Paper Plate Aquarium

Kids will have great fun making this paper plate 3D ocean aquarium decorated with real shells, pebbles and sand.

Paper Plate Aquarium

Skill Level

Easy. Adult supervision needed

Time to Make

2 hours

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Paint two thirds of the top of a paper plate blue using acrylic paint. Leave to dry.
  2. Cover the bottom third with PVA glue then cover the glue with yellow sand. Leave for a minute, then shake off the excess sand. Leave to dry.
  3. Choose two mini scallop shells to create the fish. Paint the triangular base ends of the shells with a bright colour acrylic paint to create the fish tails. Leave to dry.
  4. Select two mini river pebbles to use as a fin on each fish. Paint the river pebbles the same colours as the tails. Leave to dry.
  5. Glue a painted pebble onto the middle of one of the fish shell using super tacky glue. Leave to dry. Repeat with the second pebble on the other shell. Leave to dry.
  6. Stick a wiggle eye onto each fish. Draw a mouth onto both fish using a thin black pen.
  7. Place a line of super tacky glue around the underneath edge of one of the fish and stick to the plate. Leave to dry. Repeat this step with the other fish.
  8. To make the seaweed, take some green tissue paper and cut into lots of strips roughly 10cm long, and twist together at one end. Glue the tissue paper bunch to the bottom of the plate on the sandy section on the left. Create another tissue paper bunch and glue on the right. Leave to dry.
  9. To make the coral, take some pink and orange tissue paper and cut into lots of strips roughly 6cm long. Twist the strips into sausage shapes and stick to the sand on the plate using super tacky glue. Leave to dry.
  10. Using super tacky glue stick some river pebbles at the base of the seaweed and coral, to add detail to the sea bed. Leave to dry. Paint small white circles onto the plate by the mouths of the fish to create bubbles. Leave to dry.
Paper Plate Aquarium Paper Plate Aquarium Paper Plate Aquarium

Top Tip

You could hang the paper plate aquarium on the wall by punching two holes at the top of the paper plate threaded with ribbon or cord as a hanger.

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