A holiday can be the perfect getaway from everyday life. To add a little magic, we exchanged gifts with other families. We made Disney Cruise Hidden Mickey Fish Extender Magnets.
Leading up to our first Disney cruise, I couldn’t wait for all of the fun. I knew that there would be character meetings, relaxing time by the pool, and of course a fun time with my family. (You can read all about Our First Family Disney Cruise). But I had never heard of Fish Extenders.
While talking to a cousin of mine about our upcoming cruise, she insisted that we check out Fish Extenders. “You and your kids will love it!” she promised.
So, I decided to check it out. With a little bit of research, I learned that a Fish Extender is a prearranged gift exchange that is coordinated by families vacationing on the same Disney cruise.
Typically, a cruise guest creates a Facebook group with the Disney cruise ship name and date. This is where the gift exchange is planned. It is completely optional. You can join the Facebook group without joining the gift exchange. Either way, it’s fun to chat with other people who are excited to go on the same vacation.
For our cruise, it was really easy to join the Fish Extender gift exchange. Inside the Facebook group for our cruise, there was an editable Google Doc where you could add information about yourself and your family. There were fields for your name, stateroom number, kids names and ages, favourite characters, or any other special information. With so many people interested, the organizer split the group into smaller lists.
For our exchange, we were a group of seven families. Most of us were first-time Disney cruisers. People gave all sorts of gifts. From homemade to store bought, every gift was so appreciated. It really added magic to our holiday.
For our fish extender, we gave out a combination of storebought and homemade gifts. We loved giving a little homemade gift. It’s something that is easy to travel with and hopefully something that people can enjoy when they get home.
Disney Cruise Hidden Mickey Fish Extender Magnets are a wonderful little way to remember a magical Disney holiday. Each magnet has a little hidden Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse in the background.
Not only are Disney Cruise Hidden Mickey Fish Extender Magnets sweet, but they are also very easy to make. My five-year-old daughter and I made them together.
We wanted to make something that could be enjoyed every day. What’s more practical than magnets, right?! We all use them. Whether it’s a grocery list, the day’s to-dos, family photos, or pictures, magnets help to keep what we need right where we need them.
With just a few simple steps, you can make your own magnets. We love them so much, we even made some for our fridge. But more on that later!
How to Make Your Own Disney Cruise Hidden Mickey Fish Extender Magnets
The first step is finding the right glass gems. When you are shopping for glass gems, you’ll want to find ones with a flat back. This way, when they are glued to the magnet, they will sit flat against the magnet.
While making our Disney Cruise Hidden Mickey Fish Extender Magnets, we had some glass gems leftover from our last magnet craft. (Check out our DIY Cracked Glass Gem Magnets)
During our first magnet craft, we found that some magnets are better than others. There are some thicker, round magnets that are just the right size. Plus, they are strong enough to hold just about anything else. We’ve used them to hold up some paper artwork and even a wooden frame. Now, that’s the perfect magnet!
Once you have the glass gem and the magnet, the next big thing you need is Mickey and Minnie Mouse. That’s what makes these Hidden Mickey Magnets after all.
I created an image with several Mickeys and Minnies. I am happy to share it with you. It is a 4×6 image. I do not own the images. They are free to use and available online. Click here to download Mickey and Minnie picture. I recommend printing it on photo paper. This way the paper is thicker and the colours really pop.
Once you have the main supplies (gemstone, magnets, and Mickey and Minnie pictures), you’ll need just a few more things (hot glue, scissors, glue, and a pen/pencil).
If you look closely at the Disney Cruise Hidden Mickey Fish Extender Magnets, you’ll see that around each character is a little 2019. So, even if you go on other Disney holidays, you can remember that these magnets were from this year.
There’s something so special about remembering when it came from!
To make sure that each Mickey and Minnie fits the gemstone, you can trace each stone on the image with a pen or pencil. My daughter had a lot of fun tracing the gemstone, while I cut them out. Once they are cut out, you can glue them to the back.
You can use Mod Podge to glue the paper backing or you can make your own watered down glue mix. We used simple white glue and water. We found that using equal parts of glue and water works best. It thins the glue so that you hardly see it, but it holds perfectly.
We glued each gemstone twice. The first time, we glued the Mickey or Minnie background on. Once it was dry, we glued the back of the background. This way, the gemstone has a firm backing that won’t peel away.
Now, all that’s left is the final touch – the magnet. On the back of the glued white paper, add a dot of hot glue. Press the round magnet onto the gemstone and your Disney Cruise Hidden Mickey Fish Extender Magnets are done! Place them on your fridge or give them as a sweet one-of-a-kind gift!
Don’t they look sweet!
Fish Extender Gifting
When it comes to giving these gifts, we decided to give each family four magnets. We placed them on a magnet backing and placed them in a small bag with a sweet little greeting.
When giving a Fish Extender gift, we found that people always write their names, room numbers, as well as the other family’s room numbers. That way, you always know who the sweet gift is from.
How to Make Fish Extenders
There are two sides to the exchange. You know one of the gifts that we gave, but there was also some work to create a place for people to leave their gifts. It’s like a secret gift exchange because the gifts are left for you.
As you walk around a Disney cruise ship, you’ll see a lot of different versions of Fish Extenders. Some people make them, some buy them, and others have a bag hanging by their door. I decided to make my own.
Using three felt bags and a roll of felt, I sewed together our fish extender. It all started with these adorable Easter bags.
The decorations on the bag became the back of our Fish Extender. Below you can see the front and the back. On the back is the original Easter decorations. On the front is the Disney felt shapes that we added to the front.
In the top blue pocket, there is a little Mickey and Minnie with a heart behind. That is the place where people left the gifts for my husband and me. In the next two pockets, you’ll see a Minnie Mouse on each one. That is where people left gifts for my two daughters.
After all the planning, it was so much fun to see our Fish Extender hanging beside our door. Our group was so kind and generous. It is so wonderful that people put the time into making and buying gifts for other people just to make their holiday a little more magical.
I am so happy that we participated in Fish Extenders for our first Disney cruise. It definitely added a little Pixie Dust to our holiday.Print
Disney Cruise Hidden Mickey Fish Extender Magnets
Make a simple Disney craft that adds beauty to your fridge or wherever you use magnets.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 28
- Category: DIY/Crafts
- Flat back glass gemstones
- White Glue (Mod Podge)
- Mickey and Minnie Pictures
- Using a pencil or pen, trace the outside of each gemstone around the Mickey or Minnie picture.
- Cut out each Mickey or Minnie with scissors.
- Now you’re ready to glue the Mickey or Minnie to the flat side of the gemstone. You can use Mod Podge or you can make your own. Using white glue, add one part glue, one part water and mix to combine.
- When the glue is dry, you can trim around the edges and remove any paper that is hanging off the edge.
- Glue the other side of the paper. This way it will stick directly onto the gemstone.
- Now you are ready for your magnet! Add a drop of hot glue to the nonmagnetic side of the magnet and press the gemstone on top. Wipe away any excess glue. Careful, it will be hot!
- Place your magnets onto your fridge or wherever you use magnets. Or wrap them up for a sweet homemade gift!
If you love crafts and DIY, you may also enjoy DIY Cracked Glass Gem Magnets