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How to Make a “Unique” Diaper Cake. Ha!

By Chris Jordan

how to make diaper cakesSo 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?

how to make diaper cakes

Step 1:
how to make diaper cakes

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.

Step 2:
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.

how to make diaper cakes

Step 3:
how to make diaper cakes

Begin rolling diapers. Put two of the wee diapers together and roll them. Fasten shut with an elastic band.

Step 4:
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.

how to make diaper cakes

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.

Step 5:
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.

how to make diaper cakes

Pat it all into place so that the top is as even as possible.

Step 6:
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.

Step 7:
At the center corner cut a series of slits that are roughly equal to the radius of your champagne bottle.

how to make diaper cakes

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.

Step 8:
how to make diaper cakes

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.

how to make diaper cakes

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.

Step 9:
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 to make diaper cakes

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.

how to make diaper cakes

See?

how to make diaper cakes

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.

Step 10:
Repeat the process for the second and third layers.

how to make diaper cakes

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.

how to make diaper cakes

Step 11:
Stand back and admire your handy work. Yes, it isn’t supposed to look finished yet.

Step 12:
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.

how to make diaper cakes

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.

how to make diaper cakes

Step 13:
I decided to match the ribbon the Ugly Dolls. Finding attractive ribbon is not easy.

how to make diaper cakes

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.

Step 14:
Wrap the decorative ribbon around the layers. I tied the ribbon in a knot in the back of the cake.

how to make diaper cakes

Then wrapped the co-ordinating ribbon around the knot.

how to make diaper cakes

Step 15:
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.

how to make diaper cakes

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.

Chris Jordan
About the Author

Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she wrote about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, she has seven of them. Yes, children. Yes, they...

Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she wrote about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, she has seven of them. Yes, children.
Yes, they are all hers.
No she’s not Catholic or Mormon. Though she wouldn’t mind having a sister-wife because holy hell the laundry never stops.
Yes, she finally figured out what causes it. That’s why her youngest is a teen now.
Yes, she has a television.

She enjoys referring to herself in the third person.

 

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Comments

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jenB
Guest

Too fantastic for words. EXCELLENT work my friend.

Sharon
Guest
Sharon

I’m inspired.

cristen
Guest
cristen

i knew you were crafty, but really. didn’t know you had it in you. fan-ceee.

Amy
Guest

Now, I have made a diaper cake or two in my lifetime, but I have never put champagne in the center–what a great idea! And great how to’s! Thanks!

crockpot lady
Guest

This makes me want to have more children so I can be the recipient of such an awesome gift.

liz
Guest

My mom was so upset when they started putting cartoon characters on diapers because her diaper cake was made up of one layer of disposable diapers rolled around each other with little baby socks made into tiny flowers and tucked in between spirals on the diaper roll. I’ve gotta show her this!

Stephanie
Guest

Curses! I just threw a baby shower for my sister two weeks ago, and I had no idea such a fantastic thing existed. Had I but known, I would have made one for her!
I may just have to make her a cake still and sneak it in her house while she’s at the hospital, just for fun.
Again, I remain as ever inspired by you.

The Simple Family
Guest

I am crafty…but the craftiness (AND THE MERE AMOUNT OF ELASTIC NEEDED) for this makes me want to throw up in fear.

Jamie AZ
Guest
Jamie AZ

The bottle inside – brilliant!

Molly
Guest
Molly

The cake impresses me, and another thing that impresses me is that your husband actually cooperated long enough to take all those photos for you. My husband would have given up and gone to watch the soccer game long before I’d finished the project.

Maria
Guest
Maria

I almost wish I knew someone having a baby so i could do this. Well – there are some newlyweds at the office that should be starting families soon. Thanks for the great ideas!

jen
Guest

Yup! It’s the drink in the middle that makes this cake whoop the butts of all the other sissy diaper cakes! Thanks for the idea!

Brenna
Guest

That hs got to be the coolest diaper cake I have ever seen! I want one!

