Seashell Picture Frame

DIY Seashell Picture Frame

Seashell Picture Frame

It’s finally summer and family vacations, including beach trips, are in full swing. And I’m so excited to be back today to show you all how to make this fabulous little Seashell Picture Frame. This frame will be perfect to help commemorate your favorite beach memories! I used a photo from our cruise aboard the Disney Dream and just love it! So let’s quit stalling and get started!

What You’ll Need:

  • Old picture frame
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Brown and tan acrylic craft paints
  • Paint brush (sponge or brush)
  • Shells (please purchase from a craft store rather than taking directly from the beach)

Shell Picture Frame DIY

Decide where you want your shells to go BEFORE you glue them. Move them around until you have the best fit and the majority of the old frame is covered. You may also want to paint the entire frame your brown color before you glue if your picture frame is a bright or dark color. I didn’t with mine since it was so similar in color to my shells.

Once you’ve finished gluing your shells, give the inside and entire outer edge a coat of brown paint. Let dry.

You can use your paint drying time to warm up your glue gun. Once it’s dry and using your glue gun, squirt on glue to create a textured surface to the frame edges. This will eventually have a coral-like look! There’s no right or wrong way to do this. I just did little squiggles all around and made sure to not let it glob up too much in any one section.

Go ahead and give it a second coat of brown paint at this point to cover all the plastic-looking glue texture onto your Seashell Picture Frame.

Once it’s dry again, use your tan to lightly brush or sponge-paint the raised areas of the frame’s edges. (The texture you created with the glue gun). Once that’s dry, you’re done!

Seashell Picture Frame

And that’s it! Super simple and quick project that has a BIG impact. Please share with us if you make one too!! ~Meredith ºoº

 

Episode 77: Fish Extenders 101

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Fish Extenders 101

We’re back to take a closer look at a gift exchange that’s exclusive to DCL! From what they are to how you receive and give them, we’re here to discuss it all! Would you ever participate in a Fish Extender group?


If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know! And as always, for more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

Our next Disney cruise is 99 days away, and I’ve been super busy working on Fish Extender gifts. What’s a fish extender gift you ask? It’s an organized gift exchange on Disney cruises. You can read all about them here.

One of the cabin gifts I’ve been making for this cruise is Disney themed magnets. After working on these and finding out how super easy it was, I had to share it. This is such a versatile craft, and the options are truly limitless for what you can create. I worked with old Disney park maps, Disney cruise brochures (those turned out to be my favorite) and Disney scrapbook paper. You could also use pictures you’ve taken during Disney vacations, and make a truly unique keepsake.  Start to finish, these took me less than 30 minutes (not counting time for the glue to dry) and I made 20 magnets.

DIY Fish Extender Magnets are easy to make! This DIY project is simple and fun. It makes a great fish extender gift or gift for that Disney loving friend in your life. Check out how on our tutorial!

Supply List

  • 1 inch circle punch
  • Scrapbook paper, Disney park maps, brochures or stickers
  • Clear glass beads – you can find these in the floral section of most craft stores
  • Circle magnets
  • Modge podge
  • Craft glue
  • Foam brush

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

Instructions

Flip through your materials and pick out the images you want to turn into a magnet. Go through your papers, maps and brochures holding the glass stone over the images to see how they will look through the stone. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and step outside your comfort zone. If you mess up,  you can always try again! I found that some of my favorite finished magnets were images that placed by themselves are just part of an image, but when placed next to another magnet becomes part of a complete set.

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

Next, use your circle punch to cut out the image you want.

After punching out your image, put a coat of mod podge on the flat side of the glass stone.

Then, place your image face down on the mod podge. Wait 15 minutes or so for the glue to start to dry.

After the first layer of mod podge is almost dry, coat the back side of your image with another layer of mod podge. Allow it to dry completely. This will seal the back of the image and protect from water damage.

Upon ensuring the mod podge is 100% dry, then use the craft glue to add the magnet to the back of the stone. It should only take a few drops.

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

Let your project dry completely and enjoy your magnets!

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

I plan on packaging these up in sets of 4-5 magnets per cabin. These are easy enough that kids could help, or even manage to try some on their own.

DIY Fish Extender Magnets

I think they make a super cute, affordable and fun gift that will be a great reminder of our time at sea. Here are a few of our other Disney cruise inspired crafts if you want to check them out:

Disney Inspired Coasters

Disney Cruise Line Fan Graphic 

Happy crafting and cruising! ~Amy ºoº

Get Ready: Cruise Planning and Early Packing

Get Ready: Cruise Planning and Early Packing

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Hey howdy hey guys, guess what today is! Go ahead… If you guessed the anniversary of the Disney Dream’s maiden voyage, then you’d be absolutely right! And that couldn’t be more relevant for me because I am in full-on planning and packing mode. I’ve got just a few days before we head out for our whirlwind few days at WDW and MK and our much-anticipated Disney cruise aboard the Disney Dream. I can’t wait to share all the fun once we leave on our socials (facebook, instagram, twitter, & periscope) since I won’t be able to share here on the blog until I return. You can find us on periscope by searching for “mouse and monorail” in your app.

