Craft Corner - Pretend Fish Tank

By Anna Hall, Hickory NC Publisher Mom July 20, 2012
Recycle an empty oatmeal container into an adorable pretend fish tank!

Materials needed:
  • empty oatmeal container (we used a 42oz size) with plastic lid
  • piece of cardboard
  • white thread
  • paints in various colors
  • green pipe cleaners (aka chenille stem)
  • seashells
  • sand (optional)
  • clear plastic wrap
  • paintbrush
  • scissors and box cutter 
  • tape
  • toothpick
  • glue
What to do:
  1. Cut out a front section of the oatmeal container using a box cutter to make the “window”.
  2. Paint the inside of the container using blue paint to resemble water. Allow to dry.
  3. You may choose to paint the outside of the box as well, or cover with colored paper. We did not.
  4. Cut a green pipe cleaner into three 1-2 inch pieces, each a slightly different length. Poke 2-3 holes close together through the bottom of the container and push the pipe cleaners through from the bottom. Shape the pipe cleaners to resemble seaweed. We made 2 clumps of three seaweed using two different colored green pipe cleaners.
  5. Glue seashells to the bottom in random places.If you have beach sand, you can sprinkle some sand at the bottom of the tank if you wish.
  6. Draw and cut a fish shape 2-3 inches long out of heavy cardboard. Color or paint the fish as you like.
  7. Make a small hole in the top middle of the fish’s back. Attach a piece of thread to the fish using the hole. Make a small hole in the center of the oatmeal container’s plastic lid. Run the other end of the thread through this hole and tie to the middle of a toothpick (as shown).  The string should be long enough so that the fish hangs about 2-3 inches from the bottom of the container.
  8. Cover the cut-out front of the container with clear plastic wrap cut to fit and attach with tape.  This is the “glass” of the fish tank.
  9. Put on the container’s plastic lid with the fish hanging down. The fish can swim around the tank by moving the toothpick on the top.