the ribbon depending how slippery your ribbon is. For this reason I prefer to use a grosgrain wider ribbon.
Lastly you have to decide how to decorate your diaper cake. I like to add small items that I loved as a new mom such as soothers, travel-size bath products and small toys such as a rattle. I also added Diaper Babies and Washcloth Lollipops. I attach most items using straight pins; however, certain items need to be attached externally such as soothers or rattles. For these I like to use traditional diaper pins – it adds a nice little touch and they come in a number of colours and styles. They can be found at Walmart. For items like bath products, I simply tuck them into the ribbon or diaper layers. I also added some small books that matched my colour scheme. They were held in place by the cellophane once it was wrapped up. I purchased a cake base wider than the bottom tier to have a platform on which to rest the books. If you will not be using it to support items then you can buy a cake base that is the same size as your bottom tier.
Once you have decorated the cake to your liking you will need to bundle it all up in cellophane. This is another process where I found it helpful to have another set of hands. You will need a good-quality roll of cellophane in order to have it large enough and also to reduce the chance of tearing. Cheaper cellophane from the dollar store is nowhere near large enough to cover a diaper cake and with the slightest bit of tension it will often tear as it is so thin. Unroll the cellophane on a large, clean surface such as a dining room table or freshly wiped hardwood floor – any dust particles and pet hair will cling to the cellophane. Determine how much you will need to have a nice bunch on top. I like to use a twist tie or extra set of hands to temporarily hold the top while I straighten the cellophane. To make clean sides, pull the back edge forward then pull the front edge backwards. Secure with a piece of clear tape as necessary. Placing the seam towards the back keeps the tape generally out of eyesight. I try to tape the seam inside a fold to further hide it.
Making a beautiful bow is not as difficult as it looks. The bow on this diaper cake is only the second decorative bow I have ever made and I think it turned out beautifully. The key is using ribbon with a wire edge – it allows you to shape not only the bow but the falls below it so they cascade. To make a ribbon bow, I follow this tutorial I found on YouTube. It’s a longer video at 7.5min but very, very detailed.
Ideas for Decorating
- stuffed animal on top (if not using the bath towel)
- fake flowers
- baby toiletries
- small toys like O-balls, plastic rings, rattle
- soothers & teething toys
- baby manicure set
- if you prefer the diapers to be hidden, you can also wrap tiers with receiving blankets
- if you prefer to not include a number of decorative items, you can make a fancy bow for the front of each tier
Have you made a diaper cake before? What do you like to include in yours? We’d love to hear about any baby shower gifts that you have made or that you have received that you just loved!
Andrea can always be found with a new craft in front of her, a form of technology on her right and a coffee on her left. This is how she survives suburbia with her two crazy toddlers in tow.