February 10, 2012

Gone Fishin'

Posted by Laura

I'm still catching up on posts about handmade Christmas gifts. Both Kristin and I were busy little elves over Christmas making art displays, kindle covers, heating pads, jars of rosemary salt, and cocktail glass votives, to name a few. One of my favorite things that I made was this magnetic fishing set for my nephew Sawyer.

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The idea started when he and I were fishing with his little Melissa and Doug magnetic fishing game spread out over a large area rug. We would spread the little fish out and lean over the edge of the rug with the little pole and collect them. The key was to not fall into the water [rug], or else you had to panickly say the word "swim" repetitively, while waving your arms in a swimming motion, until you found land. His imagination is much bigger than the normal rules of the game.

I saw an 8"x10" game with little wooden fish. He saw a habitat of creatures that live in the sea.
I saw an area rug. He saw an ocean.
I saw a chair. He saw a boat.
I saw a hardwood floor. He saw land, leading to a safe and redemptive world.

My Christmas gift to him was a larger version of that magnetic fishing game we played with that day. Games with larger props are always more fun.


  • 1 wooden stick for the pole (2' - 3' long)
  • 2-3 Screw Eyes
  • Magnets
  • Hot Glue
  • Ribbon (6' long)
  • Button
  • Drill with small drill bit
  • Fabric
  • Pillow Stuffing
  • Sewing Machine (or a needle and thread)

Step 1. Make holes in the stick where you'd like to attaching the screw eyes. I did one on each end and one in the middle (see 7th picture down for example)

Step 2. Screw in the screw eyes

Step 3. Sew button onto one end of ribbon. This will be end that you hold onto to reel in the fish.

Step 4. String ribbon through screw eyes. Tie knot to same end as button, about 4" from the end

Step 5. Using hot glue, secure a magnet onto the end of the ribbon (opposite end from button) by wrapping the ribbon around the magnet and gluing to itself

Fishing pole complete.

For the Fish
Step 6. Cut two pieces of fabric, equal sizes, into the shape of a fish. Folding fabric in half helps with symmetry.

Step 7. Attach magnet to 1 side of the fish (note: make sure the +/- energy lines up with the magnet on the pole). Sew square around magnet.

Step 8. Lay 2 pieces of fabric together, right sides together. Sew 3 1/2 sides around.

Step 9. Turn inside out and sew open end.

Step 10. Repeat steps 6-9 for the desired amount of fish. I made 6 fish.

Here is Sawyer at my parents' house, the morning after Christmas. Caleb and I slept in their finished basement (right below the spot these pictures were taken) and I was woken up by Sawyer's pitter-patter of feet as he was collecting his fish and spreading them out again. Moments like that make my auntie heart happy.

PS: Just wanted to bring some light to fellow blogger Nikki Gardner (from our cinnamon roll extravaganza) with her appearance on Design Sponge displaying her delicious looking Banana Rum Fritters. Holla!

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