Random factoid about me- I used to have a business making diaper cakes and baby confections. I say “used to” even though I’m technically in still business. I just don’t actually go out of my way to sell my items anymore besides a few small craft shows each year. It’s not that I don’t enjoy making the items; I do. But our house is currently overrun with baby items that are not business related. And I have a limited amount of free time to begin with. So I basically make them and sell them here and there when people order an item and at those random craft shows, but I don’t actually advertise and look for new business.
So you’re probably wondering why I’m so keen to share how to make a diaper cake. Come on now. You and I both know that I’m certainly not the first person to make these, nor will I be the last (though the smaller confections that you see above are all my own personal designs, so those will stay under lock and key…for now). My train of thought is this: people fall into 2 categories in Diapercake-land. You are either really crafty and can make one yourself. Or you can’t be bothered and would rather purchase one. My clients all fall into the second category and more power too them. But my readers on the other hand, I have to imagine you’re a bit more on the crafty side, or you likely wouldn’t be here reading this. This post is for you. Enough babble and on to the good stuff.
This tutorial is to show you how to make a basic diaper cake that has not yet been decorated. A “naked” diaper cake, if you will. There are so many adorable routes you can take in decorating one of these bad boys- I’ll leave that up to you.
I’m sure you’ve also seen the diaper cakes where people roll each individual diaper. These are also cute. But I won’t be showing you how to do that type because A) it’s more work (work smarter, not harder!) and B) if you don’t roll them correctly, you can mess up the waist band of the diaper. I try to keep the amount that I roll to a minimum.
For this cake you’ll need the diapers of the size and brand of your choice, pans, rubber bands, a cake base and dowels if you plan to have several layers.
- You’ll start by rolling your diapers for the center of the cake and wrap with a rubber band to secure. Make sure the waist band of the diaper goes on the inside so as not to hurt it. The wider you want your base, the more diapers you roll around it. I used around 10 for the center and then 30 to go around the outside for the base layer of this cake but you can vary it based on your needs. Once your cake center is ready, place it in the middle of your pan. I’m using my cast iron pan because it’s convenient; I was much to lazy to dig out my cake pans. Any flatter pan with low edges will work just fine. You’ll want to use smaller pans for smaller layers; it’s really only a guide, so don’t stress about what type of pan you use.
- From here, you will want to fan your diapers around the center diapers. Make sure they’re facing the same way and that the waist bands are facing in. You’ll then need to secure it with a large rubber bands (if you don’t have a large one, you can tie a bunch of rubber bands together like I did).
- At this point your diapers will look a bit messy. You’ll want to flip over the pan of diapers onto your cake base now that your rubber band is holding them in place (be gentle). Once down, you can straighten the diapers so that they’re all the same distance apart and loosen them ever-so-slightly so that each layer is nice and round.
- You’ll repeat this with less diapers and smaller pans until you have your desired amount of layers. You will then use as many dowels as you need. A smaller cake may only call for a single dowel down the middle but a larger, multi-tiered cake will require a few dowels (A four tiered cake, for example, might use a single dowel right in the middle for the bottom couple layers and 2 dowels a bit off of the middle for the higher layers). Use your judgement. It doesn’t have to be sturdy enough to withstand a hurricane, but you want it to at least not topple over or lose a layer if it’s lightly bumped. I’ve transported 5 tier cakes to the other side of town in stop-and-go rush hour traffic and I haven’t lost a cake yet.
A few tips:
- If you have the giant rubber bands that’s great (I got a giant bag at office max) but I tie together rubber bands all the time with no problem.
- I use pearl head pins to secure decor onto the cakes like ribbon, wash cloths, onsies, socks, blankets etc.- be creative- the possibilities are endless.
- Stuffed animals make great toppers, but don’t under estimate the power of a cute book or a pair of shoes.
- If you’re scared of transporting a particularly tall cake, try putting it into a large box with high walls. Also, maybe hold off on putting on the finishing touches that could fall of until you arrive at your destination.
- For this tutorial I used size 1 diapers because that’s what I had, but when I sell them, I use size 2 or 3 diapers because then Mom doesn’t have to take it apart too quickly (I prefer Pampers, only because that’s the brand of diaper A uses, but any type will work!).
Here’s a photo of the cake once I decorated it:
So now that you’ve made it, how will you decorate your diaper cake?
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