Fandanas are bandanas for fans of Disney attractions and characters. It all started with the “Tiki Room” Fandana I created in 2016 for fans of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. I hand drew everything, scanned in the drawings and arranged them in Photoshop. If you look closely at that design – and other early Fandanas – you can see the line thickness is not always the same because I enlarged and shrunk the various drawings after they were in Photoshop. When I’m working on a new design, I always print it out at actual size. This step ALWAYS leads to LOTS of changes as I have to constantly struggle to not add too many details or make things too small!
Drawings I scanned to use in the “Tiki Room” design:
Silk-screened by hand
I don’t do silk-screening myself and I’m so happy that I found the fabulous Fred who runs his studio out of an old building he rehabilitated in Philadelphia. Sometimes I choose a bandana color he has in stock and other times the fabric is custom-dyed. Most Fandanas have black ink but a few have a custom-blended colored ink. The “Punzie Pattern” bandana was especially unique because Fred did a rainbow roll technique where the ink color fades from one shade to another!
If you’re not familiar with silk-screening, here’s how it works:
• Art is burned onto the screen
• Ink color is prepped
• Ink is spread onto the screen
• Ink is pressed through the screen onto the fabric with a squeegee
• The bandana goes through a drying machine
What’s different about newer designs?
Around about my 4th Fandana design “Caribbean Pirates,” I invested in a Wacom drawing tablet. From that point on I sketched out what I wanted to do, scanned in the doodles and then did the final drawings right on the tablet. Now the line thickness is consistent – which looks really nice!
Starting in one corner, the “Carribean Pirates” Fandana goes through each scene in the ride:
GTG Fandanas include: Tiki Room, Haunted Mansion, Small World, Caribbean Pirates, Happiest Snacks, Wonder Land, Poppins Pattern, Jungle River, Disneyland Anniversary, Pan Pattern, All Aboard, WDW Anniversary, Punzie Pattern, Cali Adventure, Haunted Glow & Diz Signs
Fun with package design!
Each bandana is folded up with a hidden inspection card tucked inside. For example, a Haunted Mansion Fandana will have been inspected by Ezra, Gus or Phineas! The stickers on the clear bag each feature a different Fandana fan wearing their bandana in a different way.
A sampling of some of the packaging stickers:
I had gotten an order for my Disneyland Railroad-themed “All Aboard” Fandana from a Cast Member named Mark who shared with me that he was an Engineer on the Railroad! He told me they were allowed to bring any red bandana to work for their uniform and he was going to bring mine! Of course I was absolutely ecstatic and each time I visited Disneyland I looked for him on the train. Last fall on Dapper Day as I was walking up the stairs on the Mark Twain Riverboat I happened to glance over at a Cast Member working on some boiler thingie. What’s that? Does he have on MY All Aboard Fandana?! Does his name tag say MARK?! Yes, it was Mark – I had found him at last. As I freaked out over seeing my bandana “at work” in the park and the fact I’d finally found him, Mark could not have been sweeter. It was a total thrill!
Meeting Mark on the Mark Twain:
I’m a big fan of your new bandana. You got all the details just right. Keep up the great work. See you around the park!” —Cast Member Mark’s DM (which I will treasure forever)
If you don’t have a Fandana yet, you can find them on ETSY. If you’ve purchased one—or more—of these Fandanas I hope this brings your appreciation of them to a whole new level and THANK YOU for being a Fandana Fan!