The Making of a Diaper Cake

I’ve never had the joy of raising a child, so I’m quite a novice when it comes to various things baby. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent many a night babysitting and caring for children. But babies? Not so much. So I delved in to the realms of internet tutorials / Facebook advice from new Mama girlfriends for all things related to diapers. After very little deliberation, I figured that a diaper cake would be a unique and much-desired gift for our friends Amy & Nate, who are due any day now with their second child.

I began by cycling all over Eagle Lake in search of environmentally friendly diapers and additional ‘attachments’. Seventh Generation (or diapers that were chlorine free and biodegradable) was my go-to preference, but I could only find those sizes in the newborn and Size 2. I opted to throw in a package of Luvs Size 1 diapers so that I could cover all the avenues without providing too much of 1 size (if that was possible?!). After all was bought and assembled, I found myself with a puppy dog blue theme resonating throughout my purchases. This was not a purposeful design sought after, but a nice bonus in the end.

Here’s a basic tutorial if you feel inspired to make a diaper cake.

Diaper Cake Tutorial

The supplies I used

  • 1 very helpful assistant and friend (thanks Momo!)
  • a stiff cardboard base with white paper used to cover it (I used my microwave turntable as a template)
  • glue
  • 1 package Seventh Generation (Size 2) diapers (used for the bottom layer) — these smell like baby powder: strong and artificial smelling, I think
  • 1 package Luvs (Size 1) diapers (used for the middle layer)
  • 1 package Seventh Generation (Size Newborn) diapers (used for the top layer)
  • a 3 pack of 9 oz baby bottles (medium flow silicone nipple, BPA free)
  • 1 16 oz bottle of cornstarch baby powder
  • 1 fleece baby blanket + 1 baby safety pin
  • a 2 pack of pacifiers (silicone nipples, BPA free)
  • 1 pacifier and holder (silicone nipple, BPA free)
  • 1 teether rattle with 3 BPA free links
  • a 6 pack of teether links
  • 2 nice quality cotton bibs
  • 1 TY puppy dog stuffed toy for the top
  • large rubber bands
  • small clear rubber hair bands for securing the diapers in a roll
  • 1 blue bow ribbon
  • 1 spool of blue polka dot wire ribbon (enough to wrap bottom and top layer with a foot to spare)
  • 1 roll of decorative ribbon
  • tape and stapler

In addition, a package of Seventh Generation chlorine-free baby wipes and leftover diapers will be gifted.

* I bought one pack of Seventh Generation newborns (up to 10 lbs), one pack of Luvs size one diapers (8-14 lbs) and one pack of Seventh Generation size 2 diapers (11 − 17 lbs) – approximately 138 diapers total. The leftover numbers of unrolled diapers were 20 Newborn and 10 Size 1. Depending on the size(s) you buy, you could go ahead and roll a good portion of the diapers in advance if you like, but you don’t know exactly how many you will need as it depends on your base size, the number and size of diapers purchased, and how big you want your cake to be (how many layers and what size diameter?). We just winged the whole process along the way :).

Instructions:

  1. I needed a stiff cardboard base to support all 3 layers. Once I found a good quality cardboard box, I cut out a 15 inch diameter circle with box cutters, using the microwave turntable as a template. I then glued simple white wrapping paper to ‘pretty’ it up. You could use doilies as well :).
  2. First, we rolled the largest sized diapers for the bottom layer. The open end of the diaper was rolled to the inside and secured around the middle (1 wrap is plenty) with a clear rubber hair band.
  3. We then placed the baby powder onto the middle of the base to centre and support the diapers surrounding it. 4-6 rolled diapers were parcelled with a large rubber band and then placed around the powder, radiating from this centre point. A large rubber band was stretched around the entire base to give it a bit more of a circular shape all the while hugging the baby powder in support. 48 Size 2 diapers were used in total on the bottom layer.
  4. I stuffed several baby bottles in between the diapers on the bottom layer, to give the middle layer a bit more support.
  5. On the second layer, we rolled 40 Size 1 diapers. The whiteness and pattern on the Luvs diapers offset the natural unbleached look that I was looking for, so I secured a baby blanket around this middle layer with a diaper pin (thanks to hubby for his tactile fingers — it was a very snug fit).
  6. On the top layer, I planted a baby bottle on top of the powder, using tape as a way of positioning it (not real secure per se). 20 Newborn diapers were secured around the bottle, and then bundled with a rubber band. My stuffed puppy dog toy hugged the top bottle by clasping its legs with a rubber band.
  7. To decorate the layers with ribbon, we wrapped blue decorative cord around the bottom and top layers, so as to cover the rubber bands. Over that, a blue polka dot wire ribbon gift wrapped each of those layers.
  8. We then placed the pacifiers, teething links, rattles and baby bibs wherever they seemed to fit, using the ribbon to tie if necessary.

 

Well, after several hours we had a beautiful diaper cake that both of us were proud of. Being it was my first go at making such a creative gift and I winged it for the most part, the whole process took longer than expected with two of us. However, we had a blast, and I’m sure if you decide to make such gift, by allotting a few hours to experiment yourselves, you could come up with something unique and just as charming. Any questions? Feel free to email me!

FYI, this information is from the Seventh Generation website regarding their ‘eco-friendly’ diapers:

Seventh Generation Diapers are
• Premium Absorbency
• Free of Chlorine Processing
• Free of Fragrances & Latex
• Free of Petroleum Based Lotions
• Hypoallergenic
• Tan in colour

Their diapers are made of chlorine free wood pulp fluff, sodium polyacrylate (also referred to as SAP or absorbent gel), polyolefin nonwoven fabric, adhesives, polyolefin film, synthetic rubber elastic strands. Chlorine processing can produce chlorinated hydrocarbons, which have a negative impact on the environment. By choosing not to process with chlorine, we help reduce the overall amount of chlorinated toxins released into the environment, and in that way we’re helping to make the world a healthier place for you and your family.

All disposable diapers, including Seventh Generation’s, rely on man-made materials to deliver the high-level performance that parents expect of modern diapers. These materials are mostly petroleum-derived and are not renewable, which adversely impacts the environmental footprint associated with these products. At Seventh Generation, we are pleased to offer an alternative that is not bleached with chemicals containing chlorine, and are working hard to further improve the sustainability of our diaper products.

About Chlorine
The wood pulp used in our diapers has not been processed with chemicals containing chlorine. This prevents dangerous chlorinated toxins from being released into the environment through the pulp production process.

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