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Show Your DIY Disney Side: Disney Parks Guide Map Photo Mat

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

If a picture says a thousand words, I say a picture frame can say a thousand more. In this new “Show Your DIY Disney Side,” I’m making quick and easy photo mats using Disneyland Resort tickets and guide maps.


As much as I love sharing pictures with friends on social media, there’s something special about good ol’ unfiltered, un-hashtagged photo prints. What better way to put these beauties on display than with a unique photo mat? I used Disney Parks tickets and maps because they’re bright and colorful (Plus, it’s a great way to show your Disney Side).

If you have the materials, it’s fun to theme your mat to your photo – admission tickets for a concert photo, a street map for a road-trip snapshot, leftover gift wrap for a birthday photo — the options are endless!


  • Any decorative paper (I used my old park tickets and a guide map, but any other decorative paper will work)
  • Picture frames (I used 8” x 10” and 4” x 6” frames)
  • Craft knife
  • Your favorite photos (I used a 4” x 6” photo for the bigger frame and wallet-sized photo for the smaller, but you can use whatever sizes you’d like)

Step 1: Take the picture frame apart, separating the frame, cardboard backing and glass.

Step 2: Lay the guide map or decorative paper out flat over a tabletop.

Tip: Since we’ll be using our craft knife on this surface, make sure to protect your tabletop! A thick paper bag or some cardboard will do.


Step 3: Cut your desired paper to fill the frame (you can use the glass as a guide). This will form your photo map.

Tip: If using park tickets instead of a guide map or large decorative paper, you might not need to cut anything at all! Skip to Step 5.

Step 4: Place the photo over the center of the photo mat. Using the craft knife, cut out the center of the mat using the photo as a size guide.


Step 5: Place the photo face-up in the center of the picture frame and place the photo mat (or neatly arranged park tickets) on top of (or around) the photo.

UPDATE 7/16/14: I wanted to share this great tip from my fellow cast member, Gray, who works at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – “As a photo preservationist myself, I would like to suggest that you only use copies of photos and never the originals, as the tickets and maps are acidic and will degrade photos over time.” Thanks, Gray!


Step 6: Carefully place the glass on top to lock everything into place.

How do you “Show your DIY Disney Side”? Tell us in the comments!


  • So, since you were paroled from [or broke out of] the Frontierland jail, will we be see any photos from your stay?

    • I served my time, Gregory! 🙂 Keep an eye out for a video of my adventures in Frontierland soon.

  • Hey — loving those “purple” violet lavender colored-nail polish.

  • I used my old pins from visits to make fridge magnets-super easy and cute!

  • I bought a Disneyland park map and pinned it to corkboard. Then I put my Disney pins in relevant places on the map. It’s fun to look at and add more pins.

  • I’ve actually used our old gift cards for frame mats like these. My mom took her old gift cards and glued them to a card table we used when camping.

  • Neat idea. I did something similar to that on ceramic tiles to use as coasters. added a thin piece of cork backing on it to avoid scratching things. How fun to display your Disney side. Keep the ideas coming.

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