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Painting Wooden Fish

Making these plywood fish are a fun activity for kids at a birthday party.

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


This project allows children express their creativity at a birthday party and take something home as a memento. You can either purchase the wooden fish or make them yourself.


  • Magazine or book

  • 3/8-inch-thick piece of plywood

  • Jigsaw

  • Tempera paints


  1. Trace an image from a magazine or book onto a 3/8-inch-thick piece of plywood, and use a jigsaw with a scroll blade to cut it from the wood. If you're not equipped to do this at home, you might go to a woodworking club where the members can help you cut out your shapes.

  2. Before the party, attach a picture hanger to the backs of the fish so they can be displayed afterwards. Balance the fish on the side of your hand to find its center of balance, and mark the spot on the wood. Hot glue the picture hanger in place, and let it dry. You might want to write each child's name on the back of the fish, as well as the date, for posterity.

  3. Ideas for the colors and designs to be used on the fish can come from books, magazines, or each child's imagination. Tempera paints are ideal for a project like this, because they are water soluble and mix easily. After the paint is dry, spray the finished fish lightly with an acrylic sealer to protect the paint. It takes a minute or so to dry and ensures the fish will look its best for a long time to come.

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