Monday, April 06, 2009

Disney countdown: 6 days to go. The Matching Shirts Project

We are surprising Big Girl with a trip to Disney World. On Easter Sunday, we'll wake her up bright and early, present her with an Easter basket, and inside there will be a "ticket" to the most magical place on Earth. When we wake her from fainting, we'll load up the car and head to the airport to catch our 7am flight to Florida. I was not kidding when I said "bright and early."

This surprise is beyond exciting. It's almost wedding-day-type excitement. The big reveal is going to be awesome, no doubt there will be squealing and jumping for joy. But I'm mostly excited for the look on Big Girl's face when she gets to meet The Princesses in real life. That look, and that breath-taking moment alone will be totally worth every penny painfully pinched to save up for this trip.
It has been pretty hard getting ready for this trip *in secret.* I've Googled taking kids to Disney a zillion times, set up my account at, and read my Frommer's Guide. And I still don't feel prepared. Reservations, tickets, Park Hoppers, Character Meals, Dining Pass, Fast Pass...lots of bits and pieces to put together to make the trip easy and memorable and magical.

All the Disney-talk is overwhelming. But somewhere along in my researching I found something in my language: matching t-shirts. It's just something you do when you go to Disney. You ride It's A Small World, you wear matching t-shirts. I can do that.

Today, I did.

I made 2 sets of matching shirts for the kids. They turned out super cute, but next time I'll outsource them or get them from good 'ole VistaPrint. I ruined a t-shirt and a pair of scissors in the process. And maybe my dining room table. Oops.

On the red shirts, I used Burlington brand InkJet T-Shirt Transfer Paper. I put our names in this Waltograph font inside a Mickey Mouse head clipart found here. The red shirts look a little plain as they are, so I think I'll use some black ribbon to tie up Big Girl's sleeves. Man, I wish I knew how to work the sewing machine.

note: two seconds after I took this picture of Mommy's red Mickey Mouse shirt, I ruined it. Burlington's instructions recommend placing "ordinary paper over the image and ironing for 15 seconds to ensure good washability." When I did that, it melted the image onto the ordinary paper, making a big red and black gooey mess. :(

So Mommy won't have a matchy-matchy shirt.

The blue shirts were waaaay easier because instead of Iron-On transfers, I used hard-backed felt (the stiff kind) and my new favorite craft find, Therm O Web Double-Sided PeelnStick Adhesive. This stuff is cool. And easy! I cut my shape of Mickey's head out of zebra print stiff felt. Then I cut the same shape out of the adhesive, stuck the adhesive to the felt, stuck the felt to the shirt, and wha-la! Done. I added a cute little bow (made of ribbon and stuck on with PeelnStick) to Big Girl's Mickey, Minnie, I guess. And on Bubba's, I made one of those infamous Mickey ear hats out of a darker blue felt (not the stiff kind), and stuck it on with PeelnStick. I got Big Girl a zebra print hairbow to wear with this shirt.

Cute, right?

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go prepare my Parent of the Year award acceptance speech.