One of the creative things people often make for a baby shower decoration is something called a “diaper cake”, a cute centerpiece that’s made to look like a 3 tier cake, but it’s constructed out of disposable diapers. And after the shower, the mom-to-be gets to go home with all those helpful diapers too.
I recently helped to plan a baby shower, and when the subject of decorations came up, I suggested it might be fun to have a diaper cake and volunteered to do the crafting. Yes, I said, let’s make our own diaper cake!
Gathering Your Diaper Cake Supplies
To get started making your diaper cake, you’ll need to gather together a few simple supplies. One of my first stops was the dollar store where I was able to score a few fun doo-dads. Here’s the list of what I used:
- A large plate or cardboard circle (I used a 13″ dollar store “charger” plate)
- Empty cardboard tube from a roll of paper toweling
- Rubber bands (already in my stash)
- String (already in my stash)
- Wide Ribbon (I found a roll of 1-1/2″ ribbon at the dollar store)
- Tape, Pins, or Hot Glue Gun (for securing the ribbon)
- Embellishments (dollar store mini rubber duckies!)
- Disposable diapers (more on the diapers below)
Here’s a photo of some of these items that I used to get started:
How Many Diapers Do You Need to Make A Diaper Cake?
The main component of your diaper cake is of course, the diapers. I decided to use Size 1 disposable diapers as these were not the very smallest newborn size, yet they were still small enough to be helpful for getting started with a new baby.
I ended up using 50 diapers for my diaper cake and would suggest that as a minimum amount you would need. You could certainly make a larger cake with more or bigger layers, but using 50 diapers will give you a diaper cake that’s about 14″ tall which is a nice centerpiece size.
The one small frustration you may have with the 50 diaper amount is the way diapers come packaged. The size 1 diapers I purchased came in a 44 pack, which meant I had to buy 2 packs and had several diapers left over. I just brought my extra diapers along to the baby shower and made sure to send them home with the mom-to-be.
Diaper Cake Step-By-Step Assembly Instructions
Once you have all your supplies gathered together, you can begin building your diaper cake. Here are the steps I used:
Step 1: Roll Up The Diapers – Because you will be standing the diapers up their sides, you’ll need to roll them up into little bundles. For the size 1 diapers that I used, I folded/rolled them into thirds and then secured them with a rubber band. The diapers I used also had a little bit of a print design on them, which I rolled to the inside to keep more of the white part of the diaper showing.
Step 2: Build The Bottom Tier – Set the cardboard paper toweling tube in the middle of the plate (you can tape it to the plate to make it more secure if you wish). Start placing the diaper bundles around the tube. I used 29 diapers for my bottom tier which ended up being three layers around the tube.
Step 3: Secure the Tier with String – Once you have the diaper bundles for the first tier arranged around the cardboard tube, you’ll want to keep them in place by tying a string around the them. Wrap the string around the middle of the tier in the same area as the rubberbands, make a small knot, and clip any remaining ends of the string short.
Step 4: Repeat for the Middle Tier – For the middle tier, arrange 15 diapers around the cardboard tube, setting them on top of the bottom tier. The middle tier will be two layers around the tube. Secure the tier with a string.
Step 5: Repeat for the Top Tier – For the top tier, arrange 6 diapers around the cardboard tube, setting them on top of the middle tier. The diaper bundles will now extend above the tube a little bit. Secure the tier with a string.
Step 6: Cover the rubberbands and string with ribbon – Now that the diaper cake is assembled, we realize that the diaper cake is not a math paper and we do not want to show our work. So to hide the rubber bands and string, you’ll want to cut pieces of ribbon to an appropriate length and wrap it around the rubber band area on each tier. I used ribbon that was 1-1/2″ wide and needed about 2-1/2 yards total. I held the ribbon in place with some double stick tape and pins. You could perhaps also use hot glue.
Step 7: Add Embellishments – Finally, you’ll want to add some decorations and embellishments to your diaper cake. In particular, you’ll want something to set on top of the cake to cover the opening where the cardboard tube is. I used a rubber duck on the top of the cake, and then added some curling ribbon and my dollar store mini rubber ducks. This final step is where you can be as creative as you would like! You can decorate using a theme or add lots of little items to your cake for the mom-to-be to take home after the shower.
And then your work is done and you’ve made your own diaper cake! I found that this project went along faster and easier than I thought. I think you’ll find that making a diaper cake is definitely time well spent as not only is it a cute and decorative addition to the baby shower, it’s a practical and useful item that the mom-to-be can take home with her too.
Here are the complete diaper cake printable instructions:
How To Make A Baby Shower Diaper Cake
- 50 Disposable Diapers (I used size 1)
- 1 Large plate or cardboard circle (Approx 13")
- 1 Cardboard tube from a roll of paper toweling“
- 50 Medium Size Rubber bands
- 2-1/2 yards 1-1/2" Wide Ribbon
- Tape, Pins, or Hot Glue Gun (for securing ribbon)
- Small Baby Item for a cake topper
- Other small baby items or embellishments
- Roll each of the diapers and secure with a rubber band. (I folded/rolled my size 1 diapers into thirds).
- Make the bottom tier of the cake by standing the cardboard roll up in the middle of the plate (you may wish to secure it with some tape), and then placing 29 rolled diapers around it, standing them on end. This will be three layers of diaper bundles circling around the tube. Secure the tier by tying a piece of string around the middle of the tier in the same area as the rubber bands.
- Make the middle tier by arranging 15 diapers around the cardboard tube, setting them on top of the bottom tier. This will be two layers around the tube. Tie a string around the tier to secure it.
- Make the top tier by arranging 6 diapers around the cardboard tube, setting them on top of the middle tier. This will be one layer around the tube, and the diapers will extend a little bit above the tube. Tie a string around the tier to secure it.
- Cover the rubber bands and string on each tier by cutting a piece of the ribbon to an appropriate size and wrapping it around the tier, securing it in place with tape, pins, hot glue, or a combination of those items.
- Finish the diaper cake by placing a baby item on top of the cake to cover the cardboard tube area. Add any other small baby items or curling ribbon streamers to the cake as desired.