Diaper Cakes – How to make this “must-have” gift

October 12, 2009

in How Tos, Packaging, trends

Joanna Sloan from our sales department made a diaper cake for a baby shower we had here at Nashville Wraps. No, diaper cakes are not edible, and no, they don’t have a chocolate filling, but they have become a “must have” shower gift. Seriously, though, diaper cakes are a great and easy way to add to your gift basket business with a gorgeous, usable item for new moms. I liked the idea so much I asked Joanna to write a blog and explain how she did it. I snapped a few pictures and here it is.

Joanna said that it’s very easy (and economical) to make a diaper cake. They are all the rage right now, so cash in while you can. First, you will want to decide on your style. For this how-to blog, I chose a gender-neutral approach, but you can customize it for the individual. You will need to have the following “ingredients” on hand to begin:

  • At least 50 diapers (depending on the size you choose, you may use more or less than I did for this cake)
  • Various ribbon for decorating – I chose the flora satin, wired Satin Edge Organza, Pastel Stripe Curling Ribbon, and a few of our White pre-tied Organza Bows to finish.
  • Some sort of base for the cakes – I chose White Matte Nested Boxes – I like to use nested boxes for the base because they add value to the diaper cake. The new mom can reuse them to store baby mementos and other things after the diapers have been used.
  • Glue dots, double stick tape or hot glue gun — I used the High Tack Glue Dots and Double Coated Tape – I prefer glue dots and tape over hot glue for this project because they both peel off the diapers easily.
  • Baby items to decorate the cake – anything works, but for this cake, I got some inexpensive items like a rubber ducky, socks, washcloths, pacifiers and teething rings. Again, this is something that will add value to the cake, and can be personalized for the individual customer.
  • A cake plate or cake pad to hold the base box

First, we will cover the boxes with diapers. Start by taping the diapers on the boxes in a spiral pattern. I used the double-coated tape for this step. There are many different ways to make a diaper cake, but I have found that this tends to create a more cake-like look. Repeat this step for all three layers. We took some pictures to show how to do this.

The diapers I used for this cake are not quite as wide as the height of the box, so you notice that the lid is visible. Don’t worry about that, I am going to show you how to make it look like you wanted it to show. Once you have enough diapers on each layer to create a proportional cake, you will want to secure the diapers. This is easiest if you have a spare set of hands, but it is possible to do by yourself. Since I had a spool of elastic stretch cord, that is what I used, but if you have a very large rubber band, it will work as well. Secure the diapers tightly enough to keep them in place, but not so tightly as to create a dent in the edge of the cake. See picture above.

Once the diapers are secure, it is time to decorate with the ribbon. I created a layered look with my three ribbons. I like using the 2¾ inch (size 40) poly Satin, it is wide enough to keep the edge of the cake nice and smooth. After I decorated the “cake” layers, I applied my curling ribbon to the exposed lids. This creates an extra pop of color and makes it look as though we wanted the lids to show.

Now fill the boxes with baby items. I filled the top section with diapers rolled up and tied with curling ribbon.

Finally, it’s time to assemble the cake. I like to use glue dots or lines to attach each level to the one below it. Hot glue works well, but again, it doesn’t peel off as easily, so the boxes would not be reusable. Your customer will appreciate the value! Once each layer is secured in place, it’s simply a matter of decorating the cake. Be as creative or simple as you want – or let the customer decide. Create a few designs from which the customer can choose and then customize the ribbon color.

I love the way Joanna’s cake turned out. It would be an adorable centerpiece for a baby shower or a memorable gift. Send us pictures if you make this item – we will put you on our Facebook page. Email them to facebook@nashvillewraps.com be sure to give us your name and store name so we can give you credit.

See more Baby Packaging ideas here.

Kathy Green
Packaging Consultant
Nashville Wraps


Kathy works with the Nashville Wraps’ Marketing Team as a packaging consultant and photo stylist. She is also a Master Gardener and enjoys her greenhouse and garden, three spoiled dogs, hubby and grandkids in her spare time. She also loves any kind of craft and spends rainy days in the art studio she shares with her creative husband, Bill.

More Posts - Website

Leave a Comment

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Memorably Sweet Creations August 24, 2014 at 9:10 am

I’ve made plenty of diaper cakes but it never occurred to me to use a keepsake box in the center. I tend to use elastics whenever possible to secure my items to avoid damage but use double sided tape or safety pins to secure ribbons, etc. I do wish that there were more ribbon options available on this site, I tend to use a lot and would love a regular supplier that does not require huge wholesale orders. For now, I will get my candy bouquet supplies here in hopes that more ribbon designs will become available.

deborah December 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Wow, I love the diaper cake, I just recieved an order for a baby shower for a Lavender and pink arrangement. Im sure this will be a hit at the baby shower and a wonder surprise for my client. Thank you so much for sharing all these Idea!

