Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to Make an Awesome Diaper Bike

 I love making handmade gifts for people, as there is no other gift that can truly speak from the heart. Since I've had quite a few friends having babies lately it's given me ample opportunity to explore the world of diaper cakes. Diaper cakes themselves are simple enough to make and there are many, many many tutorials online on how to build one...but for my friends baby shower I really wanted to go the extra mile (no pun intended). Diaper bikes are a really good gift for a new mom who is into motorcycles or if they are just not keen on all the 'soft baby' designs. I know I hated feeling like my house had been taken over by powder blue teddy bears after my son was born.

As soon as I knew my friend was even thinking about trying for a baby I knew a diaper bike would be the perfect gift for her. I had some difficulty finding instructions online on how to make a diaper bike so I figured most of this stuff out by myself and I'd really like to share my method with you.

First things first you need stuff:

#1 (approximately) 80-100 diapers (this number varies depending on which size you use and how big you want the bike to be) for this diaper bike I used size ones and one and half's (I use pampers) I recommend using size 2's and up because the parents aren't going to want to take the bike apart immediately and it makes a great nursery room decoration.

#2 Toy links (10-15 depending on size of bike)

#3 Four receiving blankets

#4 A baby bottle (BPA free of course)

#5 Socks (minimum of one pair, I personally like 'layering' the extra's in the wheels)

#6 Teddy bear (or something similar)


#8 Elastic bands

#9 Keys

#10 Pins

#11 1-2 bibs

#12 any other decorations/ toys. Just about anything can be incorporated such as: an outfit, hat mitt and sock set, booties, scented diaper sacs etc the sky is the limit.

*suggestion gift certificates or cards for take out will make a really cool 'surprise' to find in the wheels of the bike*

Lets get started!

Step #1

The most time consuming part of this whole project is rolling the diapers. There are two methods. In the pictures below I have wrapped them around each other. This method doesn't take as long and does give the illusion of motion in the wheels ,however, I found this method to be a lot less sturdy and it required the use of a base and ribbon to support it. The second way I have found is to roll the diapers individually much like the more common diaper cake design this is much more sturdy and you won't need the use of a base. The picture of my latest bike with the diapers rolled int his style is at the bottom of this page.

This is where the elastics come in.

I found it much easier to have and elastic band around each layer of the wheel (whether rolling or wrapping them) to hold everything in place for tying the ribbon. When you tie the ribbon make sure to make it  really snug and always do it for each layer of diapers. With a wrapped style of wheel you can roll extra receiving blankets cloths or even scented diaper sacs into the wheels. I found using wide ribbon and extra receiving blankets helped support the 'wrapped' style wheel and helped it to keep it's shape.

Tip: keep a toilet paper roll in the middle of the wheels so that step number 2 is a bit easier

Alrighty-roo Step #2!

Now that you have the diapers rolled or wrapped  It's time to pull out the receiving blankets. You can give the diapers a 'finished' look by taking two receiving blankets (hopefully the same color) and wrapping them around the wheels. Use the pins and pin the underside of the project so they won't be seen. Then take a thick ribbon and wrap it around the outside of the wheel if you're good at bows and it's fitting for your project you can always just tie a pretty bow. I am no good at bows (yet) so I pin them on the underside.

For the front wheel, fit the folded receiving blanket through the middle of the bike. Sometimes you may have to remove the toilet paper roll. If you can keep it in that's great. If not you can use a rolled diaper to fill in the space so the wheel doesn't lose it's shape. From there take the links (or another receiving blanket) and loop it through the middle of both the wheels. I prefer links because they look like a 'chain' and they easily just snap together and take apart. Plus they are a really useful toy for a teething baby.

This is where the bottle comes in . I recommend wrapping the bottle in the leftover receiving blanket and then place it underneath the link where the handle bars meet and tighten. You can also add candies or some sort of special gift for mom inside the bottle as a real personal touch (In this case I added individually wrapped chocolate teddy bears to keep the 'teddy bear' theme)

Next take an extra link and loop the 'handle bars' through it. Finish off the handle bars by using socks over the ends in this picture you can see I had also put booties over the socks. I decided later that they looked better on the bear.

Take your bib(s) and place them on the wheels. I usually let them just sit tucked into the links in the middle but you can fasten them with ribbon

At this point if your using the wrapped style of diaper wheel you will need to find a base and secure it. I looped ribbon through the wheels and then tied it. If you look closely my base is a painted road on cardboard
Boy he looks happy!

Step #3

The finishing decorations. Here is where you can get really creative. In the photos below you can see I prefer the teddy bear theme. Use any theme you like monkeys, ducks, alligators you are only limited by your imagination. If the mother to be is a dog person you may consider using a dog theme throughout the bike...I think you get the idea.

The 'seat of the bike is optional of course. I like to make it because otherwise the bear and the bottle look a little 'ahem' excited? (Those of you with your minds in gutter get exactly what I mean and those of you that don't. Well, you've got nothing to worry about). For the first bike in these pictures I didn't make a seat at all because the blanket I got was an awkward fit. In the second however I tied up some of the leftover diapers and wrapped a blanket around it. I then fastened the seat with a little piece of ribbon. Easy peasy

At this point you will want to fasten the bear to the handle bars by using left over links on the hands and tucking the handlebar socks underneath the links. Then attach the keys. you can also use a teether or pretty much any toy that will fit onto the links. Add your onesies outfits, hats, sunglasses etc and you've got one cool looking diaper bike. My favorite is of course adding the foam 'born to ride sign on my latest bike. On the one depicted throughout this blog entry there's a nursing necklace around the bear's neck.

For twins you might consider making double wheels and adding a passenger.

And there you have it a cool and personalized gift for parents to be. This gift makes a great centerpiece and even a nursery decoration for some time (until the diapers are needed of course!)

The bear is holding a bouquet made of socks cloths and feeding spoons wrapped in a burp cloth. You can also place a card to look like a 'road map'

My pride and joy the diaper chopper. the next chance I get to make one, I will be doing a how to blog post.

Learn how to make a diaper chopper here

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