How to Make a Diaper Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide for Your Baby Shower

How to Make a Diaper Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide for Your Baby Shower

In this DIY tutorial, we’ll show you how to craft the perfect diaper cake display for your next baby shower!

A baby shower isn't just about showering the parents-to-be with gifts—it’s also an opportunity to show them love and support as they embark on their beautiful journey to parenthood. But choosing the perfect present or shower decor? It’s challenging to find the right combination of something functional and heartfelt. 

That's where the diaper cake comes in! In this guide, we'll walk you through the art of crafting this beloved baby gift, plus tips and tricks to ensure your creation shines with the care that went into making it.

What Is a Diaper Cake?

When you hear the word “cake,” your mind likely jumps to a sweet, flavorful treat that’s, well, edible. However, a diaper cake is simply a creatively shaped gift composed entirely of diapers. It’s typically multiple tiers decorated with ribbons, baby items, and sometimes, cake toppers. 

The beauty of this charming creation is that it’s both practical and personal. It provides expectant parents with a supply of diapers for their little one, and by incorporating decorations that align with the baby shower theme or reflect the personalities of the expecting parents, each diaper cake becomes a unique and thoughtful present. 

While a diaper cake is often a baby shower gift or used as the centerpiece on a table, it can also be gifted to someone at any time during their pregnancy (or after the fact) and will surely be used and appreciated. 

Materials Needed

Before beginning the “cake-making” process, you must purchase and gather your diaper cake supplies. Here is everything you will need to make a diaper cake. 

  • VeryVery Diapers: Surprise, surprise! You need diapers to make a diaper cake. But how many diapers? A diaper cake can be as big or small as you wish, but most diaper cakes contain between 38 and 64 newborn diapers. One way to determine how many diapers you need is to decide how wide you want the base to be and estimate how many rolled-up diapers it will take to complete the base. Then, decide how many tiers you want your cake to be. For every tier, halve the number of diapers in the tier below. So, if your base contains 32 diapers, your second tier will contain 16, and your top tier will contain 8. 
  • A base: You also need an object that your diaper cake will be built on top of, like a cardboard circle or a cake stand.  
  • Rubber bands: You’ll need multiple elastic rubber bands to roll up each individual diaper.
  • A large rubber band or string: Each tier of the cake requires one large rubber band to hold the diapers together. Alternatively, you can use string or ribbon if you don’t have a large enough band for this.
  • Scissors

Optional Materials

While these materials are not required, they can help with both the practical and decorative components of your diaper cake:

  • Glue: Glue can help you secure the ribbon around each cake tier (but you’ll want to avoid gluing the diapers themselves).
  • Dowels: For a layered diaper cake, dowels can help stabilize layers so they’re secure on top of each other.
  • Ribbon: While ribbon adds a decorative element to your creation, it also helps hold each tier in place.
  • A diaper cake centerpiece: Some crafters like to build their diaper cake around a centerpiece, like a paper towel tube. You can also hide an additional baby shower gift in the middle of the bottom tier of the diaper cake, like a baby bottle, baby lotion, or a celebratory beverage. 
  • Cellophane or tulle: This can help with wrapping and transporting the gift to your desired location. 
  • Decorations: Any diaper cake is a thoughtful gift, no matter how simple or elaborate it may be! That said, adding a little oomph to your DIY gift can give it the wow factor you may be looking for. 

How to Make a Diaper Cake in 5 Easy Steps

Now that you’ve gathered your materials, let’s get started on this DIY project! In this section, we’ll outline the step-by-step process of making a diaper cake. 

STEP 1: Prepare the Diapers

Prepare the Diapers

To begin crafting your diaper cake, roll up each diaper tightly and secure it with a small rubber band. This prevents the diapers from unraveling over time, maintaining the cake's integrity. Repeat this process for all diapers.

While some opt for decorative ribbons instead of rubber bands for each individual diaper, it's worth noting that this method can be more time-consuming and may result in less secure fastening. For simplicity and reliability, rubber bands are often preferred. 

