Craft Foam Fish Prints

When I was a teacher, I would go to the fish market and buy several types of full fish each year. Then, I brought the fish to school to teach the kids about the parts of a fish. I showed them the fish scales and gils, and then, we painted the fish and made beautiful fish print pieces of art. I loved the art that the children created, each one was it’s own masterpiece. But, it has become more difficult to purchase full fish to create these stunning pieces, so we created our own craft foam fish prints.

DIY Craft Foam Fish Prints


  • 1 Pieces of Construction Paper.
  • Scissors. 
  • Paint.
  • Craft Foam or food service styrofoam would work.
  • Pencil.
  • Optional – Paint brush.

Fish Prints or Gyotaku is an ancient Japanese method of measuring their catch. However, the measurements were often so beautiful, they were used as pieces of art. We would create fish prints on shirts, canvases, or heavy construction paper. I have done my own on wood as well.

Begin this project by cutting a fish shape out of craft foam. You can use our fish template and trace it. My son drew a fish for me to use as a template. (Or you could use our step by step ocean animal drawing tutorials, too!)

After you cut out the fish shape, use a pencil to add contours. Simply draw them with enough pressure to create an indentation.

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Then, use a pencil or scissors to cut out gils and an eye on the fish.

Now, you are ready to create fish prints! Carefully paint a thin layer of paint onto the foam fish. You can mix colors or create an ombré effect on the fish.

Then, hold the foam fish by the edges and press it evenly on the paper. Make sure the entire fish touches the paper, and carefully remove it from the paper.

That’s it! I hope you’re inspired to create a beautiful custom fish print this summer!

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