Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Disney Pin Trading Lanyard Tutorial

Disney pin trading is something we learned about after our first family trips to Disneyland and Disney World and I really wanted to try it out with our most recent trip to Disneyland. For pin trading, you can buy individual pins or you can buy the starter sets from Disney that include a lanyard and several pins. Since we were on a budget and we had a lot of time to plan, we ended up buying authentic pins off of Ebay (there are a lot of fake pins out there which I wouldn't recommend buying) and making our own lanyards which ended up being really easy and a whole lot cheaper. Each lanyard was roughly $1 each.

Clasps and ribbon used for lanyards

Things you'll need:
  • Ribbon - I used 1" grosgrain ribbon. Pink Minnie Mouse polka dots for the girls and Disney ribbon for the boys. 
  • Clasps - A pack of 5 from the jewelry section at Joann's was only $2.99 before any coupon or sale.
  • Lighter - This heat seals the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying.
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Optional: Something to hang on the clasp that will help weight the lanyard down. I used badge holders I had from previous events.

Making your lanyard

Step 1: Cut the ribbon to the right size and use a lighter to heat seal the ends. For the adult lanyards, I cut the ribbon to 33.5 inches. For the child lanyards, I cut the ribbon to 26 inches.
Step 2: Hold the ends together as shown, folder over and pin in place. I used the clasp as a guide to how much I wanted to fold over.
Step 3: Sew. I went over it twice to make sure it was secure.
Step 4: Attach clasp.

For the badge holders, I found a map of Disneyland online and printed it small enough to fit inside. I also included all the emergency contact information necessary if we were ever separated from the kids.

Completed lanyards

*From the completed pictures, you'll see that I attached the clasp in a different location. Since this location wasn't a key ring, I had to fold over the ribbon farther so that I could sew with the clasp in place. I ultimately decided to do this so that the clasp would lay flat, but it really wasn't necessary.

Pin trading basics: You can trade up to 2 pins with any cast member with pins. The cast members with teal lanyards can only trade with children under 12 which is nice except we only encountered a handful of these lanyards. Some stores have pin boards to choose from as well.

If you haven't yet, you should definitely try out pin trading. We highly recommend this for any age. For kids especially, pin trading seems to be a good fit for every personality. Not only does it make for some great memories, it's also a great souvenir. We loved it because it gave us something to do in our downtime and it was almost like a treasure hunt as we looked out for cast members with pins. Even though the kids were a little timid at first, pin trading actually ended up being Jadon's favorite aspect of Disneyland and Isabelle loved trading and then hoarding her pins away.
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