Note-able Fish Extender Gifts

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by Sarah

Many of you readers know how much I enjoy the preparation for a trip. I like packing, planning, and preparing almost as much as I enjoy actually taking the trip! That is why I really enjoy joining the Facebook group for each of my cruises. In addition to just being excited with others in the group and talking about the upcoming cruise, most Facebook groups also offer organized Fish Extender groups. Fish Extenders are little hanging pockets that you hang on the fish outside your stateroom door. A Fish Extender group pairs you up with other cabins and you carry-out a type of gift exchange, delivering little trinkets for those in your group and placing them in their fish extender.
Shameless plug because it is my blog after all….I do make Fish Extenders and sell them on Etsy. So, if you are looking for a great Fish Extender or just want to see what one looks like, check out our MOUSEWIVES store on Etsy:
Though there are normally no “rules” about what type of gifts you give in the exchange, I prefer hand-making something to give. (Mostly because this adds to my preparation excitement!!)
For this past cruise I decided to make a magnetic notepad. This is the second time I have made this as my Fish Extender gift and I also made some extras to give to the other Mousewives and…I will be giving one away over on our Facebook page!
These are easy to make and don’t require a lot of supplies….(so I thought…Haha)
My first supply photo:

Magnetic Photo Frame
Paper for Background
Variety of Washi Tape
Foam Stickers
Sticky Note Pads
Glue Dots
Marker or Pen to Attach to Notepad
Paper Cutter or Scissors

The main “base” of this craft uses a magnetic photo frame that I got from one of my favorite Disney prep stores, the Dollar Tree.

This frame is basically just a bent piece of plastic that can hold a photo inside with a magnet glued on the back.
The first step of this project is to cut the background paper to the correct size to fit the frame. For this version I used a light cardstock, which worked better than the plain scrapbook paper I used for a previous version. (The thickness helped the paper stay in place inside the frame.) Magical hint: Cut the paper slightly smaller than the sample photo that comes in the frame. I have found that doing this looks better and helps you not to have pieces sticking out of the sides.

The next step took some trial and error. I had several different types of Washi tape and they were different widths. I tried a few types of the tape to see what looked best together, then I used that original sample as a template. Once I had the template I measured and marked the background paper so I knew where to start each row of tape.

Once measured, I started applying the tape to the background paper. I left the edges of the tape a little longer so that I could wrap it around the back of the background paper.

Here is the first layer of Washi tape.

Here is the second layer of Washi tape. (I overlapped the red Washi tape slightly over the bottom row so the darker tape covered the white edge.)

Here is the third layer of Washi tape, again overlapping the blue tape over the edge of the white tape in the middle.

Supply photo…Take Two! (Forgot the glue dots and foam pieces!)

The next part of this project uses glue dots (also from the wonderful Dollar Tree!) to hold together the ends of the ribbon. I used the marker that will go with the notepad and put the glue dot very close to the marker. Then I folded over the other side of the ribbon and held it together for a few seconds. Just a little pressure helps the glue dots adhere to the ribbon and make the edges stick together. I left about an inch of excess ribbon, as you will need this for the next step.

The next part is the trickiest part of this whole project! I took another glue dot and put it on one side of the one-inch edge of ribbon you left dangling for the marker holder. Then, stick the ribbon as tightly into the frame as you can while still being able to pull out the marker. (Having it tight will help keep the marker in place when it is hanging up). Magical hint: make sure you glue the ribbon to the back of the frame so you can’t see it when you put the background photo inside the frame.

This is what the marker with the ribbon wrapped around it will look like once glued to the back of the frame.

I found these adorable foam Mickey heads at Michael’s Craft Store and thought they would be the perfect corners for my notepad!

It’s a little hard to see here, but I put two glue dots on the back of the sticky notepad. Then I stuck the pad to the front of the magnetic frame.

These foam pieces are like stickers, so you can just peel off the backing and stick them to the frame. No glue necessary!

And…Voila! The finished product!






Here is another version I did for one of the MouseWives. As you can see, you can completely and easily change the look by using different colors and different types of Washi tape!

Once finished, I used some tissue paper and party bags to package them up neat & pretty!

These are fun and useful fish extender gifts! If you know the favorite characters of the others in your group, you can personalize them to each individual. Or, you can customize them according to whatever type of Washi tape or background paper you might already have on hand.
One of the reasons I love this particular Fish Extender gift is because they are small and easy to transport. To pack them in my suitcase, I used a shoebox size plastic container with a lid and laid them flat inside that. It protected them from possibly being cracked in my suitcase. Plus, the plastic container was great for bringing fragile fish extender gifts that I received home in one piece!
I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy Fish Extender gift tutorial! Happy Crafting!

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