Diaper Cake Tutorial

UPDATE:  check out my most recent diaper cake for some optional revisions to supplies and instructions.

I. Supplies Needed:

One large telescoping mailing tube (mine was 4 inches in diameter). I found mine at The Container Store.

You'll also need:
  • a large piece of cardboard
  • white butcher paper or wrapping paper
  • doilies
  • 2 bags clear rubber hair bands (think Goody) - about 100 bands
  • large rubber bands, preferably white (I also found these at the container store - Can Bandz)
  • a strong cardboard wrapping paper tube
  • 2 packs of good-quality diapers, preferably plain white
  • ribbon
  • decorative paper
  • safety pins
  • a hot glue gun
  • tape
  • rubber cement
  • sharp scissors
  • flowers for decoration

First, roll all of your diapers. I bought one pack of pampers newborns (up to 10 lbs) and one pack of size one diapers (8-14 lbs) - approximately 45 diapers total. My friend is having twins, so I thought the smaller diapers would fit better. Roll the diapers with the pattern on the inside and secure around the middle with a clear rubber band. The open end of the diaper should be rolled to the inside.

It will look like this. Continue until all the diapers are rolled and set aside.

II. The Diaper Cake Stand

Since I was planning to transport this diaper cake to work on the subway, I wanted it to be really sturdy. This method makes for a very solid cake.

1. Cut 3 large circles out of strong cardboard. For the largest tier, I traced a dinner plate. For the middle tier, I used a salad plate, and for the top tier, I traced a small bowl.

2. Trace each size again on white paper (I used wrapping paper so it had a nice shine). Cut the three circles out and glue (I used rubber cement) to the cardboard.

3. For a decorative edge, glue doilies around the circumference.

4. Now you are ready to start building the stand. First you will need to cut your mailing tube to the height of your rolled diapers. The larger sized diapers were about 4 inches tall when rolled, so I cut the outer (white) layer of the mailing tube to approximately 4 inches. Using a hot glue gun, glue the outer tube to the center of the decorative side of the lower tier.

5. Cut the inner (brown) tube to approximately 3-4 inches in length. Hot glue to the bottom (undecorated side) of the middle tier.

6. The middle tier will now slide into the bottom tier.

7. Repeat the process with the middle tier.

8. For the top tier, use a strong cardboard wrapping paper tube or something similar. Try to find a tube that does not easily bend (the inner tubes of saran wrap or reynolds wrap work well). Cut to the height of your smaller sized rolled diapers and hot glue it to the center of the decorated side of the top tier.

III. Adding the diapers

1. With the cake stand built, you are ready to start adding diapers. I disassembled my stand and added the diaper layers one tier at a time. Put the large rubber band around the mailing tube first, and it will secure the diapers as you add them. I used two layers of rolled diapers on the bottom tier.

2. The middle tier had a single row of rolled diapers.

3. The top tier also had a single row of rolled diapers.

4. I had extra diapers, so I put rolled diapers inside of the mailing tubes on the bottom and middle layers. This would also be a good place to hide other baby gifts (socks, receiving blankets, binkies, etc.) if you so choose. I also placed unrolled diapers around the mailing tubes to add few more. You can slide them into the middle there without removing the rolled layers.

III. Decoration

1. I taped green velum leaves to each of the cardboard bases to add a bit of interest to the edges

2. Use decorative ribbon to cover the rubberbands on each layer. I pinned one edge of the ribbon to the large white rubberband at the back of the diaper cake with a safety pin, so none of the diapers would be damaged. Then, I wrapped the ribbon around the diaper layer and overlapped it in the back, securing with hot glue (hopefully that makes sense). I love the look of double ribbon, but a single layer would do just as well.

3. Add a decorative cake topper. I used paper roses from a tutorial I saw at MarthaStewart.com. This trio of roses slid right into the opening of the wrapping paper tube in the top tier.

4. Place a few smaller flowers that match the topper on the lower layers. I just slid the wire stems in place under the cardboard base and used double sided tape on the bottom of the blossom to secure.

5. Sit back and enjoy all the oohs and ahhs at your baby shower.

Hopefully this tutorial was helpful! Sometimes I have a hard time putting crafty directions into words. This first-time diaper cake was a series of trial and error, but in the end had a great finished product. My favorite part of this diaper cake is that it is very sturdy, yet each of the tiers slide apart easily. It will easy for the mom-to-be to dissemble when it comes time to put those diapers to use, and the inner compartments are ideal for hiding additional gifts.



Sheena Larkin said...

Awesome tutorial, you did a wonderful job at explaining. I really can't wait to put it to use.

Jaime said...

I can't wait to plan your shower! It will takes months of very careful research, but man, will it be fabulous!

Janelle said...

You are freaking amazing. Seriously. Maybe if I hang around long enough some of your crafting abilities will rub off...

zannestar said...

WOW! This has to be the best, not-at-all-cheesy diaper cake I have ever seen! It's really fantastic - great job!

