Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cloth Diaper Diaper Cakes Reaching New Heights

I've done it again. While participating in the discussion on the diaper cake forum I joined recently, some participants were musing about the multiple tiered diaper cakes made with cloth diapers. Before realizing what I was saying, I added that, "Of course it's possible." After posting the response, I realized that I probably should "put my money where my mouth is" and stop acting like I knew what I was talking about without any proof. I didn't doubt that it could be done, but I wanted to make sure that my assessment of the ease and the final outcome would be not only doable, but also something that potential customers were actually interested in.

The biggest challenge was making the diaper cake with non-prefold diapers. The previous cloth diaper diaper cakes I had made were formed with prefolds which rolled as easily as disposables (maybe a bit less compact) or  could be formed in a spiral as neatly as disposables. I felt I needed to see how it would look over all if cloth diapers were used to make a multiple tier cake and see how it would come together if an alternate variety of diapers was used. Of course, part of me was also challenged and I had to see if I could do it.

Because the cost of cloth diapers can be quite an investment - when not using prefolds or flat fold diapers, that is - I wasn't bold enough to order new diapers for my experiment, but being a cloth diapering mom myself, I decided that for experimentation purposes, I could use my own diapers to see how it all would look. I use fitted diapers which are shaped like a regular diaper and are stretchy so the can be worn close to the body. My diapers are also one-size diapers which can be folded and snapped down for use on the baby early on and can be unfolded and used at different snap settings for older/larger babies. For the diaper cake, I also included the additional liners that can be used with the diapers for extra absorption. I used 12 diapers and 6 liners which is the amount that is found in one of the package deals from the company. I formed the diapers into a spiral configuration for this cake. Although rolling the diapers would have made the diapers more "solid" giving additional stability to the overall cake, many diaper cake makers are making spiral cakes, preferring them over the rolled variety, so I used that style for my experiment. 7 diapers made the main part of the bottom tier with one liner filling in the middle. 5 diapers were used for the middle tier and the remaining 5 liners were used to form the top tier. I secured the tiers with scrap ribbon and added decorative ribbon and crinkle paper to emulate the final presentation one might see in a cake for purchase.

A cake like this might benefit from stabilizers added to it. Also a firmer ribbon or wrapping around the tiers would hold the diapers in a bit better and keep them tighter. Of course, most of my diaper cakes use blankets or similar baby items around the tiers which would add more structure if used. Because the diapers are cloth, there is significant weight with each of the tiers that is not seen with disposable diapers. In a cake built for a customer, I'd most likely add baby items as decorations. Also, in the case of fitted diapers like these or contours, prefolds, or flats I'd also likely add diaper covers either as decorations or integrated in the structure as they would be required for use of those types of diapers.

The biggest drawback to a cake like this is the cost. A smaller cake with fewer diapers (maybe two narrower tiers) could be made to help with this issue or alternately more basic diapers like prefolds, for example, are always an option.  Certainly, a cloth diaper diaper cake would require some extra planning to ensure the diapers are the kind the parents-to-be want to use, as they have much more of a permanent presence than disposables have. In any case, I'm happy to have made this type of cake so I have a better idea of tweaks that may need to be employed in the event that a cake like this is ordered.

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