Introduction: How to Make a Diaper Cake -- Without the Chocolate Filling

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Want to give a gift to friends and family members who are expecting a baby? Know someone who just had a baby? Don't be unoriginal and buy something off their baby register from a department store. Give them something they really need but dress it up. Make their gift . . . The Diaper Cake!!!

The 'Diaper Cake' looks like a white three tier wedding cake made from (new and unused) diapers and can be customized to fit the personality of the gift recipient. And can be made for as little as $35, but looks like it costs a lot more.

The 'Diaper Cake' can also be used as party decorations (as a smaller version-2 tier) or as a table centerpiece at baby showers.

The 'Diaper Cake' can be made as big or as small as you wish. If you like a challenge, see how many tiers you can make it.

Step 1: Materials List

  • Scissors - pointy ends work better.
  • Diapers (96 count shown) - I recommend getting Size #2 or larger- babies grow out of Size #1 fast, because the diaper is based on the weight of the baby, (not the load inside the diaper). Plus, the gift recipient can enjoy your beautiful creation longer before they have to break it up and use the diapers. Cost: Roughly $25.
  • Small decorations for the top tier (pick items based on the sex of the baby, the personality of the gift recipient, or the theme of the baby's room). In this example, I used a silk rose as the nursery theme was a garden. I have also used stuffed animals and sports balls. Cost:Prices varies.
  • Rubber bands in a variety of sizes - Used to hold the diapers together and makes a useful third hand. Cost: Free from work.
  • Cardboard round cake circles. I used 12" here, but you a can use any size depending on the size of the diaper cake base you need. Cost: $4.95 for a pack of 6, only 1 is needed per cake.
  • Ribbon - Decorative ribbon that matches the theme/color of the 'Top Tier' decoration.
Cost: Ranges from $1-3 for a roll of 15 feet. You will need 2 rolls.

  • String - will be used internally to hold the tiers together. It needs to be white so that it hides better among the diapers.

Step 2: The Beginning

First you need to open the package of 96 diapers.
Divide the diapers into 3 groups that will form the three tiers of the cake.

Top, Middle and Bottom tiers.
Top Tier = 1/6 of diaper package - 16 diapers from our pack of 96
Middle Tier = 1/3 of diaper package - 32 diapers from our pack of 96
Bottom Tier = 1/2 of diaper package - 48 diapers from our pack of 96

Starting with the Top Tier pile of diapers, take one of the diapers (keep it folded in half, just as it comes out of the package) and roll it starting from the waist band towards the crotch of the diaper. Once rolled wrap a rubber band around it to hold it in the rolled up position.

Step 3: Continue Rolling

Now that you have successfully completed rolling the first diaper, lets move on to the next one.

Lay out the second diaper from the 'Top Tier' pile of diapers. Place the first diaper, that you just finished rolling, and place it onto the waist band of the second (unrolled) diaper. Begin rolling the first diaper towards the crotch of the second diaper. Once completed, the second diaper should completely wrap around the exterior of the first diaper.

Continue adding diapers to the roll of diapers. As you roll more diapers on you may need to add another rubber band to make sure that the diapers stay in place. This will help hold the roll and free your hands to grab more diapers.

Continue this process until all 16 diapers are rolled together. You have now just created the 'Top Tier' of the cake. Congratulations.

Step 4: Middle and Bottom Tiers

Now that you have finished the top tier. Put that off to the side so you may begin on the next two tiers.

The 'Middle Tier' is formed the same way as the top tier (Step 3). The only difference is that there are more diapers wrapped around each other. The middle tier has a total of 32 diapers (if using a pack of 96).

The 'Bottom Tier' is created the same way, but you are using 48 diapers (if using a pack of 96).

If you want the recipient to be even more impressed by your diaper cake, cut the inner rubber bands after the tier is complete. Make sure you leave the outer rubber band on each tier until step 9. This way when the recipient unties the ribbon for each tier, the cake will fall apart leaving your method a secret.

Once you complete the 'Middle Tier' and 'Bottom Tier' you can stack all 3 tiers on top of each other to get a general idea of what the final diaper cake will look like.

Step 5: Measuring Support String Holes

The support string is important because it holds all three tiers together so they do not shift during transport.

The diameter of the 'Top Tier' should be about 8 inches (if you used a pack of 96 diapers). We will use this measurement to help determine where the marks for the support string holes will go on the cake circle base.

Pull out one of the 12" cake circles (or whatever circle base size you are using).

Since the diameter of our 'Top Tier' is 8" and we want our support strings to be within the 8", so we subtract 1" from each side, making a 6" diameter internal circle. Our cake circle base is 12". When we subtract our 6" circle from the cake circle base the difference is also 6". If we were to center our 6" circle on the cake circle base, there would be a difference of 3" on both sides of the 6" interior circle to cake circle base. This will position our support string holes 3" from the outside edge of the cake circle base.

Make 4 dots onto the white side of the cake circle (you want the white side to face up in case some of it is seen around the edge of the diapers). The dots should be 3" (according to our measurements above) from the edge of the cake circle base.

Step 6: Punching Out the Support String Holes

Take your scissors and punch a hole where you marked the 4 dots on the cake circle base.

Step 7: Adding the Support Strings

Cut 2 pieces of string that are long enough to travel the height of your tiered cake twice (about 4.5 feet long in our example).

Pick up and flip the cake circle base over so you can see the back brown side of it.

Then take the first sting and feed one end into a hole and the other end in the hole on the opposite side of the cake circle.

Take the second piece of string and put one end into one of the 2 remaining holes and the other end in the last remaining hole.

The two strings should cross each other for added support.

Flip the cake circle base over and it should look like the 2nd picture.

Step 8: Feed Support Strings Thorugh the Cake Tier

Now feed all four support strings through the bottom of the 'Bottom Tier' up to the top of the same tier.

Place the 'Middle Tier' on top of the 'Bottom Tier' and feed all 4 support strings through the bottom of the 'Middle Tier' up to the top of the same tier.

Repeat the same process to feed the support strings through the 'Top Tier' attaching it to he 'Middle Tier'.

When all 4 support string ends are at the top of the 'Top Tier', tie the ends together.

Cut off the excess ends of the string.

Step 9: Putting on the Final Touches

This cake was for a Baby girl so I went with a pink theme. This is the part where you can make your cake super special by tailoring the cake with small items that relate to the baby or the interests of the baby's parents.

Tie ribbon around the middle of each layer to cover up the outside rubber bands on each section. I tie knots first to secure the ribbon before I tie the bows. Also, wait to cut the extra ribbon from the bows until all bows are done. That way you can make the ribbon the same length for each tier (basing it off the shortest ribbon). Once the ribbon is secure, cut the out rubber band.

I used a pink rose as the cake topper because it went with the baby's garden themed nursery. In the past, I have added baby rattles, small stuffed animals, sports balls, pacifiers, you name it. Note: if you are using florals or other wired items that will be inserted between the diapers cover the pointed ends with tape. This will prevent you from puncturing the diapers and when the diaper is eventually used any leaks will not be your fault.

These diaper cakes are a hit; everyone always asks me how I made them.

So for under $35 you have a baby gift that will impress everyone and you did not even have to buy the $300 baby stroller off their baby registry. Plus, the parents will thank you down the road when they run out of diapers at 3 am and don't have to make a trip to the store. Some Mom's fight the urge to disassemble the cake but at 3 in the morning all good things come to an end.