Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Making a Diaper Cake

A coworker recently had a baby boy and the rest of us at work chipped in for a shower gift.  I offered to make a diaper cake.  It's my second attempt at making one - and I learned the basics by surfing the net.  There's lots of good ideas out there.

Start by rolling up disposable diapers. I used 59 of the 60 diapers in the package for this cake (better one left over than one short!).  I tied each diaper with curly ribbon.

A tall round item needs to go in the centre of the bottom tier - it will extend into the centre of the next tier, adding stability.  While surfing different sites about this, I read that a glass baby bottle or a bottle of wine or champagne (assuming the new mom isn't breastfeeding!) makes a good centrepost.  While shopping for baby things, I found many tall cylindrical bottles of baby stuff (shampoo, soap, etc.) that would also work.

Start by arranging rolled diapers in one row around the middle bottle and tie them together.  Again, I used curly ribbon.

Add a second row of rolled diapers around the first and tie; and then a third row.  At this point, I start removing diapers here and there, and replacing them with other things - small containers of powder and lotion, wipes, rolled up baby clothes.  You can also tuck in things like gift cards.

Once your bottom tier is filled, start working on the next tier, by wrapping a row of rolled diapers around the top of the bottle/cylinder.  Tie it off; and add a second row.  You can also remove a few diapers from this tier and add in any little things that will fit.

The centre bottle won't extend into the third tier - it will just be loose on top of the cake.  Use a rolled up diaper in the centre; arrange a row of rolled diapers around it, and tie it off.  It's difficult to remove diapers at this stage, but not impossible.  (On the first diaper cake I made, I made this tier entirely of baby clothes; if they're arranged nicely, there is really no need to "ice" a tier like that.)

I added a fourth tier to this cake (more on that below), but three tiers is a nice size.

Once I had all the tiers tied and stacked, I started playing with the "icing" details, trying to see what looked best (and how to make those board books work!).

End result:

Bottom tier:  I folded a plain white receiving blanket on the diagonal, and then continued to fold it over at 4" intervals until I had a long white rectangle.  I wrapped this around the bottom layer of diapers; and placed a ribbon around it.  Then, on top of this layer, I placed facecloths (also folded on the diagonal), to drape over the bottom tier.

Second tier:  Draped four bibs over the second tier, and pinned on socks with diaper pins.

Third tier:  Folded another receiving blanket into a 4" wide rectangle and wrapped it around the tier; topped with a ribbon.

Top tier:  Added this one because I didn't know what else to do with the Curious George board books.  I folded another receiving blanket and placed the books in the middle; then pulled the corners up and tied them together in the centre, to make the poof.

The large stuffed monkey peeking around the cake is tacked on with diaper pins; and is wearing a monkey-themed hat that is for the baby.

The smaller monkey on the left is actually a rattle.   The monkey rattle and the booties are just placed on the tray, not attached in any way to the cake.

One thing I ended up NOT doing, but I think is kind of cool, is make rosettes out of facecloths:

You just fold them on the diagonal, and then keep folding down until you get a thin bias rectangle, about 1/2" wide, and then roll the rectangle up into a circle.  Push the centre out a bit from the bottom.

Many thanks to my colleagues at DSS for entrusting this task to me :-)