Don’t Throw Out Those Old Disney World Souvenirs Just Yet…

Disney Vacation Club

Several years ago, I played a game at a Disney Vacation Club meeting and won some cool DVC stuff, like a lunch bag, a bottle cover, and a license plate frame. That frame has graced my license plate for so long, the sun bleached out the letters. I contemplated throwing it away, but I have a hard time getting rid of sentimental items. Sound familiar?! After a quick peek on eBay, there are currently none of these frames for sale. And those DVC games are long gone.

The DVC license plate frames were never for sale to begin with, but it seems I can’t buy one if I wanted. Now this has turned into a cheapskate dilemma.

Making a Disney World Scrapbook? Get These Disney Google Maps for FREE!

So what did I do with it?

[Read more…]

Create this Swirly Mickey Mouse Picture Frame for One Dollar!

how to paint Mickey Mouse craft

Updated for 2016

Gather the kids around your kitchen table and get ready for a Disney-inspired craft. What supplies do you need? Some craft paints and a $1 craft/picture frame from Michael’s Craft Store. Google images is swamped with photos and clip art of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. When I paint these inexpensive frames, I pick an image I feel like I can fairly easily reproduce. As you will see from my photos, I am certainly not an artist. I never took a single art class, and as a high school teacher, when I draw anything on the board, students laugh, and not because what I drew was funny on purpose. If I can do it, it’s time to grab your pencil and take a chance!

And since you are using Google images, you are not just freestyle drawing on your own. You are simply copying what you see. I’ve even cut out pieces to trace on frames before. Fee free to use whatever shortcuts you need to get the job done. So let me show you what my 4th grade level art skills produced for one dollar. I don’t count the cost of paint or Mod Podge because it would be pennies given the small amount I used.

Want a Fun Disney Craft? Check Out These FREE “paperman” Paper Dolls!

This is the image I found on Google that I started with. This is pretty simple in terms of Mickeys.

Mickey Mouse drawing

This is the frame I started with, which is just a plain wooden craft frame from Michael’s. I like buying Michael’s frames because many of them only cost one dollar. Hobby Lobby frames are nice but generally more expensive, and I’m not convinced the frames are any higher in quality to justify the inflated price.

Michaels crafts for kids

I started drawing Mickey and immediately drew a line wrong and had to erase it. And that’s ok. If you draw like me, you’ll erase many lines before you’re finished. I put the image in front of me and started copying. My particular eraser left marks. If would be a great suggestion to make sure you have an eraser that doesn’t leave marks, but you’ll see that in the end, even my messy eraser marks turned out just fine.

Love Disney Inspired Jewelry? Head to Etsy!

11759602_10203327041177158_453083071_n

One of the hardest things to draw freehand are circles, and I’m offering absolutely no tips for that. I grabbed two cups from my kitchen and cheated = traced Mickey’s ears.

drawing Mickey Mouse tutorial

So my frame is a mess at this point, which I photographed so you will understand when I say, it’s ok to make mistakes. Unless you are a professional artist, which I clearly am not, then you will  mess up and have erasure marks.

cheap Disney inspired art project for $1

You can see here where I traced my ears one size, looked at them, erased what I had, and then I traced them again. Beige paint is coming up, and its arrival will rescue your frame. Trust me!

Cheapskate Tips to Save Money on Disney’s Characters In Flight

Make your own Disney World vacation picture frames

This frame has a black and white appearance because the only colors used were beige, black and gray.

Using the beige color, you will now start to paint over all any erasure marks on Mickey’s face and fill in the background color. What looked pretty messy starts to perk up, and you suddenly don’t feel like such an art class failure.

Make your own Mickey Mouse picture frame

You’ll notice Mickey looks more polished when you finish with the beige paint.

Once you’re done with beige, start to fill in with the black paint. Black, being so dark, is really tough to paint over, so I use a smaller brush for greater accuracy. If you do paint over the lines, just use your beige paint to fix it.

Raise your hand if these eyes briefly reminded you of Pac-Man!

Mickey Mouse Disney cheap art projct

how to paint Mickey Mouse Disney art project

I simply mixed the black paint with the beige to make gray and added swirls and lines somewhat similar to the original. The original Mickey was created by a professional artist somewhere and my skills can not compete, so I didn’t even try. I just made it my own.

