The Other Johnsons

DIY: Diaper Boat


A few weeks ago, my family threw a baby shower for my sister-in-law. This will be her third child, but her first boy. We wanted to help add some blue to all the pink that already exists in their household. My sister-in-law is planning a nautical themed nursery, so we decided to follow suit and have a nautical themed baby shower.

If you search on Pinterest for “diaper cake,” you will be amazed at the creations people have made using diapers. I don’t know where the diaper cake originated, but it has extended to motorcycles, bathtubs, hot air balloons, guitars, and even R2-D2. It’s actually pretty amazing to see some of the ideas people have come up with.

In order to keep with the nautical themed shower, I decided to make my sister-in-law a diaper boat instead of a diaper cake. After searching through various pictures and tutorials, I created my own version of the diaper boat. My diaper boat was both an awesome gift and a great decoration for the baby shower. So, if you have any nautical themed baby showers or know any boat loving parents, you can follow these instructions to impress your friends with a diaper boat of your own!

Materials Needed:

Materials Optional:

The party decorations we used for the shower were blue, red, and yellow, so I chose ribbon and flags to match. I loved the red anchor ribbon I found at the store because it made the diaper boat look very nautical. You can choose whatever ribbon and extras you want that match the gender and/or baby shower. Once you have acquired all your materials the following steps:

1) Roll 58 diapers and wrap each one in a small rubber band

2) Separate the diapers into four sets of nine, so they form a square, and wrap each in a medium sized rubber band.

3) Then separate diapers into one pack of nine and one pack of six, so that the two of them together make a triangle. Wrap each one with a medium sized rubber band.

4) Place all these pieces together in the shape of a boat.

5) Fold a swaddling blanket (or two receiving blankets) so that it’s as tall as the rolled diapers. Wrap the diaper sections together with the folded blanket(s) and use a safety pin to secure the blanket in the back.

6) Cut out a piece of cardboard that will be used as a base for the diaper boat. Wrap the cardboard in the dark blue wrapping paper. This gives the appearance that the boat is on water.

7) Cut several curved lines out of the light blue wrapping paper. Use the glue stick to to paste these on to the wrapped cardboard. This gives the appearance of waves in the water. Now you can use this as a based for your diaper boat as you finish putting it together.

Note: You will want to glue these “waves” down. I tried to tape them first, but my waves kept ripping off, and I had to start over.

8) Take 19 diapers and place them in the form of a circle, then wrap them together with a large rubber band.

9) Fold another blanket so that it’s the same height as the rolled diapers. Wrap the blanket around the circle of diapers and pin it with safety pins.

10) Use your ribbon and wrap it around the top and bottom of each layer of diapers. Use scotch tape to help hold the ribbon in place. Then tape the ribbon together in the back.

11) Stack the group of 19 diapers and place it on top of the first layer of diapers.

12) Grab your medium sized doll rod (5/26×36) and whatever tool you chose to cut it. Measure the doll rod to 13 inches and cut. This is going to be the stack for the tug boat.

13) Wraps two diapers around the doll rod. Then secure them around the doll rod with a small rubber band.

14) Wrap a second diaper over each of the first diapers that are secured around the doll rod, so that the diapers are on top of each other. Secure these over the first diapers with a medium sized rubber band.

15) Take your two washcloths (or burp cloths) and wrap them around the diapers that are around the doll rod. Use the scotch tape (or a safety pin) to tape the wash cloths together.

16) Heat up your hot glue gun.

17) Grab one of the small doll rods (3/16×36) and measure out 12 inches. Cut the doll rod.

18) Take your ships wheel (I found mine in the wood section at Joann Fabric) and use the hot glue gun to secure it to the top of the 12 inch doll rod.

19) Insert the smoke stack (the doll rod wrapped in the washcloths) behind the circle of diapers and through the first layer of the boat. Then insert the doll rod with the ships wheel through both layers of diapers, near the front of the second layer.

20) Take the other small doll rod (3/16×36) and cut it into two 14 inch pieces.

21) Insert these two pieces through both stacks of the diapers, in the back of the group of diapers shaped like a circle. These will help secure the two stacks of diapers together.

Note: If you don’t want to make a banner, you can cut these doll rods so they are flush with the diapers. Skip the following steps and jump to step 25.

22) Cut a piece of twine and tie it between the two doll rods you just inserted through the diapers. Use the hot glue to secure the twine in place.

23) Grab six cupcake flag and snip off the ends.

24) Use the hot glue to stick the flags to the twine. This will create the banner in the back of the boat.

25) Take your third color of ribbon wrap in around the middle of the first stack of diapers, and secure it with scotch tape.

26) Wrap the same ribbon around the second stack of diapers as well as the smoke stack. This helps secure the smoke stack in place. Then tie the ribbon in a bow in the back.

27) Insert the travel sized baby toiletries in the space beside the smoke stack.

28) Use your scrapbook sticker letters to spell out the name of you boat. Spell it out along each side of the first layer of diapers.

29) Take your whale shaped bath spout and insert the light blue tissue paper through the hole in the top. This gives the appearance of water spewing out the whale’s blow hole. I snipped the tissue paper so that it fell a little more like water. Place the whale next to the boat so that it’s in the “water.”

30) Grab a small bunch of gray tissue paper and place it in the top of the smoke stack.

31) Tape your anchor to the side of the boat. (I found mine in the wood section at Michael’s and painted it black.)

32) Finally grab you stuffed animals/bath toys and place them on top of the boat.

You’re done! Now you have a cute, creative gift and baby shower decoration that will amaze all your friends. Enjoy!