While we were visiting Walt Disney World back in September, the Hubster and I were fortunate enough to get to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for the second time, thanks to my Tina from Sugar Bean Bakers. She surprised me with tickets to the party just before we left for Florida, and I’m so happy she did!
I really wanted to go, but I wasn’t sure if we would, because last time we went, it wasn’t great. It was crowded, crowded, crowded, and frankly…boring. The lines for the trick-or-treat areas were ridiculously long – oftentimes filled with only adults…which always confuses me, because if you can afford MNSSHP tickets, you can definitely afford to go buy a bunch of Halloween candy, rather than tying up the lines for kids. But I digress…the lines were long, so we didn’t even trick-or-treat last time. It was no great loss, since we can get candy any old time, but I was looking forward to going trick-or-treating again! I haven’t been since I was a kid. Turns out, adults don’t like giving candy to other adults. There were also very few people – adults or children – dressed in costumes. In fact, the majority of them weren’t even dressed in Halloween-themed clothes. For me, half the fun is seeing people’s creativity shine through in their costumes/costume choices.
Anyway, this year was wonderful! It wasn’t over crowded, more people were in costume, and everyone loved our Carl and Ellie costumes! It really adds to the fun when people keep telling you how great you look, or how much they love your costume, not gonna lie.
In fact, one of the first things to happen when we arrived at the party was the photo you see above. Before leaving for the party, we tried everything to get our hands on a blue balloon to complete the Hubster’s costume. You’d think balloons would be readily available at Disney, but no such luck. We threw in the towel and headed to the park to party. When we first arrived, we immediately headed over to a Photopass Cast member to have our photo taken in costume, and just as she was about to take our picture, another Cast Member selling balloons asked if we wanted to hold them in our photos!! It was the best thing ever, and started off the whole night fantastically.
From that point on, it was one fun thing after another. We met Tinker Bell, with no line, got to see the parade up close and personal, and enjoyed lots of goodies and treats. And even though it ended up raining for a bit, we had such a fantastic time! From short lines, to riding new rides we’d never been on, to people actually asking if they could take a photo with us, it was an all around fun night, and especially all the compliments I got on my crafty My Adventure Book purse! I decided then that I would share the tutorial for other adventurers.
Before starting in on the tutorial, here’s a breakdown of the rest of our costumes:
- white, off-white, or pale yellow short-sleeved button-down shirt or polo
- brown sweater vest
- khaki pants or shorts
- white socks, preferably slightly taller socks, pushed down (the Hubster only had ankle cut socks, but they still looked great)
- brown shoes, preferably a lace-up shoe, like low-cut boots (the Hubster wore brown boat shoes, for comfort in the Florida heat)
- black glasses
- grape soda pin, worn on the left side
- aviator hat
- blue helium balloon with “Spirit of Adventure” written on it (optional)
- light-colored, patterned button-down top, preferably floral (short sleeves are the most accurate, but I used a long-sleeved top and rolled the sleeves)
- denim overalls (in the film, hers are pants that she has rolled. I chose to wear shorts, for com for in the Florida heat)
- shoes of your choice (Ellie is barefoot in the film, so I chose to wear bright pink flats to match her hair bow)
- bright pink hair bow, preferably worn on the right
- four bottle cap pins (2 on the left strap, 1 on the right strap, 1 on the bib towards the left)
- aviator hat
- My Adventure Book (optional)
Now, onto that book tutorial…
Adventure is out there!
For this project, you will need chipboard, bright white paper (and a color printer), extra paper in a contrasting color (to line the inside of the bag and make up the bottom and sides), leather ribbon (or twine, ribbon, or string), scissors, glue, and a small cross body bag (preferable with a removable strap).
First things first, print your cover image out at high quality onto the bright white paper (there is a link at the end of the post for the image I used). The cover image I use in this project is 11″ x 7″, and my finished cover was 11″ x 6 3/4″. The bag I use inside is about 9 1/4″ x 5″. I purchased the bag from Pick Your Plum several months ago, but they have sold it a couple of times since then, so they may sell it again.
Now, you’ll want to cut your chipboard, which will make up the covers, down to the size you need to cover your bag. Even though my bag is only about 9×5-inches, I wanted a little extra room, in case I needed to store something I got at the park, so I made my chipboard pieces about 10 3/4″ x 6 3/4″.
Once the chipboard is cut, use a small paint or craft brush to evenly coat one side of each board with glue. Be sure to get the glue all the way to the edges, and smooth out any bumps, so it’s very smooth.
I used Liquitex Professional Matte Gel Medium, and applied it with a small, wide, flat paintbrush.
Center your prepared chipboard on the back of the paper with your cover image on it. **Remember, you want to glue your chipboard to the back of the image, so that when you flip it over, the image will be facing out.
Press the paper down gently, using a very soft, clean cloth, to remove any air bubbles and seal the page completely to the board.
Next, apply glue to the back of your board, just at the edges where the page folds over. Wrap the excess paper around the edges, and firmly hold in place until the glue has set a bit. If you want to, you could miter the corners of the paper, but I planned to cover this, so I didn’t bother with it.
1. It helps to secure the wrapped edges, by adding an extra layer over them to seal them down.
2. It gives the completed project a much more finished look. I used the same paper to create the bottom and sides of the cover, so having the back (which becomes the inside of the “purse”) match really made the whole thing look more polished.
To apply this, you will simply brush the back side of the cover with more glue, just like you did the front. Be sure to get the glue to the edge of where you paper will sit, so that it is very secure.
