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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

paper roll fish craft for kids

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!


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
  • permanent marker
  • scissors

How to:

  1. Flatten your cardboard tube
  2. Cut a rounded end for the fish’s head and two slits at an approximate 45º angle for the tail
  3. 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)
  4. Decorate your fish with paints and allow to dry
  5. Glue a googly eye onto each side and draw on a mouth with a marker

paper roll fish steps one

paper roll fish steps 2

paper roll fish steps 3

paper roll fish step 4

paper roll fish step 5

paper roll fish step 6

See – I told you it was easy!

three paper roll fish recycling craft for kids

Here are a few that my girls made when they were pre schoolers. Aren’t they cute?

kid making paper roll fish

kid made paper roll fish

kid made paper roll fish craft

I’m always up for a challenge! What paper roll animal would you like me to create next?

Frill necked lizard

You can find tons more on our Cardboard tubes board on Pinterest too.

paper roll fish craft and steps