Your swirls do not have to be all that neat and tidy, because once you give up on the idea of your painting looking as perfect as the original, you give yourself some mental flexibility. Plus you don’t notice messiness as much from a distance anyway.

Over 190 Disney World Tips for Kids!

How to draw Mickey Mouse

I added more swirls and background designs.

Mickey Mouse clip art

Your final step is to take a large paint brush and coat your frame several times in Mod Podge for a protective coating and a shiny finish.

And voila, a pretty great Swirly Mickey Mouse picture frame, if I do say so myself.

Mickey Mouse picture frams craft

And the best part is your frame will cost just a tad over one dollar, given I already had the paint and Mod Podge.

Like to see another frame that’s pretty easy to make? Use this link:

Make Your Own Disney Inspired Picture Frames for Super Cheap!

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you looking for cheap wooden frames in craft stores, Mickey on your mind…

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Make Your Own Disney Inspired Picture Frames for Super Cheap!

Mickey Mouse picture frame craft copy

Updated for 2016!

I sure love Disney them park picture frames, but I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t purchase many because they are all priced over $20, and if memory serves, some float up into the $40 range. That’s really not a tremendous amount of money to pay for a souvenir, especially in a fantasyland of gifts that can leap into the thousands, but I’m always on the lookout for a cheaper alternative.

Are you looking for a fun family craft? Head down to the Wal-mart craft section, Micheal’s or Hobby Lobby and check out the unpainted wooden picture frames. My personal preference is Wal-mart, because most of the frames I buy there are $1. Seriously…wooden picture frames for one dollar.

Get These Disney Inspired Frozen Paper Dolls – Free!

disney painting crafts

I like to use a light sandpaper on the edges of the frame, because inexpensive wood frames don’t aways have the smoothest edges.

I’m a pretty good crafter, but I am not all that original. I’ve found the best place to find ideas for painting is Google images.

This frame didn’t look all that hard to replicate, with just straight lines and circles, so I traced out what I wanted. I used quarters to make the yellow button circles, and the quarter and a Chapstick top for the Mickey head circles at the top of the frame.

Mickey Mouse craft ideas

Making a Disney World Scrapbook? Get These Disney Google Maps for FREE!

Deciding that painting ultra-thin circles with a brush would be really difficult, I used fabric paint in the little squeeze bottles. They may not be completely circular up close, but they are pretty close to circular from a distance.

Fabric paint dries just as well on wood as it would on fabric, in fact maybe even better since it’s a completely flat and less movable surface.

make a Disney inspired picture frame

Disney crafts

And the final product.

Mickey Mouse picture frame

Cool Disney World Pressed Penny Jewelry!*

Everything Mickey-themed uses black, red, and yellow, which you notice quickly when you search Google images.

mickey mouse craft ideas

I bought this wooden Christmas ornament from Michael’s, usually priced at $4.99 but was marked at half off after Christmas, and so it ended up being around $2.50. And in keeping with the Mickey colors, I started painting.

wooden Christmas ornaments

craft ideas for Disney moms

I used two wooden circles I had saved (my husband said translate this as hoarded) from some project at one time or another and painted them black. You can guess where this is headed.

Mickey Mouse picture frame

This is the final product, which I believe would have looked completely different with a Christmas color scheme and no extra black circles. It would have looked way…less…Mickey. 

Mickey MouseChristmas decoration

12 Totally Cool Ideas to Replace Your Usual Disney Character Autograph Books*

When you Google Minnie Mouse, you get a lot of red and pink images.

Minnie Mouse craft ideas

I drew out the next two frames, one inspired by Mickey and one by Minnie, and then just added the pink bow to the traditional Mickey color scheme. It looks red with my camera phone, but I pinky swear the bow is truly pink.

I realize that Mickey’s buttons should be more oval that round, but oval is tough to reproduce and circular is not when you use an object to trace. I and a big-time tracer. 

Disney Mom art projects

Now add some color. Did I mention that bow is really pink?! It really is.

make a Minnie Mouse handmade picture frame

Mickey and Minnie picture frames

make your own Disney character picture frames

I filled in the colored circles with fabric paint, because this gave the frame a raised texture. You could always use regular paint.

Easy DIY Mickey Mouse French Manicure Instructions for a Cheapskate Princess

And then I tried to step it up a bit. This picture looked more difficult than anything I finished before it.

