How To: Make a Diaper Cake Centerpiece

Last month I got a text from my friend Kristen that said, “I have the best post for your blog!”  I told my husband multiple times that I was going to be at Kristen’s house working on a diaper cake and it wasn’t until about the tenth time that he finally asked, “So explain to me how this works…like, do people know they’re eating diapers, or is it like.. a trick cake?” I tried to control my hysterical laughter and explained that a diaper cake isn’t for eating, that would be weird.  It’s a darling decoration you can use at a baby shower!  The actual “cake” is constructed with diapers and then it’s accessorized with cute baby things.  It looks great as a centerpiece at the shower and then the Momma-to-be gets to take it home with her and use all of the items.  It’s actually super easy, and it doesn’t take very long, especially if you’ve got a helper!

Supplies Needed:
Diapers– I love Target diapers because they don’t have lame pictures on them.  I think the blue and green polka dots are so cute, and as you’ll see below, they totally work with a girlie cake too.  But use whatever diapers you want, this is what we used and one box was the perfect amount for the size of cake we made.  If you’re looking for plain white diapers, I’ve heard that Whole Foods 365 brand are white, and Seventh Generation are off white.  You can also make this with cloth.

Roll of paper towels
Rubber bands or string
Accessories, like flowers, baby toys, hair bows for girls, toy trucks for boys, socks, toiletries etc.
optional– tissue, bottle, goodies for the middle opening

You need something at the core of your cake- Kristen suggested a half used roll of paper towels and it worked great!  It ended up being the perfect height.  You could use a full roll of paper towels as well and then it might require less diapers for the same amount of bulk.  I’ve seen people use a large bottle of lotion or baby soap too, and someone in the comment section had the great idea of rolling up a receiving blanket.

There are actually a LOT of ways to make these (go do a Google image search for “Diaper Cake” and you’ll find lots of inspiration) I’m just going to show the two most popular ways below.   Shown below on the left, you can roll up individual diapers and secure each one with a rubber band, or tie them with a ribbon.  Place the rolled diapers around the cake and secure each layer with one big rubber band or ribbon.  We went with the method on the right because it was a lot less time consuming, so I’ll show ya how!

This is definitely easier with an extra set of hands so grab friend.  Or an enemy.  Doesn’t really matter as long as they have functioning hands.  Lay down the diapers overlapping like shown below left.  Then take your roll of paper towels and roll the overlapping diapers around the bottom.

When you get a layer all the way around like shown below (that’s actually 2 layers) have one person hold them like this and the other person can easily slip a rubber band around it.

Now just keep adding layers around that base until it’s the size you want it.  You can always go back and add more at the end after your other layers are added.  If your rubber bands aren’t large enough to fit around the outside layers, you can always use string.  I’m pretty sure we used dental floss at one point.

Follow that same pattern, making each tier a little smaller than the one below it.  Once you have all three tiers, you can adjust by adding or taking away layers.

Once you have the cake base made, it’s time for the fun part!  Kristen grabbed all of this fun stuff from Hobby Lobby.  You can see how even with blue and green polka dot diapers, you can still make it fun and girly.

The first step is to wrap ribbon around your tiers to cover up the rubber bands.  We just secured the ribbon with tape.

And we did 2 layers of ribbon- I love how this blue dotted ribbon matches the diapers, and it looks so cute over the pink!

You’ll also be left with an open spot on the very top.  We just stuffed a piece of tissue paper in ours.  You can artfully make it spill out, or fill the open space with goodies, a baby bottle, baby lotion or soap, or just stuff it like we did.

We took some cascading ribbon and used a little wire butterfly decoration to hold them together.

It worked well because we stuck the wire right down the middle of that opening we stuffed with tissue and it helped hold in all the ribbon.  We’re sort of geniuses.

And Kristen is a super genius because she grabbed a spool of ribbon, did a few ninja moves, and turned out a gorgeous bow in the time it took me to check my camera settings.

