Those that have been on a Disney Cruise have probably seen fish extenders hanging by stateroom doors. These decorations are used in a variety of ways, but are mainly a “Mail Box” of sorts for friends, meet ups and cruise staff. Disney Cruisers can opt into fish extender exchange groups on message boards like DIS Cruise Forums or can simply hang a bag with hopes that someone will stop by to leave a little gift (think Secret Santa). Do you want to know how to make a Fish Extender?
I have a fairly simple tutorial for your to make your own Fish Extender for a Disney Cruise. Materials for this fish extender were around $15 including fabric. While they look complicated to make, all you really need to know how to do is make a straight stitch. To put it into greater perspective, this was my first sewing experience EVER and I did it all by myself! Let’s get you started!
What you will need to make a Fish Extender
- 1/2 Yard of Base Fabric (Jolly Roger Skull Fabric)
- 1/4 Yard of Coordinating Fabric (Red Polka dot Fabric)
- Dowel Rod (Trimmed to about 10″)
- 2 Packages of Bias Tape, Extra Wide, Double Fold
- Mickey Mouse Ear Iron On Appliques
- Fabric Markers
- Coordinating Ribbon
Directions on How To Make A Fish Extender
Start with your BASE FABRIC (For us this was Skull Fabric)
Take your 1/2 Yard of Fabric & fold over lengthwise. This will be the main part of your Fish Extender. Iron it flat so that you have a clean crease along one side. This will be about 8 3/4-9 ” wide. Your length will be dependent on how many pockets you plan on having on your Fish Extender. Mine was 4 pockets, so I used the entire length of fabric.
After folding lengthwise, sew the open side closed (you may choose to turn it inside out so that the stitching is on the inside of fabric). If you don’t, no worries, your bias tape will cover your stitching.
Once sewn, put to the side. You will come back to this after you create your pockets.
Next, Make your POCKETS (We used Red polka dot fabric)
Take out your coordinating fabric and divide into 4 equal pieces measuring approx 8″ tall by 11″ wide. This will be the fabric is for your pockets. First thing you will want to do is sew the bias tape along the top of each of your pockets (11″ side). Do NOT sew to the bottom.
Next, pin pockets along the edges of your base fabric. You will create pleats about 1/2″ or so at each side. This is done by just tucking the fabric under on each side at about 1/2 “. You will then iron them flat to create the pleat. The pleats are important because that gives you room to have goodies inserted into your pockets later on.
Once they are pinned, you are ready to attach your Bias tape around the bottom of each pocket. Pin as needed. Use a straight stitch to connect the bias tape to the fish extender.
Now that your pockets are in place & attached at the bottom, you are ready to finish it off by sewing your bias tape around the sides of the entire fish extender. This will attach the sides of the pockets to the base fabric. You can also add bias tape to the bottom of your fish extender if the pocket didn’t hit the bottom. Don’t sew the top yet!
CREATING ROD HOLDER
Fold the top of fabric over so that your dowel rod will fit. Sew a straight stitch across to create a pocket for the rod. I used a strip of Mickey Head Ribbon (also used it to tie onto dowel rod) to give it a little extra Disney zing!
To finish off, we simply ironed on our appliques and wrote our names on them.
I hope that this helped you learn how to make a fish extender! If you used our directions and found them helpful or have a question, feel free to ask here or on Disney Insider Tips facebook page! As I stated, this was my first sewing experience, so I hope I did okay at explaining! Let me know how yours turns out!