Mickey Mouse Andy Warhol

I use a Mac laptop, and I made the size smaller and actually traced the shape off the screen. Then I traced it onto the frame, making a few adjustments before I went any further.

Disney World picture frame

Mickey Mouse picture frame

Then I just started filling in the drawing with paint. I always work my way from the outside in. Mickey’s face is often a flesh color or white, and I decided this looked better in white like the original.

painting Mickey Mouse

Instead of a plain red background, I added some lines of brown and yellow paint in for a streaked look. I mixed those colors with red so it blended in.

FREE Instructions for a Disney Villain Manicure*

I outlined the Mickey face with the fabric paint, and in places where it was bit blobby or too wide, I just went back and edged it with white paint.

Mickey Mouse picture frame craft

The cost…

For the three wooden frames pictures above, I am almost certain I paid $1 for each one. I had a full box of paint and paint brushes to work with already, so that didn’t cost me anything extra. But what if you have none of that and have to purchase paint and brushes? I would say budget $10-15.

Any paint supplies you have left will be available for use with your next arts and crafts project. I did a lot of crafts when my children were younger, so some of these bottles and containers of paints were over 10 years old. I gave the fabric paint a good shake, and some of the regular paints needed some extra water added. Most of these paints then worked just fine after 8 – 10 years. I would therefore say my paints were a good investment for my money.

Mickey Mouse Decorating on a Cheapskate Princess Budget!

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you in the crafts section, picking out frames and red & black paint.

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Want a Fun Disney Craft? Check Out These FREE “paperman” Paper Dolls!

Paperman Paper Dolls

Updated for 2016!

Paperman is a short black-and-white animated romantic comedy produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2012. The short film blended traditional and computer animation, and it won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 85th Academy Awards. Paperman was the first animated short film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios to win this award since It’s Tough to Be a Bird in 1970.

If you haven’t seen the short film lately, or perhaps at all, stop now, grab the kids, and take a quick look.

Cory, from Paper Dolls by Cory Jensen, runs a fantastic Facebook group featuring paper doll designs you can print off for free. You’ll find links for the other sets of free paper dolls at the bottom of this page.  Cory described the short video as, “a truly heartwarming love story!” He said in this paper doll set, he hoped to capture the look and feel of the film, including the use of line, lighting, and of course staying true to the original by using only black and white with red accents. “I had to do a lot of research on this set for the outfits, as Meg and George are only seen in one outfit each.”

These paper dolls would be perfect for a rainy day craft you could do with your girls or a project they could do at the kitchen table while you cook dinner. You can find Paper Dolls By Cory using this link.

12 Totally Cool Ideas to Replace Your Usual Disney Character Autograph Books

Free Disney Paper Dolls

paper dolls

Disney paper dolls

Paperman by Disney

This is a quick and easy set of free “paperman” paper dolls, and if you would like other sets, use these links.

Love Disney Kid’s Crafts? Check Out These FREE Maleficent Paper Dolls!

For Your Princesses…Free Disney Inspired Paper Dolls!

Get These Disney Inspired Frozen Paper Dolls – Free!

Paper Man Disney paper dolls

 Cory said to make the paper dolls, simply click on the photo, and press print on your computer. That’s way easier than dealing with an iPhone.

A couple of tips to make things easier for you.

*Paste the doll on card stock so it will last longer.

*Save this page somewhere on your computer. If you need to reprint any outfits, you’ll be able to locate them quickly.

*Head over to Paper Dolls By Cory to see what new designs he is currently working on. Disney VIPs are not the only dolls he draws, and we plan to share all the Disney creations he has.

Let’s give a HUGE thanks to Cory for allowing us to share his designs. It’s impossible to look at these amazing paper dolls and not think about what an amazing talent he has!

Paper Dolls by Cory Jensen

Now after you finish with the paper dolls, break out the fingernail polish and whip up a Disney inspired manicure.

Easy DIY Mickey Mouse French Manicure Instructions for a Cheapskate Princess

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

 

Enjoy reading Cheapskate Princess articles? Here is the best way to make sure you keep up with all the cheapskating Disney news. Over on the right side of this page, the right side of any Cheapskate Princess article, and you will find this box.

email

Simply type your e-mail address in the blue box, and you will then receive a confirmation e-mail. Once you confirm your e-mail subscription, several times a week, Cheapskate Princess articles will appear in your e-mail in-box, just like Disney magic, and it’s totally free to sign up.

