How to make a diaper cake with lots of helpful tips and tricks plus tons of inspiration for how to decorate diaper cakes.
This is your ultimate guide to making a diaper cake!
Diaper cakes are a stack of rolled or folded diapers made to look like a traditional tiered cake. They are one of my favorite gifts to take to a baby shower because they double as a decoration. A diaper cake can be the fun focal point of baby shower decorations. It’s really fun to decorate a diaper cake to match the party theme. Plus they’re a handy gift that you know every new mom will be able to use.
If you want to make a diaper cake, you’ll find all of the information you need below. With the help of this thorough set of instructions, you can do it, promise! I’ll walk you through the process of gathering materials, building the structure part of the diaper cake and then the fun part— decorating it!
Best Diapers to Use for a Diaper Cake
There are so many different diapers available that it can be overwhelming to choose some for a diaper cake. My first suggestion is to get a larger size of diaper… babies grow out of newborn and size 1 diapers so quickly and mothers often receive these sizes as gifts. I say buy size 2, 3 or 4 diapers.
My second suggestion is to look for plain white diapers or to find a patterned diaper and pick one that will match your color scheme. There are some really darling diapers nowadays with trendy patterns printed on them and these diapers can really jazz up a diaper cake. Here are a few of my favorite diaper brands to use for diaper cakes:
Choose A Base for your Diaper Cake
You’ll want a sturdy foundation to build your diaper cake on, especially if you plan to transport it to a baby shower or if you want to be able to send it home with the mother-to-be. Here are a few diaper cake base ideas you could use:
- Metal Pizza Pan from Dollar Tree – Spray paint it, leave it silver, add a circle of scrapbook paper or hot glue some trim around the edges.
- Charger – Any plastic or melamine charger would make a great base for a diaper cake. They sell these at almost any craft store and they have them at Dollar Tree as well.
- Cake Board – Check in the cake decorating aisle of the craft store for pre-cut cardboard rounds used for building actual cakes. They are perfect for building diaper cakes too!
- Tiered Cake Stand – This option is best paired with a cake board if you want to be able to transport the diaper cake in one piece, but it definitely makes for a pretty presentation at the party.
How Many Diapers Do I Need To Make A Diaper Cake?
The number of diapers you will need to make a diaper cake depends on how big you’d like your finished cake to be and how many layers you plan to make. More diapers equals a bigger cake. However, here’s a diaper cake sizing guide that will help you estimate how many diapers to buy.
The bottom tier of the diaper cakes I make are approximately 12-14 inches in diameter. Here’s how many diapers I used:
The size of your finished diaper cake will also be slightly affected by the size of diapers you use. I used size 4 diapers for all of the diaper cakes shown in this post. If you use newborn or size 1 diapers, you may need to add one or two extra diapers to each round to make up the slight size difference.
Diaper Cake Supply List
These are the supplies you need to make a diaper cake.
- 50 Diapers
- 51 Regular Sized Rubber Bands (one for each diaper and one for wrapping around the top tier)
- 2 Extra Large Rubber Bands, also called File Bands (for wrapping around the bottom two tiers)
- 1 Cake Base
- 1 Large Bottle of Lotion or a Paper Towel/Wrapping Paper Cardboard Tube
- Wide Ribbon (or other alternative—see below)
- Embellishments (see list of ideas below)
- Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks
Diaper Cake Assembly Instructions
- Roll one diaper up and secure it with a small rubber band. Repeat for all of the diapers.
- Place a heavy bottle of baby lotion or shampoo in the center of your cake base. You can also use an empty paper towel or wrapping paper tube.
- Begin making a layer of rolled up diapers all the way around the bottle. Secure all of the individual diapers together with one large rubber band all the way around the outside. I suggest making the base layer three diapers deep, but use as many as it takes to fill up the entire cake base evenly.
- Make the second layer on top of the first and decrease the size by at least one round of diapers. Repeat for the third layer and any additional layers you want to add if necessary.
Once your diapers form the shape of a tiered cake, you’re ready to decorate!
Diaper Cake Decorating Ideas
Every diaper cake needs three decorations:
- Ribbon. The most common item to use is ribbon, but you can get creative with tulle, rolled up receiving blankets or even wrapping paper or scrapbook paper cut into strips.
- A cute cake topper. Adding something to the top of the cake will make it look finished and will hide the hole where the paper towel tube or lotion bottle might show.
