Sunday, August 19, 2012

How to make the cutest diaper cake ever!

Do you know my friend Dana? She is one of the craftiest people I know (see: here). So when I was called upon to help out with her baby shower a few weeks ago, I knew I had to bring my A game. Her family was planning the food and decor, and I handled the shower games (the old standard "taste the baby food" and "how many toilet paper squares go around her belly", and a "my first mad libs" book I wrote, about the baby having adventures with his big sister). 

And just for fun, I decided to throw in a little diaper cake. Because, well, come on. Any excuse to combine babies and crafting is fine by me. Having never made a diaper cake before, I decided to turn to Ye Olde Google for some tips, and Alphamom did not disappoint! Her instructions were clear (and hilarious), and she suggested using a bottle of champagne as the center instead of the traditional receiving blankets. This genius tip basically ensured that she would win the "whose instructions will I use to make this thing" award. Note: award may be fictional.

Anyway, on to the construction! Major props to my dear friend CC for helping out - I couldn't have done this alone (quite literally; there were times when four hands were absolutely necessary).

Step 1: Roll up approximately one billion tiny diapers (per Alphamom's suggestion, we used size 1 instead of newborn). I used Target brand, because Dana mostly registered for cloth and fancy organic diapers, and girlfriend, I love you, but I'm not going to spend that kind of money just on diapers for a diaper cake. Seriously, the amount of diapers this thing required (I think we ended up using about 90?) meant that I was going for the cheap ones. I figure they'll come in handy for "emergency" diapers, or "leave a few in the car" diapers. And I did google them on my iPhone at Target just to make sure they weren't, like, horrible or something.

Step 1, note: Since I had decided to go with a bubble bath theme, I was excited to see that the diapers kind of fit my design scheme (check out those "bubble"-like circles!). Not that anyone would see them once the thing was finished, but still. I love me a theme. Note that we even used green and blue rubber bands. And champagne with a blue label. Because like I said...theme.

Step 2: Stack yo diapers around and around, shoving extras in the middle for superior cushioning, and rubber band the whole damn thing together. If, like me, you didn't realize how big/stretchy your rubber bands would need to be, have your brilliant friend CC tie rubber bands together to make one huge one that will stretch over your base layer. Don't have a brilliant friend named CC? Too bad for you!

Step 3: Wonder why your diaper cake base layer has way more diapers than Alphamom's. Are my diapers smaller? Am I rolling them too tight? Did I buy a platter that was way too big? Is my champagne bottle too small? After doing far too much thinking (and even far-er too much comparative counting), decide it doesn't matter, actually. Moar diapers, FTW!

Step back and admire your handiwork.
It almost makes up for the amount of crap
on the floor in the background!
Step 4: Cover the base layer with tissue paper, and use another "magical CC rubber band creation" to hold it down. How did I get it to go over the bottle like that? I folded it and made some cuts, mostly how Alphamom suggested I do it. I think. Either way, it worked. All you do is fold your paper into a square and snip some snips into the center so that when you open it up, you have slices/a hole. Sort of like when you make paper snowflakes. Makes total sense, right?

Step 5: Cut off any excess tissue paper around the bottom, so you don't have paper hanging over the edges. If you cut too much, that's ok. You'll cover it with ribbon later.

Does having a picture make it easier to
imagine? I hope so.
Step 6: Remember what you did re: the diaper rolling and rubber banding, like, 10 minutes ago? Do it again! But make a smaller layer! Make sure to question the diameter of your circle way too many times! This is very important!

Those diapers are so darn cute with their
little dots, amirite?
Step 7: Cover your middle layer with tissue paper, the same way you did with the base layer. You'll cut even more excess paper off this one, and probably have to do more cutting later. Especially if you're like me and you didn't think to use smaller sheets of paper for smaller cake layers. Wastefulness!

Step 8: Do that whole roll-the-diapers, question-your-diameter, cover-with-paper thing again for the top layer.
Your cake should look like this!
Sort of wonky, totes fine.
I like to think of it as "topsy turvy".
That's a trendy cake thing, right?
Step 9: Decorate that shiz! I went for the bubble bath thing, because obviously, that is super adorable for a baby shower, and I was really going for that "omg that is soooo cuuuuuuute" reaction upon arrival at the shower. Duh.

Mission: Accomplished.
Step 10: Realize that it took you almost 3 hours to make the diaper cake, and that you totally don't even care, because it was so much fun to make. And because jeez, it's cute, right?

If you're comparing my cake to Alphamom's, you'll notice that she went the route of extra beautification through an additional ribbon layer (white, to be sort of the "fondant"). I skipped that, because I couldn't find the right white ribbon at Michael's, and also The blue and bubble ribbon was so damn cute on its own, I didn't want to mess with other ribbons. It's kind of hard to see, but the solid blue ribbon has little white stitches around the edges. Ugh. So cute. And that rubber ducky? Makes me want to die from cuteness overload. Especially with that bubble ribbon. Seriously, that bubble ribbon, you guys. I just about squealed in the ribbon aisle when I found that. 

So there you go! How to make the cutest diaper cake ever! Or just how to make a diaper cake. No, who am I kidding? Cutest ever!

Know anyone with a baby shower coming up? This is a super awesome way to contribute to the party, and give the parents some bonus gifts. Like champagne. For after the baby is born, duh. You don't even have to be super crafty...this is both fun and easy for the lazyish crafter. 

Have you ever made a diaper cake? Do you have any questions about anything I wrote?  Comment away, friends!


  1. Fantastic, Kim! Great job and thanks for sharing your directions and photos!

  2. It was SERIOUSLY the cutest diaper cake, EVER! We are set with newbie diapers, and the bottle is in the refrigerator waiting for the big day! My daughter unwrapped one diaper a day, like it was an advent calendar! We LOVED our diaper cake!!!!

  3. haha, love it! While making it, I didn't realize how truly "fun for the whole family" it would be ;)

  4. Nice job, Kim. You have FAR, FAR more patience than I ever could have.

  5. It was super fun! Didn't require too much patience - trust me, I am pretty impatient myself :)

  6. Cute! Have you seen the version with burp cloths? Michaels even has a handy kit for it.

  7. I've never made one but my friend Sonia makes them all the time and they are adorable. I don't think she uses champagne in the middle so I may pass that tip along"

  8. Mos def - I'd say a bottle of champagne is a better gift for new parents than more receiving cloths...provided the couple drinks alcohol and all... ;)