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Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake

Crafts for Baby | Harry Potter

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.


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

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Good morning! 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 an 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 rags or baby blankets in red and black – either purchasing them or making your own.

It 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 in any color! 

Harry Potter Hogwart's Express Diaper Cake08

Harry Potter Hogwart's Express Diaper Cake 01

Harry Potter Hogwart's Express Diaper Cake 03

Supplies Needed for Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake:

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)
  • Red pair of socks
  • 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 :) 

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

STEP 1: Roll the wheels! The diaper cake has three large wheels and two small. Use 5 diapers for the large wheels and 2 for the small ones. 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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

STEP 2: Roll the top of the train. The top of the train is made up of four rolls of diapers. Create one large roll of 6 diapers, two rolls of 5 diapers and a mini roll made up of 3 diapers folded in half before rolled (pictured below).

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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″. Fold one end of the cardboard in three times (accordion style) 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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train TutorialSTEP 5: Stack the train. 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.Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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 wheels.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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!

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

STEP 9: Add 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). 

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train Tutorial

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.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Diaper Cake - Train TutorialYour 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 :)

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

Happy Crafting! -Kim

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10 Comments

  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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