Cruise Door Decorating…Blog Post Fail?

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by Sarah
So, I had planned to write this wonderful “Pinterest worthy” post on Disney Cruise Line door decorating…but this is the real world and the Mousewives are real girls who don’t always succeed at everything they try. (This surprises you, I’m sure.) The following post outlines the emotional journey I traveled this past weekend trying to prepare my magnets for my upcoming Disney cruise and blog about them. So, as Lumiere might say, now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the dining room proudly presents….uh, I mean as I proudly present… my epic cruise magnet blog post fail!
First of all, I need to explain why I was making magnets for my upcoming Disney Cruise. If this is your first cruise, you may be surprised to learn that many Cruise guests decorate their magnetic cabin doors. For example, this is my door from our fantastic Panama Canal cruise.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love the planning and anticipation of a Disney Cruise ALMOST as much as going on the cruise. Making magnets is one part of my cruise planning that I truly enjoy. Though I have designed many of the magnet images myself, google images is a great place to get started with pre-made designs. Another excellent place to find personalized magnet designs is to join Facebook groups where they do just that. Many fabulous artists will graciously post their designs and personalize them for you in these cruise magnet design Facebook groups.
Once you have your images, it’s time to turn them into magnets. First, I print the designs on a color printer. Then, I use my laminator (which I got at Wal-mart for about $15!) and laminate the images so they are nice and sturdy. I prefer to cut the images after they are laminated so I only have to cut them out once. Finally, glue on the magnets. Because many of the Disney ship doors have been repainted (everything must be neat & pretty of course!) it is important to use a strong magnet and strong glue. I prefer e6000 glue and circular magnets I get at Michael’s craft store.
So, making cruise door magnets seems pretty simple right? How could this turn into an epic blog post fail? Well, first of all, the Facebook group for this cruise is out of this world amazing! The administrator has run contests, trivia, set up nearly every kind of exchange possible, and even had a Bingo game that ran for several weeks! All of this before the cruise even starts! Which leads us to….
The Cruise Door Decorating CONTEST! Yes, that’s right…there is a contest organized by our cruise group for the best door decorations! This isn’t just any door decorating contest – the competition is fierce! So fierce that contestants are measuring out door sizes using masking tape on their floors to maximum magnet coverage!
Well, this is right up my ally! I am all in for this contest! But wait…I thought to myself, why just go with plain old laminated magnets? I’ve got to up my magnet-game! I’m going to choose a theme and really go with it!
So, I chose to use Tangled as a theme for my door. I found images of Rapunzel’s dress on Google images and created laminated magnets to fit around the door porthole. I have Mickey heads designed with Tangled images and images of Maximus and Pascal. What else would I possible need? Here is where the tale of the epic fail begins to tangle…literally…
As I was searching Rapunzel images, I saw several Etsy stores selling braided yarn wigs for little girls who wanted to dress like Rapunzel. I thought to myself, I could make one of those braided yarn wigs to wrap around the porthole and drape down the door! It would be 3 dimensional, add character, and really increase my chances of winning this door decorating contest! And… what a great blog post to write as I make it! How hard could this be?
Well, after googling some instructions on how to make these Rapunzel wigs, I started cutting 9-foot pieces of yarn. (YES! 9 feet because once you braid it, it shrinks. Good thing I read about that as I had not thought of that before I started!) So, as I am cutting the yarn I think, there must be a faster way to do this…so I tie one end of the yarn to the wreath hanger on my craft room door and start making 9-foot loops so I can cut all the yarn at one time. Well, remember how this was going to be a blog post? FAIL 1: Looping this way means I need both hands and cannot take any pictures of this process. Which is probably a good thing because of what happens next.
So, after looping an entire skein of yarn, I cut the bottom of the loop and quickly proceed to drop some of the 9-foot lengths of yarn. Uhh…ok, so I gather all the yarn and try to hold it together while draping it over the wreath hanger again. My plan was to start braiding in the middle of the 9-foot length of yarn (Why I thought this was a good idea…I don’t know…I think I read to do this in one of those googled instructions I read earlier) As I am braiding, I quickly realize that the bottom of the 9-foot length of yarn is braiding itself at the bottom and rapidly becoming a TANGLED mess!
So, I try to untangle the mess and take out the partial braid that I had already started. FAIL 1 continued…I am now over an hour into this project and have still not taken one photo!
I am realizing that wrangling 9 feet of multiple yarn pieces is not the easiest thing in the world to do, let alone try to braid 9 feet of this tangled mess! As I sit on the floor looking at this bundle of tangled yarn I think…hmmm…well, I could probably use a wide tooth comb and COMB the tangled mess of yarn just like hair! Yes, that is what I will do!
So, I ran downstairs for my wide tooth detangling comb and started combing the 9 foot lengths of yarn still hanging from my wreath hanger on the door.
FAIL 2: Yarn is not as forgiving as hair….I broke the comb…and still no pictures! (This was taken after the fact!)

I am now nearly 2 hours into this project and only have detangled 9-foot lengths of yarn to show. But, at least it is untangled and ready to braid again! So, much smarter and wiser now, I separate the 9-foot lengths of yarn into 3 sections and at the bottom of each of those 3 sections, I tie the yarn together in a knot. (By doing this, the yarn in each section is bundled together and does not tangle when you try to braid it. Why didn’t those googled instructions mention this? It only took me 2 hours to figure out!)
Now as I am braiding I am much more careful about what the bottom of the 9-foot lengths of yarn are doing and I keep them as separated as possible as I criss-cross each section to braid. Finally, after much aggravation, I have a fully braided length of yarn. I looped the braid around to make a 7.5” circle that will fit around the porthole and tied it together with a scrap of yarn. I then took plastic flowers from the Dollar Tree and hot glued them to the front of the braid. Finally, I hot glued round magnets to the back of the braid in about 6 inch increments along the braid.
Here is my final result…

Well, maybe the finished braid itself was not an epic fail (actually, I’m quite impressed with the results after all that work!) However, the lack of photos and the incredible frustration of the TANGLED mess of yarn was not quite how I expected this blog post to play out! I can’t wait to put this on our door though, and I hope you enjoyed hearing about my 2 ½ hour calamity with 9-foot pieces of yarn!
And… wish me luck in the door decorating contest, I’ll post an update after the cruise!


**Post-Cruise Update!

Well, we did not win the door decorating contest (there were some amazing doors out there!) but we did have a great cruise!

Here is how our door looked:

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