April 4, 2011

diaper cake tutorial

My friend needed a diaper cake for a friend's baby shower this weekend so I thought it was the perfect time to document my process.  This is a tutorial for a three tier wrapped diaper cake meaning each tier is wrapped with a receiving blanket, no diapers will be showing.  There are several styles of diaper cakes including rolled or a simple diaper cake (this style is not rolled but the diapers are exposed and decorated with ribbon).  I'm not a fan of the rolled diaper cakes--it takes a lot of practice to make them look really good!  I've seen so many that are major sloppy looking- save yourself some time with this style.

Okay so what do you need? 

50 Size One Diapers
3 or 4 Receiving Blankets
6 Diaper Pins
A support system for the center of the cake (empty gift wrap roll)
Cake Board (10")

I start by folding the three blankets.  You will want them to vary in height.  My measurements are roughly:

  • Top Tier (paisley print) 3 1/2"
  • Middle Tier (polka dot) 4 1/2"
  • Bottom Tier (flowers) 5 1/2"

After folding them- I iron each one to get the wrinkles out.
Take the blanket for the bottom tier and fold it over so the ends slightly overlap and pin them together with two diaper pins.
Set up your tier (I had an extra blanket using the same print so I tucked this blanket inside the tier).
Start filling your blanket/tier in with the diapers.  You'll notice these diapers have a print on them so that's why this style of diaper cake is perfect- the diaper don't show!
Fill in your tier until it is snug and then center your support in the middle.  You could get fancy and cover your support with some cute wrapping paper so it's not plain brown.  Up to you!
You will notice that there is a gap between the top of the diapers and the top edge of the tier- that is where your shred comes into play.  It fills in this gap.  The shred is a bit crazy...but we'll fix that later.
Move onto your second tier- and do the exact same thing.  You will want this tier to be a bit smaller so when you roll it and pin it, make sure it's overlapping a bit more.  If you don't do this, all your tiers will be the same width and it won't look like a "real" cake.

Fill in with diapers, since it's smaller you won't need as many.
Place on top of the bottom tier centering and making sure the diaper pins align in the back.  Add shred on the top of your second tier.
And lastly- the top tier...you'll want to overlap this one quite a bit to make it narrow and then pin it with your last two diaper pins.  Fill with the remaining diapers.
And stack on top!  You will now need to adjust your tiers--pushing/pulling/smooshing to make sure the tiers are centered.  Turn your diaper cake around and make sure it looks good from all sides.

Oh and a surprise guest in the background!  :)
Next up -- wrap each tier with coordinating ribbon.  If you are not comfortable tying a bow in the front you can always wrap the ribbon around and just knot it in the back.  I've done it this way- it gives the cake a more streamlined/modern look.
My friend presented me with a challenge for the topper (thanks lady!).  Usually I top the cakes with a simple little plushie (that has legs).  This little cutie had a head but no legs...one of those blanket combos.  You'll see in my previous pics I had shred on the top tier, well I took it off because it doesn't show with this topper.  I trimmed off the center support and placed the teddy's head right on top of it and tied it with ribbon.  I then shooshed up the blanket and added some clippies.

At this point you'll also want to trim the shred around each tier so it's not dangling everywhere and trim the ribbon ends.
And if you want- you can wrap it all up in cellophane for a finished gift!

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