My first…

snoopy-cake-web.jpg

OK, this has nothing to do with stamping, but it’s still crafty, and I just had to share.

When I stumbled across this awesome site for diaper cakes, I just had to get one for my preggers girlfriend. But I’m on a pretty strict budget with the adoption, and while I think these cakes are worth the cost, I had to find a way to make it more affordable while sticking to her theme.

This was my first effort and I’m pretty darned pleased with the results (although the photo doesn’t do justice to the colors). Even Dan walked by it and yelled at “that’s too cute…so cute it shouldn’t be allowed.” Yep, I blushed. I love getting crafty compliments from my DH!

I learned several valuable lessons along the way, so I thought I’d share:

  1. If you can afford it, buy one. (If you’re not a perfectionist, don’t have five hands, or don’t have time/patience, the extra cost might be worth saving yourself from some frustration.)
  2. If you make your own, use the “rolled” method. It’s easier, plain and simple.
  3. Use rubber bands (not tape or floral tape) to hold the rolled diapers. White or clear rubber bands would be ideal, but I wasn’t able to find these easily. Hint: buy a pack of teeny tiny rubber bands in the hair accessories section (the kind you use for braids/cornrows).
  4. Don’t use “sheer” ribbon for “rolled” diaper cakes. Those rubber bands will show. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how much they’d show until I had already assembled my cake and realized that, at table level, the angle is different. So even though the solid ribbon covers the rubber bands when the tier is at eye-level, when set on a table, you can see them. They don’t show in the photo, but curious guests will more than likely want a closer look. I hate shoddy work and loose ends, so chances are that I’ll take it apart and find some white ribbon to cover the rubber bands or replace the blue sheer ribbon altogether. Sigh.
  5. Don’t tie the individual diapers with ribbon like I did. This looks cute, but takes an enormous amount of ribbon (which is pricey) and makes it harder for the mom-to-be to unwrap the diapers when she needs them. Again, this didn’t dawn on me until I had tied all the diapers (duh). But given the work I already put into it, I’m leaving them as-is!
  6. Use a generic brand of diapers to save money or to create a different look. Target’s generic brand are blue with clouds and would work well for boy themes. Parent’s Choice (Walmart, shown) has a colored band that shows up in the center when you roll the diapers. You could use paper shreds (basket stuffing) in between each tier to “hide” the little bit of color that shows. But I like the color showing, so I’m leaving it. (You could also roll the diapers in the opposite direction to ensure that the colored band is on the outside and visible. It’s another nice decorative effect that doesn’t cost an extra penny!)
  7. Use a perfectlly cylindrical center/core if possible. It will require a lot less adjustment and padding. I used a cylindrical “jar” of Dreft for the first tier and a generic bottle for the second/third. I haven’t tried it, but I wonder if a styrofoam cylinder (wrapped in something to avoid shedding) would work???
  8. Use larger rubber bands as your “extra hands” while assembling each row of diapers. They work great to hold the whole tier together too. I just tied ribbon over them. (But, again, don’t use a sheer ribbon!)
  9. Avoid expensive “fillers” (if you’re looking to cut costs). Where I needed more padding, I used extra diapers instead of blankets. This worked well.
  10. Look for bulk ribbon. The wide mossy/celery-colored wire-edged satin ribbon I found at Costco was 50 yards for $7. (Yes, I did say 50 yards. You won’t find that at Michael’s or Joann’s even with those coupons.) For thinner ribbons, I still think Stampin’ Up! has the best deal, even if you’re not a demonstrator (15-25 yard spools). You could also avoid the high-cost satin ribbons by using acetate/floral ribbon. But I’m admittedly a ribbon snob and I think those other types of ribbon look too cheap. Stick with the satin or grosgrain for a high-end look.
  11. Keep it simple for a more professional (and cost-effective) end result. I let the ribbons be my decoration, then just topped it off with one stuffed animal. This cake is primarily intended to be a (useful) centerpiece, not a gift. Of course, if the cake is a gift and you want to include lots of accessories, then go for it! Hint: go to high-end discount stores for best buys on stuffed animals and baby accessories (TJMaxx, Baby Depot, Tuesday Morning, etc.).

So, want to make your own? Try this website for good basic instructions. Or, if you’d rather buy one, Lil Baby Cakes (mentioned above) has great designs. I’m also thinking about going into the diaper cake business as (yet another) way to help raise adoption funds. Drop me a line if you’re interested!

And stay tuned…a diaper wreath is next!

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2 Comments »

  1. Michelle Said:

    This is great! When I got married almost 9 years ago now a lady that I worked with actually made one like this for me with bath towels…& it had rose petals around it, it was awesome…I was amazed!

  2. DeborahSue Said:

    AWESOME, FABULOUS, WAY CUTE…YOU ARE BRILLIANT!
    What a wonderful business idea! YOU ARE SO TALENTED and you can do it!
    THANKS for sharing Shannon! How FUN–and tons of WORK too!
    TFS!


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