Diaper cakes are popular gift offerings at baby showers. While they won't take the place of a delicious confection cake, diaper cakes make cute conversation pieces and adorable decor. Once the party is over, these fun, decorative elements quickly transform into a bevy of practical necessities for parents-to-be. Learn how to make a diaper cake for your next baby shower event.
What Is a Diaper Cake?
A diaper cake is a cake comprised of diapers and other infant-inspired objects and materials that often finds a home at a baby shower or a Sip and see. The diapers are rolled and stacked to mimic a traditional multi-tiered cake. They can be adorned with ribbon, bows, rattles, pacifiers, stuffed animals, and any other baby-related items that might elevate the creativity factor. Aside from being a pretty element at a shower or party, parents find the cake quite resourceful following the festivities, as every part of it will be used once the baby arrives.
Easy Baby Shower Diaper Cake Instructions
These instructions are for a three or four-layer diaper cake, but you can easily modify them to make a smaller version. Gather all of your supplies ahead of time, so you won't have to stop working to search for something.
Things You'll Need
- About 50 size 1 diapers
- Heavy cardboard (to serve as the base for your diaper cake)
- Wrapping paper tube (or baby shampoo or lotion bottle)
- Hole punch
- Packing tape
- Large, clear rubber bands
- Ribbon and decor to fit the theme of the shower
- Cute toy for a cake topper
- Other items like baby socks, onesies, pacifiers, teethers, stuffed animals, and rattles to adorn your cake
What to Do
- First, you'll need to make the form for the cake. Decide on the diameter of the bottom layer, and then subtract one inch. Use this number to draw an appropriately sized circle on the cardboard. Cut out the circle. Use packing tape to affix the wrapping paper tube or a bottle of baby shampoo or lotion to the center of the circle.
- Roll up each diaper you plan to use and place a small rubber band around it. This will ensure the diapers don't come unrolled as you start placing them around the base and the tube.
- Put one large rubber band over the tube in the center of the stand. Beginning at the base, start tucking the diapers into the rubber band. Continue adding diapers until the bottom layer is just slightly larger than the cardboard base.
- Repeat this process with each layer. You'll use fewer diapers as the layers get smaller.
- To cover the large rubber bands holding the diapers in place, fasten thick ribbon, burlap, or any other material you choose to the layers of the diaper cake. This will give your cake a more polished appearance as well.
- When you're done assembling the basic part of the cake, the wrapping paper tube will be sticking out the top. Trim the tube to about an inch, and use a hole punch to make four holes in it. Thread pieces of ribbon through the holes, and leave the ends long. You can also decorate the end of the tube with flowers, baby socks, or other items that will work thematically and hide the tubing.
- Add a cake topper to your cake and tuck small infant items into different parts of the cake. For cake toppers, consider baby shoes, stuffed animals, or a large rubber duck.
Cute Themes for Diaper Cakes
Once you have your basic diaper cake constructed, you can use your imagination to tailor the cake to the shower's theme, the baby-to-be's nursery, or the parents'-to-be's interests.
Jungle Themed Diaper Cake
A jungle-themed baby shower is a popular choice for parents. Celebrate the little monkey on the way by creating a diaper cake packed with jungle-inspired elements. Choose ribbon with a giraffe or leopard print design. Use green materials to mimic a jungle floor, or palm fronds to accent your decor. Add in bibs, stuffed animals, and rolled washcloths that work with a jungle theme.
Color Scheme-Based Cake
One way to dress your cake up and make it unique is to use colors that will speak to the shower theme, the baby's nursery theme, or the parents' loves. You can choose to use whites, creams, and pinks, or silvers and blues. You might also use greens and yellows if the parents are staying with a gender-neutral theme. Think pretty shades of purples, varying the ribbon colors and styles, or try beige and browns with teddy bear hats, mittens, toys, and bibs adorning the cake. The sky is the limit when you use color to create a diaper cake masterpiece.
