Thursday, April 28, 2016

Off to Monaco!

I am off for some time with Mr. Photos From The Parks! I'll be out for a week and then back with more ideas for your enjoyment. Until then, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DIY Disney Tote Bags

The links for the posters in this post are no longer available. But you can find some great Disney poster art on the Disney Movie Rewards website under digital rewards. They seem to rotate in and out with some regularity, but if you keep a look out, you can find some very fun and unique stuff in there! And of course you can run an Etsy search to see what else might be out there. Enjoy this rerun of one of my favorite Disney gift ideas!


Breaking up is hard to do, and it's always hardest when we have to say goodbye to Walt Disney World. We all tend to be tired and cranky, and we usually like to maximize our time there, so we are leaving on the last plane home - our friends like to call it the Disney Express. It's a plane filled with other tired, cranky, bloody stumps of people. I think it's incredibly important to have a little something special for the ride home.

I decided to make these cute little tote bags for each kid for "leaving day." I filled them with homemade Rice Krispie treats, a game to pass the time, and a few other little treats I found along the way. If you have a dining plan with snacks left on it, this is a great way to use them up. Stop by any gift shop and pick up bags of pretzels or other packaged goodies that fit within the plan.

For the tote bags I used Transfer MAGIC's Inkjet Transfer Paper for Light Colored, Light Weight Fabrics. I still got a plasticy finish to the transfer, but on the canvas bags, it was fine. The images are from the same series of vintage Disney poster images through Nukes at Etsy. These are top quality and big, so at a dollar an image, you can't go wrong. I used Photoshop to size and reverse the image for transfer. If you have text on your image, DON'T FORGET TO REVERSE your design before you print!

I found these tote bags fairly inexpensively at Hobby Lobby. I found a 4 pack for $8.00. (If you use your 40% off coupon, they are really a steal!) They are 100% cotton canvas, and the iron-on paper worked beautifully on them. Since I already had the transfer paper they were only $3.00 a bag. That's a price I can live with!

Leaving The Mouse is never easy, but a little goodie bag can help ease the transition home. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Monday, April 25, 2016

New Promotions for Travel to WDW Just Released!

I would be remiss if I didn't share the new fall travel promotions just released for travel to Walt Disney World this fall! If you are thinking about a WDW trip, now is the time to book! Message me or call for a quote today!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Disneyland Snickerdoodle Knockoff Recipe

Sometimes it seems like a really long time between visits; that's when a little kitchen magic can really come in handy. I found this Disneyland Main Street Bakery Snickerdoodle knock-off recipe on Pinterest and decided a rainy afternoon was the perfect time for a little Disney pick-me-up. The family was happy to oblige!

It was simple to make them into Mickey heads. Instead of rolling only one ball, I rolled one larger and two smaller balls and laid them out on the cookie sheet as such. I tried not to smash the ears on too much, as they do spread in the oven.

They took a little longer to assemble than regular snickerdoodles would, so I was able to assemble one pan while the other was baking. It was just about the perfect amount of time. Be sure to let the cookies cool just a bit on the pan before moving them to the cooling racks - we lost a couple ears by being impatient! (Although, it was a good excuse for an early taste!) My apprentice chef became quite good at rolling and pressing out the Mickeys.
One small deviation from the recipe - I like a lot of cinnamon sugar on my snickerdoodles, so we employed the Joy of Cooking technique of rolling each ball of cookie dough in a bowl of cinnamon sugar, instead of sprinkling the tops as the original recipe suggests. A personal preference, but worth it, in my humble opinion.

And because someone will ask, the WDW serving tray was one of my parents' first souvenirs. It lived in our motor home until it died and now it comes out whenever we need a little shot of Disney magic! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DIY Disney Gift Bag from Upcycled Park Map

Every now and then you need emergency gift wrapping while in Disney: someone in the party reveals it's their birthday, you find the perfect just-because gift, or you remembered the gift and the occasion, but forgot to pack wrapping paper. Whatever the situation, I know I've had need before. Well, here is your solution.

Every park, every resort and many other places around Walt Disney World have free maps available. I always grab two or three when we enter a park because I know my family, and they have a tough time keeping track of theirs. This means I usually come back to the hotel with extras. Even if you don't, just stop by the check-in desk. They always have them. This map is your new gift bag - it just needs to be folded. You may need to stop at guest services and ask if they have a glue stick (or tape) and a ruler you can borrow - or scope out the gift shop. It's Disney. Someone is bound to help a guest in need.

I'll save you the double post and simply direct you over to How About Orange's awesome tutorial on how to make a gift bag from a newspaper. The steps are easy to follow. The only change you will want to make is in the folding dimensions. The Disney maps are a bit bigger than the rectangle she uses. Instead of the sides of the bag measuring 4 1/2", you will want to make them 6 5/8". Everything else is the same.

Viola! You have the perfect wrapping for the perfect Disney gift, and it was upcycled to boot. Wouldn't Jiminy Cricket be proud? Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DIY Disney Fused Plastic Rain Bucket Hat

As Earth Day approaches, I thought I would run one of my all-time favorite upcycled projects! Enjoy this oldie but goodie from last summer!