Join Me on My First Cruise

First things first. Come follow us on all our socials before I leave! I plan to do some fun periscopes around the Wilderness Lodge on Saturday night and may even broadcast some of the “peaceful serenity” that is Whispering Canyon. Haha!! (If you don’t know what I’m laughing at, go check out what the Whispering Canyon is all about here). I’ll be broadcasting via periscope as much as service will allow on Sunday in the Magic Kingdom so be sure to follow us ahead of time to get the notifications on your device! Additionally, I’m going to periscope as much as I can on the ship Monday and possibly our Castaway Cay day (Wednesday). SO don’t miss out!! Speaking of watching live, did you know that you can watch Port Canaveral live via their webcam? Yep, come watch me sail away!! Haha!

FE Sneak Peek!

Cruise Planning

Finally to cruise packing. Now, don’t go throwing your favorite swimsuit and sandals in the suitcase just yet! There are things that can and should be done well in advance of a few weeks (or less than a week in my case) of your sail date. And for me, this has been the most fun Disney trip I’ve ever planned. From meeting people who we’ll be cruising with online months in advance via fb, to creating unique gifts to exchange through the fish extenders, to planning the ultimate “best friends” day at the Magic Kingdom for my kids and their best friends (who just so happen to be going with us! Whoo hoo!!) I can hardly contain my excitement!!

Cruise Packing Preview

Early Packing

But planning and packing isn’t always easy and some things that need to be done can get overlooked until it’s too late. And with a Disney cruise specifically, there are certain things you’ll want to do well in advance of your sail date. After booking, you can decide if you’d like to participate in Fish Extenders, and if so find your sail date group on fb and sign up. Check out Sarah’s amazing post on 5 things to know before you go for help on familiarizing yourself on what you’ll need to do to be prepared. Other items like passports, car maintenance services (in case you’re driving), scheduling your flights and auto rentals, and making boarding/other arrangements for your pets should all be done earlier rather than later.

Don’t Forget Documentation

Passports can take several weeks to come back and if there’s a particular hold-up on getting yours, it could be delayed even longer. A car servicing can also be beneficial to get done earlier in case something needs repairing so that you’re not forking out a huge chunk of change on your car RIGHT before you head out on your trip. And if you haven’t researched a bit about keeping your devices charged while on vacation, earlier is definitely better! Check out my post all about that very topic here.

Organize Your Packing

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The photo above shows my own (insane, I know. There’s five of us now) list of stuff to pack and whether you use a crazy looking app like me (which totally works beautifully for me 🙂 ) or a good ‘ole pen and paper, keeping a list is a great way to ensure that you’re on track. And while making your own personal list is key, you’d be missing out if you didn’t check out Amy’s Cruise packing list and Sarah’s WDW packing list! Both of them are great place to start and are printable so you can print whenever and even have copies for family members so big kids can help pack too!

 

Hooked on DCL design by Mouse and Monorail

 

Fish Extenders

I’m now a week out and have begun to pack starting with our fish extender and gifts. They’re all done and packed in a small separate suitcase. (Eeek! So excited to give them out and even more excited to share about them after I get back!!) This serves the purpose of ensuring that they all stay together, can be easily checked, and the suitcase space will be available to bring home our own fish extender gifts we receive. I’m updating my Hooked on DCL decal to include a silhouette cameo cutter file as well as a printable for instructions on how to apply the decal should you decide to make and give them as gifts for your own fish extenders! So exciting! Right click on the image to below to download the decal application instructions and be sure to check out the original Hooked on DCL post that has been updated with the additional file.

Decal Application Instructions

And packing early isn’t all about fish extenders! There’s extra space in our suitcase, so I’m adding in items that I can easily pack early like suction cup hooks for hanging swimsuits (we won’t have a verandah), door magnets, and our dry-erase magnetic board where we can write and encourage fun messages to people onboard. Pretty much anything else that we can deal without having until our luggage is brought to our room will go in here as well.

It’s Almost Time!

