Fish Laundry Hamper

When we moved, I decided to go with an under the sea themed room for the kids.  It’s gender neutral, since they share a room, and it’s cute, but I’ll be able to adapt the decorations to grow up with them.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of the DIY ideas I’ve completed to create this theme.

I found these cute fish laundry bags on Pinterest, but knew I could do them cheaper and in the colors I wanted.  I also designed mine so that the tails aren’t open to clothes – imagine how hard it could be to get some teensy toddler socks out of the tips of those tails!  I made my fish on the smaller side, since the kids’ clothes are going to stay small for a while.  And I made 2 so that they don’t get too heavy for the kids to help out bringing them to the laundry room.

To make each fish laundry bag, you’ll need:

  • 1 yd fabric
  • Scraps of white and black fabric
  • Heat N Bond Lite
  • Scraps of lightweight interfacing
  • 30 in 1/4″ ribbon
  • Fish Hamper Pattern
  • Coordinating thread

Cut out the following in your main fabric:

  • 2 isosceles triangles 14.5″ wide at the base and 16.5″ tall
  • 4 tail pieces from pattern
  • 1 rectangle 16.5″x27.5″

Trace 2 of each of the eye circles onto the paper side of the Heat N Bond, iron the smaller circles onto the black fabric scrap and larger circles onto the white fabric scrap and cut out.


The fish is already staring at you, before he’s even a fish!

The rectangular piece is going to be the top of the bag.  Press it in half longways (hotdog-style) and iron the eye pieces about 3″ from the fold and 3″ from the raw edge on each side.

Eye Diagram

Don’t you love my professional drawing?

Iron a scrap of lightweight interfacing on the back side of each eye (unfold it so it’s directly behind the eye) and applique both the inner and outer circles.  If you need a refresher on applique, check out my post here.


Front and back of appliqued eye

Keep the rectangle unfolded.  Place the short ends wrong side together and stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 1″ opening at the center (1/2″ on each side of the fold you pressed in earlier – marking it makes it MUCH easier).  Press the seam open, and stitch  the seam allowances down around the opening that was left.  Fold the rectangle back down, and stitch all the way around the top, 1/2″ from the fold, to create a casing for a drawstring.  See photos below for a visual; you may also recognize this method from the camera lens case tutorial.

Draw String Casing

Left: Make a tube with a 1″ opening in the center. Center: Stitch the seam allowance down around the opening. Right: Create a 1/2″ tube along the fold.

Place the two large body triangles right sides together and stitch along the two long sides.  Trim the corner as pictured below, turn right side out, and press flat.


Tip of the tail, to show trimming

Create the tail pieces by placing two tail triangles (right sides together) and stitching along one side (1/4″ SA).  Fold open and press wrong sides together, then stitch the other two sides together with 1/2″ seam allowance.  If you have pinking shears, you can cut the raw edges with them for a fun look!  Otherwise, a simple trim with regular scissors will do.  Repeat for the second fin.  Then attach to the bottom of your body piece, seam to seam, with a zigzag stitch.


Left: Stitch triangles along one side. Center: Press open, then wrong sides together, and stitch other 2 sides. Right: Zigzag stitch fins to tail.

Turn the finished head piece eyes in, and insert the top of the body piece inside, raw edges matching.  Pin in place, and stitch the two together with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  You may have a bit of puckering, and that’s ok, just try to get it as even as you can.  Turn the body inside out and iron the seam you just sewed towards the tail.

Attach Top

Left: Attaching the head to the body. Right: Iron the seam towards the tail.

Turn right side out, insert ribbon into the casing, and secure with a knot.


Use a safety pin to thread the ribbon through the casing

And voila!  You’ve created an adorable but very useful fishy laundry bag!


So cute, if I do say so myself!

I haven’t hung ours yet, but Radar is going to put some hooks on the wall, which will make them easy to hang or take down, and they’ll look like a fish on a hook – how cute!  As you can see, I went with teal and orange for the kids’ new room, but of course these can be done in any color, or even a fun pattern!


2 thoughts on “Fish Laundry Hamper

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s