Are you looking for the perfect accessory for your Disney rain poncho? Well, look no further! You can upcycle some old shopping bags for this unique Disney look!

For this project I used 8 grey shopping bags for the lining, (available from Kohls, Lowes or Walmart in this area) and one large Disney shopping bag for the exposed side of this hat, as well as some white seam binding I had in my stash and purple thread for contrast! Which means that this Disney hat was completely free to make and helps the environment by not putting all that plastic in the landfill. Wouldn't Jiminy Cricket be so proud?

For all the details and instructions from fusing the plastic to creating the hat, I used this tutorial from Makezine. The only change I made was adding the seam binding to the two brim pieces before sewing them together. You could always just seam it the way the pattern suggests, without the seam binding. But I like the extra touch it gives this hat. So cute!

To fuse the plastic, I set my iron to somewhere between cotton and wool/silk, the highest and second highest settings on my iron. Fusing the plastic was the longest part of this project. It seemed to take forever! But setting the iron too hot was also a mistake; when it was set to the highest setting, the plastic shrank so quickly it pulled holes in the "fabric." Not so good for keeping the rain out!

To cut the pieces out, you can actually trace around them with ballpoint pen. That way you can see exactly what parts of the design will show. Just keep in mind that you will have a 1/4" seam around the pieces. And if you do try this at home, make sure the words will not be upside down when you sew the hat pieces together. You CAN pick the seam out of this plastic, but it is no picnic! My advice is to check everything twice before sewing!

I hope to see several of these hats the next time we are in the Disney parks! After all, what better place is there for a fabulous hat than Disney? Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

DIY Disney Monorail Scavenger Hunt Cards

I've always had a love-affair with the monorail system in Walt Disney World. It's magical in it's own right, and such a cool way to travel! As a kid I longed to stay in the Contemporary Resort so we could see the monorail swishing through the concourse on a regular basis.

And as a kid, we always played a monorail version of the license plate game, keeping track of the different colors we'd seen. Today there are twelve monorails operating in WDW. Rarely are they all on-line at once. But if you are lucky, you could see most of the following: Red, Orange, Yellow, Gold, Peach, Coral, Green, Lime, Blue, Teal, Silver and Black.

In the spirit of making the most of our wait time (there can be A LOT of wait time in Disney, depending on your travel dates), I created these scratch-off cards for the kids in our party. I used a heavy card stock to print these, and I would recommend making several extras as you may need them for those adults kids who tend to lose theirs in the parks, or for a learning curve with the scratch-off paint.

Then, I used this tutorial from Artmind to make scratch-off paint. A couple of tips regarding the scratch-off paint: 1.) It bubbled up when I applied it, but most of the bubbles went away as it dried. The more you agitate the paint, the more bubbles you will get. 2.) A lighter color of paint is recommended. I used copper and it didn't scratch off cleanly - as you can see in the photo below. The gold was much better.

To create the actual card, I used a scanned image of the monorail from a promotional Disney flyer. You may want to clean up the edges of the image in Photoshop. To create the different colored monorails, I selected the color stripe so it could be changed to the different colors I needed. Due to copyright laws, I can do this for my own personal use, but not, I am sorry to say, to distribute it to others. Therefore, I cannot offer you a PDF as I would like to. I can, however, refer you to my March 5th post about how to select an image and create a PNG from your own photo, and this tutorial on how to select an area of a scanned image in Photoshop and change its color. It was much easier than it sounds. Give it a try. And remember that if you are scaling down your image significantly, you will not have to be so worried about little detail areas that don't look right on a larger scale. Some of them just disappear. Don't stress yourself out about the little things.

Of course, it was only logical that each kid got a pressed penny to use as a scratch-off tool! The edge was perfect for removing the paint. I hope you give this scavenger hunt a try. We had a blast using them. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pirate Night T-shirt Design Now On Redbubble

 If you have been looking for just the right thing to express your true geekery and love for all things Disney pirates, then I have just the shirt for you! With this nod to the original Pirates of the Caribbean, you can rock pirate night on the cruise, or just look amazing while touring the parks in this fun new design now up in my Redbubble shop!

And don't forget that Redbubble is always adding new items, so head on over there and take a look at all the pirate-y goodness I have to offer! Yo ho! Yo ho! A pirates life for me!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

DIY Disney Inspired Knitted To Go Cup Cozy

I like to advertise my love of Disney everywhere I go. Let's face it: it's good for business! I wanted to have a little something for when I am at meetings. I can't always wear my Disney Inspired T-shirts from my Redbubble shop! So this little guy was born. It's just about one of the simplest knit projects I've ever done. If you can knit and purl in the the round then you can do this. It took me 40 minutes from start to finish. I found these little buttons in my stash; they are 1/2" for those wanting to duplicate this look.

I posted the simple pattern for this on my Ravelry project page. Feel free to knit and modify it to your heart's content! It would be a terrific gift for fish extenders or as Tinkerbell Treasures! I'd love to see a picture of your completed cozy when you make one! Be sure to tag me if you do.

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!