Saturday, February 26, 2011

Teaching pet responsibility with felt fish magnets

I love felt. I love magnets. I love my glue gun. You all knew that, right? I didn't have anything super amazing to show you today so I am going to share something I made for my daughter last summer.

I started with some fish magnets. I didn't have a pattern...these are all just random things I thought would be appealing to a fish loving sassy little one year old. Each magnet has two pieces of felt hand stitched together with a magnet sandwiched in between the felt pieces. This would have been quicker with a sewing machine but you would have to leave a space large enough to shove in your magnet and then still hand stitch the closure. Plus, the hand stitching makes them cuter! We had a black made the bright fish stand out!

I had only planned on making magnets but then I got creative and added a big magnetic fish bowl carrying case. I first cut the fish bowl shape out of felt. Then I cut a matching vinyl piece for the front. I cut small squares to cover magnets on the four corners of the back piece. I cut another small vinyl piece to stitch inside for a pouch of sand and shells. I stitched it all together starting with the two vinyl pieces. To insert the sand, I stitched the top and sides of the vinyl together, poured in sand and shells, and stitched it while tilting it upward to avoid any spillage. This part was not easy and I recall making a huge mess! To further reinforce the sand area, I used super glue on a q-tip to seal the edges. The top of the fish bowl is not closed so your fish magnets can live in there or you can use it as a carrying case for road trips! Unfortunately an entire year later, our fish bowl is lost somewhere (my daughter's play room, bedroom, back yard, a friend's house, the car, etc., etc.) so I can't take any pictures to show you more specific instructions. This is the only picture I saved of the completed fish bowl from this project. How did that happen???

It was probably midnight when I was making this and instead of going to bed, I just kept crafting. I made a magnetic board to entertain my daughter on road trips and in restaurants. I covered one side with fish fabric.

I covered the other side with chalkboard fabric.

I made a little carrying case for all the fish too!

My daughter LOVED the surprise she found on the refrigerator the next morning. Her only inquiry about the project was why I forgot to make a whale. He was added later.

I wanted this to be educational for my daughter too so I made a fish food magnet to start teaching her about the responsibilities of having a pet. I'm happy to report that our fish were getting fed daily until we moved and purchased stainless steel appliances (non-magnetic).

She played with these magnets and used the board so frequently that I decided to start making similar sets for gifts. As I made more, there were a few changes made. Due to the all the sand I had stuck to my feet from the kitchen in front of the refrigerator, I didn't make anymore fish bowls with sand! I thought I had done a good job sealing up that vinyl pouch but sand is sneaky...before you know it, you'll have it everywhere! So I started using bright colored beads instead. I also
made the fish bowls smaller so they would fit on the magnetic boards.

Do you know someone that would prefer pet fish that never need their tank cleaned?


Jessica Stoker said...

This is so funny and cute. I love it! Great gift idea as well.

The Hawkins Family said...

This is SO adorable. I really love this idea, thanks for sharing. I love felt too. I make a lot of felt food for my daughter's play kitchen... check out this blog (!!! I think the broccoli is my favorite!
And this too... (

Anonymous said...

I love it!! I've been looking for something to make for a friend's 3 year old, and I think this just might be it!

Unknown said...

I made some similar fish magnets from a pattern at The Purl Bee for my daughter (2) to play with on the fridge and have been brainstorming ways to make these more interactive. I LOVE your fishbowl idea! So cute! I think I might try it for her!

I linked to your post in a round up of similar ideas I did while brainstorming.

Keep up the great work!