Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Felt 'o Fish I-Spy Bag

So I received a new calling at church, I now teach the Sunbeam class! (For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, and think I teach a class about the sun....The children at church have their own classes, called Primary, and the 3 year old class is called Sunbeams. :) )

Being a young, (somewhat) newly married (2 1/2 years), childless woman....I LOVE teaching my Sunbeams!!!  In my life right now, I know that this calling is exactly what I need. 

A quick update so you understand how much this calling means to me...

2 years ago, as of April 4th, I was pregnant with my first child.  My husband and I had only been married for 7 months, and we were surprised and SO excited to be beginning our family!  At about 8 weeks along, we went to hear the heartbeat of our baby, but were shocked and horrified to hear that our baby never developed a heartbeat, and I would soon lose the baby.  I was beyond what any words could ever describe.  I had longed to be a mother, and just my dream was beginning to come true, it was taken away just as quickly.  2 weeks later, on a beautiful April day, I suffered a horrible, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching miscarriage and lost my precious angel baby.  I struggled for a long time to come to terms with my miscarriage, and then with our struggle to get pregnant again.  After many, many, many MANY days, weeks, and now 2 years STILL with no children or pregnancies, I have finally begun to understand the true meaning of "the Lord's time".  I truly believe that things in our lives will happen when it is the right time for them to happen.  I know my Heavenly Father knows me exactly and knows what is best for me.  So as the 2 year anniversary of my miscarriage comes in the next few weeks, I have actually come to accept it and am grateful for the 10 short weeks I was able to carry my angel baby. 

Ok, so that wasn't as quick as I thought it would be....

So you can understand now, that when I was asked to teach (or more like run after) eight 3 year olds for 2 hours each Sunday, I was more than thrilled!!! These 8 sweet Sunbeams have come to be my children for the day.  I love to spoil them with games, snacks and cute crafts to take home!

Last Sunday, our lesson was: "I am Thankful for Fish"  I spent most of my Saturday brainstorming something adorable to make for them, and I finally (all on my own) thought of a cute fish, made of felt and filled with blue "water" gems, shells and rice!  I was so excited and sewed them all, while watching Jimmer and the BYU Basketball Team SMASH Gonzaga.  So here's the adorable little fishies!

First, draw a simple fish shape. As you can see, I started with a small picture and kept making it bigger and bigger.

Then trace and cut out of felt

Then you have two cute felt fishes!

I totally forgot to stop by Joann to buy clear I used my creative brain! I knew I HAD to have something that I could use in the house. I found this old clearview binder that was on it's last leg and thought "PERFECT!!!" I was so proud of myself that I used what I already had, and didn't spend any $$$.
Cut out a square of the clear plastic, then sew a circle around the plastic.

Flip the fish over, and cut into  the circle, and cut close to the stiching (not too close, you don't want to cut the stitches and break the seam).

Put the 2nd fish underneath and sew the two together, making sure to leave an opening on the tail, so you can fill you fish.

As you sew, you can leave as little or as much of a seam on the outside of the fish.  You can always trim the edge afterwards.  Just make sure you sew through both layers-you don't want any holes for the filling to fall out.  (I say this by experience, but I just sewed right over the seam again to reinforce the seam.)

Look how cute! Open up the hole, and get ready to fill!

I found these all at Dollar Tree! I put 2 big blue gems, 4 oval blue gems, 4 light blue gems, and 2 shells in the fish.

Slide the gems and shells into the fish.  Isn't it looking cute?

Then fill the rest of the fish with rice.  You can find cute little beads, or clear pebbles, but I went cheap and had a bag of white rice leftover from making heating bean bags, so I used it! Fill the fish with as much or as little rice and you would like.  Just make sure you have enough room to sew the fish closed.

See! The gems, shells and rice blend together so nicely.

Sew the opening closed.

Voila! Cute little fishie! It's a great way to keep a little one busy.  They can move their fingers around and search for the different gems.

My first 3 red fishies

Since I have 8 Sunbeams, boys and girls, I made a rainbow of different colors.

My school of fish!

I added an eye on the other side, so they really look like a fish.  I just cut out a small circle of felt, and hot glued it on.

And you can't just hand them a cute fish all by itself! So I designed and printed out these cute tags so they could remember out lesson - "I am Thankful for Fish"

I had so much fun with this lesson.  I was even more excited that the kids LOVED their fish! There's nothing better than making a craft and then seeing others enjoy it just as much as you did!



  1. Those fish are SOOOOO dang cute. You're so creative! Heather, you're so awesome and such a wonderful woman!

  2. I lost my first baby as well, so I can understand a bit of your heartache. It sounds like you know this, and it's not always easy to accept, but God will give you a precious baby in His time.

    Those fish are adorable!! I wish I were creative (and crafy) enough to think of things like that.

    **Stumbled across your blog while bidding at McKell's Closet. =) Glad I did!

  3. I'm sad Noah missed it! I hope there is one waiting for him ;)

  4. These are SO cute and creative. I think its so funny and cute the lessons the Sunbeams have, even being grateful for fish. But even that is important to learn about!

    My dream calling is to be a sunbeam or nursery teacher... but as of right now I'm in a singles ward so its a little hard to come by!! ;)

  5. Thanks Emily. I got my mom's creative genius brains!

    Tiffany, I have learned that I am not alone in the loss of a baby, just by telling about my story. It helps to know that I'm not alone and there are so many women to be a great support for me. I LOVE McKell's Closet...glad you stopped on by!

    Lauren, yes, I have a fish saved for Noah! I won't be there on Sunday, St John is running his 1/2 marathon. But I will bring it the week after, which I just realized is General Conference. Well, I'll drop it off to him and Adam soon. :)

    Amy - Sunbeam teacher is the BEST calling! I get to teach about day and night, water, fish, and animals; eat snacks; sing songs; and run around and play. I feel like a kid again! And I get to be a mom for 2 can't get much better.

    Thanks again for all the support everyone! I'm up to 14 followers. WOO HOO!!! When I get to 50, I'll do a giveaway. So spread the word!

  6. Good luck to St. John! I'm training for one too!


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