I have found myself making a lot of diaper cakes recently. The first one was VERY hard. I searched the internet for instructions and everything was confusing. Thus, I decided to make my own how to for everyone else to follow. Before we start, you should know
there are a lot of different ways to make a diaper cake. I have tried various ones and I find this way to be the easiest and most elegant. Good luck!
- 70-80 diapers (I use size 1 or 2… the newborns are just too small)
- 6 pins
- Glue Dots
- Cake board/cardboard
- Paper and Glue Gun (optional… for paper flowers)
Step 1: Roll diapers
This step is very simple and I have tried a lot of different ways to do this. The first time I used string to tie each one… took forever. Then I used pipe cleaners and ended up with a lot of tiny cuts on my fingers. Best thing to use is rubber bands. I used Office Depot #16. I don’t know what that means, but those are the ones I bought.
I have become a little picky about my diaper cakes and a small thing I make sure to do is to roll the diapers from the top of the diaper to the bottom. This makes them look a lot cleaner and will make a HUGE difference in the overall appearance of you cake. This picture is an attempt to show you the difference. The one of the left is the way I prefer to roll them. It is ultimately up to you, but I think it makes it look cleaner and easier to assemble if you roll them from top to bottom. Once you have rolled 70-80 diapers, you are ready to move to the next step. You should have at least 3 left over that are not rolled.
Step 2: Build Base
The easiest way I have found to make the layers is to use a plastic dowel. I used a Wilton Plastic Dowel I found at Michael’s in the cake decorating section, but you can use anything similar. I have tried to do them without one and it doesn’t travel as well and also doesn’t hold together as well. It is much easier this way too. First, take one of the unrolled diapers and roll it around the dowel. This will give you a good center of the cake.
I then take a rubberband and wrap it around the diaper with the dowel still in the center. The diaper will be a lot looser than the other diapers, but you should be able to pull the dowel out if you need to. (Sorry the photo is out of focus, but hopefully you get the idea).
Next, put the wrapped diapers around the center diaper. It should take about 7 for the first circle. You are welcome to use more or less, but I used 7. At this stage, the rubberband should fit around all 8 diapers (1 in the middle + the 7 around it). Put a rubberband around the diapers and then secure them even better by next tying a string around them. Now, start your next circle with the same technique. At this point you might need a second person to help a little. The rubberband should still fit over all the diapers, but secure it again with the string.
Do this one more time for the last circle. I like to make sure I have white diapers on the outside, so it looks like a wedding cake, but it is a personal preference. This is for a three tiered cake. If you would like to do four tiers, then you will need an additional circle. The rubberband will probably not fit over all the diapers this time. You can use several rubberbands over various sections until you have it together enough to tie the string around it or you can use larger rubberbands.
Step 3: Build Remaining Tiers
The bottom tier is the hardest and they get easier as you work your way up. You will start the next tier the same way as the first. You can either leave the finished bottom tier attached to the dowel or take it off, whichever you think will be easier for you. I like to leave the bottom tier there. For this tier, you just need the center diaper and 2 circles. Again, I like to secure each circle with the string to make sure the cake does not fall apart on the way to the shower or wherever I am taking it.
The last tier is the easiest. Again you can leave the dowel in or take it out. Completely up to you. As a side note, once I have finished making all the tiers, I try to make sure all the diapers are facing the same way. In some of the pictures, you will notice it looks a lot better if the part facing outward is smooth. This is easily accomplished by having what is the “bottom” of the diaper facing inward toward the center. (Again, me being picky) Now you can place it on a cake board. I found this one at Michael’s in the cake decorating section. Most of the time they come in packs of 6-ish. So, be sure to use their weekly coupons to get these 40% off. I think this was a 10 inch one.
Step 4: Decorate with Ribbon
This part can be a little tricky. I like to use wide ribbon to hide all the rubberband and string mess that is holding the cake together. The easiest way to do this if you are by yourself is with pins. Common question asked: Will this make the diapers unusable? Answer: I actually do not know… Probably, but you are only putting the pins in 3 diapers out of the entire cake, so I figure it is not that big of a deal. Back to the instruction, pin the ribbon on one diaper and wrap it around the tier until the ribbons overlap slightly. Pin the top and bottom to secure it the best. I use glue dots on the back of the ribbon in a couple places to keep the ribbon from falling down off the diapers (optional).
I also like to do a second thinner ribbon on top of the wider one to make it prettier. Again, I use the glue dots to keep this ribbon on top of the wider one. Without the glue dots, it will look like the picture to the right. You can choose any colors you want for the ribbon. I normally choose whatever the shower colors are or the colors of the nursery.
Do the same technique with the remaining tiers. You can tie bows if you want to finish off the ribbon or just make pretty knots. In this picture I decided to make pretty knots. Just by cutting the ribbon a certain way, it will make it look more elegant.
The ribbon is just used to help decorate the cake, but mainly to hide all the string and rubberbands. Whatever you want to do with the ribbon is up to you.
Step 5: Decorate (Optional)
As if diapers were not pricey enough, now you can decorate your cake with even more items. There are a million different ways to decorate a cake. Some ideas to throw your way include: baby toys, diaper bag needs (hand sanitizer, pacis, teethers, etc.), stuffed animals, bath needs (travel shampoo, toys, wash clothes, etc.) and many, many more. On this cake, I wanted to make it look elegant, but not spend a lot of money. I googled how to make paper flowers. It is very easy and super cheap. The paper was on sale for $0.25 a sheet and I got 3 flowers out of each sheet…. not bad! Either way, the options are endless. I have included some other cakes I have made to help: