Jacob frequently asks to play fishing. This involves sitting on the edge of the decking, waving bamboo sticks around and proclaiming that we've caught Stuff (Stuff doesn't have to be limited to fish. We've caught bears, spiders, sharks, flowers, vegetables ... pretty much anything he can imagine or see). Still, I thought it would be nice if he had a proper fishing game, and having some felt in various colours, I decided to make a rainbow of fish.
I'm sure I must have seen this fishing game somewhere, but I don't recall where so I can't add credit where it's due. Still, I'm sure it's different enough that I can claim intellectual property ;) I should really have done pictures for a tutorial as I was making them, but it's pretty simple really, so I'll just make it up.
1. Get some felt. Tesco do a nice set of multi-coloured felt, which I've used for tons of craft projects where I needed little bits. Otherwise, I buy individual sheets as I need them.
2. Imagine a fish shape. Better yet, draw a fish shape on a piece of paper. Copy/trace this onto your felt (fold it first, so you get both sides). Cut them out (at the same time. Pin them together to aid this).
3. This tutorial doesn't sound much like a proper tutorial. Sorry.
4. Sew on buttons for eyes, or bits of felt, or fabric, or whatever you like. I did some with buttons, some with bits of white felt sewn on with black French knots for pupils. I don't know if fish have pupils.
5. Sew on fins, if you want them. I embroidered some, used some sticky felt shapes I had in my Box for others. If you haven't got a Box, I can't help you here.
6. Sew the sides of the fish together, using blanket stitch, because it looks nice. Look on youtube for blanket stitch tutorials, it's very easy. I used a nice contrasting thread. When I ran out of patience, I sewed straight lines on the back finny bit, so I didn't have to stuff it.
7. Before you get to the end, stuff using fibrefill or whatever floats your boat.
8. Close it off at the mouth area, adding a washer to your last stitch and finishing off under the washer. After I spent a week searching for (and finding!) individual washers in car parks, I found that you can buy a box of about a million of the fuckers, for about 99p from Poundstretcher. If your consumerist sensibilities don't allow you to shop in Poundstretcher, I can't help you.
9. Spent fricking ages trying to find cheap magnets-with-holes-in-them to tie onto string for a fishing rod. Give up, and buy these cool extendable picker-upper things from the cheap yellow-box section of Tesco. They have a super-strong magnet on one end, collapse into a pen shape, are good for picking up things that have fallen into tiny gaps, and work nicely as fishing rods in a magnetic fishing game.
10. Make a nice drawstring pondy thing, to keep it all in and use as a pond to fish in. I haven't done this yet.
11. Ta-dah! Marvel at your incredible crafting skills. I do, on a daily basis.
Jacob LOVES this game, he makes his own rules up, but he mostly likes waving the stick around and doing the colours of the fish in English and Welsh. See, it's totally educational.