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Saturday, September 13, 2014

How to personalize your MagicBand

I wanted to try a couple of ways to personalize my family's MagicBands for our upcoming trip. I tried two different methods and will report how each holds up during our trip to Disney World later this month. So far I think the ones made with temporary tattoos are going to last the longest. (I will post an update after our trip at the bottom of the post to let you know how each held up.)

After applying stickers or tattoos you must paint the MagicBand with clear top coat nail polish to seal it. Be carful not to cover the area with the Mickey head in the center of the MagicBand. This is the area with the RF (Radio Frequency) reader that makes the MagicBands work. I suggest applying the polish while the band is closed (or at least making a circle) This will lessen the chance of cracking when it bends. 

Pros and Cons of each

Temporary Tattoos


  • More variety to choose from
  • Cheaper
  • Easier to apply
  • Easier to fit within edges of band
  • Doesn't peel off
  • Easier to add holes for snap

  • Color not as vibrant
  • More likely to ruin tattoo if not placed exactly right
  • Requires water
  • Hard to judge placement due to placing facedown 


  • Vibrant colors
  • Easier to judge placements
  • Easier to remove and replace before final coat
  • Less variety to choose from
  • Cost is higher
  • Requires multiple layers of nail polish
  • Hard to cut down to size of MagicBand
  • More likely to peel off
  • Hard to make holes for snap

The Monster's Inc. and Phineas and Ferb MagicBands were made using tattoos. 

To apply the tattoos, simply follow the instructions and apply as if it were skin. I used my pocket knife to cut the tattoo along the edge between the color section and gray section. I then used a damp cloth to rub off any access tattoo that may have stuck to the outer edge. After it was dry to the touch (within a minute) I painted on a layer of clear top coat nail polish. 
Note: be sure to remove the thin clear protective sheet on the tattoo before applying the tattoo. If you don't you'll end up with a tattoo stuck to that instead of your MagicBand. I learned that lesson the hard way. 
Note: Lighter MagicBand colors will most likely work better with tattoos.

To apply the stickers I simply placed them where I wanted. I found it very important to cut the stickers down to the size of the colored section of the MagicBand. I applied the stickers first then cut them while they were on the MagicBand. To do so I used my pocket knife, but a pairing knife would work just as well. Be sure not to cut too deep or you will go thru the band. Once the stickers had been applied and cut to size I painted on 3 layers of clear top coat nail polish. The stickers are thicker and can come up easier if you don't have multiple layers to hold them down. 
Note: if any of your stickers cover any of the holes, you will need to seal the holes from the other side with nail polish and you will not be able to use those holes to close the MagicBand. If you do not seal them, water can get in and get between the band and sticker and cause them to fall off sooner. 
Note: You must use plastic stickers as the paper ones will disolve when wet. 

The Tigger, Princess, Mickey and Fab 5 MagicBands were made using stickers. 

I found these clear plastic backed stickers at Hobby Lobby. Prices ranged from $1.97-$4.97 each

These sheets of tattoos were only $.99 each at Party City

UPDATE: The bands held up really well! We also had no issues with the bands working. I was a little worried because I put a small sticker and enough nail polish to hold it on just over the center Mickey Mouse that you touch to all the scanners, but it did not effect it. The MagicBands with temporary tattoos looked exactly the same on our last day as our first day. (We were there 9 days.) The ones with stickers mostly held up. At least one sticker on my youngest son's began to peel up, but remained on. I had a little peeling on mine near the edges, but you had to mess with it to notice. My oldest son's band was completely void of stickers by our last day. He is 15 and is very fidgety and just couldn't leave them alone as they began to peel. We did not wear our bands in the shower or to sleep. This might make them not last as long, but you never know. They were just to bulky and uncomfortable, so we took them off once we were in the room for the night and put them back on on our way out. I would imagine the stickers might peel more if in water a very long time. The tattoos should be perfectly fine in water though. Knowing what I learned this trip, I think next trip I will stick to temporary tattoos. They were cheaper, easier to find and I don't have to worry about them possibly pealing off. But if I find really awesome stickers that I love I may use them too! One thing I did notice is that hardly anyone else had personalized MagicBands. We got so many compliments from cast members and others in line wanting to know where I got them. They were all really impressed that they were homemade and often asked how to make them. It was also a nice way to start a conversation with the face characters. All the princesses noticed my daughters band and used it as a way to get her to warm up to them.

Feel free to let me know if you personalize yours and with what characters in the comment section below. 

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  1. Hi Nicole,
    What you refer to as temporary tattoos are what used to be called that right?

    Also, is clear nail polish flexible? Is that why it's the best choice?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Rich. I apologize for not replying sooner. I wasn't notified of your comment and just happened to stumble across it. Temporary tattoos are just that. They are the little tattoos kids put on their skin with water. You could use rub on decals, but they are usually very large. The clear nail polish is flexible to a degree. The bands themselves are not very flexible. You will see very slight cracking in the nail polish, but it is not noticeable unless you REALLY get close and try to see it. The main purpose of the nail polish is to keep it waterproof and also protect the tattoos and stickers from being scratched off. I hope that helps.