DIY Magnetic Fishing Game

In preparation for spending a weekend with our friends and their twin toddlers, I did some research on fun craft ideas I could bring with for entertainment. One night spent down the magical black hole of Pinterest I came across a couple of DIY fishing games for kids that looked perfect for our weekend at the beach.

fishing game tutorial

My inspiration was this one with paper, this one with felt and this one with fabric, and as is the way with being inspired, I ultimately ended up doing a version of my own.

Skill level: This sewing project would be good for beginning sewers.
Time commitment estimate: A few hours, depending on skill level.

To start: Make sure all fabric is prewashed before you cut it so you eliminate any shrinking that might happen after it’s sewn and then washed.

Sewing supplies you’ll need to make this kids fishing game (below are some links to Amazon if you want things delivered to you, otherwise Joann’s will have everything you need):

1. Sewing machine – You’ll need a standard sewing machine to complete this project. See here for some suggestions on sewing machines for beginners.
2. Thread – The only thread I use is Gutermann. Other brands have the little lip that always gets caught when I’m sewing and it drives me crazy. This would be a good investment if you need various colors for future projects as well. Otherwise just get a spool that matches your fabric.
3. Scissors – Invest in a decent pair of scissors (not expensive, just decent) and then don’t let anyone else use them. I had a sewing instructor in school harp on that constantly – everyone puts pressure in different areas of the scissors and you don’t want your alignment to get messed up. Fiskars is my brand of choice, and this pair looks like a great place to start. Also, don’t use them for anything except fabric. They’ll get dull quicker and there is nothing worse than trying to cut fabric with dull scissors.
4. Fabric – You’ll need cotton fabric for this project. I used scraps I had on hand to make a variety of fish.
5.  Pillow stuffing – This is what I have in my craft bin.
6. Magnets – You’ll need one heavy duty magnet per fishing pole that you make.
7. Things that are magnetic – I used s hooks and screws we had laying around, but you could get professional with it and use all the same size washer or something. You’ll need two per fish that you make.
8. Rope – You’ll need 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick cotton rope to make the fishing line.
9. Wooden dowel – You’ll need one 3/8″ diameter wooden dowel. I got mine at Joann’s.
10. Super glue – I use this more than I can even admit to. House projects, sewing projects, craft projects – you name it, it’ll save the day.
11. Fish template – You could make your own fish template, or download and print the one I made here.

 

OPTIONAL: I made a bag to hold all the fish that doubles as the “water” when laid flat. For that you’ll need:

1. Cotton Fabric – I made mine blue to represent water. Plus I had enough of this fabric on hand to use. It could be any color.
2. Ribbon – This is how the bag cinches up to be tied. It will need to be long enough to lay completely flat.

Tutorial below:

Here are some of my random magnetic items and my cut out fish template.

fishing game tutorial

Lay the pattern on top of your pre-washed and ironed fabric scraps and cut out.

fishing game tutorial

With right sides together, sew your fish with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure to leave a space (about 1 1/2″ long) to turn the fish right side out.

I made a little pocket out of extra fabric that I sewed the screws into, and then sewed on top of the seam allowance after I sewed the fish together. Make sure and sew a screw in this little pocket to both sides of each fish. Having something magnetic on both sides will make it easier for the kids to “catch” them when you’re all done.

Clip seams around curves and at the tail points.

fishing game tutorial

fishing game tutorial

Turn right side out and stuff. Hand sew or machine sew the hole closed. I wasn’t worried about being too perfect with these so I just did a quick machine stitch to close up the hole.

fishing game tutorial

To make the fishing pole, make about a 2 1/2″ long strip of super glue on one end of the wooden dowel for your rope to go on top of.

fishing game tutorial

Make 3 more strips of glue and neatly wrap the rope around.

fishing game tutorial

Once the glue was completely dry, I used matching thread and hand sewed the rope together as well just to make sure it would stay secure.

fishing game tutorial

Make circular pockets for your magnets and sew to the end of the rope. This was a bit difficult because the magnets kept getting stuck to the sewing machine, but it’s doable. I did two rows of stitching with the rope getting caught both times to make sure it was secure.

fishing game tutorial

fishing game tutorial

As I mentioned above, I also made a bag that cinches up to hold the fish and acts as the “water” when laid flat.

fishing game tutorial

fishing game tutorial

fishing game tutorial

Here are some action shots from the weekend. If you can’t tell by their adorable faces, they were pretty pumped when they “caught” a fish. I think they’ll get quite a bit of use out of this project.

*Click here to read about how to make the sweatshirts they’re wearing.

fishing game tutorial

fishing game tutorial

fishing game tutorial

fishing game tutorial

fishing game tutorial

You know that feeling when you can tell someone’s staring at you? Thanks Frankie, for always being a creeper.

fishing game tutorial

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