JMG said...

Thanks, all of you, for your nice comments. I love getting feedback.

April said...

Stunning - that's all I can say! I am definitely going to be using this template for the cake I have to make. Thank you so much!!

Trina said...

Beautiful! I love the idea of using the flowers and velum leaves. I have not seen a diaper cake as elegant as this. Nice job.
I wish I had found this sooner though. I just hosted a baby shower at my house this past Sunday :(
Maybe next time!

fungalena said...

Hello , (alena UK) lovely tutorial. I have terrible food intolerance and ymmmed over the 7 up cake but woz geddin a bit worried when I read DIAPER CAKE...lol...is this i purley AMERICAN thing? lol ...jokes aside - you are very gifted. Thank you for your Blog - alena

lolly said...

What a great idea. I will try this the next time a friend or relative has a baby shower. What happened to the coffee filter roses? I was unable to get the tutorial.

mau said...

Well me and my sister-in-law just made the diaper cake last weekend and it came out great. We had to improv a bit cause we couldn't find the mailing tube you had, but it came out great. We also put already cut cake platters at Michael's. Again Thank you. You are so awesome.

Kristie said...

Thanks so much for the great tutorial. I can't wait to make my first diaper cake!!!

Heather said...

Wow, I followed a link to your blog from the Cricut MB. This is absol. beautiful!!

Noelle said...

I found your tutorial on google. my SIL is having a shower on saturday and i'm excited to show up with my own version of one of these. yours is beautiful. thanks for the free lesson. hopefully mine will turn out. i'm sort of craft impaired. we'll see how it goes.

The Emilee Grace Company said...

I came across your blog last week and immediately added it to my blogroll so that I could come back often. This tutorial is great! Can't wait to use it. Thanks for sharing. :)

Kelsie said...

That's so cool! I won't be needing any diapers for many years to come, but I'm going to file this away to use in 10 years or so... :D

lindsey said...

what a beautiful cake and great tutorial! i posted a link to it on my blog, i hope you don't mind!


Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley said...

I loved your diaper cake so much I decided to follow your directions and try it out for a baby shower I hosted yesterday. This is the diaper cake I did for a little boy. Only I don't quite have the patience for your handmade flowers, they are beautiful!


Bridget said...

Thank you so much!!! I love your diaper cake. Most diaper cakes are tacky but yours is one I would love to get. Can't wait to make one!

Tara said...

Oh wow, this is a really cute diaper cake! I am hosting a baby shower in a couple of months and am going to have to try making this... Thanks for the excellent how-to details!

Sophia said...

I have enjoyed looking at all your craft ideas here! You can check out my site for a handful of very basic beginner crafts!! haha

I love your diaper cake. MAy I make a suggestion? try making it with gdiapers.
they are biodegradable, flushable, compstable inserts for a cloth outer and super easy to use!

Yoli said...

Awesome! Where did you get the ribbons from?

Jessica said...

I LOVE your tutorial on making a diaper cake. I would like to publish your tutorial in the Utah Baby Guide. It is a free magazine for new and expecting parents. I would give you full credit for the tutorial and link back to your blog. Please let me know at your earliest convenience if I can have permission to use it. Email me at j.taufer@utahbabyguide.com. To check out the magazine go to www.utahbabyguide.com.

Jessica Taufer
Editorial Director

Liz said...

Great tutorial!! I didn't notice it anywhere (forgive me if you mentioned and I missed it) but how many diapers did you use?

I love making diaper cakes for friends but have always struggled to find a way to make them sturdier - this is a great method!!

Tara said...

I nominated you for the "uber amazing award" ~ thanks for all the inspiration!

Laura said...

thank you so much for the wonderful information! :) i'm planning my sister in law's shower and this cake is beautiful! i will be making one! :) thanks again

Sarah said...

Wow so crazy that I found your blog. I live in Californis and I wished so bad we were friends, I love how crafty you are! Okay I want to try the coffee filter roses but I'm the type of gal that needs a pattern. Do you have one tha tyou share or tell me how you gauged the size, Ijust need a little more to go off of. I looked on Martha Stewart and I never found it. I will check back to see if you ever got this and write back. Thanks, Sarah

Jill said...

Sarah -

there is a link to the instructions/template in the blog post. If you can't find it, send me an email at homemadebyjill@gmail.com and I will send you the template (since I have it saved).

Anonymous said...

Brilliant - very clear instructions. I made my 1st nappy cake and my friends loved it! Can I be cheeky and ask if you can post instructions to make a baby sock bouquet??!!

wienerhoneymooners said...

Dear Jill, wanted you to know your diaper cake inspired me to make my wedding cake stand. It was a hit and looked beautiful!!!!

I have also made a few baby cakes for shower gifts and they are also a hit!



Take care -Kimberly in Washington

nahina said...

