Decorating Your Stateroom Door with Custom Magnets

If you have ever been on a Disney Cruise you will most likely remember seeing door decorations.  If not, then you will be in for a surprise when walking the hallways.  Some stateroom doors are fully covered, while other just have a Disney Vacation Club Welcome Home magnet.  All the stateroom doors on the ships are metal except for the concierge rooms on the Dream & Fantasy which have a beautiful wood laminate.  The white stateroom doors make a perfect canvas to display your custom door magnets.

Disney Magic Stateroom 6634 Door Magnets

There are many ways to create door magnets, of course there’s always my way.   (See that, It’s October so I stuck in a Haunted Mansion reference!)  When I first started making door magnets I looked at a handful of options including magnetic inkjet paper, but I was not happy with the end results.  If you looked over any of my cruise photos, you already know I prefer vibrant images.  After trying a few different methods I found a method that worked, and best of all it is quite cheap.

Step 1: Creating A Graphic

The first step is coming up with a design.  First, determine how large of  a magnet you want to have on your door.  I try to keep to an 8×10, 5×7, or a 4×6 canvas size, as it makes for easier printing.

For each cruise we create one large magnet on an 8 inch by 10 inch canvas.  Sometimes the design is based on a theme like Halloween, or Valentines Day. Other times, as was the case of the Little Mermaid magnet, it was a request from my daughter.

Door Magnet January 2011 Disney MagicDoor Magnet August 2010 Disney Wonder Door Magnet February 2012 Disney Dream
Door Magnet March 2013 Disney FantasyDoor Magnet Reimagined Magic October 2013Door Magnet June 2012 Disney Fantasy

We also have bumper sticker sized magnets with each of our names featuring some of our favorite Disney characters.

Door Magnet Character Nameplate - Scott Door Magnet Character Nameplate - IsabelleDoor Magnet Character Nameplate - Emily

To make the individual magnets with each of our names I found a bold font that I liked and collected clip art of our favorite characters. Using Photoshop I placed the characters and applied the necessary masking.

Door Magnet Names Photoshop Screenshot

 

It is completely up to you, if you want to personalize the graphics with your name.  I’ve found that unpersonalized magnets have the tendency to grow legs, and disappear.  For  example, we’ve had some of the small Pascal magnets disappear.

So, what if you are not the artistic type?  Check out some of the Disney online fan sites/forums.  There are a few great designers that have a catalog of design templates available, and will be happy to customize them just for you, FREE of charge (see rules below).

Step 2: Printing Your Door Magnet Design

This is the easiest part of the process, printing your graphic.  Just treat your graphic like a digital photograph you want to get printed, and upload or take the file to to your local one hour photo center.  I always select glossy prints, even though they are susceptible to fingerprints.  The photo lab will print your image/graphic just as they would any other photograph. (note: while I’ve never had an issue printing, but you may encounter a shop that will not print Disney graphics. Just go to another location.)

Step 3: Printed Graphic to Finished Door Magnet

This entire process came about one day when I found a roll of Magnetic Adhesive Sheets at the craft store.  I buy the the larger 1’x2′ rolls, but they also come in smaller sizes.  You can usually purchase a roll for less than $10 at Michaels with a for a 40% off coupon often offered in the weekly Michaels online ad.

Start by unrolling the magnetic sheet to flatten it out. You might need to reverse roll it to get it to lay flat or put a book on it for a few minutes.  Then, peel back just enough of the protective sheet on the magnetic paper and place your first picture.

At this point I put a sheet of paper on top of the printed photo to protect the image, and used a rolling pin to get out any air bubbles and make sure there was good adhesion. Similar to the way a roller is used when laminate counter-tops are installed.

The last step is to trim your graphic from the magnetic sheet.  An Exacto knife works great for this job as the magnetic sheets are quite easy to cut in fact they can easily tear so be careful.

Door Magnet October 2011 Disney Magic

RULES

#1 DO NOT use tape, or any other adhesive on the stateroom door. (Click here to read about the policy change April 2013)

#2 DO NOT use tape, or any other adhesive on the stateroom door. Yes, I repeated this rule.  Do not do it, widespread use of tape could lead to a ban on all door decorations.  That would not be cool.

#3 DO NOT pay for design work that use any Disney related graphics!!!!  The only exception is buying officially licensed graphics, such as a scrapbook page.

#4 Have fun

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13 Responses to Decorating Your Stateroom Door with Custom Magnets

  • Karen says:

    Last year we stayed in a Concierge room on the Fantasy. We made magnets for the door which stuck to the metal door in our garage just fine but didn’t stick to the wood laminate door on the ship. I had read that they DO work on those doors but none of the ones that we made or bought would stay on the door :(

  • Darlene says:

    Maybe because it was a “concierge” room the door being wood/wood laminate was probably the problem because we’ve stayed on The Dream & The Fantasy both on deck 7 and had no trouble with our magnets staying on.

  • Tammy Winson says:

    I read somewhere that the magnets had to be really strong to stay on the doors. I bought the magnetic laser paper at Hobby Lobby that has a magnetic strength of 1 which sticks to my fridge just fine but I am worried they won’t stick to our ship door. I ended up going and buying additional magnets with a stronger strength just in case I have to hold them up another way. Hopefully one of those will work out. I hope I didn’t just waste a bunch of money for nothing! Does anyone have any input on this? Thank you!

    • Tammy, we have never had an issue with magnets sticking to the stateroom doors. The only issue would be if you are staying in concierge on the Dream & Fantasy as those doors have a wood veneer over the steel door.

  • Sabrina Wilson-Vaughan says:

    Hi I am computer illiterate and came across this blog in hopes of finding a magnet making tutorial using graphics already created, please help!!

  • Dora Diego says:

    We used the magnetic computer paper from Office Depot to make magnets for our door. Sadly, most of them slid down (not magnetic enough) and those that didn’t slide would fall off every time we shut the door. :-( Our plan is to re-use them next time but add stronger magnets. We will first add felt to the magnets though, so they don’t scratch up the door.

  • su_A_ve says:

    FYI – Inkjet magnetic paper (Avery or other brands) work nicely on non-concierge staterooms in the Dream and Fantasy, however, they don’t work as well in the older ships (Magic and Fantasy) due to the additional coats of paint. I have a feeling that folks will have more problems on the Magic after the dry dock as I’m sure all the doors will have another fresh coat of paint.

  • Jeanne says:

    Scott, what fond did you use for the individual names, and how close did you change the leading?

  • Tina says:

    Have you ever used Neodymium Magnets, or know anyone who has?

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