Weekend Project: Diaper Cake

I'm co-hosting a baby shower for my friend Erin this week, and I was assigned the task of creating a diaper cake. (Erin is the friend whose nursery I painted last week.)

I've never made a diaper cake. I've never even heard of a diaper cake. To be honest, I'm definitely in the bridal shower era of my life, not the baby shower era. (Although those two are kind of meshing together, which is scary!)

A little bit of googling later, I was informed on the [apparently very common] tradition of the diaper cake. We're doing a The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme for the shower, so I used that as my inspiration for the lovely cake o' diapers.

Diapers (whichever type the mom-to-be is registered for)
Rubber bands
Tissue paper
Construction paper
Hot glue gun
Various cute things with which to decorate the cake– I used baby socks and a stuffed caterpillar
Something long and tall in the center to build around... I used a rolled baby blanket, but most people use bottles of baby lotion or baby powder. 

Disclaimer: This is the way I made this cake. I'm not saying it is the best way, but I sort of winged it and this is what I came up with!
  1.  Roll the diapers up like you're rolling paper into a scroll, and wrap each with a rubber band to secure the shape.
  2. Start with something tall and cylindrical in the center. I used a rolled up baby blanket because it was so cute that I couldn't resist. (Much cuter than baby lotion, but I'm sure that is more practical.)
  3. Start assembling the diapers in the ring around the center object, building outward to create the cake tier. The diapers need to be standing up lengthwise. It's almost like building a circular fence of diapers around the center object.
  4. Secure each circle of diapers with a rubber band, joining it to the center object. Continue building outward until you have the right size tier for the base of the cake.
  5. Cover the bottom tier with tissue paper, and wrap a large ribbon around the tier to finish it off. 
  6. Follow this technique for the second tier and third tier (and fourth tier and fifth tier, if you want to make a cake that big!)
  7. Now the fun part- decorating! I topped my cake off with the stuffed caterpillar from the book. I also mimicked the sweet dot print from the book on each tier, which is my favorite part. The dots are cut from construction paper and hot-glued to the tissue paper surface. (You simply have to add those caterpillar holes- it's an essential detail!) Those pieces of fruit and ice cream cone were created out of construction paper, hot glued onto toothpicks and then poked into the "cake." I also couldn't resist those sweet baby socks, so I placed those lounging against the bottom tier. 
These are my inspiration:

photo from www.judyoz.com

photo from www.practical-homeschooling.com

Overall, the diaper cake was much easier to create than I anticipated. The structure probably took 30 minutes, and the decorating part took a little bit longer because I had to glue those dots on one-by-one. 

I must confess that I kept a running commentary in my head as if I was a fabulous cake decorator on those Food Network shows. "Well, I chose to mimic the dot pattern from the book to add pops of color, and I love the way it is coming out! It's tedious, but it's worth it. The caterpillar emerging from the top of the structure is really cute, don't you think? I think it adds a touch of whimsy... Well, I hope the client likes it!"

Oh man, I'm a dork. 

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