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by Character Diva

DSC_0238I think my favorite Disney relationship has to be between Carl and Ellie Frederickson from the Disney Pixar movie, “Up”. While you really only see them together for the first twelve minutes of the movie or so, it is amazing at how an entire lifetime together can be crammed in such a short amount of time. You really feel their sense of longing and excitement for childhood adventure, followed by their wedding, and then the highlights of their life together- buying and fixing up their dream home, working alongside one another, wanting children only to learn that they are unable to have any, and then deciding to change their goals and focus on going to their dream vacation destination. Of course, like real life, curve balls are thrown their way, from broken bones to flat tires, and unfortunately, it is never something they get to achieve together. And while Carl always feels guilty about this, it is Ellie’s last gift to him, her “My Adventure Book”, that really makes him realize all of the wonderful adventures they went through together, even if things didn’t always go as planned.


As I have mentioned in some of my previous articles, “Up” was the first movie my husband and I saw in theaters together. Add this fact to the beautiful and inspiring relationship between Carl and Ellie, and it pretty much seals the deal that they would be my favorite Disney couple. I’m also kind of obsessed (okay, really obsessed) with taking pictures of everything… and keeping EVERYTHING. I’m very nostalgic. So of course you can bet that I (being the Disney lover that I am) wanted to mesh all of these wonderful things together and tie them into some kind of present for the hubby… and what better way than recreating Ellie’s Adventure Book?


The first thing I figured I’d better do is get some ideas. This is where Pinterest is amazing. Can I just mention how much I love Pinterest? You can really find anything there. And they have some really cute “Up” gift ideas too, including several versions of DIY “My Adventure Book”.


I also loved the Disney Family Activities page  which had some great sample “badges” for your own Wilderness Explorers Booklet. That (along with a Google search for images representing other key moments in our relationship), expanded more on the “Up” theme, and at the same time was a fun way to highlight the pictures that went along with all of our adventures. Disney Diva Tip: Finding all of the badges I wanted to use was probably the most time consuming part (not to mention trying to edit and size them). So I recommend setting aside a good chunk of time to work on this part.




Pictures- Probably the most important part. Since Ellie had emphasized her marriage to Carl as one of the main events, I figured I’d be sure to put in one of ours. Pictures later on in our marriage with just the two of us are much rarer to come by, mainly because they either include pictures of our kids, or tend to be one of us with our kids while the other one is standing behind the camera. And while Carl and Ellie never had any kids of their own, somehow, I don’t think Ellie would object, so I also made sure to throw in badges and pictures with us and our kids, because Hey, our kids are probably the best thing that has come out of our relationship, and have definitely taken us on our own adventure.  Disney Diva Tip: I recommend picking your pictures first. Not only will this help you save time when it comes to figuring out what badges you’ll need, but it’ll help give you ideas on what types of badges to look FOR.  (Though the template from Disney Family Activites can be a good starting place, and it may even make you remember some of your favorite memories). For example, my hubby and I honeymooned at Disney World and on a Disney Cruise around the Bahamas, so naturally I wanted to find images that would work for badges for both Disney World, and also for our cruise.


Once I knew what pictures and badges I wanted to use, I had to think of the actual construction of the book. I wanted something with that old-time scrapbook feel, but something that would protect the actual pages. To accomplish this, I headed over to our local Hobby Lobby, and found two scrapbooking albums that I thought might work. I tried a couple different versions (the 12 x 12 square and the 11 x 14 rectangle). Here are the pros and cons I noticed with both… you can decide what works best for you.


As far as the letters go, I typed them out onto a Microsoft Word document and then changed the color of each letter to match the book as best as I could. I also purchased the “football” paper recommended on this site to give the binding that finished look. Disney Diva Tip: If I had to do this again, I would definitely recommend painting them unless you have a die cutter. I found cutting them to be very tedious. Also, it was really hard to glue the football paper on, so if you decide to use it, make sure you use heavy duty glue. 


For the actual pages, I ended up just using cream-colored cardstock… not perfectly white, but not really yellow… just enough of a tint to make it look somewhat “aged”. I also used the clear plastic pages that came in the scrapbook (though you could always buy more if necessary) to keep everything together and not falling off. Disney Diva Tip: Don’t forget to leave some blank pages in the back so you can keep adding to your book!


As far as which scrapbook may work best for you, it kind of depends on what layout you want to use and how many pictures, badges, or other mementos you want to add and how much “white space” you want to have leftover.  To me, the 11×14 scrapbook resembled the movie’s version of the book better. (The 12×12 is obviously a square and not Ellie’s rectangular shaped book). My issues with the 11×14 scrapbook that I selected was that 1.) I felt the pictures and badges on the pages looked too “squished” and 2.) the pages would lift upwards and be vertical instead of horizontal. While some people may not care (or even notice), I didn’t like how it looked, so I ended up going with the 12×12 (which being a perfect square, you could have your pages either vertical or horizontal depending on your preference). The disadvantage of using the 12×12 scrapbook came with the football paper. Because my football paper was also a 12×12, it didn’t “fit” the 12×12 scrapbook perfectly. So if you do decide to go this route and can’t find a bigger piece of paper, you can either cut two strips and glue or tape them together to make one big piece, or you can center it so that it’s missing a little bit from the top and the bottom. If you’re using the 11×14 scrapbook, you won’t have this issue.


In the end, I was happy how it turned out. I felt that it modeled the original concept of the Adventure Book, while at the same time highlighted some of the most important events (or best memories) of our relationship.


So those are my tips on how to make your own Up Adventure Book. What other DIY Disney projects have you done for people? And what was the best Disney gift you’ve ever given or received? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!