On with the regularly-scheduled photo-laden post...
I finished up my final summer present last week for my newly-2-year old nephew.
My family is really into fishing (we are Minnesotans!) and my brother is eager to pass along the tradition to my nephew. Now that he's turning 2, I thought he'd be just the right age for this activity.
I found many tutorials online for fishing games, but I really liked the look of this pattern from Just Another Day in Paradise. I used her template for the basic fish shape and the hooks. I had some fabric already that I wanted to use (Alfabeto Italiano), so I didn't use felt. And instead of velcro, I used magnets and washers.
I tucked the magnets into the hooks and I sewed washers into the fish heads (roly, poly fish heads). I was a little concerned about attaching the washer to the outside of the fish (as some other tutorials described) where they might fall off easily. They are pretty small - the smallest one is smaller than a dime. So I think they are pretty safe inside the fish. I tucked the washer in the head with a little fiber fill and then sewed a curve to keep the washing in place. Then I filled the rest of the fish and made a small curve near the tail.
My husband had some very strong rare earth magnets, so I wrapped them in a little fabric and inserted them inside the hook. Now they will catch the fish but it won't be so tight that little hands won't be able to detach fish from hook. In fact, they might be a little too weak now... but we'll see.
My family has been visiting the Eastern Shore in Maryland for almost 30 years and now the next generation is enjoying it, too. Blue crabs are a big part of our visits there, so I wanted to add a couple to the fish bucket.
I used this great, free e-book called Crab-Bags and Other Bean Beings for the template. I did not want to turn all those crab legs, so I liked that this pattern just had the two claws and two legs. I added about a quarter inch to the whole thing and closed the claws for easier cutting and sewing.
And what's fishing without a bucket! I had a bit of a hard time getting the arc just right in order to make the cone-type shape. But I just messed around a little bit and it seemed to work out alright. My nephew's name is Charlie and I used the no-sew Heat n' Bond to iron on his name and it's also a little play on Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
For the fishing rods, I followed the tutorial and sewed lines in two layers of felt and then I glued them to a couple dowels I found at Menard's. This adds a nice protective padding to the ends. I used white for the handles and black ends.
I used super glue, which ended up not being the best idea. I am not worried too much about my nephew chewing on it but it did discolor the black felt a little bit. But they're still perfectly functional. (I used a shoelace that I was lying around for the line.)
Live and learn and then move on!
I had a lot of fun making this. Hope Charlie has a lot of fun with it!