Here’s a super easy paper roll fish craft you can make at home. This is a fun recycling craft idea for kids of all ages, preschoolers included!
This easy fish craft was originally posted in 2013 and has been updated and reshared for todays audience.
You might also like our egg carton goldfish
I adore making paper roll crafts using a cut and fold technique. This paper roll fish has to be the easiest one of all!
Originally I designed this craft years ago for my girls when they were preschoolers. I cut out the fish shapes for them and they decorated them with sequins, glitter and other bits and pieces. The girls used their finished fish as ‘food’ in their toy kitchen for a long time – years even! You could also turn them into a fishing game with the help of some paper clips and magnets on strings.
Want to make one? It’s easy peasy!
How to make a paper roll fish
You will need:
- one painted recycled cardboard tube per fish (you can use a paper towel roll cut down to size or a toilet roll, both will work)
- more paint to decorate
- googly eyes and glue — or use our free printable paper eyes for a more eco-friendly version
- permanent marker
- Flatten your cardboard tube
- Cut a rounded end for the fish’s head and two slits at an approximate 45º angle for the tail
- Fold the angled cut inwards both forwards and backwards and then tuck it inside the fish to create the tail (see video or photos if this sounds confusing)
- Decorate your fish with paints and allow to dry
- Glue a googly eye onto each side and draw on a mouth with a marker
See – I told you it was easy!
Here are a few that my girls made when they were pre schoolers. Aren’t they cute?
I’m always up for a challenge! What paper roll animal would you like me to create next?
More paper roll animal crafts
• Frill necked lizard
You can find tons more on our Cardboard tubes board on Pinterest too.
Kids Crafts by Three Sisters says
This is really creative and cute!
Josefa Hernandez says
Great idea for the children ti work with, painting them putting them together, love it.
Susan Buchalter says
This is so cute and easy!
Something little ones can do with little help. Great
isha kainat says
i want to try this .. how many things we needed for this
Cardboard tubes, scissors and paint is all you need. Googly eyes and glue optional but not necessary.
Susie Jo says
What kind of paint did you use?
Acrylic paint. My favourite brand is Jo Sonjas but that may not be available near you. Some brands will need a couple of coats of paint to get them looking opaque.
Gagan Sarch says
Kate you are amazing !! This such an amazing way of crafting the fish. I am sure going to use it with my pre-k class, and thank you so much for sharing. Do you have any such simple but creative animal craft work for my class to create on wild, farm or air borne animals. Thank you
Could be fun to not only make these but hot glue small metal flat washers and give child a honemade fishing rod with magnet on end?
That sounds like a great idea!
Helen Klein says
We did the magnet thing. Painted numbers on the sides of the fish to see who got the biggest catch.
Then vowels and commonly used consonants (B, T, D, S etc) to spell words.
What a great way to incorporate learning into the project!
Thax Kate I am going to use this art for my life skills lesson. You the best .
Awesome! hope the kids enjoy making them 🙂
Wow Kate you always amaze me and my little boy Johnny with your amazing ideas! I love this and can’t wait to try it out good job Kate!!!!