I was waiting in line at the grocery store over the summer and there, at the check-out, were packages of ping pong balls. They caught my eye because they seemed like such an odd thing to have near the check-out, next to the candy and the rack of magazines. Six ping pong balls for a $1. I immediately had this image of covering them with fabric and making them into fish.
I considered covering them in felt, or a cotton print, but then my friend, Elizabeth, gave the me a bag of vintage linens containing, among other treasures, an unopened package of plain white handkerchiefs (see my last post for a bird I made from a cut-work lace napkin I found in the same bag). These seemed to me to be the perfect fabric for this project: already finished on the edges, light-weight and drapey, and easily dyed any fishy color you want.
So today I bring you a tutorial to make a fish from a ping pong ball, a handkerchief, and some felt scraps. I hope you like it!
a handkerchief (I tie dyed my handkerchiefs light blue. I think these would be beautiful dyed orange to make koi, too.)
wool felt scraps
1 10 mm wool felt ball in white (I bought mine here)
Place the ping pong ball in the center of the handkerchief and wrap it tightly.
Cut two long lengths of extra-strong thread. Holding them together as one strand, tie the gathered fabric just behind the ping pong ball. Tie a double knot.
Cut a heart from a contrasting color of felt and glue it to the fish’s face as a mouth.
For side fins, fold the contrasting felt in half and cut two triangles on the fold. Use a dab of glue inside the fold to hold the tip of each triangle together. Apply a second dab of glue on the outside of the fold and press the fin to the side of the fish. Repeat.
For the top fin, fold white felt in half and cut a long triangle on the fold. Snip the fold several times. Apply glue to the unfolded edges and glue the fin to the top of the fish.