A towel cake is one of the best and most practical gifts you can give a mommy-to-be. It's not a real cake, but a pretty way to package an otherwise common set of towels that a new baby would always need. This is a really beautiful gift to make but you must be careful when folding the towels or it won't look right.
For a three-tiered cake, you'll need two bath towels, two hand towels, and two face towels. You'll also need straight and pearl headed pins to stick everything together, and ribbons, lace, flowers, and other decorations for prettying up the towel cake. Baby toys or tiny packages of toiletries can be used as decorations, too. A more interesting cake is made with patterned or textured towels rather than plain ones.
To start, fold the bath towels in half lengthwise and then half again. Starting at one end, roll up one towel very tightly, keeping both sides even. When you come to the end of the towel, insert the end of the other towel in the middle of the folds and fasten with a straight pin to keep them together. Continue rolling up the towel and fasten the end with pins again. Repeat the procedure with the hand and face towels.
Next, decorate each layer as you like. A classic look that also makes the layers more secure is to cover each layer with a length of ribbon and then put a layer of lace over that. Tack on a big, pretty bow if you like and then stand the layers one on top of the other.
Each layer can be decorated to fit the theme of the baby shower. For example, a blue and yellow baby duck theme can first have the towel layer done in a yellow bath set and then alternate the next layers in blue and then yellow again. Seal in each layer with the contrasting color ribbon and accent it with a line of pearl-headed ribbons in blue and yellow colors.
After stacking the layers up, decorate them with decorative flower-shaped soap or candles for the mommy-to-be. Tuck in a few little baby toys as accents. Top the cake with three artificial flowers or a yellow rubber duckie with a blue bow. And you're done!
A variation on this is to use a length of pearls attached with straight headed pins at the base of each layer, just like with real cakes. Or, attach a pram toy around the middle layer instead. If you want, the top layer can be rolled around a baby bottle and the top itself would be the decoration of the cake.
If you're transporting the cake, a practical way to do it would
be to stand the cake on a cardboard round and then tie a length
of tulle all around the cake and secure it at the top with a big
bow. No need for another topper, the bow will definitely be enough.
You can then just carry the cake to your destination with no worries
about it coming apart.