Found a broken printable link? Check my Free Printables page. All the links there are redirected and fixed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No Sew Felt Fish

My kids love fishing with those magnetic fishing sets. Thing is... they never last long. The paper fish get ripped in half and the paper clips pulled off. I often find the clips all unfolded and poking up out of the carpet just waiting to snag its next victim.

I've found a lot of super cute felt fishing sets out there, like these from or A Little Learning For Two or Sewing Stash Challenge or Shannon Makes Things or my favorite from Just Another Day in Paradise.

But they all require sewing and stuffing and other time consuming stuffs like that. I think it would be incredibly fun to make them. I just don't have the time to drag out the sewing machine and polyester stuffing. And if one was going to make them for a busy bag swap, I highly doubt anyone would want to spend time sewing up 90 fish.

So here's my rendition.

I made ten of these little fishies in about 10 minutes' time with just some felt, some washers, and a hot glue gun. The rod was made by one of the moms in our last swap, using an unsharpened pencil, a length of yarn, and a magnet.

Here's how I put the fish together...

First, I doubled up felt sheets of the same color and cut out simple fish shapes through both layers at the same time. Cutting through both layers insures that both sides of your fish are the same shape and size.

Next I glued the two layers of fish together with a washer in between the layers. I found it easiest to glue the tails together, lay the washer in, and then put a line of glue around the edges of the fish body and seal it up.

You could end it here, or you could add details with puffy paint or marker or what have you.

There you have it... it's quick, it's colorful, and most importantly, it's durable.


  1. That looks fun! My boys love to "fish."

  2. I'll admit that I made a set of fish from cardstock and paper clips. So far they have held together well (4-5 months I guess). I love this version though.

    I added extra skills with my cardstock set:

    The fish were numbered, and as they were fished out, they had to be placed on the appropriate numeral on a grid. (Number recognition as one "game".)

    They were three sizes (small, medium, large). Sorting by size as another "game". (The opposite side of the numeral grid had three sections for sorting into.)

    I had thoughts of sorting by color as well, but my kidlet helped make them, so they ended up multi-colored.

    It has helped greatly with numeral recognition for her. The 3 size-sorting activity is challenging because I drew the fish free-hand and the she must decide what is "big" or "little" or "in-between" and the answers OK, because it it is just getting her to think about the concept.

  3. Hi! Thanks for sharing this fun activity. I used it in a busy bag exchange I recently hosted with some friends. I shared your activity and our swap on my blog.

  4. I was studying some of your content on this site and I think this web site is real informative! Keep on posting.

  5. Very much educating ! I am thankful to you for your ultimate creation.

  6. I found this on pintrest a few days ago! I can't thank you enough! My daughter has wanted a magnetic fishing set since she played with one at the children's museum this last summer. She's been playing with this for two hours now!

  7. Any ideas on the best way to fasten the magnet to the yarn for the fishing pole? I want to make sure the magnet doesn't come loose and become a choking hazard.

    1. You could just buy ring magnets (available on Amazon) and then it would be easy to tie the string on tightly.

  8. Thank you so much for this idea. After reading your posts I decided to organize my own toddler busy bag swap. I chose this fishing game myself. Instead of hot glue I used crafted whit glue & it worked great.

  9. What size of washer did you use? I bought the 1/4 inch and it didn't work well. Otherwise its really cute!

  10. Despite it being early in the season and the chilly water, best portable fish finder

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.