DIY Disney Shirts (what all the most fashionable toddlers are wearing to WDW these days)

If you are just here for the tutorial feel free to scroll down, otherwise forgive me for a short digression. Labor Day weekend has past, which apparently means that summer is officially over (whatever the calendar might say) and fall activities are kicking off. If anyone wonders whether
“stay-at-home-moms” get busier when school starts even when they don’t have kids in school, let me answer with a resounding YES. This week we start our new community group (which Chris and I are co-leading and hosting), have an open house for Charlotte’s Mother’s Day Out program (she’s going to be attending Adventureland at our church one day a week), have our first MOPS meeting with steering team meeting/set-up the night before (my co-coordinator just had a baby, but my team is wonderful and I’m sure everything will go smoothly…), attend a wedding of some good friends (don’t worry, I plan to keep Charlotte out of the ceremony and just go to the reception), oh, and my parents are moving in with us on Sunday (temporarily). But, if I can somehow make it through this week, next Monday we will board a plane and fly to Orlando for a magical stay at Disney World! Hopefully I can find some time to pack…
As you know (if you’ve followed this blog at all) I’m somewhat of a compulsive planner. I’m trying my hardest not to plan out this trip to every detail, so that I can let Baby Girl dictate our pace and won’t be disappointed if we don’t cross everything off my arbitrary list. To distract myself from my lack of planning I decided to make shirts for C to wear to each park. I’ve seen pins on Pinterest (like this one) where crafty moms take ordinary t-shirts and turn them into princess dresses for their little darlings. I wasn’t quite so ambitious, but I was inspired by some of this Disney and Pixar minimalist artwork and this tutorial for making Disney appliqued onesies. I googled a bunch of images of various Disney characters and icons, found a some tank tops on sale at Old Navy (yay for summer clearance and having our vacation to FL in September), and raided my stash of fabric scraps. The results are pretty cute, if I do say so myself, and C is certain to be the only little girl wearing these designs! 🙂


  • colored tank tops or t-shirts
  • templates for various Disney and Pixar icons (I printed them out on cardstock, which is easier to trace around, then cut them out. Hopefully I won’t get sued for copyright infringement).
  • Scraps of fabric
  • heat ‘n bond
  • scissors
  • iron
  • sewing machine (I went ahead and stitched around the appliques to make them a bit more durable, but I don’t think you have to)


  1. Decide which characters/pictures you want to use. Since you will just see the outline these need to be pretty simple and recognizable (Minnie’s ears, for example, which are known the world over).
  2. Search google for the image you want, save it to your computer, then print it out on cardstock. I’m a bit fuzzy on the copyright laws here, but I’m thinking as long as you are just using the image for personal use and aren’t trying to sell it you should be ok. Plus you won’t be using the actual picture, just  the outline of it, so logically it should be fine, right?
  3. Cut out a piece of heat ‘n bond that is a bit larger than your image, and iron it onto the wrong side of your fabric scrap (make sure it’s the WRONG side…otherwise you have to start over. Voice of experience.)
  4. Trace the outline of your image onto the heat n’ bond (be sure to turn it backwards if it matters, like with lettering. With most of my images it didn’t matter) then cut it out with sharp fabric scissors.
  5. Peel off the backing and iron the applique onto the shirt (make sure you follow the directions on the package, though I noticed that sometimes I had to hold the iron down a bit longer to get the applique to adhere.) Give it a few seconds to cool, then test the edge of the applique to make sure it stuck. If it didn’t, you can try the iron again (mine mostly worked the second time if they didn’t the first).
  6. Sew around the edge of the applique with your sewing machine. I used matching thread because I liked the clean look (and if I messed up it wouldn’t show) but you could use contrasting thread if you’re really brave. 🙂 The instructions said to use a zig-zag stitch, but I preferred the look of the straight stitch better, and don’t mind if the edges pull up and look a bit ragged. Adds to the charm. 🙂

That’s it! This is such and easy way to make unique shirts for special occasions. Baby onesies and bibs are especially cute.
Want to see the finished products? Of course you do! 🙂

 Ariel’s tail disappearing into the waves…

Ariel’s tail disappearing into the waves
Baby Incredible

Classic Minnie

Modern Minnie
Nemo and Dory (or Marlin and Dory to be more accurate)
Cinderella’s glass slipper

For this one (my favorite of course) I picked a white on white pattern, and I really love the detail.

Yes, I made a different one for each day. Yes, I’ve planned which one she will wear to which park. I can’t help myself people.  In fact, I may have gotten just a little carried away…

I promise the matching Incredibles shirts were my husband’s idea. 🙂
So I think we’re ready. At least Baby Girl will look adorable, even in the midst of a meltdown (which we are hoping to avoid, but you never know). I can’t promise I’ll have time to get back on the blog before we leave (see first paragraph) but I will definitely be posting on instagram (#Baransmagicalmemories) and I’m sure I’ll have lots of material for several posts after we get back. We’ve got ears, say cheers!

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