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How to Make a 3 Tier Diaper Cake

stuffed animals

Learning How to Make a 3 Tier Diaper Cake was easier than I thought!   The cake was made for my friend Phim’s baby shower.  When Phim’s husband Brian asked me to help with the baby shower, I was thrilled!  Phim is so great with the boys, I am so excited for her to become a mom!

Phim & Brian are having a little girl!  The nursey they created is elephant themed, so I knew I wanted to incorporate an elephant in most of the decorations. I got a little ahead of myself and ordered a stuffed elephant to sit on top of the diaper cake.  When it showed up, I realized it was a little bit bigger than I had planned.  As a result, the diaper cake ended up being a bigger size than I had planned!

Our 3 tier diaper cake ended up using all of the diapers (96 size 1 diapers total!).  We used 15 diapers for the top layer, 36 diapers for the middle layer and 45 diapers for the bottom layer.

Honestly, diaper cakes are simple to make.   All you need is a box of diapers and a bunch of rubber bands. 

Step 1: Roll and rubber band diapers

 Using the diapers straight out of the box, roll them long-ways and wrap a rubber band around then to hold them in place.  Typically, I start with the bottom, folded end of the diaper.  For me this seems to make a much cleaner roll.  I like to roll all of the diapers before I start building the actual cake.  I actually do most of the rolling while sitting on the couch (after kids go to bed!).   

Roll & Rubber Band

diaper cake instructions

Create your Base

Surround your Base

Step 2: Build the bottom tier of the cake

 Start with 3 diaper rolls.  Hold all three together and wrap a rubber band around them.  After you have the rubber band in the place, the diapers should stand on their own! They should appear to be a triangle.  Grab 4 more rolled diapers and begin to rubber band them surrounding one of the three diaper rolls.  You do not need to wrap the rubber band around all 3 diapers, just the diaper you are putting the roll next to. This should create a circle with one diaper in the center and 6 surrounding that center diaper. You will continue this process until you have created the size you want! 

Step 3: Build the middle tier of the cake

 Using the same process as Step 2, build the second layer of the cake!  For sizing, if you aren’t sure exactly how many diapers to use, just place the middle layer on top of the bottom layer and judge if additional diapers need to be added.

Step 4: Build the top tier of the cake

Using the process in Step 2, build the top layer of the diaper cake!  This layer should take the rest of the diapers.

Step 5: Add Ribbons

cake board

Adding ribbons to the cake allows you to hide the rubber bands, so it’s key in making your diaper cake look great! Use your hot glue gun to glue the ribbon together at the seam but be careful to not get any hot glue on the diaper rolls.  The great thing about a diaper cake is it’s more than just decoration.  The diapers can still be used, if they aren’t covered in hot glue! 

We love multi-layered ribbons, so we added two smaller ribbons on top of the initial burlap ribbon.  Once you have covered the rubber bands, you don’t have to keep adding but we couldn’t help ourselves! We used a few drops of hot glue onto the first ribbon to hold the top two ribbons in place and then we also hot glued the seam.  

Step 6: Assemble & Decorate

Once the ribbons were attached it was time to assemble and decorate! The world is your oyster here and you can decorate however you like.  To get started, we placed our diaper cake on top of a cake stand.  Then, we put our stuffed elephant on top, added a balloon on a stick, and threw a couple other small decorations surrounding the different layers of the cake.  Add as many baby items as you want! 

cardboard tube

This is really a super easy DIY 3 tier diaper cake that doubles as a gift for the parents-to-be!

TIP: Keep in mind that the number of diapers per layer is not exact.  You can stuff the center to push the outer layer out as needed!  We have used a paper towel roll in the center for a smaller diaper cake and built out from there, we have also used a bottle of wine in the middle of another.  A bottle of wine is always a nice surprise for the mom-to-be to discover as she is using the diapers!  Just start rubber banding the diaper rolls together, or whatever you choice for your center and you will see the layers come together! 


stuffed animal
Stuffed Elephant
how to make a 3 tier diaper cake

How to Make a 3 Tier Diaper Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Build Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Units 1 cake


  • Hot Glue Gun


  • 96 Diapers
  • 1 pack Rubber Bands
  • 1-3 rolls Ribbon
  • 1 Hot Glue Stick
  • Decorations (optional)


  • Roll and rubber band your diapers.
  • Wrap rubber bands around the diaper rolls to build the bottom tier of the cake.
  • Following Step #2, build the middle tier of the cake. 
  • Following Step #2, build the top tier of the cake. 
  • Add ribbons to the cake layers to cover the rubber bands.
  • Assemble & Decorate!
how to make a 3 tier diaper cake
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