Monday, January 31, 2011

DIY Diaper Cake (or Towel Cake)

 Whenever I tell people I made a diaper cake, they’re often confused. Like, “You baked what??” Haha, diaper cakes are nothing new, but here’s one that I made recently for my sister in law.  You can buy these online as well, for $60-$100 bucks!  No way jose says Lil Mama Stuart.
Newbie Disclaimer: I’m still new at writing tutorials and being good about taking pictures of the process. And have always had a problem with wordiness (read: this is a long post). Sorry, I like details! I hope to improve as time goes on…

Materials/Cost
If you don’t hide any gifts in the cake, it can cost as low as $20 (only supply would be diapers, most other supplies you’ll find on hand). This one cost about $50 because it includes the following:
$20 – 1 box (92 ct) of size one Huggies Little Snugglers
$12 – 10 bibs (registry)
$10 – 3 burpcloths (registry)
$7 – sleep sack (clearance at Babies R Us, I wish we had some for Mia!)
$2 – 12 wash cloths (clearance at Target, score!)
Additional Materials:
  1. Rubber bands ($0-$5) – you can use household ones, office ones , clear Goodie hair ties, a package of green ones in the flower section of Michael’s, you get the idea. 
  2. Cake base ($0-$10) – you can cut one out of cardboard, purchase one in the baking aisle of Michael’s/Joann, or use a present (I used a Boppy in the blue diaper cake below).
  3. String/Ribbon ($0-$5) – used to hold diapers in each tier together
  4. Pins ($0-$5) – used to hold ribbons in place
  5. 2 Kitchen Skewers or Paper Towel/Toilet Paper rolls ($0)used to secure tiers to each other.
  6. Ribbon ($0-$5) – Wider ribbons would look best, but I use whatever I have on hand.
  7. Embellishments/Gifts – Soap, lotion, baby powder, bottles, stuffed animals, rattles, flowers, balloons, whatever your gift giving heart desires.
Time: 1-3 hours, depending if you have adults or a baby helping you J and if you have a problem knowing when to stop embellishing.

Instructions:
  1. Roll up a diaper, put a rubber band around it. Do this with about 70 diapers. Don’t worry, it goes fast. Have your baby help you take all the diapers out of the bag J
  2. Stand a bunch up and gather them in a circle to your desired bottom layer (tier one) size.  Tie with string. It helps to have other adult hands to give it a big hug while you securely tie it.
  3. Gather another bunch of diapers and tie to make tier two, smaller than the base you just made in step 2.
  4. Repeat for tier three, smaller than tier two in the above step. Repeat again if you want a fourth tier. Eyeball how your tiers look stacked up. Keep adding/removing diapers until you get the right sized circles/tiers.
  5. Variations (to keep it basic, feel free to skip these and move on to step 6)
    1. Tier 1 (base of diapers wrapped with burp cloths) – I took a burp cloth, wrapped it around the outside of the tier. Repeated with other two burp cloths, overlapping to cover entire tier. There will be over hang on the top and bottom. To give the cake a rounded look, I tucked the excess over and inside that layer of diapers. You could do this with receiving blankets too.
    2. Tier 2 (only diapers) - I like hiding the rolls by adding another layer of diapers around the tiers. You lay the diapers on their long side, and overlap them around the tier. Tie to secure.
    3. Tier 3 (wash cloths wrapped with sleep sack) - , I rolled wash cloths just like I did with the diapers in step 1 and gathered in a circle like in step 2. I included wash cloths because they are super helpful for spit up and daily baby life. I wrapped the tier of washcloths in a cute sleep sack that I found. Sleep sacks are super useful since Mia rolls around so much when she sleeps and blankets won’t stay on her. Take the sleep sack on its long side to wrap around the tier.  There will be an overhang on the top and bottom. I gathered the excess on the bottom and tied with a rubber band. For the excess on top, I folded over and stuck pins (that you would use when sewing) in to secure flat.
    4. Tier 4 (top, bibs) – To make the top tier, I wrapped, gathered and tied the bibs just like in steps 1-3. Since the 10 bibs weren’t making the right size tier, I added some rolled diapers to the middle.
  6. Securing tiers together so your layers don’t topple over and your cake falls apart:
    1. To secure Tiers 1 and 2 together, I took two wooden skewers (used for cooking) and broke them in half to have four pieces. I placed them evenly inside Tier 1 so half was sticking out. I placed Tier 2 on top of Tier 1, so the skewers are stuck in between the tiers. Note: You can use paper towel or toilet paper rolls too. Or soap bottle, lotion, baby powder, baby bottle that can double up as gifts. Just take a diaper out of the middle of each tier and stick the roll/gift in each tier. Repeat with remaining tiers if you didn’t do the variations above. Then skip to step 7.
    2. To secure Tiers 2 and 3 together – remember in step 5c I had the bottom excess sleep sack tied with a rubber band? Well I took out a few diapers from Tier 2, so that the excess of Tier 3 would fit right in. Not exactly super secure, but good enough for me.
    3. To secure Tiers 3 and 4 together, see step 6a.
  7. Embellishing – Take some wide ribbon and tie around the outside of each tier, making sure to cover the tie you used to secure around each tier. You can secure the ribbon to the diaper cake with a sewing pin, safety pin or tie in a bow. Since I didn’t have wide ribbon, I wrapped three rows of ribbons around each tier. Do whatever you think looks best. Stick a balloon, bow, stuffed animal on top, and look at your beautiful diaper cake! Or you can always just tell me to make one for you ;)
{click photos to enlarge}
For housewarming/wedding showers, towel cakes work too! Same idea, just have to play with how you roll your towels to get the right height for each layer. Bath sheet (I think this is just a ginormous towel) for base, bath towel for tier 2, wash cloths for tier 3.  Roll, tie, stack, done! I like to stick soap inside J

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2 comments:

stinertrev said...

Don't know if you knew that you can still get sleep sacks from JCPenny in larger sizes. Elijah still sleeps in one - although he has little feet at the bottom now. They are only available online.

Pam said...

Just made one for a baby shower this weekend! So simple yet looks great!! Two more ideas - if you are making the cake for a more indulgent couple (post baby of course) you can use a bottle of wine or champagne in the middle to hold layers together. This way they have something to toast to their new baby :) Also, big lots and marshalls were AWESOME when it came to finding inexpensive extras - I found Winnie the pooh teethers and toys for $2, and an awesome Pooh blanket for $6. :)