Diaper cake

Have you been invited to a baby shower and are thinking about a gift? Or are you the host of the shower and wondering how to make a diaper cake as the centerpiece for the dessert table?

Either way, a diaper cake not only looks festive and fabulous but is also a great gift for the mom-to-be. She will love it! Read on to learn how to make a diaper cake and to be inspired by 25 amazing decoration ideas.

What Exactly Is a Diaper Cake?

A diaper cake is basically a cake-shaped gift that’s made of diapers. It's most often decorated with things like ribbons, small baby items, paper cutouts, and even a little sign that says something like “Oh, baby!”

A diaper cake is often given to the mom-to-be at her baby shower by one of the guests, or it may be created by the baby shower host as a centerpiece for the food table.

The diaper cake can match the theme of the baby shower, or simply have more general decorations that evoke all things baby. Sometimes the diaper cake can reflect the mom’s personality or tastes; for example, giving it a modern look with succulents or greenery, or decorating the diaper cake in the colors of her favorite sports team.

Of course, you don’t have to be going to the baby shower to create a diaper cake for the mom-to-be. Perhaps you’d like to give one to a colleague just before she goes on maternity leave, or maybe you’d like to bring your creation to a sip and see party after the baby’s birth.

No matter how or when you’re giving the diaper cake to the mom-to-be, she will be surprised and delighted — and you’ll have a pretty good time creating it, too!

What You’ll Need to Make a Diaper Cake

As you’ll see, you have loads of choices when it comes to how you make and decorate your diaper cake, but here’s a basic list of the things you’ll need:

What Diapers to Use

Obviously, you’ll need diapers to make a diaper cake. We recommend using Swaddlers, Pure Protection, or Cruisers 360° Fit.

The diaper size is entirely up to you. It may make sense, however, to buy a bigger size, which can be easier to work with when making the cake.

Keep in mind that using just one size of diapers may help you make the diaper cake level—as you won’t be juggling diapers of different widths and heights — but you might also like to use a different size to create each tier of the cake. That way, the parents-to-be will have a variety of sizes on hand for their baby.

Step-by-Step: How to Make a Diaper Cake

Making a diaper cake takes patience, but it can also be a whole lot of fun. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. Follow these five simple steps, and before you know it, you’ll have the finished product ready to go.

Step 1: Choose a base

Having a sturdy base is crucial, especially if you will be transporting your diaper cake. The last thing you want is for it to fall apart because of a flimsy base. You could use a piece of firm cardboard, a cake stand, or a large tray. If you choose cardboard, you can cover it in foil or wrapping paper, or cut it into a circle that’s the exact same size as the bottom tier of the cake so that it will be virtually hidden.

Step 2: Prepare the diapers

There are two main methods for making a diaper cake — the roll-up and the wrap methods: For a roll-up diaper cake, roll up each individual diaper and secure it with a small rubber band so that it can’t unfurl. You can also tie a ribbon around each, but this is more time consuming. Set each one aside until you’ve rolled them all up.

For a wrap diaper cake, there’s not much you need to do. Simply take the diapers out of the packaging and move on to step three.

Step 3: Position the diapers

For a roll-up diaper cake, position the rolls vertically and close together until you’ve reached the size you want for the base tier. Secure the rolls in place with an extra-large rubber band or ribbon. If you’re using a rubber band, you can cover it with ribbon later on. To fasten the ribbon, you can either use a bit of hot glue (taking care not to get any on the diapers) or tie a small knot that you can hide under a decoration later on. Another option is to tie a big bow using the long ends of ribbon.

If you’ll be having a second tier, place about three wooden dowels between the diaper rolls so that your next layer of rolls will be held firmly in place.

Create the second tier by placing more diaper rolls around the dowels. The second tier should be smaller than the first. Secure the second tier with an extra-large rubber band or ribbon just as you did with the first tier. If the dowels stick out, you’ll need to cut off the top tips (or use shorter dowels) so they no longer show.

Add as many tiers as you like (most cakes have two or three tiers), and then move on to step four. For a wraparound diaper cake, place a clean paper towel roll upright on your base and wrap the diapers around it. Keep wrapping until the first tier of your diaper cake is as wide as you want it to be. Once you’re done, secure the diapers in place with an extra-large rubber band or a ribbon. The ribbon can be fastened with hot glue (just take care not to get any on the diapers), or with a knot or bow. If you use a rubber band, you’ll be able to cover it later on when you get to decorating your diaper cake.

Keep in mind, some people like to use a bottle of champagne instead of the paper towel roll as a surprise for the parents-to-be. Alternatively, you could also use a baby bottle. which then could become a part of your gift to the parents. It’s a delightful surprise either way, but a paper towel roll also works just as well. To add a second tier, keep wrapping diapers around the top half of the paper towel roll. Make sure the second tier is smaller than the first tier, and secure it with a rubber band or ribbon. Add a smaller third tier in the same way, or move on to step four.

Step 4: Add decorations

Step 5: Wrap the diaper cake

If you’ll be transporting the cake, it’s a good idea to wrap it to help prevent it from coming apart or getting damaged. Place a large sheet (or two) of cellophane or soft tulle on the table, and place the base of the diaper cake on top. Then pull the corners of the cellophane up above the cake, cinch it together, and secure the wrapping with ribbon.

Different Diaper Cake Shapes

Not all diaper cakes are round! Beyond the classic diaper cake shape we’ve described above, you can actually make diaper cakes in different shapes that reflect a specific theme:

25 Diaper Cake Decoration Ideas

A Final Note on Diaper Cakes

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to diaper cakes. Whether you go big or small, extravagant or understated, it’s the thought that counts, and your efforts will be appreciated. Have fun with it, and watch as the guest of honor’s face lights up as you unveil your creation.

For even more baby shower gift ideas, check out our article on 42 baby shower gift ideas you’ll love, 16 practical baby shower gift ideas, and 25 baby shower gifts for the mom-to-be.