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Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake

Centerpieces | Crafts for Baby | Harry Potter Crafts | Harry Potter Party Ideas

Create a unique show-stopping centerpiece for a Harry Potter-themed baby shower with this DIY Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake. Complete tutorial for creating your own diaper cake below.

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Hogwart's Express Diaper Cake with a red and black banner hanging above it.

Hello Crafty Friends! I’m back today with one more Harry Potter related craft – in honor of his birthday today, July 31st. Today’s project is a DIY Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake!

I made this for a friend who absolutely loves Harry Potter. I thought it would be fun to make a diaper cake modeled after the Hogwarts Express! It’s such a great part of the books and movies and lends itself to being a great diaper cake.

This diaper cake is primarily made up of diapers along with a few baby-related items. I chose to use fabric to wrap the diapers since I needed to use the specific colors of red and black. If you wanted to go an extra step, you could use burp cloths or baby blankets in red and black – either purchasing them or making your own.

This was a blast to put together and would be a great centerpiece for a shower or a wonderful gift for an expecting friend! There are a lot of ways you could put your own spin on this and it doesn’t need to be the Hogwarts Express. It would be cute as a train in any color! 

Hogwarts Express diaper cake sits under a banner next to a ticket, wand and a time turner.

Front of the Hogwarts Express diaper cake,

Back of the Hogwarts Express diaper cake showing a red bib.

How to Make a Harry Potter Diaper Cake:

Supplies Needed:

Here is a list of the supplies I used. I experimented a lot while creating this and because of that I do not know the exact measurements of ribbon and fabric used, but I have given my best guess. 

  • 42 Diapers (I used size 3)
  • 1 Red and 1 black pair of socks
  • Red bib
  • Munchin Disposable Diaper Pads – Or a similar sized baby item (5″ x 7.5″) that comes in a box.
  • Cardboard
  • 1.5″ Red ribbon
  • 5/8″ Red ribbon
  • 1.5″ Black ribbon
  • 3/8″ Black ribbon
  • Black paper
  • Red felt – one 9″x12″ sheet is enough
  • Red Fabric – (I used a scrap I had and didn’t measure it, but 1/4″ yard should be enough)
  • Black Fabric – (I used a scrap I had and didn’t measure it, but 1/4″ yard should be enough)
  • Straight Pins (optional ***Please read notes below about other safer alternatives)
  • Hot glue gun, scissors, scotch tape, ruler, pencil
  • Printed Hogwarts Express logos

*** The Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake is not intended to be a toy for children. It is a fun way to gift baby products to expecting parents and should be dissembled before the products are used. Pins are used to attach ribbon onto the paper wheels. It is a good idea to let the recipient of this diaper cake know how many pins were used so they can make sure to remove and count them before using the products. Alternatively, you could tape the paper wheels to the diaper rolls and hot glue the ribbon to the wheels to avoid using pins all-together – which is what I would do if I were to remake this :) 

Supplies used to make diaper cake.

Step by Step Tutorial

Rolling the Diapers

STEP 1: Roll the wheels! The diaper cake five wheels. To roll the wheels, layer the diapers in a row as pictured below. Keeping the bottom of the diapers on the outside makes for a cleaner roll. Tightly roll the diapers and wrap with a rubber band.

  • 3 rolls of 5 diapers – large wheels
  • 2 rolls of 2 diapers – small wheels

Diapers are rolled up and wrapped with a rubber band.

STEP 2: Roll the top of the train. The top of the train is made up of four diaper rolls.

  • 1 roll of 6 diapers
  • 2 rolls of 5 diapers
  • 1 mini roll of 3 diapers folded in half before rolling

Three diapers are folded in half, rolled together and wrapped with a  rubber band.

Wrapping Parts of the Train in Fabric

STEP 3: Wrap the top of the train. Wrap the largest diaper roll in red fabric. Iron your fabric and fold under the edges so the fabric is the width of your diaper roll. Wrap the diaper roll in fabric and tape it in place.

