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Tips for Taking Your Tiny Baby or Toddler to Disneyland

Tips for Taking Your Tiny Baby or Toddler to Disneyland

The most common question/request we get is asking for tips for taking tiny babies or toddlers to Disneyland. Hamm’s first trip to Disneyland was in October 2017 when he was a little less than 2 months old. Although he will never remember it, we took […]

How We Budget For Disneyland Using Personal Capital

How We Budget For Disneyland Using Personal Capital

Note: This post was created as part of a paid sponsorship with PersonalCapital.com. Although this is a paid sponsorship, all opinions are my own and I have been a user of PersonalCapital for years.  If you know our family, you know that we LOVE Disneyland […]

DIY Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Costume, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial

DIY Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Costume, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Disclosure: This tutorial was sponsored by Primary.com and they provided clothing to create this costume. This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase anything through these links we receive a small commission that helps support this channel and allows us to continue making content like this.

In this tutorial we will be showing walking you through step by step how you can create a DIY Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Costume inspired by the iconic film Ghostbusters.

Materials List

Making the Bib

To make the bib for this costume take a sheet of Navy Blue felt and measure it so it falls just over the chest of your child. Cut a hole towards the top so that it can wrap around the neck. Use velcro on each side to allow you to attach the bib ends together after it is around their neck. Add narrow strips of white felt around the edges of the bib.

Making the Stay Puft Hat

Create the base of the hat out of thin cardboard such as a cereal box. Then cut a strip of navy blue felt to cover the thin cardboard strip. Then cut a circle out of the white felt. Attach the white felt to the base of the hat by bunching it around the edges to create pleats. Hot glue it to the base of the hat as you work your way around.

Add the finishing touches of the hat by adding a small blue circle of felt and a red ribbon on the top of the hat. You can add elastic to the hat to help keep it on your child’s head. The final step is to write Stay Puft on the hat with white puffy paint.

Stuffing the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Now for the fun part, creating the puff! We will be using the inside of a pillow to stuff the clothing. I recommend you start with the pants and then tuck the shirt into the pants and stuff the shirt. You can stuff as much or as little as you prefer.

To create the fat rolls simply tie elastic around the legs and arms of the clothing. Just make sure to not tie it too tight so that you don’t cut off any circulation.

Add the bib, hat, and ascot and the costume is complete. Now you can sit back and laugh at the cute and funny costume you just created.

Team Rocket Pokemon Costume DIY, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Team Rocket Pokemon Costume DIY, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Disclosure: This tutorial was sponsored by Primary.com and they provided clothing to create this costume. This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase anything through these links I receive a small commission that helps support this channel and allows us to continue making content like […]

23 Pop Culture Villain Costume Ideas for Toddlers, Babies, or Young Children

23 Pop Culture Villain Costume Ideas for Toddlers, Babies, or Young Children

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Primary.com and they provided the clothing to create all of the awesome costumes. Use code TOYSTORYDAD for 20% off + FREE shipping on your first order at Primary.com. This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase anything through these […]

Slinky Dog Costume DIY, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Slinky Dog Costume DIY, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Disclosure: This tutorial was sponsored by Primary.com and they provided clothing to create this costume.  This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase anything through these links I receive a small commission that helps support this channel and allows us to continue making content like this.

When we decided that we were going to do Toy Story costumes for our family visit to the Halloween party at Disneyland, I instantly knew that I wanted Hamm and his cousin Audrey to be the slinky dog from Toy Story. After months of brainstorming and trying to figure out how to make this crazy idea a reality, we were finally able to make it work. The slinky dog costume was definitely a hit, and the video I created went viral and was viewed hundreds of millions of times on various social media platforms.

After this video went viral I began receiving several requests every day with people asking me “How do I create this Toy Story Slinky Dog Costume?”. In this tutorial, I will be showing you step by step how to create this Slinky Dog Costume inspired by Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story. This DIY costume requires a little bit of sewing but is simple enough for anyone to complete. If you prefer to follow along with a video, you can watch the video below or click here to be directed to our YouTube video.  

