Reuse Stuffed Animals and Baby Care Items: Make a Diaper Cake

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If you’re a parent to a baby or small child, chances are you’ve gotten a lot of stuffed animals and baby care items – probably many more than you can use – as baby gifts. These unneeded items can be difficult to reuse and recycle. Charitable organizations typically don’t take stuffed animals, and they really don’t sell well on eBay. One alternative to throwing them away: use them to create a unique baby shower gift.

When you get baby gifts and baby items that you know you won’t use, store them carefully. Use Ziploc bags or plastic shopping bags to keep items clean and fresh. Don’t include used baby care items or stuffed animals on your diaper cake – it’s unsanitary and just won’t look good.

Then get some diapers. It takes from 20 to 100 diapers to make a cake, depending on the size you want. You can save money on diapers by buying a store brand or – better yet – purchasing a “club pack” from a warehouse store like Sams Club or BJs. This often ends up being cheaper than using the store brand.

Next, learn how to make a diaper cake. There are several ways to do it, and many free online instructions. You can use a mailing tube or baby bottle in the center and wrap diapers around it until your cake is the diameter that you want it to be. You can roll up each diaper individually and assemble them into a cake shape. Some instructions recommend tying each diaper with ribbon. One way to do it is to secure each rolled up diaper with rubber bands. Remove the bands after a few days – the diaper will keep its rolled shape, and it will make it easier for the new parents to disassemble and use.

Build the cake in tiers, like a real cake. Use receiving blankets or wide ribbon to secure each layer and hold it in the cake shape. Then, use your plush toys and stuffed animals as a topper. Leave a little space in the middle of the top tier so you can push the toy inside to keep it secure. Add other baby care items as decorations – just tuck them into the ribbon on the outside of the cake. Add more decorations that match what you have; use inexpensive items like ribbon, ric rac, and cake decorations. Top each tier of the cake with shred “icing,” silk flowers. Add some pretty and useful baby sock roses and voila! Your diaper cake is complete.

Wrap your diaper cakes in cellophane to give as gifts later, or sell them. eBay, Etsy and Craigslist are some sites where you can list your diaper cakes. It seems to be a popular craft item, so you may have a lot of competition. If you decide to start an online store, add other items like handmade, coordinating baby shower invitations and favors. You could also try selling at local sources, like consignment shops, craft and gift galleries, or the gift shops at local hospitals.

Shipping diaper cakes can be a bit of a challenge. To make the cake more sturdy, try using a mailing tube as the base, with a cake board on the bottom for additional support. Wrap the cake tightly in cellophane to keep it together during shipping. To find a box big enough to ship it in, check moving companies and home stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. Save big boxes used to ship computers and other large items. Keep in mind that because of the size of the package shipping costs may be significant.

Whether you sell it or gift it, making diaper cakes is a creative option when your baby is already surrounded by a sea of stuffed animals and your closets and drawers are full of baby care items and baby gifts.

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