When you’re invited to a baby shower, the excitement of celebrating a new life can make anyone get caught up in the idea of buying baby gifts.

When you’re invited to a baby shower, the excitement of celebrating a new life can make anyone get caught up in the idea of buying baby gifts.


But, sometimes when a person gets to the store, the options can be a little overwhelming.
Do you buy something they obviously need, like diapers and blankets? Or something cute, like a little outfit with matching socks and booties? Maybe some fun toys in all those pastel and primary colors. And what about pacifiers, nail clippers, bottles and brushes?


Then again, how about a little of everything?


That’s what Sandy Harbaugh opted for when visualizing a gift for her niece in the Philadelphia area, who is expecting twins in February.


But not just a basket of necessities would do. Harbaugh put all her items together in a diaper cake that was four tiers high and admittedly “over the top.”


This was Harbaugh’s second diaper cake. The first one she made was for someone who was expecting a baby girl, so, of course, it featured plenty of shades of pink and “girly girl” items like a huge jeweled tiara and pink feathers on the top.


For her niece’s diaper cake, Harbaugh teamed up with her own twin sister, Susan Hedrick of Rockport, Texas; her other sister, Barbara Lloyd of Sacramento, Calif.; and Harbaugh’s daughter, Jill Nicolini of Anchorage, Alaska.


All four women shared the cost of the gift, while Harbaugh and Lloyd constructed the cake. Harbaugh said they had the time of their lives.


Harbaugh said she saw her first diaper cake at the shower for a neighbor who had a baby in the fall. Intrigued by the idea, she borrowed the cake to examine it and went to the Internet to find instructions on how to build one herself.


Diaper cakes resemble white tiered cakes because they are created from rolled up diapers secured together in layers. Then, it’s up to the creator as to how fancy they will decorate it.


“This one was a four-tier cake and, because it was twins, we put more items on it,” Harbaugh said. “It was fun to make it and fun to shop for the decorations.


“We got real creative with this one. I think we went over the top,” she said. “We laughed so much making this cake.”


The cake for her niece was built on a sturdy base painted lime green with white dots and rimmed with “twin” sayings like “Two by Two” and “Two-Riffic.”


Harbaugh said she bought brightly colored name-card holders and she and her sister made little signs with twin sayings.


“We wrote down all funny quotes and things that we found on the Internet, quotes and sayings about twins, and lovely thoughts, too, of motherhood,” she said.


The cake itself was covered with anything and everything baby related — booties, baby dolls, Baby Ruth, baby powder, teethers, pacifiers, nasal aspirators, socks and practically anything else they could find.


The cake also included decorative little pink clothespins, little baby bracelets and little safety pins.


“It was just really easy. We tucked in a Jewel lullaby CD, nail clippers, a comb, brush, bottle brush, feeding spoons, powder, baby’s very first toothbrush,” Harbaugh said. “We had useful items things that you can directly use and really went over the top.


“I did all the shopping because my sister is from California and, when she got here, the ideas just flowed like crazy,” she said.


One of the most unique features of the cake were two mini bottles of wine in plastic bottles that took the place of two of the diapers in one of the tiers.


On the necks of the bottles, they attached signs that said “Two Of These,” meaning the wine, “WILL GIVE YOU TWO OF THOSE,” meaning the twins.


Harbaugh said she attached little babies like those found in a King Cake, and wrapped white ribbon around their bottoms and glued them to the signs.


“When I sent it, I took a roll of Saran wrap out of the box and wrapped it around and around the cake and above and over,” Harbaugh said. “It all arrived safely for the shower. We had such a wonderful time.”