*Update: I didn’t measure the amount of fabric I used, since I was just using a scrap. I gifted this so I can’t go back and look how much I used but I cut a length of fabric at least double the width of the diaper roll and then folded it until it was the right width. Then I just rolled it up and taped it wherever it overlapped.

Diaper roll wrapped in red fabric.

Wrap the remaining diaper rolls in red and black fabric the same way you did the large one – tying them together with a rubber band first will help hold everything together. Start by wrapping the right end with red fabric that covers almost the entire diaper roll. Then wrap the left side with black fabric, overlapping the red fabric.

Two diaper rolls are attached with a rubber band then wrapped in red fabric.

Half of the diaper roll is wrapped in black fabric overlapping the red fabric.

STEP 4: Prepare the cardboard. A piece of cardboard sits between the wheels and the top of the train and helps stabilize the entire train. Cut a piece of cardboard 4.5″ by 19″. Accordion fold one end of the cardboard three times starting with (from the left edge) 1″, then 1 1/4″ and finally 3/4″. Cover the cardboard with fabric (or wrapping paper). I tied red ribbon around two of the folded sections of cardboard to help hold the fabric down. You could glue the fabric which would hold it down as well.

A piece of cardboard is wrapped in red fabric.

Stacking the Train

STEP 5: Stack the train. Place the piece of cardboard on top of the five diaper roll wheels. The two smaller rolls go near the accordion-folded edge. Start by sticking lengths of 1.5″ red ribbon through each of the 3 large diaper wheels. Stick two lengths of 1.5″ black ribbon through each of the 2 smaller wheels.

The cardboard is laid across the diaper rolls and ribbon is threaded through them.

When you lay the cardboard on top of the wheels you will notice a gap above the two smaller wheels. To fill this in, fold two diapers together to lay above the smaller wheels. Then when you lay the piece of cardboard over everything it should lay horizontal.

Flat roll of two diapers wrapped with a rubber band.

Place the fabric wrapped diaper rolls on top of the cardboard. Bring the ribbon up and tie around the rolls. I moved my knots to the other side and tucked the loose ends under the cardboard. If both sides of your diaper cake will be visible you could try hiding the knots inside the diaper roll wheels.

Fabric wrapped diaper rolls are placed on top of the cardboard; the ribbon is wrapped around them to hold them in place.

Creating the Train Cab

STEP 6: Tie the cab to the train. Using the 5/8″ red ribbon, tie the box of disposable diaper pads onto the train. You can use any baby product that comes in a box about 5″ by 7.5″. Wrap the box in red fabric (or wrapping paper). I wrapped my ribbon around the train, keeping it along the edge of the cardboard. (Shown best in the picture below). It will sit underneath the vertical 1.5″ ribbons and go across the front of the train along the folded edge.

Box wrapped in red fabric is tied to the end of the train.

Ribbon wraps around the front of the cardboard to hold the box on to the train.

STEP 7: Add the top of the cab. I placed the red bib on top of the disposable changing pads and then put my “roof” on. To create the roof, use two diapers and overlap them. Wrap them in black fabric. Tie them onto the disposable diaper pads with more of the 1.5″ red ribbon. I added a red decorative bow to the top of the roof. Tape, glue or stitch the bow to the ribbon already there.

Two diaper are laid on top of each other and wrapped in black fabric.

A red bib is placed on the cab of the train; the black roof is then tied to the top of the cab.

Decorating the Wheels – Optional

STEP 8: Add the wheels! I used black paper pinwheels for each of my wheels. To create a pinwheel, I cut strips of black paper (1.5″ wide for the large wheels and 1/2″ wide for the small wheels) and then scored it every 1/4″. I then folded it accordion style and glued the ends together to create a loop. I placed a dab of hot glue on a tiny square of paper and then pushed my accordion-folded loop down on top of it to create the pinwheel. Hold it in place while the glue dries.

For more detailed instructions on making paper medallions, you can take a look at this post where I made Mother’s Day Medallion Pins. Still use the dimensions listed above.

