A DIY diaper trike is hands down the greatest gift for a baby shower or just as a gift for a friend having a baby. Why, because it is as FUNCTIONAL as it is ADORABLE! On top of being a very thoughtful mixture of presents, it is enjoyed by men and women alike.
How can you go wrong with this crowd-pleaser?
I’ve been making these for years and they never fail to impress and delight both the mommy-to-be and the crowd at any baby shower. Over the years I’ve added on – at first it was just the diapers and the swaddle blankets/bibs/bottle. These days I’m upping my game with the bottle-cleaning trunk cage as well as the teething keys.
Feel free to omit or add anything you want on yours to make it your own style.
The overall cost of this diaper trike will probably run you anywhere from $50-$100 dollars. The most expensive items is just the large box of diapers, but those make a great gift all by themselves!
If you have left over diapers that you don’t want to just hand to the parents, you could always do another diaper wheel to set the trike on top of (I’ll have to try that next time!)
Assembling this trike is not hard at all – the whole thing will probably take a few hours to put together.
I’m only going over the assembly of the Trike in this tutorial, so I posted links where you can buy the items, but you can absolutely make your own too – which makes the whole thing that much more personalized.
These are the main steps to this process:
- Collect your materials – You will need to have all of your items before you can assemble the whole trike, especially the diapers, swaddle blankets, bibs, and bottle.
- Create the tires – These are probably the long pole in the tent when it comes to where you will spend the majority of your time. They aren’t hard to put together, but require a little time and patience.
- Assemble all of your items – This is where the diaper trike rubber meets the road, so to speak… putting it all together.
I highly suggest using cotton flannel swaddle blankets as opposed to any other lighter fabric, because that material is rather stiff and holds its shape on its own. If you go with a light fabric it will be hard to get it positioned correctly on its own. But, if you have a strong reason to use a light fabric, I have made this work in the past by rolling a large piece of stiff paper (like the end of wrapping paper) into the blanket as you roll it up – this will give it the ability to position it and stay where you place it.
Note: I typically recommend pre-washing your home-made items, but don’t pre-wash the cotton flannel blankets if you opt to make these. Whatever they are coated with seems to help with the stiffness.
As for the bibs, bottle, and ribbon, just chooses the colors you think match well or will be the cutest for either the gender or the baby’s theme (if you know it).
You can find most of these items at Amazon, Wal-Mart, or Target.
What Materials You Need
- 2 Cotton Flannel Swaddle Blankets – I prefer these in around the size 40″ x 40″, for 2 reasons. 1) These are bigger and better for swaddling as they cover the whole baby, and 2) the longer size works well for the diaper trike so that you have enough length for the axle and the handlebars to sit correctly.
- 2 Bibs – Dealer’s Choice – Make these or buy whichever ones you love the most.
- Box of Diapers – Obviously, to make a diaper trike, this requires diapers. I use the size 2 and these are my preference. If you want to make the bike bigger you can go for size 3 but any larger and I think it would be hard to get these into a cake pan, so you’ll have to use a different method to make the wheels. You will probably use around 90 or so diapers, so don’t just go for a small amount or you might run short.
- A Baby Bottle – This will be the trike’s headlight. Choose a color that works with your theme.
- Ribbon – You will most likely need 2 spools of whichever pattern you go with, as you’ll want to wrap the tires and then create a bow (unless you do a headband or something else for the bow).
- Baby Socks – I find the striped pattern works really well to look like handlebar grips – but you can pick whatever color or pattern you like.
- Bottle Basket – This accessory makes a little trunk for your trike, and is also a great, functional gift for the new parents.
- Teething Keys – Inexpensive, but in my opinion, completes the bike.
- Rubber Bands – The larger the better – these will wrap around the tires to hold them together (the ribbon is just for decoration).
- Scissors – What craft project doesn’t require these?
- Cake Pan – This is how you will make your wheels. Any old used cake pan from your kitchen will work for this.
- Safety Pins or Glue – To adhere your ribbon.
- Stuffed Animal – This is optional, but if you want, you can have a stuffed animal riding the trike.
- Cardboard or poster board – This is important, it will be the platform to hold your trike so that you can carry this to the shower or wherever you plan on giving it to the mother/parents. It will be very difficult to move your finished trike without it – so plan ahead.
Steps To Make the Diaper Trike
- Start by making your wheels in the cake pan. To do this, take out a handful of diapers and start to fan them out and then layer and place them inside the cake pan so that they begin to mold into a circular shape. Keep spinning them until they are so tight it is hard to add more, but then add more, folding the ends of the previous diaper so that you form a tight wheel. Each wheel will consist of about 30 size 2 diapers.
- Take a large rubber band or a band of any kind and secure this around the middle of the diaper wheel while it is still in the cake pan. The wheel, once secured, should be able to be lifted out easily and stay together tightly.
- Lift the wheel and place it on your platform. Put aside and repeat for all 3 wheels.
- Wrap a ribbon around each of the wheels and either safety pin or hot glue the ribbon ends together, tightly secured around the wheel. Do not glue the ribbon to the diaper.
- Position the wheels into a trike by putting the front wheel by itself and the two rear wheels on either side of the front.
- Decide which of the 2 swaddle blankets will be used for the rear axle, then push that through the front wheel and through the back wheels. Overlap where the two blankets meet (this will be the back axle) and try to wrap the blankets into each other a bit to keep them in place. If you wish, you can place a ribbon or string around them to hold them together.
- Take your second blanket and push this into the front wheel, bringing it to the halfway point so that when you draw up the two sides they form the bike’s handlebars, and they are even.
- Pull the handlebars upwards and tie a rubber band around them lightly to hold in place.
- Place the bottle inside the gap made with the blankets, then bring the rubber band down to tighten the blankets to secure the bottle. This should look like the light for the trike.
- Put the front bib underneath the bottle and secure it so that it looks like the front fender of the bike.
- Put the back bib under the bottle and secure it so that it looks like the seat of the bike.
- Tie rubber bands around the back axle so that you are able to add the basket/trunk.
- Secure the trunk however you can, I usually use string or twistie ties tied to the rubber bands on the axle, and a little cardboard sticking out of the wheels so that the trunk sits level.
- Add the socks to look like the handlebar grips.
- Add the keys if using them.
- Add the bow to the front of the bike – this can be the same ribbon as you used for the tires or a headband bow or other bow of your choosing.
That’s it – You now have a fabulous DIAPER TRIKE!
Tip: Be careful while moving it; and you might have to reposition it when you get to your baby celebration destination.
I hope you found this tutorial useful and easy!
DIY - Diaper Tricycle
DIY - Diaper Trike
Watch the video for the full tutorial.
You can find a lot of these supplies anywhere that baby products are sold – Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Here are some examples:
I hope this has inspired you to make your own Diaper Trike – if you did please let me know all about it in the comments below!