The last couple of days have been beautiful here. It’s been gradually turning to spring but yesterday the paddling pool came out….and we discovered something had tried to eat it! So we popped to the shop and I persuaded the kids we only need a little paddling pool for now as opposed to the massive actual pool-sized pools. We have a patch of sand in our garden where a big pool was before. A perfect sunny spot for our little pool so on it went, we filled it up (unfortunately our hose didn’t reach so buckets it was) and in got the kids…and so did lots of the sand and various other bit and bobs. The kids asked for a net. We don’t have a net so we used the sieve. Not the most hygienic thing ever.
Today when the kids wanted to jump back in they had to fish out the insects first. They did well but I was beginning to realise only a net would do. Now on Sundays in France the shops are closed so I improvised. You know those bath puffs that are made out of lots of squashed up net? This (photo from google as my bath puffs are no longer this fluffy):
Materials you will need if you want one:
- 1 bath puff
- large-ish sewing needle
- tacking cotton
- thin wire (I used stuff I’ve bought for the arms of amigurumi figures so it’s very bendy.)
So first of all cut of the cord at the top and then the tie which was around all the netting which made it nice and puffy. Then I stretched it all out. Not an easy task as the net tube it wanted to ping back into its puff shape. Then I cut it into 3. The only reason for this is because I have 3 kids otherwise you could cut into half or even quarters depending on the net size you want. Bare in mind you will be restricted as the width of the net won’t change unless you cut the tube of netting open.
Then I picked up one piece and folded it in on itself in to thirds. So I had the tube and pushed the other end of the net inside but only a third of the way, then did it again with the rest of the net so it was folded in on itself. This way I had 3 bits of net all together so it made a finer net. Again that’s not necessary if you’re not attempting to catch insects and sand, it can easily just be inserted half way and left at that. But as you can see form my net it made it much finer.
I then bunched up one end. I chose the end with the end of the netting tube on the outside. I then threaded my needle with the cotton and threaded it through the holes at the top of the netting, making sure to catch all 3 pieces of the net. It really makes a difference to the finished net. Look: on the left is only 2 pieces of net, on the right is 3.
Pull this tight and then sew through this little knob of netting again and again as this will form the base of our net. I did it until I was happy it would hold in the hands of my active children.
After that step was complete I turned the netting inside out.
Next you need the wire. I cut a piece that was 87 cms or 34″ but again it depends on the final size of the net you want. This size worked for me. I folded the wire in 2 and used the folded end to thread it through the still open end of the net. This will make the loop of the net. Again you have to be sure you catch all 3 bits of the net.
Thread this all the way through leaving a little bit of the other end of the wire sticking out, about 2cms or so. Now you need to mold the shape of the loop and make sure it’s as tight as you want it. When you’re happy with the size of the loop and you’ve threaded the wire through you should have an end of the wire that is open and the folded end. You should have more of the folded end sticking out and the open end as you need the folded end for the handle.
Finally twist the open end of the wire around the other bit of wire where they meet together. Twist making sure the sharp ends are enclosed inside the wire.
The open end will disappear and the folded end of the wire is now your handle. Your net should look something like this:
Now each net took me about 10 minutes each. I’ll be honest in that I wasn’t really worried what they looked like as I’m expecting them to get trashed as they’re being used in the paddling pool.
If you’re worried about thin wire you can always use a thicker plastic covered wire if you wish. Or you can use a drawstring and create a little bag. My kids quickly added some bamboo sticks the end so they had a longer fishing rod.
So there you are. Enjoy! My kids are.