How to Make a Diaper Cake

Diaper cakes are popular at baby showers because they double as practical gifts and centerpieces. You can purchase diaper cakes from a variety of online retailers, but it's not that difficult to do it yourself. It might take a little time, but you'll save some money.

The exact amount of supplies you will need for a diaper cake depend upon how large you want the cake to be and how much money you want to spend on the project. Most diaper cakes use about 50 to 75 newborn or size 1 diapers.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A cake topper (a stuffed animal, ribbon, board book, etc.)
  • A sheet of cardboard or a cake plate
  • Clear stretch jewelry cord
  • Diapers (disposable or cloth)
  • Ribbon
  • Rubber bands

You may also wish to include rattles, board books, teething rings, baby wash, baby lotion, diaper rash cream, baby wipes, baby bibs, or other items inside your diaper cake as well.


Prepare the Diapers

Pink and white diaper cake

Mar Merelo / Getty Images

Start by preparing the diapers. Many diaper cakes are made with disposable diapers, but you can swap them for cloth diapers if that's what the parents prefer.

One at a time, tightly roll up the diapers, starting from the front of the diaper and rolling it toward the back. Secure with a rubber band.


Build the Base

Cut a piece of clear stretch jewelry cord to the fit the circumference of the base layer of the diaper cake.

Place items like baby lotion, baby wipes or toys in the center of the cardboard or cake plate and start inserting the rolled up diapers one by one until you've created a circular shape.

Wrap the piece of stretch jewelry cord around the diapers to keep the base layer together.


Build the Second Layer

Add a second layer of rolled up diapers and secure with a piece of stretch cord. Make sure the diapers are close together.

If you can see any gaps between diapers or exposed rubber bands, secure a piece of ribbon around the layer to disguise it.

Follow these steps for building the remaining tiers.


Decorate the Diaper Cake

Once all the tiers are secure and complete, decorate the diaper cake with board books, teething rings or other small items. Tuck them inside the ribbon or fasten them to the tiers with tape. This an opportunity to really personalize the project for the baby's mom and dad, so don't be afraid to get creative.

If the baby's gender and name are known, you could include that as well. The idea is to make the diaper cake eye-catching and practical at the same time.


Add the Finishing Touches

Finish the diaper cake off with the topper of your choice. A stuffed animal, like a teddy bear, is always a great standby, but you could also opt for something that coordinates with the theme of the shower or the baby's nursery.

For example, a stuffed monkey would be a great topper if the baby's nursery will be jungle-themed, or a stack of board books is perfect if the parents have requested shower guests help build baby's reading library.

By Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders is a freelance writer who has published several articles on photography, creative writing, scrapbooking, and paper crafting.