I love to make things for the boys that encourage creative play. I have been planning to make them a magnetic felt fishing set for a while now. I purchased the supplies well before Christmas, but was never able to get around to it. After my husband made them the cardboard pirate ship, I knew the fishing set would be the perfect accessory, so I decided to make it as their Valentine's Day gift from me.
I used a wool blend felt that I purchased from this very sweet etsy seller. Acrylic craft felt would have worked just fine, but the wool blend is so much nicer!
I was inspired by these two different sets of felt fish. This set from Ikat Bag, and this one from Purl Bee. I looked to them for ideas, but just drew my own fish shapes onto the felt with a Sharpie. I made two identical sides and then sewed them together with embroidery floss. After I had almost made it around the entire fish with about an inch and a half left to go, I stuffed the fish with some wool roving and added a metal zinc fender washer inside and pushed toward the mouth area of the fish. I then finished stitching up the fish.
My husband purchased the washers at Home Depot in the hardware section for about $.20 each. They are a little thicker and heavier than normal washers, so they attract the magnet better through the felt than a regular washer would.
To make the fishing pole, I simply tied some twine to a large wooden knitting needle. A dowel rod, drum stick, or small branch would also work well. At the end of the twine, I tied a hook magnet that I purchased in a 2-pack from Hobby Lobby for $3.99.
Here is an up close picture of the washer and the magnet beside a quarter for size reference.
Buddy absolutely LOVED the fishing set. He played with it for most of the day. He was very creative and would place the knitting needle on top of something and then roll it to lift the fish up off the ground like a winch. (He's a big Bob the Builder fan.)
It was also his first experience playing with a strong magnet, so he enjoyed running around the house finding metal objects to see what the magnet would stick to. It was like a mini science lesson!
It was a fun and mostly relaxing Valentine's Day with my two little sweeties. Except when I discovered that Little Man drew on our newly painted playroom wall and shelf with a non-washable black marker. It's my own fault for having the markers within reach on my desk. Oh well! A little Kilz and touch up paint will fix it just fine.
Hope you had a great Valentine's Day!