How to make diaper cakes: Give expectant mothers a gift that keeps on giving

How to make diaper cakes: Give expectant mothers a gift that keeps on giving
Flower designer Marsa Ikegami shows how to make a diaper cake.
PHOTO: The Japan News/Asia News Network

Not only gorgeous but practical as well, baby diaper cakes decorated with flowers and ribbon are becoming a go-to gift for expectant mothers.

You can buy one online or by other means, but why not make one by hand, putting in all your hopes for the mother to have an easy delivery and a healthy baby.

Diaper cakes are made to resemble a decorated round cake by rolling and bundling up diapers.

The gift looks even more amazing when you place second and third tiers on top of the base - just like a wedding cake - and adorn it with artificial flowers and toys.

Giving diaper cakes originated in the United States.

After enjoying the gift as decoration, parents can then actually use the diapers when the baby comes along.

"The gift not only looks wonderful, it's appreciated because diapers are essential for babies. Giving a diaper cake as a gift to celebrate a new baby is really taking off in Japan," said flower designer, Marsa Ikegami, who teaches how to make diaper cakes.

In the busy days after giving birth, a couple with a newborn can never have enough diapers, and a diaper cake can offer some help in that regard.

They usually retail for ¥5,000 (S$63) to ¥15,000 depending on the size and amount of decorations, Ikegami said.

For those who want to make a diaper cake by hand, the instructions below are illustrated by the photos at right:

  1. Roll the diapers individually and secure each one with a rubber band. It's best to place the rubber band on the upper part of each diaper to make it easier to remove later.
  2. Bunch the rolled diapers together vertically to make the base. At least seven diapers are needed, even if you want to make a small cake.
  3. Secure the group of diapers with a string and take off the rubber bands.
  4. Wrap a wide ribbon or decorative paper tape around the bunch of diapers.
  5. Stick artificial flowers in the spaces between the diapers.
  6. Decorate the diaper cake with more ribbon.
Photo: The Japan News/Asia News Network

"It's also enjoyable for the friends of a pregnant woman to have fun making it together," Ikegami said.

You should choose diapers that use tape, not pullups, to secure them in place.

Diapers with tape are thinner, which make them easier to roll and manipulate.

Small diapers for newborns are recommended.

It's also a good idea to give a diaper cake at the "half birthday" of a baby about 6 months old, using larger diapers, Ikegami said.

Wrapping the cake with a wide ribbon makes it less noticeable that the cake is made of diapers.

If you're not that concerned with the appearance, using several thin ribbons is also fine.

"You can choose the colors of the ribbons and decide how you layer the ribbons depending on your taste and the taste of the expectant mother," Ikegami said.

If you want to use flowers, artificial flowers are useful.

Make sure they form a dome shape on top of the cake. You can also place a message card alongside the flowers.

"By making a diaper cake, you can convey your affection to the person who will receive it. A diaper cake makes those who give and receive the gift happy, which makes it all the more appealing," Ikegami said.

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