I’ve printed and gathered our signed cruise docs/signature pages from our online check-in, and placed them in my carry-on (yeah, that totally rad Disney Dream Inaugural bag my brother got me for Christmas!) since I’ll need those items to board.  That’s all the time I have for now since I’ve got to get back to packing!! And don’t forget to stay tuned for my live posts from WDW and the Bahamas this coming weekend and next week! ~Meredith ºoº

More Cruisin’ News

Hey howdy hey everyone! Usually it’s Amy’s week here on M&M but seeing as how she just disembarked from the Dream on Monday, Sarah and I are bringing you some more Disney fun while she gets settled back at home. Amy, can’t wait to see photos and hear all about your trip! In the meantime, today I’d like to talk about how my blog post from a few weeks ago came about. If you’re familiar with Fish Extenders (and you should be since Amy posted all about them) then you know that sharing Disney items can be fun and exciting during your Disney cruise. We also had a Disney cruising crash course on our podcast! Over on facebook, there’s a group called the FISH EXTENDER DISNEY CRUISE LINE where you can go to find not only the particular fb group for your actual sail date, but also to find people sharing fun ideas for their gifts. I’ve been a part of the group for several months now and love to follow along and see all the amazing things people come up with. If you’re reading this and have posted there before, shoutout to YOU for being awesome! The group has fantastic admins that are very helpful and work hard to keep the group a drama-free and family-friendly group. If you’re looking to sail, definitely check out this group!

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One day I was scrolling through my feed and saw the cutest cruising decal someone had designed and shared. Her name is Jenn and she had used her Silhouette Cameo machine to cut out the design and apply to her car’s back window. I immediately loved it and commented on it. Having a background in graphic design, I knew I could come up with something similar, yet change it up enough to call it my own and share it here with you all. Here’s the original design:

Isn’t it just the cutest?! Well, I set to work on my own and after brainstorming sessions with my Sarah and Amy, I got to work. I was (and still am) super happy with the outcome and hope that you all are enjoying the design as well. If you have your own cricut or silhouette machine, or you just want to see what my design looks like, check it out here. I’d like to thank Jenn for the idea. And what better way to thank her than to actually promote her own design?! She’s had a bit of bad luck today and I’m hoping that this will somehow restore her faith in the honesty of people on the internet. You see, people aren’t always out to play fair and someone ended up copying her design and posting it on the popular website Etsy for sale before she could get hers up in her own Etsy shop called EndUpArt. Okay, so whoever took it made a slight font change, but the graphic and layout are exactly the same! Check it out here:

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Now, I don’t want to wrongly accuse but the other account in question didn’t open up shop until 3 days after Jenn’s original fb post. Just seems fishy to me. Heh, get it? Fishy?! Sorry… I digress. Ultimately what I’m trying to say is that if you loved my original design, you can thank Jenn for the initial inspiration. And if you don’t have access to your own vinyl cutting machine and would prefer to purchase a decal instead, please be sure to check out Jenn’s Etsy shop and give her your business. 🙂

 

I guess that’s all for today, but be sure to stay tuned as Amy plans to start sharing about her cruise here on the blog very soon! ~Meredith ºoº

DIY Disney Inspired Coasters – Free Download!

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DIY Disney Inspired Coasters

We are 35 days away from our first Disney cruise, and I’ve been super busy making my Fish Extender gifts. What’s a Fish Extender you ask? It’s an organized gift exchange between cabins. Meredith has been working on the cutest Mickey ears crocheted beach sandals for her gift for her upcoming cruise. Chere out her awesome tutorial for that. I have been thinking about doing Mickey coasters for ages, and Meredith was so kind to design some Disney inspired coasters for me! She even came up with 2 designs: traditional and Disney cruise inspired. Today I’m showing you how easy and fun these are to make! Let’s get started!

Looking for an easy, Disney inspired DIY? Give our Disney inspired coasters a try! They are fun and simple to make. Great for gifts or Fish Extenders!

Supplies

  • 4×4 inch porcelain tiles
  • Decoupage glue sealer (Modge Podge)
  • Foam brush
  • Tile design
  • Felt
  • Clear spray paint

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You can print out our download, which is the perfect size for 4×4 inch tiles, or use any scrap book paper cut into 4×4 inch squares. You can find the tiles at home improvement stores for about 15 cents each, and the decoupage glue can be found at Michael’s for around $6.

Directions

Step 1: Take your tile and apply a good coat of decoupage glue evenly on the tile. Make sure that you don’t have any clumps.

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Step 2: Apply your paper evenly to the tile, making sure to smooth out any bubbles that appear between the paper and the tile. I try to apply pressure from the inside and work my way outwards, pressing down firmly, to get rid of the bubbles.

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Step 3: When all the bubbles are out from under the paper, layer the top of the paper with a good coat of decoupage glue, using broad strokes in one direction. Be mindful of the edges.

