Last updated on February 1st, 2024 at 03:46 pm
If you’re not familiar with the DIY diaper cake, I bet you’re thinking, “Oh great! Something else my kids won’t eat!” Ha! No worries, it might be fluffy, a DIY masterpiece even, but it’s not that kind of cake.
The Diaper Cake was suggested to me years ago as a DIY gifting idea when I was stumped over what to give an Aunt for her baby shower. I decided to give it a shot, got some baby items, and viola, the diaper cake emerged into my world. I’ve made a few since; now I present to you, with some updated tweaks, of course, the new and improved DIY Diaper Cake!
I’m sure you know, the diaper cake is not a cake at all, but rather, a gift that keeps on giving! And, if you’re having a baby shower and see one of these coming, feel honored! Because diaper cakes are usually DIY masterpieces. You’ll be using whatever is included for months, even years to come. Yes, it’s time to fall in love with and make a sweet cake you can’t eat!
What’s a diaper cake anyway?
In short, a diaper cake is a creative and fun way to gift diapers to expectant parents.
The “cake” consists of diapers taped or rolled together and usually fashioned into tiers. Then, baby items such as toys, socks, washcloths, etc. are used as part of the décor throughout. Once completed, the piece resembles an old-fashioned, multitiered wedding cake.
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A Creative DIY Enterprise
Diaper Cake creations have been made and gifted since the late 1980s, before the likes of Etsy or Pinterest. Now, of course, you can find gorgeous ones on either website. As with anything the diaper cake itself has been updated and morphed from the typical three+ tiers into other DIY designs such as single elegant mini cakes & cupcakes. I’ve seen a multitude of other shapes and designs such as wreaths, bouquets, flower pots, and so on. Some people really get into it and design theirs into animals, large buildings, and even vehicles. This isn’t the diaper cake of yesteryear, that’s for sure!
Making a diaper cake can be as complex or as easy as you want it to be. There are several themes to choose from.
For my twins’ shower, you can imagine my surprise when my cousin came in with one that was fashioned as a multi-car train! I was walking to the door of the venue to greet my guests and was like “Do you see that?!?!!?” As I collected my jaw from the floor…
Here’s what you need
Making a standard DIY diaper cake is fairly easy; it’s how you put it together that will be the deciding factor between it being whimsical and sweet or outrageous. It may help to be sure the receiver is open to this somewhat traditional gift no matter how updated.
1. General items: glue, scissors, tape, ribbons, twine, safety pins, and cellophane/tulle wrap. Also, a core item to hold the tiers together – look for kitchen tools or toy that fits in the center.
2. Base: Cardboard wrapped in blankets will do. You can also use something more solid such as a paper towel holder made of marble or metal.
3. Diapers! Use multiple sizes. For twins, start with preemie size, then newborn, and go larger to create tiers, using the largest on the bottom.
4. Center (holder): Use something solid to hold it. I prefer a fun surprise, like a toy sorter. You can even hide something for the parents such as a gift for the home.
5. Baby items: socks, washcloths, toys to decorate the cake with – make rosettes with socks and washcloths; put toys throughout. If there’s a theme/color scheme, go with it!
6. Ribbons: time for the finishing touches
7. Wrap it up: Use cellophane or clear/themed basket wraps that may fit and make your job easier.
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Putting it all together
Tape the diapers together or make smaller circles and tie them together. Some styles call for cutting the diapers, but I wouldn’t. Save the boxes/bags of unused diapers, tie with ribbon in batches and give these to the parents-to-be.
Ribbons of different sizes can serve as the “icing” for the tiers. Consider using packages of baby socks, washcloths and receiving blankets, and fashioning them into different shapes such as roses. Some blankets can go on the bottom to wrap around a cardboard base.
There are many stores that get supplies, such as Michael’s. I’ve recently looked around and found places that sell diaper cake kits. If you’re a strict DIY type, try Dollar General, Walmart, Target, or anyplace that sells party goods and crafts. Not into making it? You can also buy one already made. There are many to choose from and you can add finishing touches of your own.
Time to Get Crafty
Just because it’s called a diaper “cake” doesn’t mean you MUST stick to one design. If you’re a creative type and you’re making this for somebody’s baby shower, ‘sprinkle’ or gender reveal; there are many ways to make one, as mentioned before.
Find out the theme for the nursery as well as the taste of the parents and go with that. For example, how cute would a Noah’s Ark theme be with everything two by two if they were having twins?
For Noah’s Ark: use a basket and cardboard (or bassinet) and have the toy animals seem as if they’re going inside. Use rolled-up pampers as the waves in the water and the logs on the ark, just let your imagination go wild. Speaking of wild, try jungle or safari themes, the linens and toys are gender-neutral and fairly easy to find.
Disney characters such as Winnie the Pooh are a sweet touch and you can opt for classical or new versions too.
Not into animal themes? Go nautical, especially for gender-specific events & colors.
How about a bath-time theme, just add squirt toys! Or, being diapers are typically white, a winter or Arctic theme? Of course, there are sports themes, as well as Princes and Princesses. Even set a lamp with toys and create an Aladdin-themed diaper cake going on a magic carpet ride. Some are so elegant, you forget that these are DIY diaper cakes.
I’m sure some can’t help but have the event near a holiday, so instead of a cake shape, how about a Christmas tree shape complete with gift boxes all around with pops of surprises? Some opt for colorful diapers or those with designs on them. As you can see there are so many directions you can go, just have fun with it!
You put WHAT in that DIY diaper cake?
There are many fun things you can hide in the “cake.” Remember, you’re not eating it, so the diaper cake is tier upon tier of useful surprises; just fill it up with what babies or the parents need.
Be creative! I’ve seen wheels instead of tiers and even line the bottom with onesies or receiving blankets. In addition to using paper towel holders, I’ve heard of using kitchen utensils to hold the center, as well as a bottle of wine or Champagne for after the babies are born.
Don’t forget items for diaper changing and skincare such as Neosporin and A&D cream. Also, saline nasal spray, wipes, and gas drops. All of those little things are usually needed.
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DIY Diaper Cake Budget: Anything goes!
Staying on budget is as easy as the price of one or two bags/boxes of diapers plus the décor, or as high as adding in more expensive gifts. This is one gift is that gives you a lot of flexibility and you choose your price point because while diapers may be on the registry along with blankets, onesies, etc.
If you’re sitting here and are like me with a job and three kids thinking, oh sure, who has time for this, giving the eye roll, or love the idea but simply out of time? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that! If you don’t care to DIY, as I mentioned previously, you can order ready-made diaper cakes, or starter kits too, from Etsy.com and Amazon.com that are not too pricey. And, if you’re so inclined, simply add your own personal touches.
This “cake” is simply a creative & thoughtful way of presenting your gift. If you’re truly ambitious and having a larger event, you may even opt to create a centerpiece for the gift table; or the main table for the guest of honor.
While parents appreciate all the thought that goes into gifts big and small, sometimes it’s the most unusual gift that makes the biggest impression of all.
Next time you’re going to a Baby Shower, and don’t know what to bring, why not bring a diaper cake, or make an impact with a box of “cupcakes” or diaper “bouquet.” But the shower is for twins you say? Then go large with an RV or a train!