Bathtime Themed Diaper Cake
A diaper cake with a nod to bathtime is a perfect way to supply decor to a shower, along with all the bathtime necessities an infant will need. Attach washcloths and hooded towels to the diaper cake. Instead of using a paper towel roll for the center of the cake, use a bottle of baby wash or lotion. Attach smaller bath toiletries to the cake using ribbon, and place a rubber duck atop the cake.
Floral Themed Diaper Cake
Once you create a basic diaper cake, you can add floral accents and designs to make it look like a real cake. Purchase faux flowers and attach them (via hot glue to the base of each cake layer. You can choose white flowers for a monochromatic cake perfect for a winter-themed baby shower or autumn-inspired floral hues for a fall-themed baby shower. Pink and blue flowers are also perfect choices for a baby shower where the parents already know the gender of the baby.
Woodland Themed Diaper Cake
A popular shower theme is a woodland animal theme with rustic elements. Instead of ribbon, use twine and burlap to wrap around your diaper cake. Arrange and glue small twigs with berries to the base of the cake. Arrange little deer, owl and chipmunk stuffed animals around the cake and decorate the cake with tiny acorns, itty bitty birdhouses, and any of the woodsy elements you can think up.
Plaid and Lumberjack Diaper Cake
Another spin on a rustic baby shower is a lumberjack-themed baby shower. This is an excellent shower to throw if you are planning a Jack and Jill baby shower. To weave a diaper cake into this particular theme, use buffalo check ribbon, burlap prints and twines, and wooden elements like a cut piece of wood for the base of the cake.
Unicorn Diaper Cake
Unicorn-themed showers are whimsical, colorful, and wonderful ideas for anyone welcoming a darling baby in the near future. Wrap your cake stand in shiny material. Consider adding tulle to the base of your cake stand, and purchase unicorn accessories to create a face for your unicorn diaper cake.
Variations on Traditional Diaper Cakes
There are several options for decorative variations of diaper cakes to try. With a creative mind, plenty of supplies, and a patient hand, you can make just about anything out of diapers.
Diaper Cake Bathtub
Making a bathtub diaper cake is a perfect idea for those who are new to crafting or don't feel confident enough to take on some of the more complex variations. There are several ways to pull this craft off. You can purchase an infant bathtub and roll diapers to fill it, or you can line the bathtub with folded diapers, securing them in place with rubber bands and ribbons. You can also use an empty box, diapers, ribbon, baby booties, and plenty of bathtime accessories to make a faux baby bath that will put every guest in awe of your talents.
Castle Diaper Cake
A castle diaper cake is a prime decorative element to a baby shower thrown in honor of a little royal member of the household on the way. With a castle diaper cake, you will roll diapers as well as fold and stack them. The key to this centerpiece is tightly wrapping each part of the diaper cake, as there are several components to the castle which make different shaped pieces.
Train Diaper Cake
Making a train diaper cake looks intense, but really, it involves rolling and folding diapers and more materials as the train is longer than the other variations. If you can roll diapers and gather enough materials, you can create a train diaper cake.
A motorcycle cake is an interesting take on the traditional diaper cake. Creating this will require crafters to utilize a few different techniques (rolling diapers and folding them). Additional baby items like blankets, mittens, or booties, and a stuffed animal will be needed to complete the cake.
Where to Display a Diaper Cake
Once your diaper cake is assembled, you'll want to put it in place at the baby shower where it will be the star of the show. Consider setting the cake on a gift table or the corner of a dessert table. You can make smaller versions of a large diaper cake and display one at each guest table. If you have an entrance space set up with a baby shower guest book, this might also be a good place to show off a diaper cake.
Design a Diaper Cake With Plenty of Personality
A diaper cake that suits a shower theme, parents' likes, or a baby's nursery will be a home run hit. Take the time to learn how to simply construct a diaper cake, and then spend some time thinking about how to design a diaper cake packed with personality. This is a beautiful design element to work into any baby shower; and the end result will give parents plenty of functionality when baby arrives.