Updated: Apr 28
This underwater menagerie fishing game will keep the little ones occupied for hours, it has all the thrills and frustrations of real fishing but none of the wetness! The felt creatures are easy to sew and individually make brilliant soft toys.
In the instructions below I have shown how to sew the creatures with a sewing machine but they can easily be hand sewn too. You could also use faux leather instead of felt.
YOU WILL NEED
FOR THE CREATURES: 1 sheet A4 felt per creature plus extra felt in additional colours for the fins and scales, ( Cloudcraft have beautiful 100% wool felt ) • matching threads • Air erasable pen or tailors chalk • sewing machine • toy stuffing • contrasting embroidery threads • embroidery needle • scissors,
TO MAKE EACH CREATURE
1. Print the body template download here (they'll go immediately into your downloads folder) for each creature onto a thin piece of paper and cut out.
2. Fold one piece of A4 felt in half. Pin one creature template to the folded felt then draw round it. Remove the template and repin the two layers of felt together. Don't cut the felt as its easier to sew following the drawn line and cut the felt afterwards.
3. Machine sew around the outline of the creature. Finish sewing leaving approximately a 2-3 cm gap for stuffing (start and stop at the points marked on the template). NB: When you are sewing the Crab, leave three stuffing holes, one in the main body and one on each claw.
4. Cutaway the excess felt leaving a small (3mm) seam allowance of felt all around the creature.
5. Insert the magnetic clasp for the eyes by deciding where you would like them to go. With the clasps I have used each clasp comes with two pieces and two small metal circles to help secure them. Cut two small slits in the felt to feed the clasp through. For the eye use the main part of the bag clasp that looks most eyelike (mine have a depression that looks like a pupil!) Carefully insert your fingers into the hole in the seam and manipulate the clasp feet closed so they are secure.
6. Next place a little stuffing into the cavity of the creature, don’t try and stuff their extremities like the tails as they look cuter when only their tummies are full and puffy! Don't overstuff but do remember to stuff both the crab claws though.
7. Push the stuffing to one side so it is easier to get the creature under your sewing machine foot and sew the opening closed.
8. When you have made all 5 basic shapes, hand sew the fins and scales in place using a contrasting embroidery thread. To make the seahorses mane, cut two felt rectangles, one 15 x 2cm and one 15 x 1cm. Place the smaller rectangle on top of the larger one and sew a medium size running stitch along one edge. Pull the thread to gather the mane to give a frilled look and then hand sew in place.
9. Finally, decorate each creature with simple embroidery patterns, I‘ve used stars and French knots. Sew small smiles onto each creature as they are a cheery lot!
TO MAKE THE FISHING ROD.
1. Take the empty cotton reel and thread on to the piece of string. Tie a knot in one end and then secure the cotton reel to the string by filling the base of the reel with hot glue from a glue gun.
2. Whilst the glue is still hot take the opposing half of one of the bag clasps and insert it into the glue so it sits flush with the base of the cotton reel. Leave to dry.
3. Take the bamboo cane and decorate with coloured washi tapes or paint Tie the string to one end of the cane and secure it with a piece of tape.
TO PLAY THE GAME
The rules are simple, scatter the sea creatures over your floor then take it in turns to see who can 'fish' the most creatures within a certain time limit.