spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Disney Pre-Trip Report: wearables

on July 12, 2015

Rocking Disney Gear

  • Make Your Own

I’m a low-tech graphic design buff.  I love making custom images, but I only use free clipart/fonts and Powerpoint to make them because I don’t want to pay for stock images and I don’t have Photoshop.  I design my local university alumni chapter T-shirts that we use for fundraising each year.  Those are pretty good, I must say- we always sell a lot of them.  It’s a lot of fun!

Here’s how I use this skill for the Mouse…I make shirts for every Disney trip!  I’ve shown this image here before: custom shirts back

I force my family to wear the matching shirts on our first Park/Cruise day so we can get an official photo.  After that, they can wear them (or not) whenever they like.

The layout is the same when I start to make a trip shirt design: a background image or color related to the trip (for the Alaska cruise it was the Disney Wonder in Tracy Arm), and individual WordArt letters filled in w/pictures from previous Disney trips, spelling out the word “Disney.”

I try to choose different “picture fills” for the letter each time (explained below), but have a goal of including personal pictures from WDW, Disneyland, Aulani, and Disney Cruise Line.

You can use any lettering to make a WordArt, but I’m partial to the Disney font, of course, properly known as Waltograph.  It’s free, and you can download it at DaFont.  BTW, they also have a bunch of fun movie fonts like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, The Godfather, etc.

So I start with a blank slide on Powerpoint (ahhhh, the creative possibilities).  I search my pictures or the internet for an appropriate background image.  For this trip, I might choose something like this:

It's my little buddy's 1st time, and I don't know which will be his favorite Park.  Solution: include all of them!

It’s my little buddy’s 1st time, and I don’t know which Park will be his favorite. Solution: include all of them!

Since this will be the background of my picture-filled WordArt letter, I need to make it less bold and more background-y<— New word alert!

The solution lies in the Color menu, then the Recolor submenu.  There’s an option called Washout, which preserves the sharpness of the image, but dials way back on the colors without making it black & white or gray.  Now we have a suitable background image that won’t compete with the busy, detailed letters in front of it.


Then I start creating individual WordArts for each letter.  It’s important to do them individually IF you want to “fill” with a different pic in each letter, like I do.  An example using a different font, at size 200 for clarity:

From the left: a chrysanthemum image filling the letter T, a hydrangea  filling the letter H, and tulips filling the letter E.

From the left: a chrysanthemum image filling the letter T, a hydrangea filling the letter H, and tulips filling the letter E.

If you want your photo to be distributed among all the letters, do the WordArt for all the letters at the same time, and fill with just 1 picture like this.  It also looks cool, especially with flags- I use this technique in my other designs often.

Here, the chrysanthemum image fills across all 3 letters.

Here, the chrysanthemum image fills across all 3 letters.

Experiment with different pictures, some will look weird because of the shape of the letter.  I use my own images, but don’t use any that show the kids’ entire faces due to privacy concerns.  I definitely want to be able to see the background details that identify the location, so it takes some time to choose the right picture.  Be patient here.  Don’t worry, you can also just fill in the letters with your favorite color instead!  Or even just leave them as an outline.  You can customize the color and width of the outline, too.

Here’s an example of what the final product might look like using Waltograph font with this background image.  This would be the back of the shirt:

From the left: Castaway Cay, a World Showcase emblem, Toy Story Midway Mania attraction poster,

Picture fills from the left: Castaway Cay, a World Showcase emblem, the Earful Tower, a Toy Story Midway Mania attraction poster, Aulani, the Disney Wonder.

And I usually like a small pocket detail on the front of the shirt, too.  Maybe like this:

final blog shirt back

Use Powerpoint’s handy pop-upguidelines to make sure the letters are lined up properly; they show up on the screen as you move things around, or you can always click View, then Show Guidelines.

Once satisfied, simply use Avery iron-on transfers on a PRE-WASHED cotton shirt.  You print the image backwards, then follow the instructions.  Peel off the backing once the image is totally cool, and you are ready to rock your matching shirts!  Tip: round off the corners on your transfer before ironing on, it’ll be less prone to lifting up at the corners.  These should last through at least 5 washings before starting to deteriorate.

  • Buy:

If you’ve gotten this far and are thinking, “ain’t nobody got time for that,” let others do the work!  I love Hot Topic for contemporary Disney merchandise- picked up this bad boy recently:



All the big box stores have Disney stuff: Walmart, Kmart, Target.  There are many items available on Etsy as well, but I don’t support copyright infringement, and most of those sellers don’t have permission to sell licensed merchandise, so I avoid it altogether when it comes to Disney stuff.

Zazzle.com has its own Disney section, which offers many different custom items in a billion different character options.  I bought shirts from here once, and they were a little pricy, but very good quality.  The screenprint certainly lasts many washes longer than my DIY option above.

And of course, there’s the Disney Store.  If you have a local one, they offer a great deal on t-shirts 2-3 times per year.  If you refuse to pay Park prices (appr $26.99 for most adult shirts, more than that for polos/sweatshirts), look out for those sales.  I like to buy Park-exclusive items, with designs from the rides/Parks rather than just the characters, so I just save and buy when I’m there, since they don’t sell that stuff at my local Disney Store.  There’s plenty of cute stuff for everyday use though- this made me laugh:

grumpy shirt

And this Inside Out bag, is, appropriately, reversible:

inside out bag inside out bag2

If you haven’t see this movie already, GO.  It’s really good.

A last note on wearables, Mickey Ears chapter. They are available on the Disney Store site, but I buy the embroidered Ears at The Chapeau on Main Street, USA, because I can’t imagine doing it anywhere else- it’s traditional.  Can’t wait to get my son his first pair of Ears 🙂

Do you readers have any Disney wearable traditions?

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