Monday, May 6, 2013

Disneyland Mini Album Tutorial

Where to start...  
My absence wasn't very polite and perhaps my Disney Passport/ guidebook/ memory album will give you something to play with and shed some insight as to why I have been distracted.

During the month of April, my husband and I whipped together an amazing adventure to Disneyland to celebrate his last chemotherapy treatment after a year of horrible medications, side effects and over-all stress on our family.  While they hadn't detected any sign of his disease for 6 months, the doctors feared he may relapse so they had extended his drug cocktail twice, making a 26 month treatment into 50.  It was finally over and we wanted to punctuate this marker for our children who had seen their daddy sick, depressed and exhausted.

It was to be a surprise so I was busy behind closed doors making mini albums, packing goodie bags and creating all kinds of treats.  The biggest project was creating "Disney Passports" (mini albums) for the kids.

The Disney Passports included maps to both Disneyland and California Adventure and descriptions of all the rides in both parks that were age appropriate and would be in operation during our visit.  What I mean is that I did not include baby/ toddler rides because I was trying to conserve space and did not include the rides I knew were closed for renovation so they wouldn't be disappointed.

Each Park and Land had a tab and I included the schedules of the various parades and shows.  There were extra pages for notes and ephemera and there was also a pocket page with six little baggys containing shiny pennies and a quarter so they could put them in those machines to get them stamped into a souvenir. FYI - those machines now cost $.50, not a quarter.

I also created coupons for both days we would be in the park in anticipation of bickering.  Unbeknownst to me, Disney magic cures all sibling fussiness.  The constant arguing I have come to know and HATE never showed its face, not once, during our entire vacation.

Disney Passport / Memory Book Tutorial

  • The exterior cover was made with chipboard'ish material (which means semi-pliable). I wanted to have an extended lip on the edges of the cover preventing the tabs from sticking out too far and getting smashed or peeled off so I used the back page of a K&Co paper pad which is 12 x  12.75" in size. There was a hole punched at the top for retail display purposes, which I planned to use for a ribbon to hold the book closed.
  • I folded the chipboard with the rough side up so that the slick white side became the interior cover pages. NOTE - I attempted to score the chipboard (even lightly with a craft knife) but I still ended up with the crinkly fold and uneven edges. The paper cover and the interior bulk would make this fact irrelevant so don't stress if you run into the same problem.
  • I used navy blue glittered paper - Joanns brand, to cover the chipboard.  The paper was 12 x 12.5" because of the extra strip at the end.  Since the paper was shorter than the chipboard and would also need to be extra wide to account for the spine and bulk of the book, I ended up trimming .25" off of each end of the chipboard leaving the chipboard sheet at 12 x 12.25. The hole was now very close to the edge because I had trimmed off .25" so I adhered a paper reinforcement dot before I put the cover paper on the chipboard.
  • I used Tombow liquid glue to adhere the paper to the chipboard (while it was unfolded) edge to edge leaving a 1/8" lip on both edges. I did this while the glue was still wet and then folded the book with the paper (un-scored) so that the paper slid into place.  I then punched a hole in the paper over the chipboard hole in the card stock.
  • I covered Maya Road chipboard stars with yellow card stock, inked, printed the Mickey with each child's name, etc. and used my circle punch to the cut the hand made logo out. 
  • All of the information in the booklet came directly from the Disneyland website.  I just copied it, then pasted it in a MS Word document using "Paste Special"-> Unformatted Text.  This converted the HTML with assigned font, font size and other formatting into my default settings in word.
  • I printed the passport information (see below) on 8.5 x 11 paper.  To get the booklet formatting, I selected "Print"-> "Properties" (on the print screen) -> then on the "Duplex/Booklet' drop down menu, I selected "Booklet" and MS Word automatically converted the document so that the pages were split in half and correlated into proper order when layered and folded.
  • I folded each page in half and used my bone folder to flatten the creases to eliminate as much bulk at possible.  
  • I used my long arm stapler to staple on the spine and Voila', I had a "signature". 
  • I attached the booklet to the cover with a rubber band through the middle of the signature.  
  • To cover up the rubber band and add some customized embellishment, I tied a large red ribbon in the same manner.  I attached hand made charms to the ribbon with their initials, stars and hearts using trimmed ball chains and large jump rings.
  • I tied a long but thin red ribbon in the front cover hole which I used to wrap around the book several times and tuck to hold it as closed as it good go.
The Maps
  • I printed the maps on 8.5 x 11" paper and used my xyron to laminate them.
  • I scored down the middle on both sides, then folded the maps in half, using my bone folder to enforce the crease.
  • I adhered the maps onto the interior covers using Tombow liquid glue.
The Tabs
  • I printed the tabs on "Printable Self-Adhesive Tabs" by Avery (16280 - 1 1/2" x 1")
  • I had a heck of a time with the formatting and eventually called Avery to help me.  The downloadable MS Word formatting template is on this page on the left.
  • I printed each park and land on the tabs and adhered them to the pages.
Below is a link to the PDF of these books which you are welcome to download.   If you would like to share this information on your blog, instead of copy and pasting this info, please post a link to my site. 

