WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Fishy Business: Easy Egg Carton Fish Craft

Continuing from last week’s craft, here is another kid-friendly activity, paired with age-appropriate books. These Easy Egg Carton Fish are super simple and inexpensive to make – I had all of the materials in my cupboards. My inspiration came from this craft on Pinterest; I’ve detailed my version of the project, below.

Egg Carton Fish Green & Blue
Egg Carton Fish: Green & Blue

Easy Egg Carton Fish Materials List

You will need:

  • Cardboard egg carton(s)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes (various sizes)
  • Scissors
  • Old vinyl tablecloth/newspapers/etc.
  • Paper towels
  • Water cup (for rinsing brushes)
  • Paint “palette” – I used disposable paper bowls for easy cleanup
  • Yarn or thread
  • Large-eyed needle
Egg Carton Fish Materials
Materials for Egg Carton Fish

Getting Started

Begin by protecting your worksurface. I threw down an old, vinyl tablecloth, but newsprint would work well, too. I cut out the egg cups from each carton – I used 6 egg cups per fish (for a total of 1-½ egg cartons, of the dozen variety). I noticed that my egg cups came out all different sizes. Which, really, this is supposed to replicate nature – so it seems appropriate!

Arrange your egg cups from little to big, 6 cups per fish.

Egg Carton Fish Cut Out
Left to right – smallest to largest egg cups

Using a paper bowl (or your paint palette of choice), lay down your paint. Because I was using what I had on-hand, I worked with a limited color palette. If you are also with working with just a smattering of paint colors, be sure to mix and blend them.

Choose your paint colors
Paint palette for Egg Carton Fish

I blended my colors, working from light-to-dark, and was able to achieve a really cool, gradient effect.

Egg Carton Fish Painted Cardboard
Painted gradient

Paint all of your egg cups, inside and out. Allow them to dry about 3-4 hours (depending on the thickness of paint). I only applied 1 coat to each cup, and saw good coverage.

Egg Carton Fish Paint Drying
Favorite activity: waiting for paint to dry

When your egg cups have dried, notch the largest cup for each fish to create 4 “fins.” Some of my egg cups already had notches, left from when I hacked … erm cut … them free from the carton. These notches work, too.

Notch the Tails
Notched tail

Slightly-squash (very technical term, I know!) the smallest cup for each fish, to create the fish’s “head.” Then, create the eyes. I simply painted the eyes on my fish, but this would be a fantastic application for googly-eyes, if you have them! Last, paint stripes on the “fins,” if your heart desires (and mine did).

Egg Carton Fish Painted Details
Painted details – eyes and fins

When your egg cups are fully-dried, use your needle and yarn or thread to string them together, from large to small. I cut a length of about 12 inches of yarn and created a nice fat knot at the bottom.

add knots for the fins
Knot for fin

After installing the “fin,” I created a big knot about every 1 to 1 1/2 inches, to hold the subsequent egg cups (or scales). Be sure to create a loop at the top of each fish for hanging purposes. And, voila! Fishes!

Egg Carton Fish Blue
One fish, blue fish
Egg Carton Fish Flat Lay
Final Fishies

Children’s Resources About Fish

Here are a few books we love, that would be a great companion to this craft:

Everything That You Need to Know about Our Fishy Friends

Fish (First Discovery Books)

Ken Schultz’s Field Guide to Freshwater Fish

  • About Jackie Richardson

    Jackie Baird Richardson is an interior designer, editor at The WON and avid junker. Watch for her design tips and occasional crafting ideas, bringing the outdoors indoors.