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Jar Lid Fish

The kids will have fun creating their own species of Jar Lid Fish out of recycled jar lids and odds and ends of craft supplies around the house. There is no special way to decorate these fun fish so the kids can let their imagination run wild.

Trivia: You should  remove the caps and lids from all plastic bottles and jugs (and tubs) before recycling the containers. Plastic caps have a different melting point than other recyclable plastics and will contaminate the load.


Jar lids (metal or plastic)
Construction paper
White glue
Wiggle eyes
Masking tape or scotch (cello) tape
Small coins, small round bells, beans,
grains, or rice (optional)
Small magnet (optional)


Collect and clean several metal or plastic jar lids.

Take one jar lid. Create the fish's round body by tracing around the lid onto construction paper. Using paper with the same color as the lid is good, but not necessary.

Create the top and bottom fins (the orange ones on top) by cutting paper into a pair of right triangles. Make a tail (the pink one at the bottom) by cutting out an isosceles triangle, which has two equal sides. Cut out a smaller isosceles triangle to make the side fin. Lastly, cut out a small heart for the mouth.

Decorate the fish's body any way you like: Draw with crayons, markers, oil pastels, or colored pencils. Paint with a brush or your fingerAdd sparkly lines and dots with glitter glue, or raised lines with puffy paint

Cut out or punch out shapes and glue them on

Decorate with small stickers

You can also draw colorful lines on the fins and tail.

Once all the paint and glue on the fish's body has dried, flip the circle over so that the decorated side is facing down. Glue on the fins, tail, and mouth with their decorated sides facing down as well.

Flip the fish over so that the decorated side is facing up. Glue on a wiggle eye and small side fin.

No wiggle eye? You can draw the eye or use paper.

If you want to be able to hang your fish, tape a string inside the jar lid.

To turn your jar lid fish into a shaker or noise maker, place some coins, little bells, beans, or rice grains.

To close up your fish, apply white glue around the lid's edges. Glue your paper fish onto the mouth of the lid. If you have a string on, align it to the top fin. Press on the edges to fix the fish in place.

If you like, you can decorate the jar lid side. If the lid's color does not match the paper fish, you can cut out another circle and glue it onto the lid before decorating.

Make a couple more jar lid fishes to create a colorful school of sea creatures. Hang them on the porch, window sill, or anywhere they can rotate and "swim" freely. You can also tie the strings onto a branch, a dowel, or even a hanger to create a mobile.

Listed under:

Early Elementary Craft, Ocean Crafts For Kids, Recycled Containers and Lids

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Image of FirstPalette.com

A free resource for fun and educational kids' crafts, the site features a step-by-step guide for each craft project and includes printable templates, art recipes, and environment-friendly tips for crafting.

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