DIY Disney Project Ideas for Crafty Types

5 Dec

Sometimes it’s tough for Disney geeks to find the right wardrobe . . . there’s plenty of stuff out there emblazoned with our beloved characters, but perhaps it’s not quite in keeping with our personal aesthetics. Or maybe it’s out of our price ranges. Or, well, maybe we just like to spend a bit of time with our sewing machines, or with a tub of fabric paint.

I’m very new to crafting, but thanks to books like Sew Subversive and a wonderful lesson from a local sewing machine shop, I’ve been having fun customizing clothing and starting to design a few pieces of my own. Having caught the crafty fever, I’d like to show off a few of the things I’ve made and perhaps inspire you to DIY a few pieces of your own.


One easy way to get started is to grab a few patches and customize clothing you already own (or can obtain cheaply). I noticed this summer at Disneyland that they’ve got some great patches out for Pirates of the Carribean. Disney is selling these patches as part of the “make your own pirate hat or bandana” package at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but you can also buy them separately — and they’re a pretty good deal, running about $2.50 per patch. Because they’re not designed for use on clothing, you might want to carefully remove the snap from the patches using an exacto knife, and then you’re ready to go.

In homage to the city-ablaze scene in Pirates, I made a hat and scarf out of fleece, using this pattern. I swear, it’s totally easy to sew! Including the patch, it took maybe 90 minutes to make the whole set.

Pirates fleece scarf and hat

Close-up on fleece pirates patch(click this and other thumbnails for better view of patch)

Also in that same set of patches, there’s an awesome little pink girly skull! This time, I scavenged fleece fabric from a major fashion mistake, a pink fleece I picked up super-cheap in the Dollar-A-Pound section of the Garment District (home base for Boston-based bargain fashionistas — email me if you want advice on when to go!). I also added a Ramones patch to the scarf to complete the look.

Pink skull fleece hat and scarf

Pink skull patch

Another patch in this same series worked well on a black Banana Republic shirt I found that same day on the crowded floor of Dollar-A-Pound:

Pirates shirt

Pirates patcho

Pirates not your thing? Shame on you! But over at Animal Kingdom, the Expedition Everest gift shop is all ready for you with a set of patches, designed for your iron-on convenience (I tend to sew them anyway . . . holds up better over multiple washings). Here’s a vest (once again from Dollar-A-Pound!), with a lovely Yeti patch.

Everest fleece vest

Everest fleece patch

Fabric Paints

Want to create your own designs? Make yourself a fabric stencil, grab some paint and a t-shirt, and you’re on your way. I made a Mickey Jolly Roger, which I’ve painted onto a couple shirts and a pair of jeans. Now, beware of copyright issues here . . . you can’t even think about selling this sort of thing. But in many cases you may be protected by the first amendment, especially if your design is satirical, as is my Pirate Mickey below.

Mickey pirate fabric paint jeans


The piece I’m proudest of so far is the Mickey Christmas hat. Totally simple.

Mickey Christmas hat

This was very simple to make, if you have basic improvisational sewing skills (or are willing to pick up that Sew Subversive book, and get yerself some skillz!). . . use a stocking cap as a pattern, cutting two pieces about the same size and shape of the cap but with about 1/2″ added on each side for seam allowance. Cut yourself out a pair of Mickey ears from black fleece, two pieces of fleece per ear so you can sew them together and stuff ’em, then sew into the main seam of the hat. Stuff them firmly enough that they’ll stand up straight when the hat is pulled on snugly.

If you find yourself interested in crafting, there are tons of web sites out there that can tell you way more than I can about how to get started, and how to move on to more advanced stuff. I hope I’ve whetted your appetite just a bit.

8 Responses to “DIY Disney Project Ideas for Crafty Types”

  1. materialmama December 11, 2006 at 3:19 pm #

    Those are wonderful! I’ve made outfits for my girls each year — minnie mouse red and white print peasant dresses, princess Twirly skirts etc. It makes the trip so fun! I’m going to bookmark your site for our next trip. Thanks!!!

  2. Kitty-chan December 11, 2006 at 7:23 pm #

    Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  3. paula July 19, 2007 at 8:22 pm #

    Can you please tell me more about this dollar a pound place in the garmet distirct and when to go?

    I am all excited about that kind of bargin.
    thank you in advance.

  4. Kitty-chan July 19, 2007 at 9:46 pm #

    Paula, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    Dollar-a-Pound is on the first floor of The Garment District, in Cambridge, MA, USA. This is not a shopping experience for the faint of heart . . . it’s huge piles of used clothing on the floor, which you pretty much just plop yourself down in and sort through until you find what you like. The new shipments are put out on Saturday mornings at 9AM, and most of the best picks are scooped up within the first 10 minutes or so.

    When you check out, your bag is weighed, and it costs $1.50 a pound for the first 35 pounds, and $1.00 a pound thereafter.

    I’ve found lots of great stuff there, both ready-to-wear and for refashioning, using as fabric for other projects, etc. Best deals ever!

  5. Thomas September 16, 2007 at 9:29 am #

    Thanks for the inspiration! I may have to pick up some patches on my next trip to make some fun fleece vests. Uh, wait, ummmm, I’m not crafty at all!

  6. Kitty-chan September 16, 2007 at 9:40 am #

    Thomas, dude, you can be crafty too! Pick up some Patch Attach glue and you’re all good.


  1. DIY Tinker Bell Shirt Appliqués « Broke Hoedown - May 1, 2008

    […] Patches, Fabric Paint, and a Fleece Hat […]

  2. Disney DIY: Mickey-fying a Used Handbag « Broke Hoedown - February 4, 2011

    […] really proud of my Disney Couture jeans re-construction projects from a couple years ago, and a few other projects that relied heavily on those re-purposed patches from Pirates of the Caribbean. That re-purposed Disney Couture Snow White jeans handbag I'm so proud […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: