Craft · Messy Craft

Homemade Aquarium

All week we have been doing under-the-sea-themed activities, culminating in our first trip to the cinema as a family to watch Finding Dory, and a trip to the Deep while we were up visiting family in Hull. Inspired by the film, and our visit to an actual aquarium, we decided to bring all of the crafts that we had made together in order to create our own aquarium at home.

This is how we did it:

  1. We took an empty cardboard box; we used one of those supermarket vegetable crates that you pick up for free in Sainsbury’s (and I assume other supermarkets also) to pack your shopping into (and then throw away as soon as you get home and unpacked), as it was already a perfect shape, but any old cardboard box would work (you would just have to cut one face away first)!
  1. We covered the box in old newspaper using PVA and left it to dry (again, this was a job for D – it is very important to keep him busy while he is on holiday; otherwise he just wanders round the house aimlessly and does things like clothes washing and cleaning and making being a stay-at-home parent look a doddle).
  1. Once the glue was dry it was time to paint! We painted the inside blue (like water, obviously), and the outside black.


  1. When that was dry we stood the box on one of its longer ends and added the contents:


  • We started with the “sea bed” – we put a little glue on the inside base of the box and sprinkled on some sand (we scraped the remnants still lingering in our buckets after our seaside holidays). We also added a sprinkle of gold glitter to the sand to make it glimmer.
  • We then added some stones that we had collected at the beach and our painted shells.


  • After this we glued A’s green handprints to the lower back of the box (to act as seaweed on the seabed).


  • Next we added some jellyfish; we made these by gluing strips of tissue paper to the unbubbly side of some old bubble wrap (that I had pre-cut into semicircles) and drawing on some eyes.


  • A also added a couple of pictures that she had coloured during the week.
  • Then we added some of our tropical fish (painted using household objects); we made a lot of fish and they did not all fit so we glued the smaller ones to the back of the box, and hung some of the larger ones with string.
  • Finally, A glued a few handfuls of tissue paper strips to the top of the box (I think this looks really effective as a clump of seaweed).

…and there we have it – one aquarium!IMG_0671

I have added this post to the following linkies:
Dear Bear and Beany
Diary of an imperfect mum
A Cornish Mum
You Baby Me Mummy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Trash 2 Treasure

33 thoughts on “Homemade Aquarium

  1. I ADORE this! What a lovely project and I love that the whole family got involved. Those jellyfish are really cool. We spend last summer painting fish to use as decor for a party – wish I had known of the bubble wrap jellyfish idea then!


  2. Wow this looks great! I love the jelly fish and seaweed hands. My daughter is obsessed with Finding Dory since we went to watch it so she would love this too. #picknmix


    1. Hehe that is the problem isn’t it – this one worked well for us. We did each of the elements separately: some they enjoyed, some just one of them enjoyed and some they didn’t at all, so it was quite successful! They loved putting it altogether at the end!


  3. Omg, how ADORABLE!!!! This little craft opens up so many opportunities for conversation, and learning. It truly is wonderful! I can’t wait until my son is old enough to start doing things like this! Thanks for sharing ❤ #KCACOLS


  4. This is brilliant and so much fun. My girls would love doing something like this. I just need the sun to stick around and I am definitely more an outside mum for crafts!!! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x


  5. So pretty, what a lovely idea and a great way to recreate the seaside at home after a holiday. I have a few shells saved from our holiday and was looking for what to do with them. This could make a great activity hour program for us here on the farm.

    Thank you for sharing a lovely idea with me on #Trash2Treasure


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