How to make a diaper cake for a fraction of the cost
Diaper cakes are a fun, decorative way to celebrate a baby shower, or just to congratulate mom on dad on their little bundle of joy. Most mothers will register for a box or ten of diapers on their baby registries, since they will definitely be needed. Instead of wrapping a giant brick of disposable diapers, the diaper cake is a creative and elegant way of giving a useful gift.
If you take a gander at fully assembled diaper cakes online, they can sometimes go for over $100! This mommy does not have that kind of scratch for a tower of diapers and trimmings. Here is a simple how-to guide for making a gorgeous diaper cake for a fraction of the cost.
You can be as basic or extravagant as you'd like with what you'll be putting into your cake. Many people will add baby toiletries, washcloths, rattles, toys, rolled up bibs, etc. Here are your basic ingredients and their approximate costs :
Implements - You'll need a pair of scissors, strong double-sided tape or glue and some regular tape if wanted.
3 bags of Diapers ($18) - This is probably the most expensive ingredient for your diaper cake, and how much you ultimately spend on the whole cake, depends on your diaper choice. If you want this mommy's advice, don't get snobby with the diaper brands. If this is a new parent, she will soon learn that the fanciest diapers aren't always the best and after buying a few boxes of the hoitey-toitey ones, generic starts to sound pretty sweet. If you suffer from brand loyalty, just make sure to plan ahead and collect those diaper coupons. Sometimes you can double up a manufacturers coupon with a weekly store sale and get the diapers for a fraction of their original cost. Generally you'll want to buy a variety of sizes such as newborn, size 1 and size 2.
Ribbon ($1 to $5) - Basic, gift wrapping ribbon is all you need to tie the diapers. Choose a fatter ribbon for the layers of the cake. You'll want to select the color and pattern of the ribbons based on the theme you chose for the cake. In the cake pictured above, I used the baby's room motif as an inspiration and chose the colors accordingly.One spool of each kind of ribbon should be plenty.
Cake Base (0 to $3) - You can purchase a cardboard cake base at your local party or craft supply store. They'll usually have an assortment of white, gold and silver finishes to choose from. If you want to be super frugal, you can cut a circle out of cardboard box hanging around the house. I chose to spring for the store-bought because I liked the look of the scalloped edges.
Trimmings ($0 to Infinity!) - As I mentioned before, these cakes can be as plain or as blinged out as the designer wants. If you're making this diaper cake as an aside to a bigger gift, keep it simple with diapers and ribbon. If you want your cake to be the main event, you can garnish it with things like toiletries, rattles, toys, stuffed animals,mini books etc. In the cake above, I chose a few scrap booking stickers that fit in with the motif of the baby's room. These are nice because they can be later removed from the cake and used in a scrapbook or even as a decoration in the baby's room.
Topper - ($1 to $10) - Again, if you're keeping it simple, a pretty bow from the dollar store will make a perfect topper on your cake. Otherwise, there are many items you can use to finish your cake. Be creative.
Constructing the Cake
Get to Rolling!
Grab those diapers, put in your favorite Sex in the City season on dvd, and start rolling up those diapers! You'll need to hand roll each diaper and then secure the diaper by tying it with the gift wrapping ribbon. Use a pair of scissors to curl the ribbon ends.
Slacker's Sidenote: If you don't want to spend what can seem like an eternity hand tying each diaper, you could tape them and use the taped diapers for the inside part of the cake. You'd then just use the pretty, hand-tied ribbon diapers to decorate the outside layer of the cake. Personally, I am a glutton for punishment and like to hand-tie each diaper. Otherwise, mom is going to have to peel tape off her her baby diapers and that just doesn't seem elegant to me. But I am a bit OCD, so taping your diapers is a perfectly fine time-saving solution.
Round Them Up
You'll now construct the cake base by arranging the diapers length-wise on the cake stand, in a circle. A large rubberband may help stabilize the diapers during arrangement. Next, you'll secure all of your loose diapers with a band of the fatter ribbon at the base, using the double-sided tape or glue to join the ribbon ends. Make sure to secure the band tight enough to secure the diapers, but not so tight that the diapers bow. I like this method of securing the diapers, because it makes it easy for mom to just pull a diaper from the cake when she's changing her little one.
Tier It Up
Now that you've finished the base of your diaper cake, you'll want to follow suit with the next two layers. This will be the same process, but you will make the middle layer smaller than the base, and the top tier will be the smallest. Then you'll stack one tier on top of the other and, viola! Your diaper cake is now constructed!
Add all of the Trimmings
If you're keeping it simple, you'll want to plop your pretty bow on top and you're done! If you want to be a diva like me, you'll want to now add all of your favorite trimmings. This is my favorite part, as it personalizes the cake. You can add all of your little trinkets and items to decorate the cake and then stand back and admire your adorable work! That's it! You've made a creative, beautiful gift that mom and baby will be using daily, all for roughly 20 to 50 bucks! You are so savvy!