Disney Fish Extender – Reversable

I learned something new about Disney Cruises. In the past, I always wanted to go on a Disney Cruise and I am so envious of my husband since he went on a Disney cruise when he was a child. I found out recently that one of my colleages loves to take his family on Disney Cruises all the time and they discovered the magical world of fish extenders.

Fish extenders?? What is that? Fish that have long fins… No that doesn’t sound right. There is one way I can find out: Ok Google, tell me about Disney fish extenders…

This is how I understand what fish extenders are and what they are used for after researching on multiple sites that Google provided me:

About Fish Extenders

There are fish hooks that are installed next to each stateroom on the Disney Cruise ship that Cast Members leave you mail or messages. You can hang a fish extender on this fish to be part of the fish extender exchange and still use the fish for its intended use.

Fish extenders can come in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Some have multiple pockets with designs and/or names of family members on each while some might only be plan with just one pocket. No matter what it looks like, you can still have a blast and be part of the fish extender exchange.

Who arranges the fish extender exchange? Disney Groups arrange the exchanges. Anyone that wants to participate can sign up before a certain dealine date, about 2 to 3 weeks before the cruise sails away. The group ask for your info like your Stateroom number, Number of Participants and ages of each person involved (don’t worry adults can participate and have fun too even if they don’t have any kids!) Once you are signed up, you can buy or create your own items to exchange with others while you sail across the sea.  Fun!

Now I really want to go on a Disney Cruise! Sounds like a lot of fun and my co-worker said they even have places on the Disney Cruise ship that is for adults only. Hmmm… might have to convence the hubby to take me on a Disney Cruise one day. 🙂


Well, my colleage’s wife knows I love to sew and create things so she asked me if I can make them a special fish extender for their family to take on their next Disney Cruise on Aug 17th. When she asked me, it was already the end of July. Yikes! Talk about cutting it close. No worries, I can make it in time for their cruise, challenge accepted! Time to start designing.

She asked me to make a fish extender with three pockets with Mickey ear designs for her husband and her grandson and a Minnie ear design for her. She also wanted their names stiched out underneath the designs. She told me that I can choose any disney fabric I find at the store and the colors to coordinate for the pockets. Bascially, she gave me free reign to design the fish extender and trust me in my creative judgement. Awesome!

Time to go shopping at Joann Fabrics!! While strolling around Joann Fabrics, trying really hard not to buy anything other then what I need for the project, I found two Disney Fabric designs that would be perfect for this fish extender. Which one to choose though? I figured that I would buy both and have one side one pattern then the back can have the other. Wait! I have a brilliant idea! How about I make a reversable Fish Extender! That way they can flip it back and forth to change the style everyday or keep one side the same the whole trip. It is amazing how creative I can get. Hehe.

Below is the fabric, interfacing and some fun disney buttons that I bought for this project (plus I bought a little extra of some fabrics so I can use for other projects down the road). Oh, I have to mention that I found this really neat sparkling red, blue and yellow cotton fabric. It is hard to tell in this picture but I think you might be able to see it sparkle in one of the videos I post later in this blog post. I thought this fabric would add more magic and wonder for this project especially since it’s Disney themed.


While on the topic of being creative, I had another idea. I figured that since I was making it revesable with different fabric designs I thought that I should also have different character designs on both sides. Even better, right? I thought of doing a pirate Mickey and Minnie on one side then a sailor Mickey and Minnie on the other. I informed them of my idea and they were super on-board with it. Now to designing my embroidery appliques!

Here is a video of my embroidery machine stitching out the last bit of the Sailor Mickey design:


Here is a video of my embroidery machine stitching out the last bit of the Pirate Mickey design:



Oh my goodness, it took about an hour or so to do each design. I spent about 8 hours total just doing the applique designs. Wow. I still had fun doing it though! Hehe. Totally worth it! The designs turned out better then I expected, especially since this is the second time ever doing an embroidery applique project (first time I did an embroidery applique was when I made a T-shirt while on travel here.)

Below are the end results of the Mickey and Minnie Pirate and Sailor designs.

Mickey & Minnie Pirates:



Mickey & Minnie Sailors:



They turned out great!

I forgot to take some progress pictures of me setting up the fish extender, creating the pockets and showing how I was assembling it, but in my defense I was trying to get this project completed in time for their family cruise. My time line was very short and I did not want to disappoint them and not have it done in time. I figured I will make it up to you someday by creating a DIY fish extender blog post so I can share how I made this reversable fish extender. For now, I will show you how it turned out.



I am so proud of myself. Surprisingly, this was a little difficult to make since I had to sew in a straight line and it was my first time using binding tape to make the edges and pockets look crisp and professional looking. Your probably thinking, isn’t sewing straight lines easy? Yes, they are but most of my projects I’ve been working on lately have been plushies which I am mostly sewing curves and a few straight lines. This project was all about long straight lines plus since it was reversable there where a lot more fabric layers that can shift while sewing (I used a walking foot to help prevent a lot of shifting). In the end the hard work paid off and this fish extender turned out amazing!!

I can’t wait to see their faces when they see the final project! Hehe.

Thanks for stopping by!


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SewCraftNbead Etsy Shop

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