Black paper medallions are made from black paper.

Black medallions.

Once you have all of your wheels made, attach them to the diaper cake. I stuck rolled-up red felt into the center of each diaper wheel and then used a straight pin to stick my pinwheels onto the diaper wheels. The red felt gives the pins something to stick to.

** Update: To avoid using straight pins on this diaper cake, you can tape the paper wheels to the diaper rolls using loops of masking tape or hot glue the tops of the wheels to the red ribbon going into each diaper roll. If you do use pins, write down the number of pins you used and where on a little Post-It and be sure to give that to the recipient. I used 13 pins total (7 on the wheels and 6 on the chimney socks)

Red felt is stuffed inside each diaper roll wheel.

I used decorative gold ribbon and gold straight pins to connect the large wheels. It can be hard to push the straight pins through the center of the pinwheels because of the hot glue, so you may have to go slightly above the center.

** You can also skip using straight pins on this step by taping or hot gluing the ribbon to the paper medallions. It will be just as effective and easier! If I made this again I would avoid using pins – just so I didn’t have to worry about them getting lost!

Ribbon is pinned to the black paper wheels to create train wheels.

Adding the Finishing Touches

STEP 9: Make the sock chimneys! Roll two pairs of socks and tightly wrap them with a rubber band. I covered the rubber band with ribbon and a bow. Tape the chimneys to the train with tape loops or hot glue (if using fabric and not baby blankets). 

Socks rolled together and wrapped with a rubber band to create a chimney.

STEP 10: Finish the front of the train and decorate! I cut a large circle from black paper and pinned it to the front of the diaper cake. I printed off the insignia found on the Hogwart’s Express. If you google Hogwart’s Express, lots of images come up. I taped these onto my train. I also added a red bow to the front of the train.

Front of the Hogwarts Express diaper cake.

The Hogwart’s Express Diaper Cake is complete! I love the way it turned out! It is so fun and is perfect for any Potter fan. Visit my Harry Potter Craft Page for more fun, crafty ideas and tutorials.

Hogwart's Express Diaper Cake with a red and black banner hanging above it.

Happy Crafting! -Kim

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  1. Would you possibly post the link where you found the image on the bib on the back I can’t find it

  2. I’m making this right now for a baby shower. Measurements for the fabric would have helped a little, and also more detailed instruction on making, gluing, and attaching the wheels together and to the train with the ribbon. These wheels are VERY difficult and time consuming. List size of push pins also (Like longer length will help them hold through ribbon, pin wheel, paper back, then felt in middle of diaper wheel). I’m on my 3rd set of pins now. Thanks for making this and sharing your ideas!!! I really am excited for the mommy to be to see this.

    1. Hi! Thank you for your comment! I updated some things to be more helpful. I was creating this while making it and just grabbed fabric scraps I had on hand, and since I gifted it I couldn’t go back and measure the fabric I used. I think 1/4″ yard would be enough for both the black and red. I’m sorry the pins gave you so many problems, I used regular straight pins but I’m sure the longer the pin the better! You could also skip the pins all together and hot glue the wheels to the red ribbon and then the gold ribbon to the wheels. You could also skip making medallions and use black circles or print off images of black train wheels! Sounds like you’ve already made them but maybe these ideas will help others reading. The medallions can definitely be time consuming but they do look really nice as wheels! Good luck finishing the diaper cake and I hope the mother to be likes it!!

  3. Hey, Kim. I made this recently for a friend’s baby shower.. Loved the way it came together.. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions and pictures.. They were extremely helpful!

  4. I’m making this for my great grandchild’s nursery, but I count a total of 42 diapers not 26. Am I missing something?

    1. Hi Betty, You are not missing anything, you are right and it is indeed 42 diapers! It looks like I missed a couple things in editing this post, my apologies!! I have corrected it in the instructions and really appreciate you letting me know I had that listed wrong! Congratulations on your great grandchild and I hope the rest of the tutorial is easy to follow!

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