How to Make a “Unique” Diaper Cake. Ha!
So you have a friend who is having a baby and somehow you were elected to throw the baby shower. You have the food. You ordered the invitations. Pulled out your fancy serving dishes. But what is missing?
I know, your table needs a centerpiece. Why yes, it does.
It can serve as a nice focal point, in case people need a reminder for why they are there drinking mimosas on a Saturday afternoon, as well as being a practical gift for the parents-to-be.
First you will need to buy some supplies:
Bottle of champagne: Ah, yes, this is the critical difference with this Alpha Mom diaper cake. No rolled up baby bibs or receiving blankets here. (Does anyone even use those blankets?) This goes in the center of the cake. It is for the parents to bring to the hospital with them to break over the bow of the baby like the QE2.
Instead of playing the good girl, you could put a bottle of a scotch in there. Or whiskey. Or vodka. Well, you get the idea. Other guests might talk about you afterward in hushed tones, but in a few months the new parents will be thanking you. Especially if you have tucked a couple pair of earplugs in there too.
Serving platter: I bought the one in the photograph at Target for under $20. You could alternately cut a circle out of heavy cardboard or plywood.
Size one diapers, yes newborn diapers are adorable and oh so tiny, but many babies don’t wear them very long if at all. At least the size 1 diapers you know will be used. Alpha Mom says that the best diapers to include in the diaper cake are the relatively-new Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive that include a wetness indicator, perfect for new moms as initially it’s tough to tell whether a baby needs a diaper change. Also, look for the specially-marked package of Pampers whereby every purchase equals one life-saving vaccine donated through Unicef.
Elastic bands, get a whole bag of them. Any ones you have leftover you can shoot at your children should they come near the finished diaper cake before you have a chance to photograph it. Not that I did that or anything.
White tissue paper, one package that is usually used for gift bags is sufficient
Decorative ribbon– here you get to decide what color you want. I wanted something that was not the traditional pastel baby colors.
Wide white satin ribbon Not wired. Just the cheap stuff they sell in the craft store with the wedding accessories
Decorative accents – I went with the so ugly they are cute Ugly dolls. What isn’t to love about these little guys?
Buy the champagne. If you do not regularly drink champagne you will be surprised at how many different kinds there are and also how many different price points they come in. Decide how much you like the person and shop accordingly. I bought the $24.99 champagne. I picked this particular one because I liked the shape of the bottle and I thought the label was pretty. Remember they are going to be bringing this to the hospital to toast the birth of their baby… do you think they are going to care about your champagne? Their minds will likely be occupied by other things, like that brand new baby they have. Does this sound like I am trying to justify being cheap? Eh, whatever you are throwing them a baby shower afterall.
Find your platter. Either buy one from a discount party store, they have tin ones that are very inexpensive or cut your own out of sturdy cardboard or plywood.
Begin rolling diapers. Put two of the wee diapers together and roll them. Fasten shut with an elastic band.
Encircle the bottle with the rolled up diapers, fitting as many as possible into the ring. Then slip an elastic band around the entire thing to secure it. Repeated the process to form an outer ring. Then put an elastic around the entire ring to hold it securely to the bottle.
Are you keeping count yet, because that is already a lot of elastic bands. Don’t try to make due with the ones you have dug out of your junk drawer. I’m warning you now.
After you do this you might notice that there is a bit of room. Take the opportunity to slide some unrolled diapers in around the bottle.
Pat it all into place so that the top is as even as possible.
Now we are going to use our tissue paper to cover this entire layer. No one wants to see the faces of licensed characters all over, and if you haven’t realized it yet all things for babies have licensed characters on them. First, take two sheets of tissue paper and layer them together. Then, fold it into a square.
Aren’t you glad I provided you with the second photo? Just in case you had no idea what a square was.
At the center corner cut a series of slits that are roughly equal to the radius of your champagne bottle.
Also, I never noticed how weird my thumb looks when I am using scissors. Or it could just be that my thumb was expressing the pent up rage I was feeling while telling my husband to take the DAMN PHOTO ALREADY, while wishing I had a tripod.
Carefully unfold the tissue paper and slip it over the neck of the bottle. Tuck the strips in around the top of the bottle. Don’t worry too much about the top since there will be another layer of diapers covering it.
Strange but what are my mother’s hands doing in this photo? Must. Moisturize. Now.
Carefully smooth the tissue paper down around the sides of the diaper. Get one of your larger elastic bands from your package and stretch it over the entire thing. I will say that another set of hands is very helpful at this point. If you can grow yourself another set, please do, otherwise have someone around to give you a hand, literally. I crack myself up sometimes.
Trim the excess tissue from around the edges, however, make sure that you leave enough tissue paper to tuck under the layer of the cake.
Now begin the second layer.
Take some of the unwrapped diapers and wrap them around the bottle until you achieve a thickness that is half as thick as the rolled up diapers. Is that as clear as mud?
How about this then, your bottom layer is two rows of rolled diapers plus a bit. Your top row will be one row of rolled diapers. You want this layer to be half way in between so that it creates nice symmetrical layers.
Oh, just look at the photos. That’s what they are here for.
Look at all those elastic bands! Really you could say that you are giving the gift of elastic bands displayed on diapers. Your friend will thank you. You can never have too many elastic bands.
Repeat the process for the second and third layers.
However, remember that on the top layer you do not need to cut slices into your tissue paper. It is going to be a nice flat surface.
Stand back and admire your handy work. Yes, it isn’t supposed to look finished yet.
Now we are going to wrap the sides of the cake with the white satin ribbon. Think of it as the fondant layer. I bought 3″ wide satin ribbon. Nothing fancy.
Since the ribbon is not as wide as the diapers I needed to use two rows on each layer, securing them in the back with the magic of scotch tape.
I decided to match the ribbon the Ugly Dolls. Finding attractive ribbon is not easy.
I didn’t end up using that thinner ribbon. I was going to use it to try and secure the Ugly Dolls on the cake. But it ended up looking like they were hanging from nooses. And really, that is way more subversive than anyone needs for a baby shower.
Wrap the decorative ribbon around the layers. I tied the ribbon in a knot in the back of the cake.
Then wrapped the co-ordinating ribbon around the knot.
Make a bow out of the matching ribbon and stick it on the top of the cake and make some long “tails” to hang down.
There. Your diaper cake is done. Let the party begin.
Have you come here looking for a baby shower gift idea? Take a look at our Baby Registry Checklist and see if you can find some inspiration.
When Chris Jordan is not busy making a diaper cake, she’s just wonderfully busy. Follow her daily memoirs at Notes from the Trenches.