One tip I have is to use the layer of diapers to attach your accessories.  Like, if you’re using flowers, leave some stem on and just tuck them in.  You obviously don’t want to use glue anywhere that will attach to the diapers, but you can creatively attach things to the ribbon.  Be creative and you’ll find it’s pretty easy to stick stuff in there.

We also used this darling initial for the top, and baby utensils that we tied a infant headband around and slipped in the layer of diapers.  If you’re doing a girl cake, definitely check out hair accessories- they make darling adornments!  Little boy cakes are adorable with little toy trucks tucked in.  Little soaps and lotions are cute too.

I think my very favorite thing were these little socks!  They came in a box like that, over little plastic foot molds, so we just wrapped another headband around them.  We then took a piece of one of the wire flower stems we had cut off and slipped it in the layer of diapers.  It acted as a little  hook and we just slipped the little sockies on there.

Just move things around until you like the look of it.

and pretty soon you’ll have a gorgeous centerpiece!  How cute is that?

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I’ve made several of these before but always the other way, rolling up each individual diaper. I’ve seen this way before, but never knew how to accomplish it! Thanks for the pictures they really help. Rolling the paper towel around the laid out diapers makes perfect sense. I kept trying to place them around the paper towel part and it never worked! And your right a helper is always nice! I make my husband help me when I do them! Anxious to make another one now. I too have used the target diapers, they make a cute cake! Thanks for the post, it was most helpful!

  2. This has to be one of the cutest diaper cakes I’ve ever seen! And the links at the bottom…I am cooking desserts tonight!

  3. So cute! Also try using a folded receiving blanket to cover each layer of the diapers. Just fold it so it is the right width and put it around the diapers. I use a straight pin to keep it in place. Then the cake can be pink, blue, etc. Use the ribbons on top of the receiving blankets.

  4. Slightly different construction that what I’ve seen in the past, but the overall effect is the same. Love these “cakes”.


  5. darling cake! and thanks for being a part of this – it just gave me LOTS of ideas for a baby shower i’m hosting in two weeks! i’ve got my menu down and a baby diaper cake to make thanks to you!

  6. Perfect timing! I’m doing 2 baby showers in the next month!! I loved your decorations on the cake too! Thanks for the tutorial!

  7. This is a great tutorial! I love to put a bottle of champagne in the middle of my diaper cakes for the new parents to enjoy after the baby arrives!

  8. That is adorable. I have always wanted to know how to make one. Thank you so much for the step-by-step instructions.

  9. Haha, I have to say, my husband has also said that “diaper cakes sound gross.” I just laugh. It’s a funny thing isn’t it? Way cute.

  10. So in my version of diaper cakes I follow a little bit different process. You will need a box/bag of rubber bands (I usually choose the colored ones) and some plain old gift wrap ribbon (the little 1/4″ wide kind that is super cheap) in a color that will work with your overall theme.

    Start by purchasing 1 8oz. baby bottle and 1 4oz baby bottle (these will end up being your “middle” (where you used the paper towels). If you want it 3 tiered then you would just buy another 4oz bottle.

    Grab a whole box of diapers (I’m not a mom yet so I don’t remember what size boxes they have, but 80 to 100 count seems right). You are going to roll each individual diaper up and secure with a small rubber band. You do not need to unfold the diaper to roll it up, just roll it up the way it comes out of the box.

    Once the whole box is rolled you can begin assembly. The 8oz bottle is your base (you could totally use another 4oz bottle here, especially if you found a 3 or 4 pack on sale). Then stand up a ring of rolled diapers around the bottle and secure with a rubber band. Then make another ring – use a rubber band or a length of ribbon to secure each ring – and another, until you have 4 or 5 rings built up around the bottle.

    Then repeat the process on the remaining 4oz bottle(s), but only use 3 to 4 rings – each tier in decending diameter.

    If you want to make a 3 tier cake you might consider rolling up about 10 bibs similarly to how you rolled the diapers and distribute those evenly amoung the outer tiers.

    Then make a topper out of tons of curled ribbon in the shower colors, or saftey pin 4 or 5 pairs of socs together at the opening to make a little sock pom pom, or use flowers, whatever…

    I then take some 2.5″ or 3″ decorative ribbon and go around the perimeter of each tier to cover how I held the cake together.

