We did it.
We took the kids to Disney World.
The last time we made the journey to the “Happiest Place on Earth”, Christopher was 6. He loved it, aside from the usual meltdowns associated with not being tall enough to ride various rides, and ignoring the middle of the day meltdowns from being tired, hot and sweaty. I enjoyed it because he enjoyed it, but I didn’t feel the need to go ever again. I figured a kid should go once, and that was enough.
But then His Majesty was born, and with a 10 year gap between him and Christopher, there was a shrinking window of when we could go and have both kids enjoy themselves without making it too miserable on my husband and myself. Don’t get me wrong, Disney World is great, but we’re not exactly “Disney people”, and running through theme parks with a toddler in a stroller isn’t exactly our idea of relaxing, but as with most things, we’re willing to do it for our kids to enjoy it. Plus, my Grandma had never been, so that added some extra incentive on my end. Next to watching my kids experience something new, I absolutely love taking her on new adventures.
In preparation for our trip, I took the opportunity to make His Majesty a few Mouse themed t-shirts using a freezer paper stencil method I’d pinned from Urban Pioneer Story. You won’t believe how easy this it was.
I started with two plain cotton t-shirts that I bought at Hobby Lobby for $6. His Majesty chose the colors– he wanted a pink and a blue. I printed the mouse ear profile on regular paper, and cut it out with scissors, and then traced it onto the dull side of a sheet of freezer paper (which I purchased at the grocery store in a huge roll for under $5), and cut it out with a razor knife, giving me an intact stencil. Then, I ironed it, shiny side DOWN, onto the shirt, resulting in this:
You want to leave a little extra freezer paper around your stenciled shape, to allow you to easily paint while protecting the clean part of the shirt. Next, I put a sheet of cardboard inside the shirt (I used an empty cereal box folded down to be flat), and used a round sponge paint brush to apply black fabric paint to the inside of the stencil. At the edges I pressed down with the brush, and brushed towards the inside of the shape, to keep from moving the edges of the stencil. I painted two coats, letting it dry for about an hour in between coats.
The next day, I peeled the freezer paper off, leaving me with this.
Oh boy. I was excited. And so was His Majesty.
But for the pink shirt, I decided that I wanted to try something a little different, using spray paint, gaining inspiration from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. So this time, I used the shape of the ears as my stencil, and painted around them with spray paint (again, be sure you put a piece of cardboard inside of the shirt, as the paint will soak through). I held my hand about 10 inches away, and sprayed a light coat of paint, keeping my arm moving the whole time to avoid blotches and drips.
His Majesty was pleased as well.
I liked the results of the spray paint method so much that I decided to do it on the back of his blue shirt as well. You can only use each stencil once, so I cut another one out. It’s so easy, though, that it’s hardly a big deal.
And that’s how I made two shirts for Disney World in a breathable fabric (helpful, given that it was 90 degrees and all kinds of humid during our trip… I was melting, MELTING!!) for a fraction of the cost we’d pay at the park. And, these are one of a kind. I’m proud of them, and His Majesty loves them. For the record, I offered to make some for Christopher, but he deemed himself too cool for them. He did, however, request that I make him a shirt with The Hunger Games symbol to go with his Halloween costume– He’s going as Peeta.
This method is amenable to any shape that you want to create. You can do words, names, whatever your heart desires. Once you have your paint and your freezer paper, you can probably even make a shirt for everyone in your family with supplies left to spare. Birthday shirts for your little one? Done. Shirts to show support for your kid’s Little League team? Done. Bring it on, baby. The sky is the limit with the freezer paper stencil shirts!
I made one other cool thing for our Disney trip, and also did some preplanning for our trip that saved me a little money and gave my kids some extra fun along the way. Stay tuned for more on that this week