TUTORIAL: paper plate fish

by Dana on August 17, 2011

The other day at Ikea, the kids made simple fish out of plain white plates.

It was such a cute idea, I just had to come home and spice it up a bit.

So we bought party plates from Target in a variety of colors, started cutting, and an hour later….

We had an entire school of fish!

This project is super easy. And the finished product is so cute and colorful, you can’t help but smile back at them.

1. Start with a paper plate

2. Cut a small triangle from the plate (a la Pacman)

3. Tape the triangle to the back of the plate as the tail

4. Draw an eye (and decorate, if you’d like)

One little goldfish.

After mastering the basics, we mixed it up with bows, flowers, hair, a sailor hat, glitter, and whatever we could find. The possibilities are endless.

Please meet Ernie and Rose:

The only downside to using the colorful party plates is that markers don’t work very well on top. I could barely get the Sharpie to show up for the eye. If your kids would have more fun decorating with crayons and markers, white paper plates work better. Just follow the same steps…

Then decorate.

And show off your best fish face.

We came up with about 15 different fish and the kids gave each one a name. Lucy has been playing with them for 2 days now, making them talk to each other, swim around in the air, and then she tucks them all into make-shift beds on our couch. It’s really cute.

The Brady Bunch gang:

Of course the fish immediately reminded us of their favorite kids’ book, Ten Little Fish. Lucy and Owen have read this book so many times that each page has been taped back together, multiple times. I almost can’t read it anymore or the sing-songy words are stuck in my head for the next two hours.

But just for the fun, here are a few pages….

Eventually all the fish go in different directions, counting down to only….

The two fish get married and have babies.

And the book comes full circle….

bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop…

(those are my fish bubbles)

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan M Jensen March 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

These will be perfect to make for church I donate to, They make more from my sample. Fun & maybe they’ll ask me to play. Thank you


2 Brittany July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I LOVE these!!! I am going to feature them on my blog when we talk about “F”. Thanks for the inspiration!


3 Nilceia Alves Peresin Cordeiro November 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Amei os peixes irei fazer para minha feira de ciencias,que será no sábado…
obrigada amei sua criatividade… beijocas até…


4 Linda April 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I just love the idea of making paper fish from paper plates, this is a great idea
for my story time group, for Thanksgiving we made pilgrims from paper plates,
and the kids had a great time making those, but these bright colored fish will
be great…I am a librarian who always worked with adults, but I now work
at a different library, and I get to plan programs and crafts for all ages.


5 Asha May 21, 2013 at 2:16 am

those plates are so cute and beautiful..


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