Thursday, May 22, 2014

Disney Autograph Books

No one told me that planning for a Disney World vacation was a part time job.  Between booking the plane tickets, resort, rental car, stroller, et cetera and researching the best/must do/can't miss rides, restaurants, shows, et cetera I've been completely immersed in everything Disney.  I never went as a child, so I think I'm actually more excited than my 4-year-old.  Now that our trip is four months out, everything is planned and it's the waiting that's killing us.  I decided I needed to whip up some Disney crafts.  There are a ton of tutorials out there for everything you can imagine.  I made the shirts.  Haven't decided if me, dad, grandma #1, grandma #2, grandpa #1, grandpa #2, or auntie are getting them yet.  One shirt is cheap, but multiplying by nine certainly changes things.  For these, I bought shirts from Hobby Lobby ($2.50 each), used iron-on vinyl for the Mickey heads and iron-on letters for the names.

I also made some simple stroller tags.  I created a Mickey head in the Cricut craft room using circles.  I made a layer of black, white, and red (with two button holes cut out) for Mickey, then chopped the top half off the white and red layers.  For Minnie I cut a red bow, a black layer and a red with white polka dot layer (from the Disney pack of scrapbook paper).  I printed our names and addresses on regular paper and cut it out to fit the back of the tags.  Then I laminated.  I think I made them too thick, if I could go back I would make all the layers thin scrapbook paper instead of using card stock for the black.

Here's my take on an autograph book...

- Chipboard Pennant Pack - $4 - The arched one is the best
- Assorted scrapbook papers - I purchased the boy and girl Disney pack
- Sticker maker, glue, or whatever adhesive you prefer 
- 1" album rings - $3 (contains 12, you'll need 2 per book)
- Mod Podge - very small amount just to seal the front and back covers

The pennant packs contain nine pieces, meaning the book will have 16 pages for autographs, not including the front and back covers.  If you plan of meeting a lot of characters, then you may want to purchase two packs and make your book twice as big.

Now the fun part:
1) Did I say fun?  I meant frustrating and tedious.  I used the craft room to create a template for my pennant pages.  I strongly suggest not using the chevron pennants for two reasons.  First, the finished book doesn't open very easily or well.  Second, it is impossible to get the template perfect.  I tried for way longer than I should have and in the end it was still a little off.  I have an image from Fontopia that I was trying to manipulate, but found it easier to just start from scratch.  The arched one came out really good.  I used my Plantin Schoolbook cartridge to get a rectangle and circle.  I measured the chipboard, sized the shapes, and welded them together.  Then I put two little circles in there for the holes.  I saved my work in .ccr format for anyone that needs it, but it really wasn't that difficult.  The hardest part is if you're a perfectionist and want everything EXACT.  Mine is not perfect, but it's close.  Use some paper you hate to print test sheets and keep adjusting your template until it is to your liking.
2) Pick your papers and cut your pages.  Pay attention if your paper has a correct orientation like mine.  Make sure you're cutting a left and right side in the correct way so you don't end up wasting paper and having to cut more out (which I totally didn't do several times).
Alternative step 2) If you don't have a Cricut or the patience to create the template, then just trace the pennants onto scrapbook paper and use good old-fashioned scissors to cut them out!
3) Glue your paper to your chipboard.  I highly recommend a sticker maker.  I have the 5" Xyron and it is awesome for things that need complete coverage and a strong bond.  It's completely fast and mess free.  Luckily these pennants are five inches wide so they fit perfectly.
4) Cut your cover words/shapes and background, plan it out, then Mod Podge them on.  Also cut the back cover and Mod Podge to seal it.  This makes it a little more book-like and sturdy.

5) When everything is dry, attach your binder rings and that's it!

You may have to pick at the edges a little to get rid of all the excess glue.  This project is quick and easy and sure beats paying $15 for an autograph book at the park.  My kids also liked it because they got to pick their papers and colors.  We tried to use pages corresponding to the characters they want to meet.  That way each character can sign right next to their picture.  It's been about two weeks since we planned our trip, so at this rate we'll need to take an extra suitcase for all the Disney themed crafts we're bringing.