At every baby shower we throw, there's always a diaper cake centerpiece (scroll down for more of our cakes)! Not only is it visually super fun, but it's also the perfect gift for a new mama. We try to embellish the tiers and topper to match the theme of the party, and this one pictured above was from Jenni's hip hop/concert themed baby shower we threw last weekend... working on that post... promise! Jenni's always talked about getting baby Nike Dunks for her baby boy way before she even had Amara, so I knew the topper had to be these little kicks.
I've made all the mistakes for you and come up with my fail-safe way to make a 4-tiered spectacular diaper cake!
I've found TARGET BRAND diapers to be the best!! First of all, they're great diapers. When I had Ari I insisted on Pampers swaddlers (they are super soft after all) but when Max was born, I just went to Target brand and they're just as good and way cheaper. Aesthetically for a diaper cake, they're the best, because they are plain white and nice and flat. Pampers are a little puffier and look messy on a cake. Still works though- scroll down to see previous diaper cakes.
I bought one small pack each of newborn, size one, and size two. It's nice to give the mom a variety and it also looks really nice on the cake to have the tiers be different heights.
My secret to the perfect shaped diaper cake is.... an oatmeal can inside! Yep, that's how I get that nice round shape, it fills in the middle nicely, and it keeps all the tiers sturdy.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 Oatmeal Can
String (anything will do!)
About 75 diapers
(see anatomy picture above for size variety)
Embellishment for tiers and topper
Cake Platter (mine is about 13")
*Tip- make sure each diaper for each tier is facing in the same direction
Start with the largest size diaper for the bottom tier.
Place a large rubberband around the can and start sticking diapers in, layering about 2-3 inches. You want to overlap them evenly all around. Soon your rubberband will get super tight
and break in your face and your diapers will fly everywhere and you'll say a non-baby-shower-appropriate-word and you'll need to reinforce this layer with a piece of string. (See, told you I've made all the mistakes for you!) Just tie loosely around this layer in a bow so that you can adjust the length as you add more diapers.
As you layer the diapers all the way around, tuck the last diaper underneath the first so that it looks continuous and clean. Tie TWO pieces of string around this layer, one on the top and one on the bottom of the tier. This keeps the shape.
This bottom tier (4th tier) will have TWO rounds of layers. So just start layering again on top of the first round of diapers, this time with a string to hold this layer unless you have a huge rubberband! Can't tell you how many times I thought a rubberband was big enough and -snap-! Tie two pieces of string around the layer, one near the top and one near the bottom. You'll cover these up with embellishment at the end.
This is one layer of diapers all around, about 17 diapers in size 1. Tie two pieces of string around the layer, one near the top and one near the bottom.
If you're using the same size diapers and oatmeal can that I did, you'll notice that there's only about 2-3 inches of space left on the oatmeal can for the next tier. That's not going to be sturdy enough to keep the clean, round shape of the tier. You'll need to take 3 diapers and simply fold them each in half, stack them, and wrap 2 rubberbands around them. Place on the top of the oatmeal can, and now you'll keep that 2nd tier more sturdy and not falling in on itself.
Wrap only 8 or so diapers around and spread the layers a little wider than before. This keeps the tier thinner than the previous tier. Tie two pieces of string around the layer, one near the top and one near the bottom.
Roll 4 newborn size diapers up and individually wrap with a rubber band. Bring these 4 together and wrap all 4 up with a rubberband. This is the center of the top tier which will keep the shape since you've run out of room on the oatmeal can. Put another large rubberband around these 4 and start tucking in your diaper layers. Wrap about 8 diapers around, tucking the last one behind the first for that continuous look. Tie two pieces of string around the layer, one near the top and one near the bottom.
You can see each tier has the string tied around the top and bottom which keeps that nice straight shape.
Voila! You're ready to decorate!
Lauren of Rock Paper Scissors printed these patterned strips of paper to match the invitations she designed. You could use thick ribbon or any type of paper (taped together into strips) to cover the strings and rubberbands.
Don't forget your cake topper!
Here are some of our earlier cakes to give you decoration ideas:
Modern mint an neutral baby shower HERE.
This was from Jenni's baby shower for Amara almost 4 years ago! (HERE) This was one of my first diaper cakes, so I used colorful diapers, but I think it still turned out okay not being all white.
Lori's stork-themed baby shower (HERE) These were Pampers diapers- see a little too puffy and not uniform enough for OCD me. For embellishment, I taped strips of kraft paper together, wrapped around each tier, and glued feathers on top.
Lauren's Winter White Baby Shower (HERE). I loved this one! I used white silk ribbon so that everything was white.... can't tell you how many people thought this was a real cake. They were super disappointed.
Please let me know if you have any questions on construction! It can be a little confusing! If you're in Nashville, we can totally make this for you! Convo us on our Etsy shop or email us :)