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.
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.
We also have bumper sticker sized magnets with each of our names featuring some of our favorite Disney characters.
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.
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.
#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 or even the door magnets DCL is selling in the gift shops.
#4 Have fun