tutorial – felt Confusion Fish mobile

by Sayraphim on November 10, 2008

These fish were created as rod puppets for a theatre show I am designing, they float around a character’s head and confuse her. Thus, they are referred to as Confusion Fish (and a Confusion Blue Ringed Octopus)

This tutorial is for the fish alone, I’ll be posting another one for the Confusion Octopus as soon as I can photograph it’s pattern.

Firstly, the fish. You’ll need:
2 felt squares of complimenting colours (around a4 sized)
for each fish
needle and thread of the same colour



Step one: Download the fish pattern here and print it out A4 sized.

Step two: cut out the pattern and place it on the different pieces of felt. Remember you’ll need 2 of every shape.The HEAD, BODY 2, TAIL, and FIN are all from the Main Colour (in this example, it’s Dark Blue) and the BODY 1, BODY 3 and EYE are out of the Secondary Colour (Light Blue)

Step three: this is the weird part. We sew this fish from the tail up. So grab the TAIL and the BODY 3 parts. Place the two parts together with wavy edge of BODY3 rests just past where the tail thins to become the body.
(Check out the example photo) Working on the wrong side of the fish, stitch the straight edge of the top of BODY3 to the TAIL. The clever thing about this pattern is that all the stitching in the body itself is hidden by the next overlapping piece.

Continue with BODY2 and BODY1 as in the photo
At the moment it will look a little flimsy, but don’t worry about it, everything will be fine.

Stitch the other side of the body the same way. If you’re keen, you can keep checking it against the first body to ensure it all matches up. I’m not that keen 😉

Step four: Now here is the clever bit. Place the HEADs in the correct place on the newly sewn fish body, and place them together, right sides in. Stitch around the entire thing, leaving a gap of around 7cm (2 1/2″) at the belly to enable you to turn it right side out.

Step five: turn Confusion Fish right side out. Bet you didn’t see that coming!

Step six: Stuff the Fish firmly, then stitch the gap closed.

Step seven: lift the edge of the head and stitch the fin under the flap (see example pic above) and stitch on eye.

And that’s it. You’re the proud creator and owner of a Confusion Fish.

Next, the Octopus. You’ll need:
2 felt squares of complimenting colours (around a4 sized)
I’ve gone with green here.
needle and thread of the same colour

scraps of light blue and dark blue felt


Step one: Download the octopus pattern here and print it out A4 sized.

Step two: Cut 2 Dark Green BODIES, 2 Dark Green EYES and 2 Light Green HEADs. Each leg you make needs 1 Dark Green LEG, 1 Light green LEG, 3 Dark Blue RING1’s and 3 Light Blue RING2’s.

Step three: Place the HEADs in the correct place on the BODIES,and stitch around the entire thing, leaving the bottom entirly unsewn.

Step four: Turn right side out and stuff firmly.

Step five:Place a RING2 on top of a RING1 which you then place on a Light Green LEG and stitch around the edge of the RING2. Repeat twice more os the Light Green leg has 3 rings on it as per photo
You don’t need to stitch around RING1, stitching RING2 is enough.

Step six: Place the Light Green LEG with the rings down on top of the Dark Green LEG (right sides in) and stitch around the whole thing, leaving the top open.

Step seven: turn right side out and stuff. Make as many legs as you need to fit into the bottom of the Octopus, mine called for 5.

Step eight: Place all the legs into the bottom of the ‘Pus and stitch them all firmly in.

Step nine: Stitch eyes on

And that’s it.
Make a couple of Fish and one ‘Pus and sew them with a long thread to a piece of dowel, and you have a Confusion Fish mobile for a small child. Sew them to individual dowel rods painted black and you have Confusion Fish rod puppets.

Simple, colourful and fun

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