December 14, 2010

Last Fish Craft

I have to admit that today made me a little proud of myself. Good pride. Really. But pride nonetheless.

I helped the kids with the most complex craft we have ever done. You can find out all about it and get the pattern here. Scroll down until you get to the

No Sew Stuffed Woven Fish Toy Craft

Long name.

Step Number One: Print out the pattern and instructions.

Step Number Two: Have your husband explain to you how to put the fish together. This step might not be necessary for everyone. It was critical for me.

Step Number Three: Take your kids to Michaels, or wherever, and have each child pick out two 8x10 pieces of felt. Try not to spend $70 for a $6 project (we were also buying Christmas presents to paint for grandparents and great-grandparents, but that store is almost as bad as Walmart for eating your money $2 at a time).

Step Number Four: Have your children who are old enough trace the pattern onto each piece of felt. Basically, you are making two of the same thing and then gluing it together to make the body. It would make more sense if I didn't try to explain it. Note to self: take a technical writing course, or, don't do crafts.

In all seriousness, this craft was above my ability level and the ability of Emeline and Cowen. If you have all children 6 and under, or non-crafty kids, or boys who aren't very particular--this craft might not be for you. I only did it for Miriam. And she loved it. Miriam loves, loves, loves crafts and this one let her use a glue gun and trace and cut and use batting--lots of things she doesn't normally get to do. She was in heaven and so it was worth it. Plus, at 7, she could do the project almost entirely herself. In fact, if I wasn't such a nervous mother about the glue gun, she could have done it all herself.
Below you see the patterns traced onto the felt. The instructions didn't call for two tail pieces, but I liked the extra thickness and the kids liked having two colors. So--optional.
Then you cut out the pieces, weave them together, glue the weaving together so the sides of your fish won't fall apart, and stuff it with a little batting.

You'll notice below how the weaving makes it look fun and two-tone. Once the two side pieces were woven together, I glued the edges together and that made it really easy to add the batting. Then I put some glue on the inside of the fish, the fish's owner pushed the tail down until it dried, and then we glued around the rest of the body. The tail flaps really well, which excites the children.

If I could change anything, I would have bought larger googly eyes. The children didn't mind. They played with their fish all afternoon. Success!!

I've always been scared of non-food homemade presents, but these fish made me think that next year I might try having the kids make homemade gifts for each other. We always have the kids draw a sibling name out of a hat two days before Christmas, then Timothy takes two kids and I take the other two and we head to Target or Toys R Us and let the kids pick out something for his/her person. It is fun, and we love it, but in the interest of making sure our kids don't get too much (hard when you have a LOT of relatives and your kids are the only grandkids on one side of the family), homemade might just be the better choice for us next year.

Especially if Timothy agreed to spearhead the helping committee.

1 comment:

  1. Holy mazoli!! Those are terrific-looking fish!! I am loving your fish unit right now. You are giving me all kinds of ideas. :)

    P.S. It was nice to finally meet you (at the Christmas Village). I hope I didn't freak you out! I was just surprised to see someone I recognized from the "blog world." hahaha I promise I'm not a stalker!