STEP 2: Select your Base 

Select your Base

Once your diapers are prepared, you need to choose a suitable base. This can be any flat, circular object. Many crafters prefer a sturdy piece of cardboard, as it offers the flexibility to be cut to your desired size. However, it's important to prioritize using a strong and stable object, especially if you plan to transport the diaper cake. You want to avoid flimsy bases to prevent unfortunate mishaps during transit.

Other common base alternatives include a cake stand or a large tray. Some crafters also like to have a center alongside their base, which could either be a tall recyclable paper towel roll or an additional baby shower gift, like a bottle of baby lotion.

STEP 3: Stack the Layers

Stack the Layers

While your diaper cake can be a single- or multi-layer creation, we’ll share how to make a traditional three-tiered cake. 

First Tier

To assemble your diaper cake, start by creating the base layer or first tier. Arrange your rolled diapers vertically and snugly together in a circular formation, mirroring the shape of the base below. If you've opted to include a hidden surprise, such as a tall object nestled in the center, position your diaper rolls around it accordingly.

Once you are satisfied with the arrangement of your base layer, secure it firmly with a large rubber band. For a slightly more polished look, consider concealing the rubber band with a ribbon.

Simply apply hot glue around the rubber band and carefully place the ribbon over the rubber band. Be careful not to apply any hot glue to the diapers themselves. This is a practical gift as well as a pretty one—you still want the recipient to be able to use the diapers once their baby is born!

Second Tier

After your bottom layer is complete, repeat this process with your second tier. Reduce the number of diapers used by half to achieve a tiered effect. To maintain stability, insert wooden dowels between the diaper rolls of the first layer, spacing them evenly. Arrange the diaper rolls for the second tier around these dowels. Trim any protruding dowels to ensure they are hidden within the structure.

Third Tier

Repeat the process used for the second tier to create the third tier, mirroring the arrangement and securing it on top of the second tier.

STEP 4: Decorate the Diaper Cake

Now that your diaper cake structure is complete, it's time to decorate! Remember, there’s no right or wrong approach—just have fun with it, and your loved one will appreciate the gesture.

Head over to your local craft store to purchase items like ribbons, bows, cake toppers, and baby toys to take your diaper cake to the next level. Secure your decorations in place with ribbon or tape, if needed. 

Consider aligning your decorations with the baby shower theme for a cohesive look; for example, if it's a garden-themed shower, embellish your diaper cake with floral decorations. Themed decorations like anchors or boats are perfect for a beach-themed shower, making your diaper cake a centerpiece for the party. If your diaper cake is not a baby shower gift, personalize your diaper cake with items that reflect the mom-to-be or dad-to-be's personality, hobbies, or interests. 

Here are some other decoration ideas to help get you started:

Diaper Cake with Bows and Baby Toys
  • Ribbons and Bows: Adding colorful ribbons and bows can instantly elevate the look of your diaper cake. You can choose ribbons that match the baby's nursery theme or the shower's color scheme.
  • Cake Toppers: Consider adding a cute cake topper to your diaper cake, such as a small plush toy, a baby figurine, or a decorative baby rattle. This adds a whimsical touch to the cake.
  • Baby Toys: Attach small baby toys to the layers of the diaper cake. These make great decorations and double as additional gifts for the baby.
Travel Theme Diaper Cake
  • Themed Decorations: If the baby shower has a specific theme, incorporate decorations that align with it. For example, if it's a jungle-themed shower, you can add plush animals like lions, elephants, and monkeys to the diaper cake.
Plushed Toys Diaper Cake
  • Personalized Items: Consider adding personalized items such as embroidered baby blankets, baby booties, bibs, or onesies with the baby's name or initials. This adds a special touch and makes the gift more meaningful.
  • Edible Decorations: If you're feeling adventurous, you can decorate your diaper cake with edible items like candy or cookies. Just make sure to wrap them properly to keep them (and the diapers) hygienic.
  • Diaper Decorations: Don't forget to decorate the diapers themselves! You can add decorative diaper pins, stickers, or even small fabric flowers to each diaper for extra flair.
  • Personalized Accessories: If the parents have a specific theme for the nursery or their interests, you can incorporate accessories related to that theme. For example, you can add miniature globes or airplanes to the diaper cake if they love to travel.

