We love meeting Disney characters. Over the years we have filled many autograph books with signatures and photos. Before a trip several years ago I started thinking about alternatives to Disney character autograph books. My daughter and I discussed some options, and she chose a Disney autograph pillowcase for our first non-book option. Find out what worked and what I did differently with our next several Disney autograph pillowcases.
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What Supplies Are Needed For A Disney Autograph Pillowcase?
We chose a basic, well reviewed pillowcase on Amazon (affiliate link: Buy on Amazon). A set of 2 pure white pillowcases cost us around $13.
These fabric markers (affiliate link: Buy on Amazon) have both a thick and thin option on each color. We found the thin tip seemed easier for the characters to use, but the thicker tip seems to work okay if you wanted the signature a little bolder.
Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy used the thick tip of a marker. The Queen, Dopey, Grumpy, and Snow White signed using the thin tip of a fabric marker.
A Piece Of Cardboard
I used a piece of the cardboard that came with the pillowcases. I cut a piece of cardboard slightly larger than the size of an autograph book. The cardboard is needed to keep color from bleeding through the pillowcase and to make signing easier for the characters.
The binder clips don’t have to be anything fancy. I used small clips from a pack, but I think larger ones would be better for next time. A larger clip can hold the fabric tighter and also keep excess fabric out of the way.
Zip Top Bags
I used two zip tops bags for the Disney autograph pillowcase. One quart size bag held the fabric markers. I then put the prepared pillowcase, cardboard, binder clips and the quart bag with fabric markers inside. This way the Disney autograph pillowcase was protected from dirt, smudging, or even water until I could properly heat set it.
Were The Characters Able To Sign The Disney Autograph Pillowcase?
Yes. Every character we met (that signs autographs) was happy to sign our Disney autograph pillowcase. Even The Queen signed after saying she thought it odd someone would “want to sleep on my penmanship.”
What Worked Best And Top Tips For A Disney Autograph Pillowcase
Pick A Light Color Pillowcase
A light color pillowcase allows the Disney character autograph to be more visible on the fabric. We chose white for our first attempt, but I think any light color pillowcase could work.
Wash The Pillowcase Before The Trip
Some pillowcases have starch when they are made. This starch can interfere with the marker penetrating the fabric. I suggest that you wash the pillowcase before the trip to remove anything that may keep the fabric marker from adhering to the fabric.
Use Fabric Pens To Have Disney Characters Sign The Pillowcase
Some people claimed that permanent markers work well on fabrics. However, I was concerned that over time the permanent markers would fade after multiple washes. One year later I am glad I chose fabric markers. I have noticed no difference in color saturation after a year of washes, even the one time they were accidentally washed with bleach.
Use A Blow Dryer To Set Color Each Night
Many fabric markers need heat to set the ink prior to washing (check your exact markers for specific recommendations). To help the ink to set while we were still on vacation I used a blow dryer on the character autographs each night.
Fold The Pillowcase Carefully
Folding the pillowcase around the cardboard was the most challenging part of the whole Disney autograph pillowcase project. The first character to sign was Mickey, and I had not secured the loose parts of the pillowcase to the cardboard.
This loose fabric made it challenging for Mickey to hold and sign the pillowcase. Over time I learned to place the cardboard in the desired spot and then fold the rest of the pillowcase under the cardboard. I then used 4 binder clips to hold to entire pillowcase to the cardboard. Making the pillowcase compact meant it was much easier for characters to sign.
We wanted all of our Disney character autographs facing the same direction on the pillow so we always used a blue binder clip to mark the top. This way Elizabeth could hand the pillowcase to the Disney character facing the right way.
Be Careful With The Fabric Markers
The fabric markers we used are permanent. We had to be incredibly careful not to get the ink on our clothes or other parts of the pillowcase since then the item would be ruined.
Do A Final Heat Setting Before Washing The Pillowcase
Even though we used a blow dryer to heat set while on the trip I did one final heat set at home. For our fabric markers tumbling dry for 15 minutes is supposed to help really make the marker permanent.
Carefully Choose Disney Autograph Locations
I started our first pillow case with characters signing autographs in the top left corner. Unfortunately, once a pillow is inside the case some of these autographs are not easily seen.
The next time we started with characters signing in the center of the pillow case and then moved outward. This allowed better spacing of the autographs around the pillowcase.
Final Thoughts On Making A Disney Autograph Pillowcase
My daughter loves her Disney autograph pillowcases and so do I. This easy DIY project was not that expensive, and each signature reminds us of the character interaction.
Even on our first try making a Disney autograph pillowcase it turned out really well, but the next ones were even better. The characters are able to sign it like a regular autograph book, and the colors make it through the wash without fading. If you are looking for a Disney autograph book alternative this Disney autograph pillowcase is a fun and easy choice.