The kids still can’t get enough of Dory, Marlin and the crew from Finding Nemo. The family is jonesing for a vacay in the sun, sand and tide.  Whatever the reason for the ocean obsession, it’s easy to make a splash with aquatic themed art. We cast our net and collected seriously awesome under-the-sea ideas; scroll down to discover easy projects perfect for exploring marine life (no scuba gear required!).

1. Paper Bag Jellyfish
These jellyfish won’t sting anyone, but they’ll get everyone’s attention. Clever blogger Allison of No Time For Flashcards puts a spotlight on the colorful bunch of sea-faring creatures. Paper lunch bags are a must, any paint colors will do (the brighter, the better!) and of course, googly eyes to give your jellies some attitude. Sail on over to No Time for Flashcards for the how-to.

photo: Allison McDonald via notimeforflashcards

2. Wrap-Up Foil Fish
You won’t be dining on these foil wrapped fish. Instead, your aquatic adventurers can create their very own school of swimmers. Little kids can use paint and older crafters may want to try oil pastels(if you’ve got em’) or go-to sharpie markers in bright colors. Want to know how to get your fish shaped up right and why project manager Cathy James suggest decorating both sides? Swim over to The Nurture Store for the whole story.

photo: Cathy James via thenurturestore

3. Carboard Octopus
Make a wiggly, six legged friend with recycled materials. Grab a toilet paper or paper towel roll, paint, googly eyes, scissors(supervision please!) and a giggly kid. Head over to Crafty-Crafted to check out the tutorial mama Merryn has provided for a swimmingly good time.

photo: via crafty-crafted

4. Ocean in an Egg Carton
We must be on the same wave-length as mama Anna over at The Imagination Tree when it comes to art projects because we know how awesome egg carton crafts can be. Grab blue paint, shells, jewels and gems, add in some coral-colored paper and the kids will be able to create their very own life-under-the-sea. Surf over to The Imagination Tree for a complete list of materials.

photo: Anna Ranson via theimaginationtree

5. Clothespin Mermaids
Your little Ariel adorers will flip their (imaginary) tails when you set up this adorable art project. Collect items like yarn, glitter and funky foam, then check out the how-to from Red Ted Art blogger Maggy Woodley. We’re thinking the mini-mermaids crafted out of clothespins are already pretty awesome but the imaginary play to follow? Priceless.

photo: Maggy Woodley via redtedart

6. Soda Bottle Fish
It’s paper mache the easy way with a colorful plastic bottle fish. Artistic mama Lindsey suggests it’s best to prep ahead by making enough forms for each kiddo(you’ll be handling the sharp tools!), cutting out plenty of colorful paper, adding some glue, then leaving the fishy business up to them. For the complete tutorial, head over to Filth Wizardy.

photo: via filthwizardy

7. Mini Aquarium
It’s like your own travel-sized fish tank. Mama and creative mind Tina Pearson of Kiwi Crate shared an awesome way to let the kids have a “pet” without the hassle. Not to mention–for parents with wee ones–a handy way to use up any empty baby food jars. Be sure to have other essential items on hand like glue, paint and of course, foam fishies. Jump over to Kiwi Crate for the dandy set of instructions.

photo: Tina Pearson via kiwicrate

8. Fork Puffer Fish
Use a fork to create a puffer fish with paint and paper rather than fuel that living-on-the-edge foodie streak. Kids will delight to watch the prickly creature come to life (gotta love the crazy eyes on this guy) with careful tine tapping! Simple materials include paint, paper and of course, a fork. Float on over to Crafty Morning for the low-down.

photo: via craftymorning

9. Sea Turtle Treat Tray
Not only will your seafaring folk enjoy crafting their very own sea turtle, but they’ll love that you can add a treat under his shell! You’ll have to have strong and sturdy paper plates for this project, as well as markers, gems (for glamming up that turtle shell) and of course, treats to hide (and then share!) Project creator Julie Williams offers up a great list of to-do instructions, over at

photo: Julie Williams via

10. Footprint Sharks
You won’t have to wait for Shark Week to roll around to enjoy creating fins. Little feet can be the template for these big fish, with tiny toes making the perfect “fin”. Craft blogger and mama Stacey suggests having LOTS of baby wipes on hand, and her tutorial explains how to get that perfect shade of gray. Swim over to Glued to my Crafts for more details.

photo: via gluedtomycraftsblog

Do your kiddos enjoy under the sea art? Share with us in the comments!

— Gabby Cullen


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