- Embellishments. These are the decorative accents that will give your diaper cake the “wow” factor. You can use paper flowers, silk flowers, paper shreds, curling ribbon, small toys, bows, floral picks, baby booties, small stuffed animals, or anything else that you think would be cute or that would fit with the theme of your baby shower.
Here are some diaper cake decorating ideas for boys and girls. I’ve included details about each cake below the photo.
There are so many different ways you can decorate a diaper cake, so be creative and have fun with it.
If you’re looking for another fun and clever baby shower gift idea, check out this baby shower burp cloth bouquet.
Diaper Cake Video Tutorial
I hope you’ve found this post helpful in learning how to make a diaper cake. Be sure to pin the image below so you can find this information later.
Comments & Reviews
Marilynn C Kettner says
Thank you! This is so helpful!!!
Great information thank you. I’m making a Christmas themed cake can’t wait to add the wow factors!
Thank you so much! This is so helpful for my sister’s 1st baby!
Do you have any suggestions for attaching washcloth rosettes to diaper cake. Hot glue isn’t an option here. I don’t want to ruin the washcloths or the diapers. Any help would be wonderful. Thanks in advance.
Could you use straight pins? Just be sure to warn the mother-to-be so she doesn’t poke herself.
Glue dots. They are available at any craft store or at walmart.
Tie a ribbon around the washcloths and then use glue or double sided tape dots on the ribbon
Use fishing line around the bottom of the rosette. Push it through the rosette and then add another. Once you have them on the fishing line you can place them where you want plus you can use the fishing line as a anchor for other things.
Do you hot glue directly to the diapers?
No, no hot glue is used on the diapers.
What size cake stand do you use?
You need one that’s about 12 inches.
kopi susu indonesia terenak says
Wohh precisely what I was searching for, appreciate it for posting.
Peggy D Carper says
Best one I have seen! Thank you for detailed pictures and instructions!
Loretta Apablasa says
Hi- are you using a paper towel holder on each layer or?
Nope, I only used one paper towel holder. It was long enough to go through the center of all the layers.
JENNIFER Bennett says
What are you using the hot glue for?
The hot glue is only used to attach the ribbon together after you wrap it around each layer. No glue on the diapers or they wouldn’t be usable.
Thank you for all the suggestions. Worked like a charm so happy with how my diaper cake turned out
Thank you very helpful.
Where did you get the diapers that look to have blue and green arrows?
They are the Cloud Island brand diapers from Target.
Absolutely adorable! Have you ever made one with cloth diapers
I never have, but it would totally work and be really cute!
Fiona C says
Used this guide for a friend’s diaper cake- was so easy to follow! Thank you!
So how does it all stay standing on the base? Are the layers somehow glued to the center dowel?
Nothing is glued together so that the mother-to-be can use all of the diapers. You could add double sided tape or something else if you felt it needed extra sticking power, but I’ve never felt the need.
Murtis Windham says
When you put the paper towel holder in the middle you have a rubber band around each diaper holding them tight when you put them around it and then you put a bigger rubber band or ribbon around all the diapers once you put them around the paper towel holder that’s what holds them together. I hope I made sense
These are great instructions! I can’t wait to make it for my daughter’s shower.
How many yard of ribbon did you use to wrap the 3 layers?
About 7 yards
Hello my name is Lori. Love your diaper cakes! I just started making a few here and there. I was wondering do you take the individual rubber bands off after you put the row together?
Nope, I don’t!
Maria Velniceriu says
Just wow! I’ve never thought of this beautiful idea.
Kathy Allen says
Your instructions were so clear, and the photos were super helpful! Seeing sample “cakes” gave me great ideas. I could not be more pleased with my diaper cake! Thanks so much!
Thank you! Short and to the point, very appreciated.
Lucia Chiaramonte says
love your diaper cake! What brand were the diapers used with the grey and blue arrows?
Cloud Island from Target, although this post is a couple years old, so they may have changed the design.
Gwendolyn S Cole says
Just made one. It was so fun. Your tutorial was great. Thank you
Beautiful work! Thanks for sharing!
One question though. How is the entire cake secured with the base? Does it just sit on top of the base and can be lifted up?
I didn’t secure mine to the base, they’re just sitting on top of the plate. It works pretty well that way.
How did you cascade the silk flowers? Gorgeous work and PERFECT instructions!
I attached the ones near the ribbon with hot glue, then just glued the parts that touched each other together until everything stayed where I wanted it to. I didn’t want to glue directly to the diapers.
Thank you so much!!