In a word - excellent! I can’t wait to try it! I found some kids craft ideas from http://www.savvyhomemade.com/homemade-toys.html. One craft idea is making a finger puppet which really easy. I want to share it with you. Cut the fingers from an old pair of gardening gloves. To make finger puppet, use hair from pipe cleaners, sequins for buttons and some glitter for extra sparkle. Place the hair on the head and sequins using glue.

You really don't have to cut the fingers from the glove but they are easier to handle separately especially when using the glue.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill!

I am making a diaper cake this week and am in love with your tutorial! I was wondering if you added a small cardboard layer on the very top with doilies and leaves, under the three roses. I noticed the decorations, but wasn't sure how you applied them.

Thanks so much!

Jill said...

Hi Jenna,

The top tier of the cake was centered around a wrapping paper tube. I just put the stem of the flowers down that hole to fill it. I think I might have used a sewing pin or two to secure the flowers in place.

Good luck with your cake!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill,

Thanks for your quick response! I was actually curious about the decorations that are on top of the top tier... the doilies and leaves at the tippy top. I think I'll just play around and see what works best. I'm also having a hard time finding a telescoping mailing tube that's not a 45 minute drive... any other ideas of what i could use? Thanks so much for you help... your talents are sure impressive and inspiring!


Jill said...

I bought my telescoping mailing tube at The Container Store. I believe you can order online.

If you can't find the telescoping kind, you could always use a regular one. You would have to glue all the pieces together, so it wouldn't slide apart, but the basic structure would look the same. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Jill,

Beautiful cake and tutorial! I was just curious, had this been for a baby boy, what color would you have painted your roses? I was thinking of using blue and brown ribbons, but I want the flowers to coordinate as well. Just wanted to hear your creative ideas!


Jill said...

hmmm ... for a boy you could just leave them white, or mostly white with blue tips to match your ribbon. Yellow could look good, depending on the shade.

Or you could top it off with something else entirely, like a cute pair of baby booties or a stuffed animal.

Anonymous said...

So I found this super cute ribbon that ended up not being blue and brown. It has green, yellow, tan, light orange, brown, etc. Yellow flowers will look great. I'll be sure to post a link of a picture when I get it finished!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill!

Well I managed to make my diaper cake (I posted above) and thought I'd post my blog link so you could see the final result . . .
Thanks for all your help!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill,
Love your cake . Wondering where you bought the green vellum leaves?


Jill said...

Hi Linda,

I bought green vellum from the art store and cut out the leaves myself.

Anonymous said...

Wow Im only 13 and I thought that was amazing! My 1 year old niece had one of those at the baby shower we had for her. SO CUTE!!!!

Pat-e-Cakes said...

I love the Martha Stewart flowers!

Beth said...

I made a diaper cake for my SIL using your tutorial. You can see my results here. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial.

Angie said...

Great tutorial! Your completed diaper cake is so elegant! I'm sure the mom-to-be just adored it. Job well done!! : )

SandyQuilts said...

I thought I left a comment yesterday. Anyway I want to try and make this darling diaper cake for my DD#2. Can you tell me about how many diapers are used? Can I use all the same size diapers?


Mommy Jenn said...

Thank you sooo much for helping me make my first diaper cake and baby burp rags. I did shabby chic for my cousin's baby shower and she loved it!

Christine said...

This was such a big help! I am using G-Diapers so I just used the flushable inserts instead of diapers and it turned out perfectly! Thanks for posting, and for the burp cloth template too! You are helping me survive maternity leave boredom!

Elizabeth at www.StixNpops.com said...

Thanks for sharing!!!
I featured it in my blog!

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely adorable! I don't have a single crafty bone in my body so I ordered one from http://www.babycakesdiaperbakery.com. They were so inexpensive and absolutely adorable!

clemsongirl said...

This is absolutely adorable! I don't have a single crafty bone in my body so I ordered one from http://www.babycakesdiaperbakery.com. They were so inexpensive and absolutely adorable!

monkeymom41 said...

I've made a number of diaper cakes and the stability of them has always been an issue...thank you for your insight on the resolution to that problem!! I will be using this for future reference...along with many other of your fabulous tutorials I have already put to good use as shower gifts! :)

Angela said...

We custom design diaper cakes for anyone interested. The thought of using a cardbord tube for the center is an interesting idea. We use a wodden dowel. This incorporates a larger amount of diapers being used in the center. Thank you for your site.

The Boyd's said...

can;t wait to make this for the two teachers that are having babies at my school! Amazing tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I love your idea to make it very sturdy and looks great. Thanks again!

Diaper Cakes said...

Your diaper cake just looks so adorable. We make our diaper cakes the same way with using a cardboard tube!

Alliyah Mae Lim said...

Lil' Baby Cakes take pride in making sure every diaper cake we create is infused with originality and an uncompromising commitment to each new Mom's special day.

Anonymous said...

which store will i find the dollies at, & the leaves as well?