With summer coming to a close, making felt crafts that remind us of fun in the sun can help make the season last just a little bit longer. This week, Maker Team member Hannah of @ohhoneychild brings us a magnetic felt fishing for stars game that will help your family remember warm days at the beach, or summer fairs!
If there’s one thing that I love, it is creating something that not only looks cute but can provide entertainment for my little ones. This idea came from nostalgic memories of the summer Vacation Bible School my church held each year. At the end of the week, they would hold a huge carnival to celebrate and one of my favorite booths was a magnetic fishing game. Back then, they used paper cut outs of fish with a paper clip on one side and magnet on the fishing rod! So here we are with the very same idea, translated into felt starfish. My girls have had a blast trying to catch these fun sea creatures, and I think it would be a really fun craft to make together when they get older!
Skill level: intermediate
Time: 3-4 hours
- 9x12 inch Wool Blend Felt Sheets in Sky, Cantaloupe, Swan, Abalone, Coral, and Blush
- DMC Embroidery Floss in 721, 3836, 3811, 3779, 498, 06
- Red Bakers Twine
- Plastic Eyes – 3mm
- 14" Wooden Dowel
- ¼" Super Strong Magnet (10)
- ½" Super Strong Magnet (1)
- Hot Glue Gun
- Sewing Needle
- Embroidery Needle
- Disappearing Ink Marking Pen
- Starfish template (click to download)
1. Print out the starfish template and cut out the starfish.
2. Pick a felt color for your first starfish. Fold the felt in half so that when you cut out the shape, you cut out two identical starfish shapes. For this tutorial, let’s call them star 1 and star 2.
3. Place template on top of your felt color of choice and trace the starfish using the Disappearing Ink Marking pen. The ink usually disappears after a day or two.
4. Following the design on the template, draw the eyes, smile and suction cups on the front of star 1.
5. Use an embroidery needle to poke holes of the eyes are and open up the hole. Then poke the eyes through.
6. Flip to the back of star 1 and hot glue a ring around the back side of the eyes and allow to dry. When hot gluing with felt, just allow the glue to cool down rather than pressing it down. If you apply too much pressure, the glue seeps to the front and it will leave a glue mark.
7. Glue a ¼ inch magnet right above the back side of the eyes (back side of star 1) and another magnet on the front side of star 2. Make sure that the magnets won’t be too close together when you lay them on top of each other or they will stick.
8. Flip over to the front of star 1.
9. Cut about 24 inches of your black embroidery floss. The floss is made of 6 strings. Pull 1 string out and thread with your sewing needle. Then sew into the felt but not all the way through and create a knot. This way your thread is secure, but you cannot see it on the front of the star. This should be near the star’s mouth. Then sew the mouth following the smile you drew earlier. End your stitch on the back of side one and knot the string so that it does not come apart.
10. Use a pink crayon and twist back and forth on the felt to make rosy cheeks.
11. Choose embroidery floss of choice for the suction cups. This time, cut 24 inches of your floss. Then pull apart the strings so that you have 3 strings instead of 6. Do a French knot for each suction cup. For reference use this video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjI5yo656U4
12. Thread your needle and tie a knot on the front of star 2. Its good to do it at the top left edge of the star, leaving the peak open for stuffing. Then stitch to the back, place Star 1 on top, and stitch around the star until you get around to the other side, leaving the top peak open.
13. Stuff the star with Polyfil. Be gentle so that you do not knock the eyes or magnets out of place. Use a pencil or the end of your pen to stuff each peak. Then close up the rest of the star. Tie a knot in the back to secure your stitch. Then poke your needle in towards your knot and bring it back out of the felt at the center of the back of star 2. Then snip the excess thread. This way you don’t leave any loose threads behind.
14. Cut around 42 inches of bakers twine (three times the length of your 14 inch dowel). Glue the twine ½ to ¾ inch from the top and wrap around upwards until you get to the top.
15. Place your ½ inch magnet on your felt of choice and draw a larger circle around it using your disappearing ink pen. Cut out two circles.
16. Place felt circle on the table, then hot glue a small circle in the center. Place end of the wine from the dowel in the glue and place the magnet on top of the twine. Glue another larger circle of glue around the magnet and top it with the second felt circle.
17. Repeat steps 2-9 to create 4 more starfish.
Congrats! You’ve created a fun activity for little ones to enjoy as we spend more time inside. Feel free to create challenges that make the game more difficult to make this even more exciting!
Thanks to Hannah for designing and writing this tutorial! You can follow her on Instagram @ohhoneychild or visit her website. Stay tuned for more Benzie Design Maker Team tutorials from Hannah and the rest of the Team!