Little Fishy Baby Toy DIY

The tutorial and pattern have directions to use poly-pellets and buttons.  To change it to a soft toy for a small child or baby, just replace the buttons with appliqued felt circles and fill the entire toy with polyester fiberfill. If you want to make them, please do – but please limit them to personal use only (no sales).

Finished size is approximately 7 inches x 6 inches
Supplies you will need:

  •     1 fat quarter main fabric (head, fins, back)
  •     10 2-inch square cotton scraps in coordinating colors for scales
  •     1 2-inch square scrap of wool blend felt for heart
  •     1 1.5”x5” fabric strip in 2nd print in same color as main fabric
  •     1 5.5”x5.5” fabric scrap in 3rd print in same color as main fabric (#7 body/tail)
  •     2 buttons (5/8 to 3/4 inch for eyes)
  •     Polyester Fiberfill for stuffing
  •     Poly-pellet beads for stuffing
  •     Thread

1.  Print template onto card stock and cut out pattern pieces.
Fish Bean Bag Pattern copy

2.  From main fabric print – cut one 9”x6” rectangle for fish back, one 4”x6” rectangle for upper and lower fins, and one fish head (pattern piece #6).  Note:  I like to use 3 different prints in the same colorway for the fish front pieces and have the back and fins match the fish’s head.

3.  From 2nd printed fabric in same color as main,  cut one 1.5”x5” strip.
4.  From 3rd printed fabric in same color as main, cut one pattern piece #7.
5.  Cut one pattern piece #3 from felt.


6.  Fins:  Fold  4”x6” main color rectangle in half with right sides and short ends together.  Trace upper fin (#5) and lower fin (#4) on one side of folded rectangle.
Sew on traced lines leaving straight sides open for turning.  Trim and turn right sides out, stuff with fiberfill, and sew edges together within seam line.  All seams are 1/4 inch unless noted otherwise.


7.  Fish Scales:  Trace pattern piece #2 on to wrong side of 5 2” fabric squares.  Sandwich square with traced pattern together with another 2” square right sides together.  Sew each of the 5 sandwiched squares on traced line leaving straight sides open for turning.  Trim and turn each piece right side out and stuff with a small amount of fiberfill (just enough to give it a little volume, not stuffed full).


8.  Position 2 of the scales (#2) on right side of fish body and tail (#7) as shown in placement guide.  Pin and sew in place within seam line.

9.  Place 1.5”x5” fabric strip on top of #7 and scales right sides together matching edges.  Sew seam on straight edge, open and press with scales on side of #7.

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10.  Place 3 remaining scales (#2) on raw straight edge of fabric strip as shown in placement guide.  Pin and stitch in place withing seam line.


11.  Place fish head (#6) on top of strip with 3 scales aligning straight edges and right sides together.  Sew seam on straight edge, open, and press with scales towards the fabric strip.


12.  Pin upper and lower fins onto fish body front right sides together aligning front edge with seam between fish head and fabric strip.  Stitch within seam line.

13.  Place fish body top on remaining 9”x6” rectangle of main fabric right sides together.  Pin and stitch body from x to x leaving straight edge of tail open for turning and stuffing.

14.  Trim seams to 1/4 inch and clip inner curves of fish tail.  Turn fish carefully right sides out through tail opening.

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15.  Stuff head of fish with fiberfill, then fill body with poly-pellet beads to the middle of the tail.  Stuff remainder of tail with fiberfill.  Turn raw edges of tail in 1/4 inch and hand stitch to close.

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16.  Applique felt heart on tail positioning as shown in template’s placement guide.

17.  Position buttons on fish head as shown in placement guide. sew buttons in place by taking needle/thread through button on top side of fish and through button on back of fish drawing thread to slightly indent the eyes.

18.  Enjoy your fish, he is finished!  Here are shots from front, back, and side (showing multi-colored underside of the fins).


Sew up a school of these for your favorite child!