How to Make a Diaper Cake

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Perfect as both a gift and a centerpiece, a diaper cake resembles an elegant three-tiered cake, with rolled-up diapers forming the layers. So while it may not be edible, the cake is certainly practical in adding to the expectant parents' supply of diapers. And as fancy as it looks, it's surprisingly easy to make.

A diaper cake makes a stylish gift and centerpiece.
(Jonathan Fong)
  • About 60 disposable diapers, size 1
  • Cardboard cake round, 14-inch diameter
  • Empty paper towel roll
  • Wrapping paper
  • Wide solid-color ribbon
  • Medium-width coordinating ribbon
  • Wash cloths
  • Rubber bands
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Glue stick
  • Double-sided tape
  • Small stuffed animal
Gather all your materials to make the diaper cake.
Jonathan Fong

Unroll your wrapping paper and use the cardboard cake round to trace a circle. Cut the paper to fit on the cake round.

Cover the cake round with coordinating paper.
Jonathan Fong

Cut out a piece from the center of the wrapping paper circle. It can be a circle or square, just as long as it's bigger than the diameter of your paper towel roll. Using a glue stick, attach the paper to the cake round, smoothing it out with your fingers.

The hole in the paper is for the paper towel roll.
Jonathan Fong

Using a glue stick, cover the paper towel roll with wrapping paper. You can also use tape. Leave about a 1/4 inch of one of the ends uncovered.

The uncovered end will be glued to the opening in the cake round.
Jonathan Fong

Holding it upright, hot glue the uncovered end of the paper towel roll to the cake round. Glue in the middle where there is no paper. It's best to hot glue the actual cardboard rather than the paper for a more secure hold.

The two pieces create the cake's foundation.
Jonathan Fong

Roll each diaper starting from the side with the adhesive strips. Place a rubber band around each diaper to hold it in its rolled position.

Roll up the diapers with a rubber band.
Jonathan Fong

Start with the bottom tier, which will have three concentric layers of diapers. The first layer, which is wrapped around the paper towel roll, has six diapers. Line up the six diapers with the folds facing inward and secure them in place with string. You can leave the rubber bands on them, as they will be covered up later with ribbon.

This first layer holds about six diapers, depending on how tightly they’re rolled.
Jonathan Fong

Surround the inner layer of diapers with a second one. Depending on how tightly rolled your diapers are, there should be room for 11 to 12 diapers. Secure these in place with string.

The second layer fills out the cake.
Jonathan Fong

Now add the third layer of diapers around the second one. There should be room for between 18 to 20 diapers here. Secure them in place with string. You’re done with the first tier.

Complete the tier with another round of diapers.
Jonathan Fong

For the second tier, there are two concentric layers of diapers. Start in the middle again, with six diapers lined up around the paper towel roll. Secure these with string. Then surround these six diapers with a second layer of 12 diapers.

The second tier sits right on top of the bottom one.
Jonathan Fong

The top tier only needs six diapers surrounding the paper towel roll, which will be completely hidden by the diapers. Secure the diaper rolls with string. The diaper cake itself is finished. Now it's time to decorate it.

Three tiers, and the cake itself is finished.
Jonathan Fong

Take your wide, solid-colored ribbon and wrap it around each tier, securing it with double-sided tape. The ribbon not only adds a beautiful decorative touch, it hides the rubber bands and string holding the diapers together.

The ribbon is like fondant frosting on each tier.
Jonathan Fong

Take the narrower, coordinating ribbon and layer it on top of the wider ribbon. Secure the ribbon on each tier with some double-sided tape. Of course, you can choose to only use one ribbon, but the two coordinating ones make the diaper cake more colorful and fun.

Polka dots are always a great design detail at baby showers.
Jonathan Fong

Roll your wash cloths so that the four corners become petals of the flower. There is no right or wrong way to roll the wash cloths. You can even bunch them up in your hands, letting the four corners extend outward. Tie a rubber band around the base of each wash cloth to hold it in place. Insert a wooden skewer through the bottom of the wash cloth where there is an opening and slide the skewer in one of the diaper rolls.

A wash cloth flower makes a great embellishment.
Jonathan Fong

Tie a bow around a stuffed animal, using the same ribbon to tie the stuffed animal to a wooden skewer. Insert the skewer into the top of the paper towel roll so that the stuffed animal sits on the top tier of diapers.

The teddy bear sits on top of the cake.
Jonathan Fong
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