You know I love a party favor that can be used long after the party is over. It is even better if the favor can be used as the party activity itself (like here), killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
While visiting my marine biologist aunt and uncle in South Carolina this past week, they planned an easy, fun craft with a stingray that had gotten caught in one of their research nets. (Note, if you do not want to use a dead creature for this project, they have molds that can be used just as easily. Just search “fish printing replicas”). We printed a stingray and flounder onto t-shirts for the boys to wear, and I think they would make fun and memorable favors for an Under the Sea party, too!
How to Print a Fish on a T-Shirt (or Paper!)
Step 1: Catch a Fish, Refrigerate It, and Wash it Good (or Just Buy a Mold)
The stingray we used for this project was tangled in a net, so my aunt brought it home and refrigerated it in anticipation of our visit. You do not want to freeze the fish (if you are using a real one) because it will make it difficult to get the details in the print…you want the fish to be pliable). Wash the fish really good with soap in the sink before having the kids touch it!
We cut off the barb so no one impaled themselves during the project, then let the ray dry.
Step 2: Set up Acrylic Paint Colors
Choose paints that you will use. Have two brushes…a large one for overall coverage and a little one for any details you might want to add.
Step 3: Take a Moment to Learn about Sea Life
We studied a diagram of a fish and located the parts of a fish on our specimen.
Step 4: Paint the Fish
Make sure to get full coverage on the fish, especially around the borders. If you are going to use white paint, note that you will need A LOT to print onto a colored shirt.
Step 5: Put a Fresh Paper Towel Under the Fish and Press a Shirt (or Paper) on Top
Make sure to put a fresh towel underneath or any places that you got paint on the towel will transfer to your print. You want the crispest print possible. Align the shirt (or paper) over the fish and lay it on top, careful not to move it after it has touched the painted surface. Press down, making sure to get all the edges.
Step 6: Show Off Your New Print!