On our Disney trips, I have always purchased Disney autograph books for each of my kiddos so they can get each character’s signature and a picture with them, and it makes a great souvenir from the trip. Well now that our family has grown to four kids, buying four Disney autograph books each trip is expensive! So our last Disney trip, I tried making my own. It was actually easier than I thought and I liked them better than the Disney ones because I was able to make them the way I like them. If you are interested in trying some DIY Disney and making your own for your next trip, here is what I did.
I purchased packs of index cards at OfficeMax in size 5×8 inch. This size allows me to put a 4×6 photo on every other page, which is the way I like the autograph books.
I then made covers for each of my kids. The girls both love the movie “Brave” and Princess Merida, so I made them both a Merida themed book. I found her image online, printed it and cut it out for the cover. My older son loves “Cars” and since we were visiting Disneyland to see Cars Land, I made his Lightning McQueen with some scrapbooking paper. My youngest loves Mickey Mouse, so his cover was just Mickey themed. I made matching back covers with “Disneyland 2012”. Each book also had each child’s name on them.
I then took my covers to OfficeMax to have them laminate them, as they have a much heavier duty laminating machine than my home machine. This is how they came out:
I cut them and trimmed the corners to be round – they are pretty sharp if you don’t! Then I worked on the inside cards. How we like our autograph books are a signature page on one side, and then a photo with the character on the other that we add after our trip. I decorated the corners of the autograph pages to go with each book theme. The girls had hearts in the corners, the Cars book had lightning bolts, and the Mickey book had mickey ears.
I wanted to make sure that no designated photo page ended up getting a signature, so I printed “PHOTO” on half the cards. That way I saved a spot for the picture.
I assembled the books and covers together in the order I wanted, and took them back to OfficeMax to have them spiral bound. Spiral bound allows the pages to move very easily, compared with a comb bind. I even got to choose the color of spiral to match my theme. Here is how they came out.
They worked great in the park and were always easy to flip to the right page. I recommend having one chubby pen to use for all books instead of having each child have a pen for their book. And don’t tie the pen to your book as it might make it hard for the character to grab. Here is how they came out with signatures and photos (photos simply attached with photo adhesive squares from the craft store):
Pretty good, huh?
On this same trip, we went to the Halloween party and I made separate books for that evening. Here is what they looked like (cute polka dot Halloween paper was from Archiver’s):
And here is how they came out with pictures and autographs:
If you are interested in having the inside pages to print, I’ve made a download with extra hearts and stars and Mickey ear pages. Just click on the link below.
If you have tried making your own autograph books or are planning to make some for your next trip, leave me a comment and tell me about it! And Happy DIY!