    I usually decorate my cake with baby items (pacifiers, snot sucker, nail clippers, etc) amoungst other little baubles that coordinate with the shower theme.

    I have pictures of a really cute “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” cake that I made if anyone is interested.

    These are really fun and bringing one to a baby shower is a big WOW factor – not to mention that you are automatically entered into the diaper raffle 🙂

    1. I would love to see your pictures as well. I am fixing to make my first one of four three I need to make. I have three nieces (two sisters and a sister in law) all pregnant right now. So I thought this would be a great idea as a gift but I want all three different.

    2. Juliana, I would love to see your picture. I am about to do one for my first grandson. All ideas welcome.

      1. good luck as I will be making my diaper cake for my first grandchild as well. I need all the prayers I can

    3. Would you be so kind as to e-mail the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I would like to make a diaper cake for a friends daughter that had a little girls about 6 weeks ago. If you have any bright ideas for me I would appreciate it tremendously. I live in South Africa and this is something new! I really think she would appreciate such a beautiful diaper cake. Thanks a ton.

    4. I have gotten two cakes that were put together with each individual diaper rolled. As grateful as I was that we got a bunch of diapers, it was a pain in the rear to remove all of the rubber bands. The one described in this tutorial sounds so much easier to take apart.

      1. I’m assembling a diaper cake this week. Since the gender will be a surprise, I used some small fuzzy hair ties (a girl can never have enough of those either, with them getting lost so easily) to hold the rolled diapers, and will add a few trinkets once I get a chance to go shopping before the shower.

  11. What an adorable idea! I love the creativity behind it, and it looks so pretty!

  12. So cute. I have made several of these in the past years. Instead of a roll of paper towels I have rolled up a receiving blanket. Tied tons of toys and stuff for mom on it. You did a fantastic job! Love the colored diapers!

    1. ooh, good idea Jody! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to add that to the post!

  13. This is the cutest cake ever! how fun! You are all way to crafty! I love it! Thanks so much for participating in my shower. You gals are the best. I can’t say it enough! xoxo

  14. I’ve always wondered how to make these, thanks for the tutorial! It looks so cute and colorful!

  15. The seventh generation diapers also do not have any pictures on them; they are a cream color and would make a pretty cake as well. Yours is beautiful; it’s the prettiest I’ve seen.

  16. What an awesome idea – a virtual shower! I now need to go force one of my besties to have a baby so I can make one of these for the shower!


  17. So pretty, Sara! I’ve always wanted to see how these were made, thank you!

  18. Oh how fun & cute is this!! I love the diapers you chose, the colors are perfect!
    Congrats Maria & Josh!

    1. I have used a small section of a pool noodle as a base. Also little hand mittens make great little pockets to hold little things like combs and nail clippers.

  19. I have made the same sort of thing for perhaps not quite so much $$ – using a bouquet of roses. I bought one pack each of onesies, socks, and diapers, rolled them up to make the roses, attached to floral wire, with rubber bands and ribbon, then wrapped into a hooded towel to act as the tissue paper to hold all of the roses. Mom-to-be was delighted, and no one else had a gift that looked like that.
    Your cake is lovely.

  20. Love it! I’ve made 2 diaper cakes in the past couple of years for friends showers. So much fun. I’m normally not super duper crafty. But this was something I was able to pull off and everyone was wowed by it… and you can use the diapers afterwards… makes a great gift for the mom to be!

      1. when I make mine I do not use a roll of paper towels I use blanket, baby outfits and cloths in each layer in the order the mother will use them. It is like a gift inside of a gift. Make sure to roll in the same height as the diapers. Roll and use a rubber band to hold then lay on the diapers and roll. I use plastic spoons to hold the 3 layers from falling off of each other. It works great. I have made so many diaper cakes. I use the spoons to hang things on the out side. That way every thing is usable.

    1. A bottle of wine makes a great center for a diaper cake. Enjoyed by Mom and Dad after wards too.