You don’t have to be a cheapskate to know that…is a real bargain.

Get These Disney Inspired Frozen Paper Dolls – Free!

Cory Jensen paper dolls

Paper dolls have been around seemingly forever, invented just after paper was invented. In Europe, the first paper dolls were made during the mid-18th century. McLoughlin Brothers, founded in early 1800 and the largest American producer of paper dolls of that era, was sold to Milton Bradley in the 1920s. This is when paper dolls really became popular in the U.S. Movie stars and celebrities became the focus in the early days of paper dolls in America. While paper dolls are not as popular in our current age of Play Stations and iPhones, maybe it’s time to introduce your children or grandchildren to a toy you probably played with as a child.

At Cheapskate Princess, we love anything FREE. It’s pretty hard to come by free these days without there being strings attached. So when I found Paper Dolls by Cory Jensen, a Facebook group featuring paper doll designs you could print for free, I was tripping over myself to get permission to share them with our readers. You can find Paper Dolls By Cory using this link. Let’s get to his amazing dolls, and then we’ll tell you how he says to take them from computer to your child’s hands.

Making a Disney World Scrapbook? Get These Disney Google Maps for FREE!

Elsa and Anna Disney Frozen paper dolls

Disney paper dolls

Anna Disney paper doll

Disney anna doll

Elsa Frozen Disney paper doll

Jean Gillmore Frozen dress designs

Disney World Pressed Penny Jewelry Fit for a Disney Princess!

And so we don’t forget the little boys out there, who are probably irritating sisters and complaining about princess dresses, here are the Frozen gentlemen!

kristoff and Hans Disney paper dolls

Frozen kristoff and Hans Disney paper dolls

12 Totally Cool Ideas to Replace Your Usual Disney Character Autograph Books

Cory designed outfits for the characters to wear to Anna and Kristoff’s wedding. 

paper doll for Anna and Kristoff's wedding

Anna and Elsa Disney paper dolls

Disney's Frozen paper dolls

Easy DIY Mickey Mouse French Manicure Instructions for a Cheapskate Princess

Cory said these gowns were designed by Jean Gillmore as concept art for the film. He fell in love with these designs when I first saw them, and then he had to make outfits for the dolls inspired by her work. 

Disney Frozen Paper Dolls

Cory said to use the paper dolls, simply click on the photo, and press print on your computer. That’s way easier than dealing with an iPhone.

A couple of tips to make things easier for you.

  • Paste the doll on card stock so it will last longer.
  • Save this page somewhere on your computer. If you need to reprint any outfits, you’ll be able to locate them quickly.

FREE Instructions for a Disney Villain Manicure

Paper Dolls by Cory Jensen

Head over to Paper Dolls By Cory to see what new designs he is currently working on. Disney VIPs are not the only dolls he draws, although we plan to share all the Disney creations he has. And a HUGE thanks to Cory for allowing us to share his designs. It’s impossible to look at these amazing paper dolls and not think about what an amazing talent he has!

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you at the kitchen table, scissors in hand, Disney music on the iPod, creating some memories with your kids.

 

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

12 Disney Craft Ideas from Pinterest for the Disney Princess on a Budget!

where to find do it yourself Disney World crafts

Updated for 2016!

It’s expensive to be a Disney Princes, all those ball gowns and tiaras, the upkeep on the castle. What’s an ordinary gal to do if the Fairy Godmother hasn’t dropped a money tree into our back yard if we want to decorate our homes and bodies in cute Disney inspired stuff? We have to get a little crafty, try some DIY/Do It Yourself projects rather than drop a fortune in the Disney Resort gift shops and the Disney Store online. We can head off to our happy place and make some cool stuff.

Cheapskate Princess on Pinterest

[Read more…]

Making Your Own Disney World T-Shirts: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Mickey Mouse Premium Ice Cream bar shirt, ice cream bars, Disney ice cream bars, Disney World ice cream bar t-shirts

Updated for 2017!

There’s probably not a Disney World t-shirt I haven’t given a look-over, held the fabric between my fingers, and pondered if there was enough cash in my vacation budget to bring it home. Some I liked more than others, but it seems for a few minutes, I liked them all. What can you do if the money just isn’t there to but your family Disney shirts that start at around $20 and sometimes soar over $40? How about make your own! [Read more…]