This DIY costume is especially popular for twins because it is made for two children. However, this costume was originally created for my son Beckham and his cousin Audrey. This costume works for siblings, twins, cousins or even just friends. Because of the size of the actual slinky, this DIY works best for children, but really you could create this costume for children and adults of all ages. Just note that for bigger children or adults, you will need more of the materials listed below.

List of Materials Needed

Creating the bodysuits

We will be creating two bodysuits, one for the front/head of the slinky dog costume and one for the back/tail. Take a moment to decide who will be the front and who will be the rear in the costume. Make sure to account for any difference in measurements when proceeding with the next steps. The two bodysuits will be basically the same, but we will add some finishing touches later to set them apart. 

Measure the height of each from shoulder to mid-thigh. Measure the waist of each person and note these measurements down. 

The image above shows the basic shape we are going for when cutting out the suit. We will fold the felt in half and cut along the fold which will prevent us from having to do a shoulder seam. We will start by cutting a rectangle shape. The width of the rectangle should be your waist measurement divided by 2 and then add three inches. (Example: If my waist measurement was 22 inches my width would be 14 inches. 22/2 + 3). The height of the rectangle is the height (shoulder to mid-thigh) measurement.

On the folded seam cut out two curved armholes, one on each side. We will also need to cut out a neck hole on the folded seam as well. These don’t need to be perfect, so just use your best judgment based on the shape shown in the picture above. Now on the side opposite of the fold, we will want to curve the edges in and round out the corners. On that same side, we need to cut out two leg holes. You will want to cut the holes in an oval shape with a steeper curve if the model has bigger legs. 

You will now need to repeat these steps to create another suit with the other person’s measurements. After completing these steps you will have the suit cut for both the front/head and the back/tail. 

You will now sew along the edges of the bodysuit. Just make sure to not sew the neck, arm or leg holes. Once all of the edges are sewn you can then flip the suit inside out. This will put the sewing seams inside of the suit, giving it a nice clean look. The last step is to cut a 4-5 inch slit down starting from the middle of the neck hole of each suit. This allows the suit to open enough for the children to get in and out of the suits. Add velcro to the top of each slit to allow it to close once the child is inside. 

Adding the collar to the Front/Head BodySuit

To create the green collar on the front/head bodysuit, take your green felt and fold it over the neckline of the bodysuit. Round the bottom of the felt to match the curve of the neck hole about 2 inches below the actual hole. Now cut out the actual neck hole out of the green felt. This should leave you with a 2-inch green ring that will be the collar. You can now sew the collar to the bodysuit.

Creating the slinky dog coil

For the slinky coil of the costume, we will not need the entire slinky. I recommend cutting about 12 loops/coils off of the slinky to use for the costume. We will then be wrapping the slinky in grey fabric tubes. 

To create the fabric tubes, cut out strips of grey fabric that are 3 inches x 44 inches. Fold the fabric strips in half and use pins to hold the fold in place while you sew along the seams of each strip. Use a wooden dowel to turn the strips inside out. This will put the sewed seam on the inside of the fabric tubes. 

Now start sliding the tubes over the slinky coil. On the two ends of the slinky just fold over a little bit of the fabric and use hot glue to close the seam. We also found it helpful to hot glue the edges of each fabric tube to the slinky once they are in place. This prevents the tubes from sliding around and uncovering the rainbow slinky. 

Making the slinky dog Hat

Measure the circumference of the head that will be wearing the front bodysuit. Divide that number two and draw a dome shape on your light brown/tan felt. The base of the dome should be that head circumference measurement divided by two. The height of the dome should be about 6 inches.

Make sure you have another piece of brown felt underneath so that you can cut out both sides of the hat at once. Cut about ½ inch around the dome line through both pieces of felt. You will then sew the two pieces together along the line. You can now flip the hat inside out so that the sewed seam is inside the hat. 

Cut out two teardrop shapes for the ears out of dark brown felt. We recommend the ears be about 6 inches long. Now cut a slit on each top corner of the hat. The slit just needs to be big enough to slide a tab of the ear in and hot glue it in place. 