Wendy
Guest

I will be using this as a gift instead of a center piece – AWESOME idea!
Thanks for sharing –

Lottifish
Guest

I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a baby shower I have coming up. Can you tell me how many diapers you used approximately? I don’t know how many to buy.

n.b.
Guest

This is too much! Wish I’d made one for my likely-to-be-last baby shower. You are a creative genius!

Tracy
Guest
Tracy

I’m guessing 90 diapers — am I close?
Tracy

leanne
Guest
leanne

Just fantastic. I’m going to a baby shower very soon. I don’t think any new mom could get too many of these!

Leanne
Guest
Leanne

I think I counted about 50 diapers.

missy
Guest
missy

How weird is this… I am throwing a baby shower TOMORROW. I had my 12 year old wrap all the diapers tonight and I figured i would throw the cake together tomorrow. I went on the computer before I went to bed and found your diaper cake. Guess what I have an extra bottle of champagne here and I will be hiding it in the middle. Great idea. thank you

Chris Jordan
Guest

The number of diapers used really depends on the diameter of the platter, how tightly you wrap them, etc.
I bought a package of 96 and I had some left over. But you can always just toss those into a shopping bag and hand them to your friend. They will not go to waste.

Tania
Guest

How wonderful! I want one. Unfortunately, we don’t do baby showers here in the UK. Looks like I’ll have to make one for myself (with cloth instead of disposables though!)

Mónica
Guest
Mónica

Brilliant! I have to throw a couple of BS and this idea is fan-tas.tic!

lisa
Guest
lisa

Holy! This is awesome. My girlfriend’s who are holding my shower could never do something this creative..a centerpiece of poop is probably better than what they’d create. I’m making this for myself.

martha
Guest
martha

how cute

Cammie
Guest
Cammie

Beautiful – a very classy presentation for a necessary gift. Wish I had seen this for the two baby showers I just threw! Oh well, there will be the births…

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

The cake looks awesome, I’m hosting a shower for my girlfriend and this will be the icing on the cake! lol Best of all was your sense of humour – I was rolling on the floor while reading this!!

gail
Guest
gail

My dtr will be having a baby shower in September and this is an awsome gift. I will steal your idea. Thanks a bunch. I luv this so much . Cannot wait to start this project.
Love from the beautiful island of St.Kitts …now living in NJ

Angela
Guest
Angela

I love the editorial for the cake! You are hysterical! I will be making a diaper cake for my girlfriend and have been looking for ideas, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of alcohol in the center! And just FYI, Pampers Swaddlers makes a plain white diaper, (just a little character on the waistband in the front.) Thanks for the great ideas!

Sandy
Guest
Sandy

Thanks for another way to make a diaper cake. I use the receiving blankets as well but using tissue would really cut the cost down. I am on my 3rd diaper cake and am so addicted to them. As for the left over diapers, use them and make a diaper wreath, easier, faster and so much cheaper but more fancy than thowing the left overs in a bag. The wreath can be used for the hospital room door and then take home and place in the nursery. What a wonderful way to share our talents ladies. Sandy

followthatdog
Guest

you are my new personal hero. I’m all for encouraging drinking after the birth of a baby. I think it is how I survived the infancy of both of my boys!

Georgia
Guest
Georgia

My sister just called me and asked me to make a diaper cake for a shower she is attending in August. I made one for my daughter’s shower almost two years ago…and I came online to refresh my memory on how I did it!!! lol These new parents don’t drink—so I’ll use something else in the center…..but your instructions are great and your humor had me chuckling! thanks so much!!!

MessyMom
Guest

What great step by step instructions and photos! I saw one of these about 4 yrs ago and never knew how they made it. She hid little items in some of the wrapped up diapers, like rattles, outlet covers, pacifiers, etc. With her gift ideas and your instructions and my Mommy experience, I can now make the ultimate Diaper Cake!

