These upcycled crafts are not only cute, they're a great teaching tool about ocean health and sustainability.

Suitable for ages:
2 years and up
Time required:
30 mins
2 out of 5
Related Exhibition: Ghost Nets

A seemingly harmless piece of discarded fishing net, left to drift in the ocean can strangle a sea turtle travelling to its nesting ground. Sharks, fish and other marine life all over the world have also suffered similar fates through entanglement in fishing nets. Those nets are called 'ghost nets' - see how they're turned into beautiful works of art in our exhibition Au Karem Ira Lamar Lu – Ghost Nets of the Ocean.

How to make a bottle fish 

What You'll Need:
  • Plastic bottles – size of 400-500ml suggested. (Cut off the bottom end – keep the top end with the lid on it)
  • Pieces of colourful thongs (or coloured foam material if no thongs available)
  • Scissors
  • Glue – use clear craft glue or silicon glue
  • Needles – you can use heavy darning needles or doll making needles. Young kids can use plastic needles and pre-punch the holes with a leather tool
  • Fishing line
  • Hole punch
  • For the eyes - use small circular shaped debris such as fishing weights, draw eyes with a sharpie, or use stick-on googly eyes
  • Pen
  • Decorations: pieces of coloured rope, string, and other interesting pieces of debris - be creative!

To Make:

Step 1. 
Use scissors to cut the bottom of the bottle. Ensure that the end with the top end of the bottle with lid is to be kept intact, so that just the bottom side of the bottle is cut off.

Step 2. 
Select pieces of colourful thongs (or foam). Use scissors to cut out shapes for the fish parts. These can include fish tail and fins. Use templates if needed to trace around shape and then cut out.

Step 3. 
Use scissors to carefully make a slit about 10cm in the top and sides of bottle to fit in the gills and fins.
Tip: Grown ups may need to help with this step.

Step 4. 
To attach the tail:
Option 1:
Thread a needle with a double thread of fishing line at least 30cm length of fishing line, tie at the end of the thread to make the knot. Use the needle and thread to stitch the thong tail to the bottle to secure it. Tie it off with a knot to secure the thread so it won’t come apart.
Option 2:
Use clear craft or silicon glue to glue the tail on securely. Hold the glued pieces in place for about 30 seconds before leaving it to dry.

See how to make some other cute ghost net sea creatures

We’d love to see your creations! 
Please send us photos either by email to: or tag us on Instagram - just tag the photo with our username

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