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How to Make a DIY Disney Cruise Fish Extender

Heading out on a Disney Cruise and participating in a Fish Extender? Learn how to make your own DIY Disney Fish Extender for under ten bucks! 

Disney DIY Fish Extender

In a few weeks, we’re headed on an adventure of a lifetime to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. This is my third time attending the event and I’m still just as excited as if it were my first. It’s no secret that I love Disney. We’ve been going annually for the last ten years and this year is going to be even more fun since it’s our first ever Disney Cruise and my first time participating in a fish extender. So of course I had to make my own DIY Disney Fish Extender.

We’ll be spending a few days at Walt Disney World before embarking on a 3-day cruise onboard the Disney Wonder. While I consider myself quite the Disney expert, a Disney cruise is completely new to me.

So I figure what better way to learn everything there is know about cruising Disney style then jumping right in.

Over the years, I’ve read all about fish extenders or FEs as they’re know in cruising groups and I’m pretty excited to finally participate in my first one.

Given the short amount of time before our trip, instead of ordering a fish extender, I tried my hand at making my own.

I surprised myself with how easy it was to make and best of all, it cost me about $10 to make! Now I’m going to show you how to make your own DIY Disney Cruise fish extender. 

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

If you know me, you know I can’t sew. Although I  want to learn, there just wasn’t enough time for me to learn before the cruise with everything else I have going on.

Instead, I wanted to come up with something easier. You can google fish extenders and plenty of ideas will pop up. Everything from fancy sew together creations to ones made from duct tape. There really is no wrong way to make one, it’s just totally up to you.

I wanted to see what I could come up without breaking the bank. We headed out to my local craft store, actually 3 local stores, before I found just what I was looking for.

These canvas bags were perfect. They were a blank canvas, which was exactly what I wanted. They were sturdy and they were cheap. Only $2.99 each (and I was able to use a 50% off coupon on each of them). Score!

Now remember where I said I couldn’t sew? This project does require a little stitching. If you can sew, great. You can totally handle this. If you can’t then a little visit to your local seamstress should do the trick.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

I made mine a 3 pocket fish extender but you could make this a 2 or 4 pocket one if you need. Just follow the steps and add or remove one of the bags.

STEP 1: You’ll start with 3 bags. You want to leave the back handle intact on the first bag

STEP 2: Cut off the front handles from all three bags.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

STEP 3: Take two of the bags and  cut straight through the middle of the remaining handle. These will become the straps to attach your bags together. So you should have one bag with one back handle intact and two bags with the handle cut.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

STEP 4: Once the bags were cut, it was time to create the designs for the front. Using my Cricut and Disney cartridges, I made Minnie and Mickey heads for my son and daughter. For my husband and I, I bought a file from Etsy of Mickey and Minnie kissing. Then I used my machine to cut all our names out in Disney font and I made a bow for Minnie.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

STEP 5: Now the fun part. I don’t have a heat press yet so I had to use my iron. Not that it was hard but I’m still getting the hang of it. I burnt Minnie’s tale just a bit but thankfully it’s not too noticeable. So if you’re using an iron make sure you take your time and don’t rush this part. I attached the characters first, then I moved onto the names.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

STEP 6: All that was left was to attach the bags together. I had my seamstress do this part for me but if you can sew, you’ll want to sew the straps to the back of each bag.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

STEP 7: I added a red ribbon to the tops of each bag and a red and blue bow tied to the top. When you’re done, it should look like this:

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

Here’s a breakdown of what I spent:

  • 3 bags at $1.50 each (these are regularly $2.99 but I used 50% off coupons)
  • Red ribbon $1.00
  • Mickey & Minnie Kissing design from Etsy $1.00
  • $3.00 for seamstress to sew the bag together.

Total cost was around $10. Not too shabby and it was actually a lot of fun.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

I had the vinyl on hand from other projects so if you don’t have black HTV then that’ll run you about $10 for the roll. Still a lot cheaper than buying one and in my opinion, just as cute.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender

Plus you made it yourself. Even if you’re not a crafty person, this is a pretty easy project to handle. I’ll be sure to update the post once we get home from the cruise so you can see how it looks in action.

How to make a Disney Fish Extender


Now excuse me while I finish up my fish extender gifts. More on that soon but until then, have you participated in a fish extender on a cruise before?


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Tuesday 11th of July 2017

soo cute where did you get the tote bags and what dimension is it? our first FE is in September and this idea is perfect!


Saturday 11th of November 2017

I'd love to know the size and store as well. So cute and so easy!


Thursday 2nd of February 2017

How cute. I wish I had more talent with crafty items. My girls will love this and it would be such a great gift to a few of my family members who love Mickey ! Carissa