When my friend had her second baby, he came a little early. Not only was he two months early, but he was born just before Christmas when everyone was frantic. Then we had the coldest winter ever (I exaggerate), and I was a really bad friend. I managed to connect with her, but never with her new baby, let alone her almost four year old daughter until we arranged a playdate last week.
Obviously, I was not about to show up empty handed, but I wanted to create something fun for her that she hadn’t been given in the past seven months by other friends and family. Thinking back on the days when Little Miss and Mister Man were infants, all I remember is the spectacular mess they created. Everywhere. All the time. While she probably had sufficient clothing (and babies are notorious for not being the size you think they are), I figured she could definitely use a new set of crib sheets.
As the wee ones and I walked through the baby department at Walmart, they were fascinated by everything they saw. Mom, did we have one of those? What does that do? Do you think I can still fit in there? I may actually need to walk them through the baby section more often, though it did take some doing to convince Little Miss that yes, she truly is too big for a baby swing now. And that she hated them as an infant.
We found the sweetest looking Disney Baby Let’s Go Mickey three piece crib bedding that they insisted we buy. Given that I knew my friend’s room had a red dresser as the accent piece and absolutely adores aqua (her kitchen cabinets are gorgeous), I figured it was a good choice, so then we moved on to picking out the gift basket.
And yes, I do mean the gift basket. I cannot count how many gift bags I have sitting upstairs in a closet waiting for me to reuse them – none, of course that would fit the crib bedding unless I went with a Christmas them – so when I give gifts, I love to get creative with my packaging. The “bag” for the crib bedding would need to be reusable and useful, as well as displaying the Disney Baby crib bedding in an artistic manner, as my mom would say.
We picked up a popup laundry hamper and some burlap with the thought of making a personalized Disney gift from the laundry basket. She has a small house, so space is at a premium, making a popup hamper ideal for a nursery. It also has handles that make it easy to carry and isn’t too large – just what you need for a baby. You don’t tend to let laundry pile up before doing it, and when you’re carrying an infant (and have another child attached to you in some way), a light hamper that doesn’t require the awkward hold of a full laundry basket is ideal.
In an effort to keep it breathable (because dirty baby laundry is often wet and with a questionable odor), I picked up burlap to make the personalized Disney gift aspect of it rather than felt that would be heavier and hold in any moisture. This would also work nicely with an old receiving blanket, but when I found red and aqua burlap, I knew how I wanted to handle this!
Doesn’t it look great in his nursery? (And look, she’s already using her new laundry hamper.)
Personalized Disney Gift: Name Laundry Hamper
Fortunately, this is not a difficult project. If you are a sewer, it would be way cool to add a thick yarn stitched around the edges of the ears in black or another contrasting color to give them even more pop, but shhhh I don’t sew. Instead, all I needed for this was my laundry hamper, the free Mickey ears printable and alphabet stencil printable I created, burlap, a free cutting tool, and my hot glue gun.
To start, I printed out the Mickey ears and appropriate letters to spell out Ian (the baby’s name). I carefully cut around the edges of the pattern, knowing it didn’t have to be absolutely perfect since I was going a little rustic with burlap but still wanting to ensure I had a good place to start.
After cutting off a piece of burlap large enough to fit around the outline of my Mickey ears, I placed my prepped burlap on a self-healing surface (in my case a portion of a cardboard box, as it’s thick enough that I won’t cut all the way to through it).
I used safety pins to secure it so that it wouldn’t move around while I was cutting. As easily as burlap stretches, I didn’t want to accidentally distort the pattern I was cutting and have to do it again.
Using my free cutting tool, I cut around the stencil to create my Mickey ear that would form the background for the letters.
If you cut around the Mickey ear and don’t ruin it, you can to reuse this for your other ears. Simply undo the safety pins to release the burlap ear and repeat the steps to create your next year. You want to cut one ear for each letter in the name you’re going to use for your personalized Disney gift. With such a short name, I only had to create three ears.
Next up is repeating the process for the letters in a complementary color to the ears. Here, you’ll cut out each letter of the name. Michelle would require to Ls and two Es, obviously, but again Ian has just the three letters.
Before moving on, be sure to check that your letters and ears fit the way you want them to. And if you accidentally cut off a bit to much (like an arm of the letter I), you can check to be sure that adding a makeshift piece of burlap (another benefit of using burlap over felt or a receiving blanket) will provide the look you are going for. Note that for the A, because the hole in the center is so small, I simply stretched and moved it out of the way rather than actually cutting it. For letters that have small openings (R, P, B, and A), I recommend that over actually cutting them when using burlap.
To attach these to your personalized Disney gift, it’s time to plug in your hot glue gun. While it’s warming up, arrange the ears and letters on your hamper that is laying sideways. Definitely ensure you have your layout set before you start gluing anything!
Once your glue gun is heated, start by gluing the letters to the Mickey ears. Make sure you flip your letters over so that they are backwards before applying the glue. Otherwise, your letters will be backwards when attached and you’ll have to start over with that letter set. Apply the around the outline of your letter and quickly flip it over onto center of the Mickey ear.
As you glue each letter to the backer, flip over the full Mickey ear and glue along the outline of the ear as well as a couple lines through the center to ensure it holds. Return the ear to its place on your personalized Disney gift so that you don’t forget your initial alignment. Repeat for each letter until they are all glued onto the hamper.
Now you’re ready to add the Disney Baby crib bedding to your hamper/gift basket. Add the dust ruffle to the bottom, as it is the most sturdy. Place the fitted crib sheet atop it. Finally, unfold the comforter and tuck the bottom into the hamper, leaving the decorative top hanging out just a bit. The two handles on this create an easy way to carry your personalized Disney gift as you bring it to your friend. In fact, you might have a nine year old helper who loves it so much she wants to carry it herself.
My friend absolutely loved this idea, and she’s already talking about making a similar version for her almost four year old daughter. It’s the perfect size, and it’s so easy to make, even if you are like me and don’t sew. As soon as we got into her nursery, her old basket that took up way too much space on the nursery floor disappeared, and the new personalized Disney gift got put to use as it was intended to!
We even changed out her old crib bedding to the new Disney Baby bedding that did, in fact, complement the red dresser she already had in Ian’s nursery.
It turned out so cute – and obviously Ian is pretty happy with his mini nursery makeover, too! Notice that he can’t stop kicking his feet in glee.
I absolutely adore how this turned out, and I think I have a new “standard” baby gift for my friends. Best of all, the Disney Baby crib bedding doesn’t just come in this Let’s Go Mickey pattern. There are plenty of others as well ranging from Nemo to Minnie Mouse to Monsters Inc and more. No matter how you’re decorating your nursery, there’s bound to be a character and color scheme to match.