STEP 5: Wrap Your Diaper Cake

Your diaper cake is now complete, and the final step is preparing it for transport to ensure it arrives at the baby shower in perfect condition. You can wrap your diaper cake in several different ways to protect it during transit. One option is using a garbage bag, which provides a straightforward yet effective shield against potential damage, or you could place it in a box. 

Alternatively, you can use a large piece of cellophane or tulle for a more elegant presentation. Simply place the base of your diaper cake on top of the material and pull it up until the entire cake is covered. Then, tie a piece of ribbon into a bow at the top to secure the wrapping in place. 

Tips, Tricks, and Common Challenges

While creating this DIY gift may not be as complicated as it seems, it’s not without potential hiccups. Here are some expert tips to help make this process as seamless as possible.

Use Varying Sizes of Diapers

To add dimension and visual interest to your diaper cake, you can use different-sized diapers. Place smaller diapers at the top and larger ones at the bottom to create a tapered effect that mimics the shape of a real layer cake. You’ll have the added bonus of providing the parents-to-be with multiple sizes for when the baby grows. 

Choose a High-Quality Diaper

Beyond the baby shower itself, a great diaper cake provides parents with practical items they’ll really use, which is why it’s critical to choose premium diapers like the ones from VeryVery.

Incorporate Hidden Surprises

As previously mentioned, one way to take your diaper cake to the next level is to incorporate hidden surprises inside each layer. You can tuck small baby essentials like pacifiers, socks, or teething toys between the diapers for an extra element of surprise. It can also turn your DIY gift into a fun baby shower game!

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you encounter some problems when making your diaper cake, don’t panic! Here are some ways to avoid common mishaps:

  • Diapers unraveling: To keep your diapers from unraveling, make sure to roll them tightly and secure them with rubber bands or ribbon. Wrap your elastic rubber bands around the diapers twice if they seem loose. You can also use a little tape to hold the diapers in place as you build the layers, but be sure it’s a mild adhesive so as not to damage the integrity of the diapers!
  • Cake leaning: If your diaper cake starts to lean to one side, try adjusting the placement of the diapers and decorations to distribute the weight more evenly. You may also need to use a sturdier base to give your cake more support and stability. 

The Bottom Line

Creating a DIY diaper cake is one of the most popular baby shower gifts for a reason! It’s a practical, thoughtful, and personal gift, and it can sometimes even double as a party centerpiece or baby shower game.

Whether you opt for a simple design or go all out with elaborate decorations and additional gifts, your handmade display is sure to be beloved by the parents-to-be. So roll up those diapers, get creative, and enjoy the process of crafting a special gift for this new little one!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many diapers do I need to make a diaper cake?

You will typically need around 30 to 70 diapers to make a diaper cake, depending on its size and the number of tiers you want. The number also depends on whether you’re solely using newborn diapers or a range of sizes. Adjust the quantity based on your desired outcome, ensuring you have enough diapers to form each layer securely.

How do I make a simple diaper cake?

Making a simple diaper cake involves rolling up diapers, stacking them in tiers, and securing each layer with rubber bands. Decorate with ribbons and baby items, and you're all set! Keep it straightforward yet fun by opting for a basic design and decorating it with a few items.

What is the point of a diaper cake?

There are two main objectives that a diaper cake serves: it’s a practical gift, providing expectant parents with a substantial supply of diapers for their baby, but it also doubles as a decorative centerpiece for baby showers or celebrations. Considering parents may go through up to 3,000 diapers in a baby’s first year, they’ll need a lot!

What holds a diaper cake together?

Rubber bands are commonly used to hold a diaper cake together. They provide the necessary tension to secure each rolled diaper layer. Some crafters use wooden dowels inserted between layers for stability, ensuring the cake remains structurally intact.

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