Making Slinky’s Tail

Cut about an 18-inchlong piece of craft wire. Take your left-over fabric tube from when you covered the slinky and slide that tube over the wire. Fold over and hot glue the ends of the fabric tubes to hold it in place. 

Cut two small tear-shaped pieces of the dark brown felt and glue them on one end sandwhiching the wire with the two pieces. 

Now cut two circles out of the tan/light brown felt. On one of the circles cut a slit to allow the wire to slide in and come out of the middle. Glue the two circles together sandwiching the wire but make sure the wire is using the slit to come out the center of the top circle. You can coil the tail into a spring-like shape. The last step is to add a piece of velcro on the bottom of the circle. This will allow the tail to attach to the bodysuit. Note: The velcro will attach right to the felt so you can move the tail around wherever you want.

Attaching the bodysuits and Slinky together

There is one last step before we can attach the slinky dog costume together. On the front top middle of the back/tail bodysuit, we will want to cut a small slit. This slit will allow us to slide in the slinky dog coil when attaching the suits together. I highly recommend you reinforce this slit with a small scrap of felt. This will just prevent that slit from tearing.

Now for the fun part of bringing it all together! I have created this video on YouTube that will show you exactly how to attach the pieces together.

The first step is to get each person in their bodysuit through the top neck hole and slit. You can then add stuffing, we used a mini pillow in the front and back of each child.

Now start with the back/tail bodysuit and slowly slide in the slinky coils twisting them into the bodysuit until there is at least one full coil inside the bodysuit. Now you can simply set a couple of coils into the neck slit on the back of the front/head bodysuit and then close the velcro to keep it in. Starting with the back and then just setting the front in prevents the slinky coil from getting all twisted. 

BONUS

To make the slinky dog costume extra fun at night you can wrap the slinky dog coil in little LED lights. See the link above in materials for what we used. We used two strands of lights and set one battery pack in each of the bodysuits. 

Thank you so much for reading this tutorial and we hope that you found it useful! If you end up making this costume we would love to see the finished results. Make sure to tag @toystorydad on Instagram on your final pictures. Have a great day!

A Dad’s Review of the Smart Beat Monitor

A Dad’s Review of the Smart Beat Monitor

Note: This blog post is sponsored by Smart Beat. I received a free Smart Beat monitor in exchange for my honest review.  As a technology and computer nerd, I am always excited to see the latest trends in technology. It has been especially exciting to […]

Easy and Healthy Snacks to Pack for Disneyland

Easy and Healthy Snacks to Pack for Disneyland

This blog post is sponsored by Cuties! I will be honest Disneyland has some of the most delicious snacks. They have churros, ice cream, pretzels, turkey legs, corn dogs, popcorn and so much more. However, the fact that most of these Disneyland snacks start at […]

Five Reasons Why I Loved Disneynature’s Penguins

Five Reasons Why I Loved Disneynature’s Penguins

Disneynature’s Penguins opens in theaters on April 17th (Earth Day) 2019. I had the opportunity of attending an early screening of this movie and I absolutely loved it.

Disneynature’s Penguins is a true life story that follows an Adélie Penguin named Steve through his journey into adulthood. As a five-year-old penguin Steve must find a suitable place to build his nest, find his soulmate and enter the world of fatherhood. Of course, there are challenges and difficulties along the way. As a new father myself, I definitely found Steve to be very easy to relate to. The life of a parent is not an easy one but it also comes with its own rewards.


Watch the all-new trailer for Disneynature’s Penguins, coming to theaters Earth Day 2019!

Penguins blew my expectations right out of the water. To be completely honest I wouldn’t call myself an animal lover. You won’t hear me talking about wanting to cuddle a lion as some people would. Going into seeing Disneynature’s Penguins I thought it was going to be just another boring documentary. Boy was I wrong, the entire 76 minute duration of the movie I was thoroughly entertained. The movie had me feeling all of the emotions from laughing out loud, “aww”-ing at the cute penguins falling in love, and even sitting on the edge of my seat in suspense. Below are five reasons I LOVED Disneynature’s Penguins:

Ed Helms was an AMAZING narrator

Ed Helms really was the perfect narrator for Penguins. As the only voice heard throughout the movie, Ed did an amazing job bringing personality to Steve. It was so fun to hear Ed’s interpretation of what might be going on inside the head of Steve the penguin. Ed did such a great job providing the right amount of humor and comic relief to the movie. You might remember Ed Helms from his role as Andy on the hit TV series The Office. If they ever do a documentary about my life, Ed Helms better be the one narrating, please.