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Step 4: When the first layer of glue has dried for a few minutes, repeat step 3, only swap directions. If you applied the first layer of glue left to right, apply the second layer from top to bottom. Check the edges closely to ensure all bubbles are pushed out.

Step 5: Allow coasters to set for 24-48 hours for the glue to dry.

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Step 6: Cut squares from your felt and hot glue to the back of the coasters. These will serve as a protective backing on the coasters so they don’t scratch the surface of your furniture.

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Step 7: Apply a coat of clear spray paint to seal the coasters and make them waterproof. Allow to dry for 24 hours in a well ventilated area.

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Step 8: Enjoy your hard work!

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Free Download!

And now for your free download! To create your own Mouse & Monorail coasters, simply download this file here.  You can then print in color and you will be ready to go!

I’m going to tie my Disney inspired coasters up with a pretty ribbon and bag them up for delivery. With just a few hours of work, I have the perfect fish extender gift for my group, and it was affordable, easy and homemade. I can’t wait to give our gifts out to our new friends in a few weeks, and I hope they enjoy their coasters as much as I do.

Know Before You Go: Disney Cruising Part 2

As I said yesterday, we are going on our first Disney cruise in about 6 months, and I wanted to pass on some of the fun information I have found to our Mouse and Monorail readers. You can never be too prepared, right? Yesterday I covered decorating your Disney Cruise stateroom door , and today I’m going to talk about Fish Extenders.

Fish Extender….what’s that? I’m so glad you asked!

Outside each Disney cruise stateroom door is a small metallic fish.

It was originally designed for stateroom attendants to be able to leave messages for the guests outside their room, but the fish were quickly taken over as the perfect “hook” for hanging a Fish Extender, which is the basket per se, that is used for an organized gift exchange during your cruise.

Fish Extenders have pockets for each person in your cabin where everyone in your FE group can leave you goodies and gifts. The physical Fish Extender can be made from fabric, plastic or vinyl, and Etsy and Pinterest have tons of ideas! If you are into making your own, you just need to know that the fish extender shouldn’t so wide that it sticks out into the hallway, or bumps your door. It is generally recommended that you loosely zip tie your Fish Extender to the fish so it won’t grow legs and walk away.

Each Disney cruise sailing has a Facebook page where guests can get to know each other or ask questions before their cruise. If you would like to be part of the Fish Extender group, you simply fill out a questionnaire on your group Facebook page with various information about each person in your stateroom.

Here is the questionnaire from our sailing to give you an idea of what information you provide:

1 2It depends on each sailing, but most groups close each group when they hit 10-15 cabins, and a new group is started. The Fish Extender groups on our sailing are closing with 12 cabins, so I’m not expecting it to be too overwhelming. As new “groups” are formed, they are usually given cute Disney names so everyone knows what group they are part of. There are usually FE groups that are set up solely for adults in case you are traveling without kids. You can sign up for as many FE groups as you want to during your sailing, as long as you make sure to exchange with everyone else. Our FE group, Mickey, just closed for our cruise, and I have access to a spreadsheet with the information for each stateroom that I will be exchanging gifts with.

Here is our information to give you an idea of a the finished result (click to enlarge):

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Our group contains 22 adults, 5 teenagers, 6 school aged kids, and 4 preschoolers. Here is where the fun begins for me as we get to decide what kind of gifts we want to give to our new friends! I’m planning on doing a cabin gift for the adults, and then giving individual gifts for kids and teens. Some people give just to the kids in a cabin, and others give individual gifts to every person in a stateroom. It’s up to you to decide what and how to give depending on your budget. I’m not the craftiest person around, but I’m planning on making Disney coasters for the adults in my group, based on their favorite characters.

I’m a little lost on what I’m planning on doing for the teen boys in our group, but I’m thinking of doing some form of a Mickey manicure kit for the teen girls. I’m thinking that would be easy and popular.

Right now my idea for the kids of all ages is do put together personalized Ice Cream Sundae kits for the kids to enjoy with the unlimited soft serve on the ship.

If you decide that you would like to be part of a Fish Extender group on your Disney cruise, here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan:

  • Gifts can be anything: from your part of the world, event related, Disney related – anything goes!
  • Allow for space in your luggage to carry the gifts on board, as well as carry your gifts back home!
  • Be aware of food allergies.
  • Personalized and handmade gifts are very popular!
  • Disney doesn’t allow you to bring homemade treats on board.
  • Plan your deliveries – Disney cruise ships are enormous. Map your route carefully!

I think that participating in the Fish Extender will be a fun and exciting way to sprinkle a little extra magic on our Disney Dream cruise. What are your thoughts? Have you participated in a Fish Extender? Would you want to? Let’s chat in the comments! ~A ºoº