WebDrops
Guest

woah!! this is excellent…. I mean the photo itself says it all… good one.. and easy to make… thanks for sharing…

CricketFamily
Guest

I wish someone would make that for me – a glass of bubbly after 9 months of juice is a damn fine idea 🙂

Karen Sugarpants
Guest

This is awesome Chris! Bookmarking this for the next baby shower – thanks for explaining it in such detail. It’s way easier than I thought.

jazzeebee
Guest

this is a really nice cake! i make them myself:} i really like the bottle of wine idea,i myself have 6 kids, i sure wish somebody gave me a bottle for me instead of the baby!!!LOLOLOL

amy
Guest
amy

I have read enough diaper cake directions to help everyone. I got to yours and stopped. You are hilarious! Everyone else is so serious. You made me laugh today! Your remarks are so funny and histerical even if your not making the cake just sitting and reading this is enough. Thanks for being yourself. As far as the tissue paper idea, FANTASTIC! Oh yeah and make sure to brag on your husband! AMY

Peachy
Guest
Peachy

PERFECT!!!!!! I have viewed about a million of them on the Internet over the past few weeks and THIS is the kind I will make. I love your technique, great job! Thanks for the inspiration.

Jennifer S
Guest
Jennifer S

The cake is adorable, but is no one else concerned about the idea of giving champagne to a woman who just gave birth and is most likely nursing her new baby?
Breastfeeding and alcohol do not mix. I would have made it with sparkling grape juice instead.

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

I can’t stop laughing….you really are funny! Love the side-bar comments!
The cake is awesome! I have spent hours upon hours researching diaper cakes and this will be the one that I make.
I’ll use a big ole bottle of Risling wine instead of the champagne…we aren’t that fancy!
Thanks again!

littlemama
Guest
littlemama

what woman doesn’t need a drink after delivery???? this kicks so much…butt! i love that you actually used a real platter and covered the dipes with paper. i’m making one for bf this week with cloth and a super bottle of her poison of choice…chenin blanc!

DiaperCakeBecca
Guest

Oh my god….this totally cracked me up. I make diaper cakes all day, every day (my business) and I WISH someone would ask, just once, for some hard liquor (instead of Johnson’s Baby Bath) in the middle of one of them. I have some tips, though, to help your readers. First of all…Swaddlers are about the only PREMIUM diaper left that isn’t covered all over with the licensed graphics. They have one thin band of Sesame Street people but other than that the diapers are PURE WHITE. Those diapers can be rolled to form pure white tiers (hence…no need for… Read more »

Elaine Leo
Guest

Nice diaper cake post. The moment I heard of diaper cakes, I thought it was a cake that can be eaten!
Until I saw the pictures of diaper cakes, only then I knew it is a cake made of diapers, and it is a gift in baby shower.
These are truly great diaper cake directions
Elaine

Colleen
Guest
Colleen

Marvelous idea – I’ve made ’em, but never with champagne or tissue paper. Genius!! As for putting alcohol in the center, do what you think you need to, but if someone is having a child, they should be responsible enough to think before they drink: Pump & dump! Toast that little one… If they could have bottled a slushy daquiri for me, I would have been ecstatic to celebrate with it! Wish someone would have done this for me!! 🙂 Thanks for the belly laughs as I read your directions – keep up the good work!

pat
Guest
pat

I LOVED THIS CAKE, BUT AM MOST INTERESTED IN THE STUFFED ANIMALS THAT YOU ADDED. PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHERE YOU PURCHASED THESE CUTE LITTLE GUYS.

Darcy
Guest
Darcy

;o) This was just too funny… I love your style of presentation – very informative with good humor… I can’t wait to make my first cake..!!

Megan
Guest

This is awesome! Love the idea of alcohol inside!

lea
Guest
lea

Thats really sooooo cute, and its so nice of you to share this idea.
THANK YOU.

Amelia Wallace
Guest

This is great, can’t wait til someone I know has a baby! But how did you attach the cute toys on the outside-and where did you get them? Thanks for sharing.