Diaper Skep for a Bee or Beehive Themed Shower: Tutorial

diaper shower bee skep 1

So many options and ideas out there for diaper cakes. They make an adorable centerpiece for a shower, customizable with ribbons and flare, and certainly are a needed gift commodity for new parents. (..would fit well with a Bee is for Baby themed shower I hosted.)  For an added creative, yet not too complicated, twist, why not turn your diaper center piece into something more unique. For this tutorial, I am sharing how I crafted a bee skep (or hive) from diapers. A skep is an old hive design made often of twisted straw. While, no longer a legal hive style in most places, it is still found frequently in bee designs and themes. Read more about the beauty of bees here.

The skep can use less diapers than a tiered cake which is good for cost-conscious but also if prospective parents use an alternative to disposables. In crafting this, I already came up with other modification options that I will note but would love to hear your ideas as well. I love bees!

Supplies

  • Diapers in primarily newborn sizes (approx.. 20-25) and some size 1s (approx. 10)
  • String or twine to form circles (or wire)
  • Decorative twine or yarn to tie rolled up diapers
  • Double sided tape
  • Ribbon, several yards
  • Bee stickers, cutouts (print and cut clip art), stamps, buttons, whatever you want to decorate
  • Foam or straw wreath for base (optional), 12 to 16 inch diameter
  • Fabric strips (#3 of 2.5 x 40 in/ WOF) to wrap around wreath base (optional)
  • Flat pins
  • Tissue paper to fill in the skep to support.

Supply Notes: I used a mixed of newborn and size one for the first two layers but found the newborn to be easier to shape.  Wowsers, I also forgot how small they are compared to our current toddler dipe.  Also, Pampers newborn diapers had the most white space while the Huggies newborns had some green and cartoon accents. Not a big deal, just be aware that it might add accent colors or is an option for you to decide if you want. I used the diapers I was gifted so you see a little green and Winnie the Pooh every now and then.But hey, he liked honey.

Not necessary but I did roll up the rest of the diapers I had and stuffed them inside the bottom too layers. It added stability, more diapers to the gift but you could skip this step. I used some tissue to stuff and support the top layers. Again, you could use a mix of tissues and maybe a balloon etc. I was gifted the diapers for free on our local Buy Nothing group. You should definitely check out this organization if you haven’t already – a great way to meet and make community through random acts and asks of kindness.

The wreath base is also not necessary but can be an additional gift if decorated for nursery décor. It added stability as this particular skep was off to be mailed. The bigger the base the taller the skep. I used one that was 15 inches.

Ideally the diapers will be actually used on an adorable baby bottom, so no glue was used and maybe the few diapers with pins in them can be used with reckless abandon.

Instructions

  • Create base if doing this step. Wrap with fabric strips secured with flat pins. Using a straw wreath would add another design element (homage to old English skeps) and you might want to wrap just with ribbon or twine to let it show through. Your creative call. Note, I started with yellow strips but didn’t have enough cut so switched to grey. They are out of a jelly roll.

diaper shower bee skep 10diaper shower bee skep 9

  • Start building the rings of the skep. Roll up the diaper over the string/twine or wire. I cut off a length about 36 inches for the first one, which is more than enough. Roll from the ruffley edge down. You might also want to decide which side is the ‘outside’ or right side if designs.

diaper shower bee skep 8

diaper shower bee skep 7

  • Tie the rolled up diapers either with one in the middle or two, on either end. I used colored twine (brown and yellow) to add a color accent. Colored twine is easy to find now in just about any shade. I put the tied twine on the part of the rolled up diaper that will face inside. Note in this photo how they are rolled around the white twine and tied. When you have added all the diapers for the ring, tie the loose ends tight enough to form a circle. Repeat this making each ring or layer smaller each time to create the taper.  The last ring was three newborn diapers and the very top, which you add at a later step is a newborn diaper rolled the long way and folded in half.

diaper shower bee skep 6

  • Create each layer and do not worry a ton about length, its diapers, they are forgiving. I tied each ring in knot that I could undo if I needed to add or substract or substitute a size 1 diaper for newborn if that made it fit the skep better. Stack your rings as you go to get a sense for how it is shaping up.
    • Here is the diaper count I used.
      • In the first ring I used: 2 Newborn and 6 size 1
      • Second ring: 2 Newborn and four size 1
      • Third ring: 7 Newborn and no size 1
      • Fourth ring: 4 Newborn and 1 size 1
      • Fifth ring: 5 Newborn
      • Sixth ring: 3 Newborn
      • Top: 1 Newborn
  • I had a lot of other diapers and wanted to stabilize the diaper skep. So using twine and a few rubber bands, rolled up more size one diapers (these are more useful to new parents anyways) and stood them end on end inside the first diaper ring, then put a layer around perimeter of open/flat diapers. In the picture you can see that I put the ring more in the middle. This way some of the rolled up standing diapers would be wedged in the wreath and also the second ring. Again, this is optional. I stuffed the rest of the skep inside with tissue paper.

diaper shower skep 4

  • Once you have your rings created and stacked, you can tape them on the inside or in between useing double-sided tape. I tried to alternate the spaces between diapers versus lining up. Now is the time to put in tissue or other filling to support shape.

diaper shower skep bee 5

  • Add the ribbon. This adds color, theme and also helps hold it together. I used flat pins to affix the ribbon (grosgrain) to the wreath and then pulled it up and into the top of the skep. You could also weave it in and out, or use twine etc. With the top I used a small section of ribbon to hold the diaper folded but not too tight.

diaper shower bee skep 3

  • Add some bees and maybe an entrance. I used my favorite bee stamp, espresso colored ink and some scrap kraft paper to create the bees in hexagons. There was much internal debate about circles versus hexagon. Yes, time I will never get back but well spent. You could also use stickers, scrapbooking cutouts, large buttons or print out some images.

diaper shower bee skep 2

  • The final product was about 12 inches tall. For future skeps I might roll the diapers even tighter to make more rings, or use a more narrow ribbon to hold together and ideally all the diapers would be white but knowing the green is there because of gift from Buy Nothing, makes me smile. The expectant mama used to be in the same group before moving away too. Enjoy!

diaper shower bee skep 1

 

Other Diaper Centerpiece Baby Shower Ideas:

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