A week ago I found myself with a tin full of animals (did you see my post of Hjorton and Crumble?), a heart that fell in love and did not want to let them go, and no gift for my nephew. With only a week and a half left for Christmas I started seriously panicking. Not only because of the time pressure, but because I did not have the slightest clue of what else I could do. So we sat down to brainstorm with Mr. AP.

We started discussing what toy would be the best. And as we thought about it the more we wanted something that would help with the hand and eye coordination, with him learning his colors, shapes and textures. And somehow, when all these things were said out loud I suddenly had the perfect idea: fishing! I saw before my eyes little felt fish and a toy fishing rod. The fish part seemed easy enough, but I had my doubts about the rod.

felt fish design iideasI gathered some ideas, grabbed my pencil and started sketching. I would not say that each and every one is true to its original color or shape, but hey, at least they are quite colorful! And these are the little beauties once finished.

The blue spotted fish with a huge smile.
A clown fish
A little crab with his pincers raised to wave a brave hello.
The sea horse. I thought if you look at him through the water, he might appear bluish…
OK, there is no explanation for the squid being green except that he wants to blend in with the seaweed.
And a cheerful striped fish completes the little school.

After I had the fish out of the way I concentrated on the fishing rod. I searched around a bit and I found a tutorial that seemed like something I would be able to do. I made a quick trip to the local hardware store, bought the necessary supplies and surprised a couple of salespeople along the way (You are doing what exactly!??). Yesterday I raided my dad’s workshop and power tools in hand I set out to tackle this task. It took me a couple of hours (primarily because I could not find a drill bit that is 1,5 cm wide), but with a little creativity I did manage to do it!

The finished fishing rod in all its glory.
The original tutorial called for a wooden spool and two discs to make the reel. I opted for two wooden door nobs that I glued together. I think it makes one spiffy reel!
The original tutorial called for a wooden spool and two discs to make the reel. I opted for two wooden door nobs that I glued together. I think it makes one spiffy reel!
The fishing line is fed through three hook eyes that are equally distributed along the rod. This way the line is nicely fed into the reel.
A wine cork functions as the bait. I glued a little magnet to its end. The bait is affixed to the fishing line with a hook eye.
Testing the toy. I mean, I had to make sure it was working properly before gifting it, right?

I am so happy with the finished result! I keep looking at both the fish and the rod and I have to pinch myself, because sometimes I don’t believe I did these. It will not be easy to let them go either, but I figure, if I go over to my brother’s and play with my nephew, I’ll be able to fish a bit. Just helping the little one, of course!

Let me take this opportunity to wish all of you who celebrate Christmas, a very happy holiday!