How to Make a Boat Diaper Cake Baby Shower Gift

If you are looking for a simple but adorable baby shower gift idea, you have to make this diaper cake boat.  It is absolutely precious, and any new parent is sure to love how it looks.  Wrap this up as a surprise or place it on the gift table as part of the baby shower decorations.  Customize with unique stickers, colors, or themes, and create a gift that is both fun to look at but also useful for your kids

Diaper cake on blue table

Diaper Cake Boat Baby Gift

Diaper cakes are always a hit when given at baby showers or as a welcome home gift for baby. They are so cute and creative that everyone loves them. The diaper cake boat can be taken apart and all the pieces used, or the parents can keep it together and use it as part of the nursery decorations. But what most people do not know, they are also incredibly easy to make.

Over the years, diaper cakes have become my go-to gift for anyone expecting or having just had a new baby.  I’ve made tons of different styles including my personal favorite royal diaper cake castle.  I’ve also made cute crochet baby items, baby mobiles, and even fun educational baby toys to tuck inside the diaper cakes for an even more personalized look for the new parents.

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Diaper cake boat in front of bricks

What Can I Make the Sail With?

If you want to keep it simple, you can use a skewer and construction paper. You can also get more creative by using dowel rods, pencils, or even using rattles as the stick. Then you can use cardboard and wrap it with fabric or a baby outfit.  There are tons of ways to make a little sail DIY with just a few supplies. 

You can also use cloth and sew your own sail if you want something extra special, but that isn’t at all necessary.  The boat looks adorable with a paper sail and is sure to be a hit with parents no matter what you choose to use.

Diaper cake boat in front of blue boards

How Can I Decorate This Boat?

I found a package of cute little sailing and beach themed embellishments to glue onto my boat.  These are often easy to find in party supply or scrapbooking areas of a store. I like the idea of using things like anchors, a boat wheel, life preserver, or of course, fish and starfish look great. You can even add things like little fake beach towels, beach balls, or an umbrella to the boat.

Hint:  When adding gifts into the middle of the boat, think about how you could use this to gift summer supplies like baby safe sunscreen, a baby beach towel, bathing suit, and similar.

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Woman holding diaper cake

Can I Make This Larger?

You can certainly make it larger. You can simply increase the amount of diapers you use. Of course, depending upon how large you want to make the boat, you may also want to use a larger box as the base. As you make the diaper cake boat larger, you will want to also make the sail larger. You can use larger dowel rods to create the support and then use the cardboard idea above. You can use a receiving blanket instead of a onesie to create a sail if you want on this boat.

Closeup of boat sail

Supplies Needed

Diaper cake boat supplies

How to Make a Diaper Cake Boat

Cut the end off of the shoebox completely.

Cutting a box

Next, cut just the bottom connection off the two sides so they will move.

Cutting a box

Move the two sides together into a point, and glue in place.

Gluing a box

Trim off the extra cardboard so you now have a triangle box.

trimming bottom off of box

Roll 20-25 diapers into a roll and secure each with a rubber band then set aside.

Stack of rolled diapers

On the outside of the box, add double-sided tape on the bottom and top sides.

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Adding tape to box

Attach the diapers all along the outside of the box standing up side by side.

Attaching diapers to triangle box

Triangle box with diapers

Wrap a length of polka dot ribbon around the middle of the outside of the diaper boat.

Adding ribbon around boat

Add the stuffed animal into the middle of the boat.

Adding Donald Duck to boat

Sketch and cut out sail shapes on paper or cardstock.

Cutting sails from paper

Glue the sails to a dowel or skewer.

Gluing sails on dowel

Stick the dowel toward the front pointed end of the boat inside a diaper to keep standing.

Adding sail into diaper

Add sea and beach themed embellishments around the edges of the ribbon to decorate the boat.

Adding accents to diaper cake boat

Gift to new parents or use as part of the decor at an upcoming baby shower. 

Diaper cake boat on white table

More Great Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Diaper cakes are always a hit at baby showers and with new babies because they so easily can be used right away.  If you want to do something different than the boat, check out some of my other favorites below!

Crafting Tip

When making diaper cakes, I like to check out the different baby shower decorations on Etsy.  You can often find unique printable banners and accessories to go onto the cakes to make them match the shower theme.

Yield: 1

Diaper cake on blue table

You’ll love this easy tutorial for how to make a diaper cake boat for your next baby shower gift! A cute and easy DIY gift idea everyone loves!

Active Time
30 minutes

Total Time
30 minutes


Estimated Cost


Make sure to give your boat a name! You can use the baby name or family name and add a printed sign on the side.

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Finished Project Gallery

Decorate the outside of the boat with flags for country or state like most seafaring boats would naturally have.

Woman holding diaper cake

This is ideal for any beach lover or even a fisherman. 

Boat diaper cake on chair

You can make it fun and beachy or more lake-themed depending upon the baby parents.

Diaper cake boat in front of blue boards

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