In a couple of short weeks we will be Disney bound! And I’m just going to say it…I think I’m more excited about it than my 3 year old. I haven’t been to Disney World since I was a kid. I know it’s a magical place for kids – and even for adults. I know a lot of adults choose Disney World as their honeymoon destination or as their romanic annual trip. And I’ve always wondered “why in heck would you go to Disney World without kids?” Well…I don’t know if it’s because I have a kid now or because I have done some extensive research on Disney…but I’m here to tell you that going to Disney without a kid is probably a pretty genius idea. I don’t know that I would actually ever go to Disney World child-less, but I am certainly looking forward to taking a Disney trip in a decade or so when we are totally stroller and nap free so I we can roam the magical wonders of Disney from sunrise to sunset and then some. I may be getting carried away – I’m obviously still in the planning phase of our Disney extravaganza. In a couple weeks, I may never want to hear the word Disney again. Kidding. I hope!

All magic aside – I’m actually really looking forward to our little Disney outing, because it will in fact by definition, ONLY be an outing. You see, we’ll be at Disney World for a mere 48 hours. We’ll be flying through Florida for our annual family beach trip and I moved mountains and oceans to make this little Disney detour possible. Our little guy is only three years old and really…he’s too young (in our opinion) to do a full fledged Disney trip.  So this will be a good chance for us to all get our feet wet and we can look forward to doing the full-meal-Disney-deal in a couple more years.

Once I got all the travel logistics plugged in, I dove in to planning our 48 hours of magic. And in this day and age, planning a Disney trip is pretty magical all on it’s own. The MyDisneyExperience app is amazing and addicting all in itself. Dining reservations, Fast Pass reservations, your travel itinerary, park maps, park events, etc…It’s all right there in the app and so easy to use. Disney did good. I’ll dish more on our Disney detour after we actually take the trip – and I’ll be sure to include any tips and surprises we find along our way.

Well in all my Disney planning (for our full 48 hours at the park) I could not neglect our wardrobe. So of course I jumped on Disney shirts. Because what kind of mother would I be if I didn’t have my family dressed in matching Disney shirts (gasssp!)? Actually I’d be a normal mother, but thanks to Pinterest and the unending creativity, the bar gets set pretty darn high. The idea of a DIY Disney shirt got my attention and for some reason I decided to make it my goal in life to make these shirts happen. They actually weren’t as difficult as I expected them to be. The most difficult part of the project was finding the actual shirts that were the quality, fit, color and size I needed for the three of us.

I used the “freezer paper method” to do Disney character silhouettes on our shirts. You can use this same method for ANY image you want to paint on your shirt. It doesn’t have to be a Disney character. Freezer paper is great for crafts – you can easily trace on it, cut it out, and it irons to fabric beautifully and then peels right off. Just follow these steps and you’ll have your customized shirt in no time.

Just a quick tip before you dive in: I used standard print paper at home to print Mickey because he was going on my child’s shirt. For the adult shirts, I enlarged the images a bit more and had my local print shop print them on larger legal size paper so the silhouette was more to scale with the size of shirt. See the print outs below: 

Materials You’ll Need:


  • Shirt(s)
  • Desired Image (Google “pumpkin carving mickey” for a good silhouette option)
  • Freezer Paper (can be found at your grocery store – near the foil paper)
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Fabric Paint (any color you choose)

And because this is very much a DIY project and I am learning as I go… You’ll also want need these items:

  • Sponge Brush
  • Xacto Knife
  • Large Cutting Board (or another hard surface)
  • Tape
  • Piece of Cardboard (to fit inside the shirt)
  • Iron



First thing to do is cut a piece of freezer paper off the roll. Start tracing your image on the freezer paper using the Sharpie – you want the waxy side of the freezer paper face DOWN. You want to trace on the matte side of the freezer paper. The waxy side of the paper will get ironed to the shirt.


Each of us picked our own Disney character.

After tracing the image on the freezer paper – fill in the blacked out areas of the image with your Sharpie (see below). Everything on the image that is black will be cut out and it will be filled in with paint. It took me a while to grasp the concept of this method. So if you’re not quite sure if you’re doing it right – just keep going. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.


Now, use the Xacto knife to cut out the image. This is a good time to whip out the large cutting board, if you haven’t already. It’s a good flat surface to work and cut on. You also want to cut the blacked out areas of the image. An Xacto knife really works wonders here – I don’t know if you could really use anything else to pull this job off.


Once it’s all cut out, pull out the shirt. Center your homemade stencil on the shirt just how you’d like it to appear. This is a good time to visualize what it will be painted on like. If you need to trim any areas, this is the time to do it. (If you see my stencil below, you’ll see that I  gypped Mickey out of his eyebrows. That’s a good example of cutting enough of the stencil to let the paint come through. In this case, definitely trim to adjust or plan to go back and fill in later with extra paint.)

Once it’s cut out just right, you may want to tape a few edges down to ensure that it doesn’t move. Now, carefully iron the freezer paper on to the shirt. The waxy side of the freezer paper will stick to the shirt making it 10 times easier to paint on. And then the paper will peel right off. It’s like magic paper.

And BEFORE you start painting…you’ll want to stick a piece of cardboard or an old book or a piece of canvas or any thing that will fit inside the shirt to prevent the paint from leaking through to the back side of the shirt.


Now close your eyes (kidding!) and start painting. I think I actually did close my eyes. Or held my breath. Or winced in pain from the pressure. Point is – I was nervous at this point. It was a moment of truth. Would I or wouldn’t I ruin this shirt?


Fill in every nook and cranny of the stencil with paint – especially the edges. Once it looks pretty well covered, let it rest and dry for a couple hours.


After a couple hours (and the paint has dried), carefully peel off the freezer paper. Get all the pieces of paper peeled off. If all went well, you should be left with the exact image you printed out now gleaming beautifully on your t-shirt.

If you notice a few spots or lines that aren’t as dark or filled in as you’d like, don’t stress it. Just get an ultra-teeny-tiny-fine paint brush, dip it in a little bit of your fabric paint and very carefully darken the lines or fill in any gaps that didn’t quite come through.


And there you have it! After the first one is done, it really goes much faster and it’s easier to cut out the stencil since you know exactly what you’re doing. The more detailed the image is, the more difficult it will obviously be to trace and cut. The hubby decided he wanted to be Goofy and I’ll be honest, Goofy was by far the most difficult to cut out. I did the best I could but, I definitely had to go back with a tiny brush and fill in some lines. Just like Mickey’s eyebrows – I felt bad for the poor guy, so I added a little paint to his brow line. Much better!


We are officially Disney ready!!






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