Diaper cakes are a great gift to give a mom, or parent-to-be, at a baby shower. Diapers add up to quite a big expense for parents, so gifting diapers to new parents helps them save some money in the long run. The problem is that wrapping up a pack of diapers is a bit boring!

So, instead of handing them a pack of diapers, you can make a diaper cake instead, which doubles up as décor for the baby shower too if you wanted it to!

Here is a guide on all things diaper cakes, what you need to make one, how to make one, and some fun ideas to personalize them.

What Is A Diaper Cake?

Diaper cakes are made by stacking rolled-up or folded diapers. These rolled-up or folded diapers are made to look just like a tiered cake, except it isn’t made from any cake or baked goods.

It is really quite fun to make and decorate a diaper cake, and while it can be made to match the theme of the baby shower, and double up as some décor, it is still a really helpful gift for new parents.

You can make the diaper cake however small or large you would like it to be, but most traditionally, diaper cakes have two to three tiers. Each of these tiers can be decorated using ribbons, embellishments, or cake toppers.

You could even roll up a few baby grows, bibs, towels or some baby wipes to place alongside the diapers in the cake, just as some extra gifts. There really is quite a lot you can do when making your own diaper cake!

How Many Diapers Do You Need For A Diaper Cake?

How many diapers you will need for a diaper cake will depend on how big of a diaper cake you are wanting to make, and how many tiers you want it to have.

The bigger the diaper cake, the more diapers you will need. However, to help you out a little bit here is an estimate on how many diapers you will need per each level of the diaper cake.


Bottom tier – 30 diapers

Middle tier – 15 diapers

Top tier – 5 diapers

How many diapers for my diaper cake

This will also depend on the size of the base you are using. If you are making a three-tier diaper cake, you should work on using around 50 diapers. This is only a rough guide, and you can adjust the numbers to suit the size of the cake that you want.

How many diapers you use will also depend on the type of diapers you are using. The above guide is for disposable diapers, but if you are using cloth diapers, you might need less, as they are quite a bit bigger than disposable diapers (and more expensive as well!)

If you’re figuring out how many diapers you need for your own new baby, please see our handy diaper calculator.

What Are The Best Diapers To Use For A Diaper Cake?

The best diapers to use for a diaper cake are diapers that the parents are planning to use for their baby. Some parents already have a brand preference, and if you are able to find this out before making the cake, try and stick to it.

Disposable diapers are the most popular diapers used to make diaper cakes, and if there is no brand preference, then go for a safe brand such as Huggies or Pampers.

Regarding the size of the diapers, it is a good idea to go for larger size diapers. There is a good chance the parents would buy newborn and size 1 diapers, or be gifted these from other people, so giving them sizes to use after this is always helpful. Use size 2, 3, or size 4 diapers, or a mix of these if you can tell the difference between the sizes once they are in the cake.

Next, you need to consider what type of diaper would look good. It is safest to go for plain white diapers, but this is not always possible. Many brands of diapers are patterned, and if this is the case, you can try and match the colors to the ribbons and embellishments you are using.

Always think of the type of diaper you are using first, whether plain or patterned, to plan exactly how the diaper cake will look once it is done.

What Base Can I Use For A Diaper Cake?

Your diaper cake will need a base. Without it, the diapers will all just fall out the moment you pick them up. There is no set base that you need to use for a diaper cake, and there are a few options that you can choose from.

Tiered Cake Stand

A tiered cake stand is one of the better options to use for a diaper cake, especially if you are transporting it around. It allows you to easily transport the diaper cake in one piece, and it can look really pretty as well.

Cake Board

Most arts and crafts stores should have a cake decorating aisle that will have a cake board cut to the shape you need. These are great to use to build your diaper cake on and offer a solid base for you to be able to pick up the diaper cake and move it around.

Pizza Pan

Pizza pans might not be the best thing to look at, but you can pretty it up using wrapping paper, spray paint, or material. Pizza pans are cheap and are a solid base to build a diaper cake on. They are wonderfully affordable as well!

How To Make A Diaper Cake

Now for the important bit, here is a step-by-step guide on how to make your own diaper cake from scratch!

