28 Jun

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

I’ve been swooning over Hot Air Balloon themes a lot lately, so for our next baby shower inspiration for HUGGIES® Baby Shower Planner, I thought it would be fun to share a DIY Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial (with matching free printables!).

This is such a fun, gender-neutral theme for a baby shower, and a diaper cake is always a great way to play up the theme at your party. So come fly away with me and learn how to make this one yourself! ;) P.S. The size of this “cake” makes it a great option for baby shower table centerpieces too!

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

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HOT AIR BALLOON DIAPER CAKE – A DIY TUTORIAL

by: Hostess with the Mostess

MATERIALS:

Diaper Cake “Basket”:
– 6″ Square Box
– 41 Diapers (I used Huggies Little Snugglers in Size 1)
Elastic hair bands or Rubber bands
– Patterned Paper (download below)
– Pop Up or 3D size Glue Dots
– Paper Adhesive (glue stick, spray adhesive, or rubber cement)
– Four 36″ wooden dowel rods (3/8 diameter or similar)

Balloon Top:
– 15″ Round Paper Lantern
– Decorative Ribbon (one thick trim + 1 thin trim)
– Tape

Optional Embellishments:
– Paint Dauber + White Craft Paint
– Wooden Craft Hearts (Woodsies) + Fine Craft Glitter
– Spray Adhesive
– Glitter Sealant (optional)
– Hot Glue
– Printable Paper Flags (download below)

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STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Make the “Basket”

First, roll the diapers tightly and secure with elastic bands. Line your box with patterned paper, then fill the box with as many rolled diapers as you can fit. (For me it was 16.)

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

Next, line the outside of the box with a row of vertical diapers and secure with baker’s twine or another thin trim. (The trim will be covered later, so don’t worry too much about how it looks.) It’s helpful to have someone hold the diapers up while you wrap the twine around. If you’re working alone, loosely tie the twine around the box first and insert the diapers underneath, adjusting the “give” of the twine as you go.

Add a horizontal row of diapers on top, using 3D glue dots to secure them in place. I had to cut one rolled diaper in half for use on 2 of the sides to make the fit line up right.

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2. Get Crafty!

You’ll be using one wide and one thin ribbon to decorate the paper lantern. I wanted to match the crafty polka dots in the printables and give the “cake” a handcrafted touch, so I used a small paint dauber and white craft paint to add polka dots to the ribbon.

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

This step was really easy, but it’s also completely optional. You can always leave the ribbon solid or simply find a patterned ribbon to use. One tip though – if you do paint daub your own ribbon, definitely do it before you put the ribbon on the lantern, as you need a firm, flat surface for the daubing to work correctly. I learned this the hard way and had to take the ribbons off the lantern then put them back on again! So please learn from my mistake and make your experience easier. :)

Here’s how the DIY polka dot ribbons looked while drying:

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

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3. Decorate the “Balloon”

This step is really easy – simply use tape to attach your (pre-measured and cut) ribbon strands to the lantern! Cut the ribbons a little long so you can wrap them into the inside of the lantern and hide the ends and the tape. No one will see the inside, so feel free to be a bit messy. ;)

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

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4. Embellish with Sparkly Hearts

Inspired by the heart silhouettes in the printables, I decided to embellish the lantern with glittered hearts. Hearts are always appropriate for a baby shower, and I never shy away from a chance to add a little sparkle! ;)

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

I’ve found it’s best to do the glittering over a bowl so that you can be super generous with the glitter and easily catch the extra to pour back into the bottle. Cover each wood heart with spray adhesive, then remove the lid from the craft glitter and pour or spoon it on top. Let dry and repeat if desired for a deeper color. (I did 2 coats here). Optional: finish with a clear coat of glitter or craft sealant. Once dry, hot glue the hearts onto the lantern.

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

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5. Construct the Hot Air Balloon!

First, insert the wooden dowels into each inside corner of the diaper-filled box. Trim about 6″ off the top of each dowel (unless you’re using a lantern that’s larger than 15″). Bend the dowels inward together and slide the paper lantern on top.

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

When you allow the dowels to contract back out, they’ll actually hold the lantern up pretty securely on their own, but you can use 3D glue dots to help keep the lantern positioned a certain way, if desired. You can also adjust the height to your liking by further trimming the dowels.

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6. Final Details & Display

Decorate the balloon with printable paper flags featuring phrases like “precious cargo” and “special delivery”! You can download them below {for FREE!} in 2 different sizes.

Embellish the “basket” with decorative trims and/or tissue fringe, and sprinkle some glittered pacifiers around for some extra sparkle! For the finishing touch, display our matching free printable 8×10 party sign next to the cake.

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

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HOT AIR BALLOON BABY SHOWER FREE PRINTABLES

8×10 Sign
Small Decorative Flags
Large Decorative Flags
8.5×11 Patterned Papers

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P.S. Visit our party store for the matching Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower Invitation + and Personalized Party Collections (in 3 different colorways!).

Hot Air Balloon Diaper Cake Tutorial + Free Printables!

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jenn s.

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7Comments

1
Erica SAYS:

So in love with this cute, original idea. By far the best i’ve seen in a long time!

Reply June 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Thanks so much, Erica! :)

June 28, 2013 at 10:49 am

2
Mary SAYS:

❤❤❤ perfect, love it!! So creative !

Reply June 28, 2013 at 11:57 am

3
Julie Balcom SAYS:

Your site has completely changed the way I entertain. Thank you so much for the daily inspiration and generous free printable!

Reply July 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

jenn s. SAYS:

Thank you so much for the sweet comment, Julie! Much appreciated! :)

July 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

4
cherie SAYS:

This is so adorable! I’m not overly crafty, but I am going to try to make this for my best friend. I was curious as to where I can find a 6 inch box? Is it cardboard or wood or something else? Thanks for your help!

Reply March 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

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