The cinematography was incredible

As an amateur photographer myself, I find it challenging to get a picture of a toddler at home. I can only imagine how difficult it was to get the shots they did of wild animals in well below freezing temperatures and 150 MPH winds. The filming process took over three years and most of the filming was done during only five months of the year. The rest of the time involved transportation, which sometimes took over two weeks to travel to the new location. The camera crew had to get creative to give us some shots from the penguin’s point of view.

Overall with the underwater shots and the amazing shots of the animals, the cinematography of Disneynature’s Penguins was absolutely stunning and breathtaking. Antarctica is one of those places that not many of us will ever get to experience in our lifetime so I am grateful that we can see it through the eyes of these talented photographers in films like this.

Disneynature’s all-new feature film “Penguins” is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind “Bears” and “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s “Penguins” opens in theaters nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.

The soundtrack tied everything together

The soundtrack for Disneynature’s Penguins really brought everything together in this movie. It was the perfect balance of an amazing score created by Harry Gregson-Williams and classic songs from the 80’s that we all know and love. Since the entire story of the movie is told by a single narrator, the music in this film is critical to help us feel the emotions the director is trying to get across. You will be sure to recognize such songs as “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon and “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake. I brought my 18-month-old boy to the movie and he was dancing throughout the entire movie.

It is a great movie for the entire family

Disneynature’s Penguins is a movie that I know the whole family will enjoy. I took my wife and my little 18-month old boy and we all absolutely LOVED the movie. The movie has a G rating and there is nothing in the movie that would make me question that. Although we are used to a lot of adult humor from Ed Helms in his roles in The Office and The Hangover, Ed proved that you can still be funny without it getting inappropriate. The only thing you may have to worry about with children is a couple very short scenes that show predators eating other animals. Nothing graphic is shown and it is very brief but it is something to be aware of.

The 1 hour and 16-minute runtime is just right to capture the attention span of smaller children. With the combination of the entertaining music, comic relief from narrator Ed Helms, and captivating story it really is a film children and adults of all ages will enjoy.

Disneynature “Penguins”

It’s not only entertaining but also very educational

I am sure we have all watched at least one boring documentary sometime in our life. Don’t get me wrong I love to learn, but if I can be entertained while I am learning it is definitely a big win. Disneynature’s Penguins was great at teaching us all about the Adélie penguins and other wildlife in Antarctica. It was very fascinating to not only see how they live but also get some insight into what they may be feeling and thinking.

Disneynature is celebrating its 10th anniversary of creating these informational and entertaining movies to help us better understand the wildlife around us. “Penguins” continues Disneynature’s conservation tradition and by seeing the movie you can help carry on that tradition. For every ticket sold opening week (April 17-23, 2019), Disneynature will make a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) to help protect penguins across the southern hemisphere.

Overall Disneynature’s Penguins is a must see for anyone and everyone. I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you would like to see what other movies are coming from Disney in 2019, click here.

I have also included some fun family friendly activity sheets from Disneynature’s Penguins. Click on the image below to download.

Disneynature Penguins Activity Packet
Live Action Kim Possible Review

Live Action Kim Possible Review

Disney Channel’s Kim Possible is now available on DVD and Digital. Kim Possible is just your basic average girl but she was here to save the world in the animated series that ran on the Disney Channel from 2002 – 2007. Now after more than […]

A Dad’s Review of Disney’s Live Action Dumbo

A Dad’s Review of Disney’s Live Action Dumbo

“You’ve seen a horse fly. You’ve seen a dragonfly. You’ve even seen a housefly. But you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen an elephant fly!” —Baritone Bates, “Dumbo” Everyone will have their chance to see an elephant fly as Dumbo soars into theaters on March […]