Thursday, January 07, 2016

DIY Koi Windsock Pattern

This morning I turned on "Curious George" to hypnotize my children, and trick them into forgetting to burn down our house, while I took a shower. That plan was a raging success except for when I emerged from the shower my kids had some kind of mysterious mania for windsocks. We've talked about windsocks before in a passing way, (like a: literally I drove past it at 45 mph while my kids asked about everything they saw out the window and one of those things was a windsock-kind of way.) I don't know what George did in that episode, but their passing interest in windsocks had bloomed into a full-blown obsession in the time it took me to wash my hair.

They begged to make a windsock, and McBoy gleefully explained how he planned to hang his brand new socks, which he loves, on a nail outside...awesome...

To save the footwear in our house, I convinced them we should make a cool fish windsock and I'm actually pretty happy with how easy it was and how cool it turned out.


Step 1:
Cut out some fabric into a fish shape. I made a pattern in case you are not lazy and willing to free-hand it like me:

I think a really thin, light fabric is ideal, but probably anything would work. I used a piece of leftover white nylon I had.

Step 2:
Cover your table with plastic wrap.
Believe me. You will be glad.

Step 3:
Let your kids draw on the fabric with Sharpies.
I drew the eyes so they could sort of see the fish taking shape.

Step 4:
Let them paint rubbing alcohol on top of their Sharpie lines.
You see? You see why we used the plastic wrap???
 The alcohol makes the Sharpie spread out and kind of blend together, it's really fun!
 Step 5:
Scraps!
Cut out a bunch of random pieces from your leftover fabric scraps, and repeat the drawing and painting.

Step 6:
Tail!
Lay your fish right-side down and sew the fabric pieces to the narrow end of the fish shape. Go over it a bunch of times. I saved a couple scraps for the fins that are... uh arms? Fish arms? Googling... Ah, pectoral fins, yes, that is what they are called.

Step 7:
Make the mouth armature.
Wind two pipe cleaners together so they are just a little longer than the end of the fabric.
 Lay your new giant pipe cleaner on the wrong side of the fabric and fold the end over.
 Sew that edge down.
Step 8:
Close the fish.
Fold your fish, right-side in and sew along the bottom to close its belly. Remember to insert any scraps you are using for pectoral, or pelvic fins!

Now wind the little pipe cleaner ends together to finish off the mouth.
 Ta da! A fish!
Step 9:
Use a needle to sew and tie some fishing line at the mouth opening. Add a length of line to that so you can hang your fish and it will be able to blow around.


Step 10:
Hang it up.
You can hang it up or attach it to a stick to run around with, if your kids can be trusted with sticks...

Have a great day!