The books are formatted to print as booklets and double sided.  I don't know how that will work if you do not have a printer that prints front and back.  Perhaps you can change the formatting in Adobe.  If not, leave a comment saying you would like me to email you a copy in MS word so you can manipulate the settings.

Below is the link to the PDF of the park maps that are edited to accompany the guide.  I edited out the legends to keep the map size large enough to read and pasted the legends into the content (included in the PDF above). 

I also put together goodie bags for the kids to carry in the park. It is amazing how many Disney characters can be found on everyday products!

I bought the backpacks (blue, pink) and cups (blue, pink) on Amazon and the tissue, wipes, autograph books and fans came from the Dollar Tree.  The T-shirts came from the Disney store in our mall (2 for $20).  The blue backpack was plain (I ordered a green one for me and am still using it as a purse) so I ordered the "Abu" patch (Aladdin's monkey friend) and ironed it on (VERY CAREFULLY) to make it "Disney".

I gave the kids these bags and books when we told them we were going to Disneyland.  The "reveal" was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip and we have it all on video!

This chapter has so much more to it which I'm thinking about sharing on a Disney specific page.  I searched and searched for information about Disney before we went and I just love to share what I know.  what I will tell you is that this trip was one of the the most amazing experiences of my life (in my top 10 for sure!) and I have been floating with true joy; that kind of joy that sometimes evades me for months at a time; ever since we got home.  Even after a new chapter of our life began...

I am sad to say that one week after we returned from Disneyland the results of my husband's final blood work came back and his disease has returned. It appears to have mutated and is drug resistant to the most powerful drug protocol available at this time.

Please keep us in your prayers.  We are spiritual people and believe that God blessed us this once-in-a-lifetime vacation together.  It seems silly to credit a trip Disneyland in the face of a terminal illness but I guess that is why they call it the Magical Kingdom.


  1. Hi, Jilliene -- I've been following you via RSS feed for a while now, but have never commented on your blog. I couldn't NOT, today. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's health, and I'm so glad you had a wonderful memory-making trip, and I will absolutely pray for you. May your family know peace and healing and God's all-sufficient grace and deep and abiding love for you as you continue to walk with Him down this difficult path....

    1. Thank you so much Labra... I am a big believer in the power of prayer and I am so touched by your kind words. After the challenges of last year I know that we have the strength and grace to walk through anything. I am also so happy that you have been following my blog! I am sure I will have great news to report as time goes on no matter what happens. there are gifts everywhere!

  2. I had tears in my eyes through your whole video. I was so happy for your family to be going to Disney. Disney is magical and those memories will live on with your children for the rest of their lives. That was an amazing gift you and your husband were able to give them, and they did seem to appreciate it very much. I wish the results your husbands results upon your return would have been better. I will pray pray for your family during this difficult time. I wish I would have had a support system during a similar circumstance.