What you need:

  • Enough diapers (around 50 for a three-tiered cake)
  • Enough rubber bands for each diaper and some extra (around 55 for a three-tiered cake)
  • 3 large rubber bands, large enough to wrap around the tiers
  • A base for the diaper cake, such as a cake board or pizza pan
  • Paper towel cardboard tube

How to make a diaper cake:

  1. The first step is to roll up each diaper and secure each one with a rubber band. Do this until all the diapers have been rolled up and secured.
  2. Place a paper towel cardboard tube in the middle of the cake base. If you wanted to add an extra gift on, you could use a large bottle of baby lotion in the center instead.
  3. Starting placing the diapers, standing up, around the cardboard tube. Keep placing more diapers around the center, placing them down evenly, until the first layer is complete. Use one of the large rubber bands to secure all of the diapers in the bottom layer together.
  4. Start layering diapers on the second tier, but decrease the size of the layer by at least one round of diapers, so you can see a step from the bottom to the middle tier. Once you have laid them down, secure these with a large rubber band.
  5. Repeat this for the third layer, decreasing the size of the tier by one round of diapers, securing them together with a large rubber band.
  6. You can carry on if you want more tiers, repeating the above steps, otherwise, your diaper cake is ready to be decorated.

DIY Diaper Cake Decorating Ideas

Once you have the diaper cake built, you can have some fun decorating it! There are so many different ways to decorate a diaper cake. You can choose to decorate it in pink or blue for the gender of the baby, decorate it to the theme of the baby shower, or just in cute colors and prints!

These are some of the most popular items used to decorate diaper cakes:

Ribbons – A diaper cake needs some good ribbon. Ribbon, wrapped around the tiers, helps to hide the elastic bands. You can also use ribbon to add some cute bows too.

Embellishments – There are many types of embellishments you can use to decorate your diaper cake. Bows, flowers, paper flowers, curling ribbon, booties, are all some popular choices. You could even use baby headbands to hold the cake together, which doubles up as an extra gift as well.

Cake Topper – Every cake needs a topper, and having a cake topper on the diaper cake helps to hide the top of the cardboard tube. You could top the cake with paper flowers, ribbon, real flowers, an actual cake topper, or some baby booties. There are so many possibilities.

3 Tier White themed diaper cake design
Diaper Cake Design Idea 2
Diaper Cake Design Idea 3

Gender-Specific Diaper Cakes

If the gender of the baby is known before the baby shower, you can definitely include this in the diaper cake decorations. You might even be able to use diapers in either pink or blue to add to the look of the diaper cake.

Here are some ideas on gender-specific diaper cakes.

Diaper Cakes For Boys

Diaper cakes for boys are generally white and blue, but there is no reason they can’t be made using other colors too! Here are some theme ideas for diapers cakes for boys:

  • Woodlands animal theme
  • Hot air balloon theme
  • Baby Shark theme
  • Peter Rabbit theme
  • Grey and white zebra theme
  • Safari animal theme
  • Owl theme
  • Brown and blue teddy bear theme
  • Paddington bear theme

For diaper cakes for boys, blue, grey, green, yellow, orange, and red are popular colors to use.

Diaper Cakes For Girls

Diaper cakes for girls are such fun to decorate. Here are some ideas on themes you could use when decorating the cake:

  • Floral theme
  • Princess theme
  • Butterfly theme
  • Tropical theme
  • Pink ribbons with pink booties on top
  • Peter Rabbit theme
  • Succulent plant theme with rose gold accents
  • Pink teddy bear theme
  • Yellow and white elephant theme
  • Leopard print and ribbons

For diaper cakes for girls, pink, purple, rose gold, gold, yellow, and grey are popular colors to use.

Making A Diaper Cake

Making a diaper cake to gift to a new parent can be such fun! Decorating the diaper cake is the best bit, and you can get quite creative with the ribbons, embellishment, theme, and toppers you choose to use.

Not only will it be a really pretty gift to give to new parents, but the diapers will prove really useful once their baby arrives too.

For more information about diapers, please also see:


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Rebecca Brown_One of the stuff4tots authors
Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown is a mom to two and writer on all things parenting. She has been focussed on content creation and article writing for the last four years, drawing on the inspiration she gets from her own experience as a mother, and the expansive research the job requires.

When not writing, you can find Rebecca outside with the kids, or hidden away enjoying a good cup of coffee!