arlene hockenbury August 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm

i make my diaper cakes with plenty of diapers, no boxes, but thats a great idea. i place the items like shampoo etc washcloths, thermometer etc etc around the layers as in making a layer cake with the layers inset, decorate according using double sided tape, wrap with layered ribbon, top layer is a bottle surrounded with diapers, place on a cake board place in a cello bag tie n place bows with curly ribbon i also put a tiny finger puppet in center of the bow, makes a beautiful gift, love your idea sounds like everyone has great ideas

sally June 8, 2010 at 7:34 am

thanks for the great better than what i have seen so far will be making one of them soon thanks sally

Lil Baby Cakes June 2, 2010 at 6:55 am

Yes, typically you can get the double sided tape off without ruining the diapers. I have found that to be true for most tapes.


D ~ March 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I am just wondering if the Moms can get the double-sided tape off without ruining the diapers? Have you tried dis-assembling your diaper cakes?

Marie March 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Great idea with the nesting boxes. Have you ever shipped these, how do you pack them.
Thanks for sharing

Shannon January 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm

They look amazing thanks for sharing this information..Thinking that I will include this in my business as well. Thanks…

ladyc January 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm

i love the nesting boxes. They are relly a great new hit for my diaper cakes! I like the height they bring.

Maria January 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm

This is a great idea! The boxes can be filled with other baby items such as wash cloths, bibs, etc. I make my diaper cakes with paper towel tubes attached to with a little hot glue to a cake board for the base. Rather then leaving a rubber band around the diapers, which can leave dents in the diapers, I use a thin white ribbon to secure them together & then remove the rubber band.

SUZY November 24, 2009 at 11:47 am


Sue November 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Diaper cakes are always a hit at baby showers. You can add so many things to the cake. Like towels, onsies, bibs, etc. Towel cakes are great for bridal showers as well. I use baby bottles as the tier support and toppers with fresh flowers so it acts as a center piece and a gift.

Pat November 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Nice option in place of rolling diapers. I’ve placed chocolate filled baby bottles in the center but now I’ll try them as pedestals!

Liz November 12, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I have also seen them done using baby bottles as pedestals to hold up the tiers.

Rachel November 9, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Very beautiful diaper cake… I’m adding to my diaper cakes some chocolate flowers as a sweet gift for the new mom…

Jennifer T November 8, 2009 at 10:47 am

This “recipe” is great! I have always wondered how to make one!!! Thanks

vanessa collins November 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm

I have done a diaper cake and it was the hit of the baby shower. I got wonderful comments and i have also created more for other mothers to be.

Pat Mayes November 3, 2009 at 7:28 pm

What a wonderful idea!! I just love it, and also the options that I read. Thank you so much for sharing this; to you Joanna, for your artistic thought, thank you.

Sarah November 3, 2009 at 3:04 pm

For weddings I do cakes made with 2 towels on the bottom 2 hand towels in the middle and 2 wash clothes on the top. You can use bubble bath to wrap the full size and hand towels around. Use rubber bands to hold it all together. After that hot glue ribbon around it to hide the rubber bands. I add silk flowers around the cake. SO CUTE!!

Darlene November 2, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Thank you so much! These directions are just in time for a baby shower that I am attending this weekend. Perfect! I can make it and feature it on our website for orders!


Carrie October 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Washcloths are also a great alternative to the diapers!

Irena aka soapbuddy October 20, 2009 at 1:57 am

So that’s how it’s done. Thank you for the tutorial.

Elizabeth October 19, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I bet you could do a bridal one using different sizes of bath towels.

Mary Ann October 19, 2009 at 10:31 am

I use diapers to fill in the center. Works just as well

Joanna October 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm

The towel cakes would be easy enough, if a little different in the design. You could also use cloth diapers for an “eco-friendly” diaper cake. For a bridal shower cake, instead of the little washcloth bunnies, you could use lacey things to make roses for decorations.

Claire Bingham October 16, 2009 at 1:17 pm

I bet you could combine dish towles with cloth napkins for a wedding shower cake. Thanks for these directions!

Meliss October 16, 2009 at 10:43 am

I have made “Towel Cakes” for my daughters ele. school teachers, but I have never thought of using the nesting boxes! What a GREAT idea!

I was going to make more “Cakes” and sell them for our local 2010 American Cancer Society Relay For Life event this year, so I will be buying the nesting boxes for sure!

Thank you so much for sharing!!


Hadiza October 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

Wow! I’m inspired. Been putting off learning to do diaper cakes for ages.
You make it seem so simple. Looking forward to shopping for supplies.

Kathy Green October 13, 2009 at 7:39 am

Great Idea! I’m sure the towels would work as well as the diapers. Send us a picture if you make one.

Michelle October 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm

This is great. I wonder if I could also make one for a bridal shower using dish towels??

Previous post:

Next post: