One of the most requested DIY’s from our Disney Cruise is the fish extender. Read on to see how easy and inexpensive it is to make your very own DIY Disney Cruise Fish Extender!
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What is a Fish Extender?
Heading out on a Disney Cruise soon and not sure what these fish extenders are that people are talking about? Well these little “mailboxes” are creative things that you hang from the fish hook that is right outside your door. You can participate in groups to share little bits of pixie dust on the ship with others or you can put some little items in there for your own cabin members.
By far one of the most requested DIY’s from our Disney Cruise is our fish extender. We were able to do this for about $20 and received a ton of compliments on it. If you are looking for the door magnets you see above, check out our most popular post with free printables to make your own here.
What to Purchase
You will need to purchase a few things before you get started. You can get them all on Amazon, but I did purchase a few at Walmart a couple of years ago which you might still be able to find. For ease, I have included the Amazon links for you.
Over the Door Hanger
Hot Glue Gun and sticks
Heat Transfer Vinyl
Free Mickey & Minnie Files
To make your life much easier, I am including a link to download the free cut files for your Silhouette or Cricut machines. You might have to download and then trace them, but you can get those here or just click on the image to access the download files.
I downloaded the Wicked Mouse font for free a dafont.com and you can do the same from this link. Once you have that all complete, you can go ahead and use your machine and the heat transfer vinyl to cut out your images and names and get started on the project.
DIY Disney Cruise Fish Extender Directions
I royally messed up the first try at this. I thought it would just be super easy to iron the heat transfer vinyl directly onto the over the door hanger and I learned the hard way to NOT DO THAT! So listen up and make sure you follow my directions.
Step 1: Cut out your heat transfer vinyl images
Yes, cut those out. You will have to make more Mickey heads and bows or no bows and of course personalize your family’s names. We did see that a lot of people did not put their own names on the pockets and that is fine too, but make those images your own!
Step 2: Measure & Cut the Grey Fabric
I do not have the exact measurements, but I made sure that my grey fabric was the exact width of the front of the pocket and then it overlapped an inch on both the top and the bottom.
Step 3: Iron the Vinyl to the Grey Fabric
Yes to the fabric, NOT to the pockets. If you decide to attach the fabric to the pockets before adding the vinyl you will melt all the things. It sucks and you will be purchasing more items to start this fun all over. Make sure to center everything nicely. I laid out the vinyl on the grey fabric and then positioned it on the pockets to make sure I liked where everything went. Then I took the fabric with the vinyl on it and ironed it on SEPARATELY!
Step 4: Use the Hot Glue to attach the Grey Fabric
Use a hot glue gun and sticks to adhere the fabric to the pockets. I rolled the top over and glued there first, then I glued the bottom the same way and then I glued the sides slightly. I DID NOT glue in the center of the pocket, which gave it a cleaner look.
Step 5: Add the Ribbon
To finish the look, use hot glue to add the ribbon. I overlapped the grey fabric with the anchor ribbon. It gave the fish extender a nice finished look. I am not going to lie, if you look on the inside of the pocket or the bottom of the pocket, it is not the prettiest. You may want to add more fabric or hand stitch it on. Realistically, no one cared or noticed.
The fish extender held up incredibly well and will be used on future Disney cruises! We did use a regular piece of ribbon to hang it from the fish (and you will need that too because it only comes with metal hooks). We love our DIY Disney Cruise fish extender so much and hope that you will make one and enjoy it too!