Swim Into Summer with a DIY Aquarium for your Favorite Teacher

Craft blog by: Emilee Peterman (@emilee.mitchel)

Looking to make a splash and show your favorite teacher some love? Well, look no further than this fin-tastic craft idea for kids! With OOLY’s Creatibles DIY Air Dry Clay Kit, Chroma Blends Watercolor Paint Set, and Smooth Stix Watercolor Gel Crayons, you can create a mini aquarium that will have your teacher swimming with joy. Not only is it a unique classroom decoration, but it’s also a great way to show your teacher some appreciation.

Time Duration: 1 hour + time for the clay to dry

Skill Level: Intermediate

OOLY Products Needed

Other Items Needed: 

  • Floral Wire or Pipe Cleaners (adult supervision required) 
  • Mini Fish Bowl 
  • Small empty box 
  • Glue Stick 
  • Tape 
  • Scissors (adult supervision required)


Handles holding creatibles writing teacher's name on fish bowl

Step 1: To get started, use the  Creatibles Window Cling Art Kit to write your teacher’s name on the fish bowl. You can either write directly onto the fish bowl or use the transparent film that comes with the kit. Hint: I used the transparent film, and tweezers made it easier to transfer the letters over to the fish bowl. I printed out our teacher’s name to use as a stencil.

Hand holding clear fishbowl using puffy paint to draw seawood on the outside of the bowl

Step 2: Still using Creatibles Window Cling Art Kit, draw seaweed to the outside of the bowl.

Hand holding purple clay and using utensils to carve out a fish shape

Step 3: Now it’s time to sculpt your class pet using Creatibles DIY Air Dry Clay Kit. Use any color you want. I started with the basic fish shape. Keep it simple and we’ll add the details in a few moments.

Hand holding purple fish with blue fins and a face made out of clay with clay on the table

Step 4: Insert floral wire at the bottom of the fish. You can also use pipe cleaners.

Hand holding purple clay fish attached to blue clay using wire on table with more clay in the background

Step 5: Now create a base for the fish using clay shaped into two quarter sized pebbles.  Push the other end of the floral wire into the base. This will help keep the fish upright in the bowl.

Hands painting clay fish and paper seaweed with fish bowl rocks next to paint set

Step 6: Once the clay is dry, it’s time to add the details. I used Chroma Blends Watercolor Paint to add shimmer and then black marker to add some scales.

Hands holding down sketchbook with drawn on seaweed with gel crayons around art
All colors of gel crayons on table with images of seaweed and coral drawn on sketchpaper

Step 7: A fish bowl isn’t complete without some other fun fixtures. I drew, colored, and cut out seaweed and coral using Lil’ Watercolor Paint Pad, Smooth Stix Watercolor Gel Crayons and Chroma Blends Watercolor Paint Set.

Arts and crafts supplies on table such as scissors, tape, and clay next to cut out shapes of seaweed and coral
Scissors, tape, clay and cut out aquatic shapes on arts and crafts table
Hand holding two green clay balls with wire holding up coral and seaweed with arts and crafts supplies on table

Step 8: Now you simply tape small pieces of floral wire to the back of the seaweed and coral pieces, and attach them to small pieces of clay.

Paper colored different shades of blue from top to bottom using gel crayons

Step 9: Now we are going to make a bunch of pebbles for the bottom of the fish bowl. Just color an entire White DIY Cover Sketchbook page in various shades of blue using Smooth Stix Watercolor Gel Crayons.

Adult hands ripping up blue paper and crumbling them into balls
Adult crafting paper balls from blue sketchbook paper

Step 10: Rip off the colored strips of the paper and crumple it into tiny balls. (Your fingers may get a little discolored from the watercolor gel crayons but it washes off easily). I made enough pebbles to at least cover the clay, which was about 1.5 pages of Sketchbook paper.

Top view of an empty fishbowl with writing on the side
Top view of fishbowl with writing on the side and purple clay fish in the center
Top view of a fishbowl with clay fish and other fish fixtures inside
Top view of a fishbowl filled with blue pebbles, pink corals, green seaweed, and a purple clay fish
Top view of a fishbowl filled with blue pebbles, pink corals, green seaweed, a purple clay fish, and a pink starfish

Step 11: Now let’s assemble the fish tank! First put in the fish and other fixtures. Then add the pebbles until the clay is covered. I also made a starfish out of the Creatibles DIY Air Dry Clay Kit, so I set this on top of the pebbles. Now your class pet is done!

Colorful handmade fish bowl with greeting cards on a wooden plank

BONUS: Decorate a small empty box using Chroma Blends Watercolor Paint Set, Chroma Blends Travel Watercolor Set, Smooth Stix Watercolor Gel Crayons and Stickiville stickers, and turn it into a “Fish Food” box filled with affirmations for your teacher to read. 

Crafting is not only a fun way to show off your creativity, but it’s also a great way to express your appreciation for the people in your life. So go ahead and make a splash with this easy DIY project classroom and show your teacher just how much you care!

We would love to see photos of your craft projects! Tag us on Instagram at @WeAreOOLY using #OOLYcreateyourhappy.

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