If you’re looking for a way to excite and engage children, you can’t go wrong with sea creatures: there are so many ways to explore color, texture and shape. And our 3D paper fish craft is a great way to really bring the topic to life and capture young imaginations. The easy to create 3D element is a simple way to add lift and perspective to the craft, as well as a bit of movement and fun.
The craft can also be used to support learning around different kinds of fish and their habitats, and could even be used as a prompt for starter conversations on plastic and protecting marine environments.
But it would be equally as fab just pinned up on the wall!
How to Make a 3D Paper Fish Craft with the Kids:
What you Need:
White Cardstock for Printing
x3 Short Cardstock Strips
Blue & Yellow Paper
How to Download the 3D Fish Template:
The 3D Fish Template is available to members of the Arty Crafty Kids Club. Join the members area to access our complete online library of art and craft templates.
Members can access the template here (remember to login!): https://www.artycraftykids.com/product/3d-fish-craft/
Members will need to log in to access the templates!
Not A Member?
Paint the Fish
Use your favourite type of paint to color the fish. If you’re a Disney fan, you could use orange and black like Nemo, or yellow and blue like Dory, but we love using lots of colors for a really tropical looking fish!
Cut the Paper Roll in Half
Carefully cut the toilet paper roll in half vertically.
Dip the edge of the toilet paper roll in a different colored paint – we’ve used white, but you could use any bold, contrasting color – and print it onto the fish’s body. Keep dipping and printing in lines across the body to create scales.
Once everything is dry, carefully cut out the elements from the template.
Create an Underwater Scene
You can design any kind of habitat, but since we’re doing a tropical fish, we’ve created a beach-like underwater scene.
Tear a strip of yellow paper (it doesn’t have to be straight, in fact it’s better if it isn’t!) and stick it onto some light blue cardstock to make a sandy seabed.
Then tear two strips of blue paper for the water. Stick one strip above the yellow sand, leave a space of an inch or two, then stick on the second strip to create a wavy ocean.
Tissue Paper Seaweed
To complete the scene, cut out seaweed shapes from light and dark green tissue paper. Make sure you have some longer and shorter pieces of weed and stick a few to either side of the scene, layering and overlapping a little, to give your picture depth.
Assemble the Fish
It’s time to move onto the fish! First, stick the eye and ‘pucker up’ kissy lips onto the head. Then stick the fins onto the body, the larger one at the top and the smaller one in the middle. Finally, stick the tail onto the left-hand side of your underwater scene.
Create 3 Small Loops
Now to create the 3D part! Cut two strips lengthwise from a sheet of yellow A4 card, and cut them in half. Take the first strip, curl it around to make a ring and secure it with a spot of glue so it doesn’t come undone. Repeat with the second and third strips.
Stick one strip onto the middle of your underwater scene and the second towards the right-hand side.
Secure the Body
Carefully stick the fish’s body onto the two card loops – make sure you don’t cover the back of the body with glue, otherwise she might end up stuck to the background!
Lift the Head
Let’s give our fish some extra bounce by sticking the third card loop onto the right side of the fish’s body.
Secure the Head
Just like you did with her body, carefully stick the fish’s head onto the loop, and your 3D paper craft is complete! Now she can leap, wobble and explore her colorful ocean habitat!
More 3D Animal Crafts for Kids:
At Arty Crafty Kids we love to explore perspectives, adding lifts and bounce to our fun paper crafts. If you like our 3D Paper Fish Craft, take a look at this popular collection of bouncy 3D animal crafts:
3D Giraffe Craft
3D Paper Giraffe Craft: Are you wanting to bring an extra dimension to your art? Then why not have a go at our easy giraffe craft for kids: a fun, creative safari animal design with a 3D twist!https://www.artycraftykids.com/craft/3d-paper-giraffe-craft/
3D Lion Craft
Looking for an easy animal craft to try with the kids? take a look at this super easy and fun 3D Paper Lion Craft, which also doubles up as color study for kids.https://www.artycraftykids.com/craft/3d-paper-lion-craft/
Bobble Head Panda Craft
This interactive paper craft is super fun to make and comes with a printable template of simple shapes to encourage Arty Crafty Kids to practice their cutting and tracing skills.https://www.artycraftykids.com/craft/3d-bobble-head-panda-craft-for-kids-to-make/
Bobble Jellyfish Craft
This Printable Paper Jellyfish Craft for Kids is the perfect craft for Summer, where all things under the sea and ocean animals becomes hot topic within the classroom.https://www.artycraftykids.com/craft/printable-paper-jellyfish-craft-for-kids/