We decided about a year ago that we would go to Disneyland this summer to celebrate our daughter’s graduation from high school. What we didn’t know at the time was that they would be unveiling their new Cars Land just one week before our arrival.
We were a little worried, but it ended up being a mostly good thing. They did an amazing job designing it, and because everyone was in California Adventure, Disneyland was pretty empty for June. If you go before the crowds die down, I have three words for you for the Radiator Springs Racers ride: Single rider line.
I made luggage tags a couple of years ago, but we lost one in transit last summer. Since my daughter was also bringing a friend on our trip, I decided it was time for a new set. Nothing says “I’m going to Disneyland” like that iconic Mickey head silhouette, so that was my inspiration.
I also wanted them to suggest different Disney characters, so I used colors and fabrics. Any guesses who these are?
It’s not exactly difficult to find a Mickey head shape, but here’s the pattern I used, with seam allowance added. For each tag, you’ll need to cut four pieces of iron-on interfacing and three from black fabric (or whatever you choose). You’ll also need a small piece of clear vinyl, 2 1/2” of bias tape and fabric strips as described below.
For the front, cut three strips of fabric, each about 7” long and 2 1/2” wide. You can vary the widths, as I did with some of mine, you just want them to add up to at least 6” once they’re sewn together.
Sew the three pieces together with a 1/4” seam and press seams to one side.
Lay your pattern on top and cut out.
Iron interfacing onto the back of each of the four pieces.
Cut a piece of clear vinyl 2 1/2” square. Sandwich one edge into the fold of the bias tape and stitch in place.
Center on one black piece, 5/8” from the top edge, with the bias tape at the bottom of the mouse. Zigzag stitch over the bare edges, leaving the bias tape edge open.
Pin the piece with the vinyl and one of the black pieces, right sides together and stitch around the edge, leaving a 1 1/2” opening at the bottom. Repeat with the colorful front piece and remaining black piece.
Clip all corners. Turn both right side out and press, turning in the openings. Use caution when pressing around the vinyl window. Stitch around the outside, close to the edge.
Place the vinyl window facing up, then pin the remaining piece on top of it with the colorful side up. Don’t pin through the vinyl. Stitch 3” at the bottom (between corners of the vinyl window) through all layers, where you previously topstitched. Now you should be able to flip it open.
Sew a 1/2” button hole on the front centered between the ears and close to the top edge.
And separately on the back. You could also apply a grommet on each side instead.
Cut a 2” square of paper and write your personal information on it to slip into the window. The opening points to the bottom of the tag to keep your info from falling out.
Feed your attaching device of choice (ball chain, ribbon, buckle pirated from another tag, etc.) through both buttonholes and it’s ready to travel.
It probably isn’t immediately obvious which character I’m channeling with each of these, but I kind of like that. But just so you’re not left wondering…
This one is Simba. It’s for my daughter, the graduate and life-long Lion King fan.
My daughter’s friend Kate happens to be the granddaughter of the actor who gave the voice to King Triton in The Little Mermaid movie. Even after knowing her family all these years we’re still a little star-struck. Needless to say, I went with Ariel for her.
I asked my son which character he wanted and he chose Buzz Lightyear. However, I decided that was too much white to survive traveling, so I went with his second favorite, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.
I had to have Minnie Mouse, but attached it to my purse since it turned out we didn’t actually need five suitcases to visit southern California in June. Go figure.
We had to have Mickey, and I really wanted to sew a couple of white buttons on it but I don’t think they would have survived the airport.
Our luggage tags are eagerly awaiting our next trip. Our boy graduates in two years and I’m pretty sure Disneyland will be seeing us again!