October 24, 2012

DIY Magnetic Fishing Pole Toy

I made this easy magnetic fishing pole toy for Bea in just a couple of hours using left over supplies we had around the house. We all had fun going fishing! : ) 

- Fabric (scraps work)
- Light marker or fabric pencil
- Scissors
- Cotton balls (or cotton stuffing)
- Pole (I used a scrap 1x2, just be cautious it's nothing little ones could impale themselves with!)
- Ribbon or strong yarn
- Staple gun (not required)
- Small magnets
- Needle
- Thread & sewing machine
-Yarn & large needle*

Step 1: Fold the fabric on itself so that the back of the fabric is exposed & draw some basic fishies. I will say that the fish shape at the top of the below picture worked out best overall for me.

Step 2: Cut out the fishes, leaving ~1/2" border. (There will be two pieces of fabric per fish since you folded it before cutting.)

Step 3: Sew around the fishes following the outline you drew. Leave ~1" unsewn so you can turn the fishes right-side in and also stuff them. I found the easiest place to do this was along the body of the fish, not on a corner!

Step 4: Turn the fish right-side in, drop a magnet in and put it where the mouth is, and stuff them. I used cotton balls because that's what I had and I didn't want to get a huge bag of cotton stuffing just for these little guys. Bea had a lot of fun helping me with this part!

Step 5: Sew up the 1" gap you left using a needle and thread.

*If you don't have a sewing machine or don't want to use one, you can easily do this by just hand sewing with a chunky yarn or something. I would still just cut out the fishes, but leave the fabric so the outside surface is outside and sew around the border, still leaving ~ 1" gap for stuffing. You could even try using paper (instead of fabric) and a plastic needle with yarn and the (older) little ones could help.

Almost done! On to the fishing pole...

Step 6: Secure the end of a piece of ribbon (or strong yarn) to the end of the stick. I used a staple gun for this, but if your pole isn't compatible with this, just tie it on and/or secure it with some glue. Once I stapled the end, I wrapped the ribbon around multiple times and then stapled the ribbon to the stick again.

Step 7: Pull the now attached ribbon out until you have ~2 feet of ribbon hanging from the stick. You can always wrap excess around the stick, or easily trim it, if you decide it's too long later.

Step 8: Get a small square of fabric (will vary in size depending on the size of your magnet), put your magnet in the center, and fold up the sides. Wrap the end of the ribbon around it to make a sort of purse and secure with a knot. This is your lure & hook and now you are done!

For extra fun:
- You can embellish your fish and make them extra cute using fun buttons for their eyes or by attaching random sequins to look like scales.
- You could make it a fun learning game by printing or sticking numbers, letters, or shapes to the fish. Then either have a grab bag of the different numbers or letters that they can draw, or you can just call one out that they then have to fish for! Perfect for a rainy day, or getting your kids engaged in learning.
- If you have a million alphabet fridge magnets like we do, you could skip making the fish and go fishing for letters instead.

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