While you have this cover resting under a nice heavy book, repeat the process with the second cover. I used the same image on the font an back of my purse cover, that way, if I took it off and put it back on, there was no wrong or right side.
I chose to double up my sturdy brown paper that I lined the cover backs with. I glued two pieces together, then I curved them. I did this by hand, but you could probably put this inside of something to achieve this, too. Another great idea would be to use a paper towel roll, cut in half lengthwise. You could cover it with your paper to make it match. I chose not to do this, because I only had full rolls of paper towel. Trust me, this doubled up paper method worked perfectly, and held up just fine.
You could also use a flat piece of paper, with the long edges folded up to be glued to the covers. This is probably the easiest method, but by adding a curve to the bottom, it prevents it from being bent or sagging while in use. Any bending or sagging would show on the bottom of the covers.
I attached one edge of my curved paper to the bottom of the front cover, about one inch from the bottom edge. You can see in the bottom image how far from the bottom I hued this. You don’t want to put it right on the bottom edge, or it will stick out of the bottom of the bag. Before glueing the other cover in place, we need to create our sides.
I feel like you could really do whatever you want for the sides. I sort of had this idea that a tapered shape (smaller on the bottom) and a curve would allow the bag to open and close a little more naturally than straight sides would. Yes, it did, and I do think that I appreciated it, but it isn’t a detail that you have to do, if you don’t want to.
I would recommend both the tapered and curved shape and the accordion folding, but it isn’t required.
Once the sides and bottom are dry, glue the other cover on. I stood the project up and glued the other cover on while it was sitting on it’s bottom, so that I could be sure both covers were flat. Glue the bottom piece first. It’s important that this piece is straight and centered before you attach the two side pieces.
As you can see, I chose not to have my side pieces go all the way down. This was just a personal preference, and I had no reason for it. If you don’t want holes in the corners, then cut your side pieces to reach the bottom.
This is my completed purse cover. You could easily stop here, and attach a strap directly to this, if you have a strap to spare. If you intend to do this, be sure the straps are very securely attached, and that you don’t have holes on the sides, where stuff can fall out.
I chose not to do this, because I wanted to make sure that if anything happened (the bottom came loose, or a side tore), then I would still have a bag for the night. If you want to take this precaution, as well, then follow the next steps.
Before proceeding, it’s important to point out that the bag I used inside my cover has these small loops at each end. These loops are very important because this is how you will secure your cover to your bag.
All I did to secure the bag in place was to cut small holes or slits in the bottom. I ran my leather ribbon through the holes, bringing the ends of the ribbon into the inside of the cover. That’s it. Now, all you have to do is place your small purse inside the cover and tie the ribbon through the loops, essentially tying the cover to the purse.
1. Make sure you use something strong and sturdy. This is what’s holding your cover to your bag, so you don’t want to use something that will break easily (I even ended up switching the leather out for sturdy kitchen twine).
2. Make sure your ribbon or twine is long enough to get through the loops and tie a nice bow or knot. My first piece of ribbon was too short – I was able to get it through to the loops on the purse, but it was a hair too short for me to get it tied. It was very frustrating.
3. Make sure that you loop both pieces of ribbon through at each end before tying the purse in. You will have an extremely frustrating time trying to get the second ribbon in place if the purse is already inside the cover.
4. Make sure to tie the ribbon in a knot or a double bow, so that it is very secure.
I’m so happy that I took on this little project! The bag was the perfect addition to all of our photos from the night; it really pulled our Carl and Ellie costumes together. We got so many compliments from other party guests and Cast Members alike, and it was really fun when people noticed the book bag.
Having this book-bag to carry stuff in all evening was super helpful, and way cuter than having to lug a backpack or other kind of bag that would have ruined, or at least clashed with, the theme of our outfits. It not only matched our costumes, but added to, and was a part of, them. The bag itself held all the little essentials we needed for an evening in Magic Kingdom – tissues, painkillers, band-aids, Tums, eyedrops, my iPhone, and hand sanitizer. If I’d sealed the corners (as mentioned above), I could have taken even more stuff, like little snacks or whatever, if I’d wanted or needed them. As it was, even with the sides not completely sealed, I actually ended up keeping the hand sanitizer outside of the bag, just in the book cover area, and it was never at risk of getting dropped or lost.
When I first made this purse cover, I made it as a sort of throw-away accessory to my costume. It was cheap and easy, and only made of paper, glue, and cardboard, so I didn’t anticipate it lasting past the Halloween party, but it actually held up incredibly well! By the end of the night (pictured above – our last photo, taken around 11:00pm), it was still in fantastic shape, even after having been rained on, dropped, sat on, and knocked about on rides and in lines. In fact, it held up so beautifully, that I decided to keep it, and now have a permanent accessory for our fun Up-themed costumes.
If you have a Carl and Ellie costume planned, and need that extra little something to complete the look, I hope you’ll give this tutorial a try. It’s fast, easy, and fun, not to mention inexpensive, and adds the perfect finishing touch to a great Up-themed couple costume.
To print your own My Adventure Book cover, please click on the following link, save and/or print at highest quality on heavy, bright white paper. Print at 100%, do not scale.
The image is 11″ x 7″, and my finished cover was 11″ x 6 3/4″. The bag I used inside was about 9 1/4″ x 5″.
My Adventure Book Cover *Please feel free to use this image, but be aware that I had no intentions of sharing this, so it isn’t super high quality – it looks lovely once printed, but it does have a slight blur, since it is only 72ppi. If you want a higher quality image, you may be able to find it through google image search.