Introduction: Freshwater Pond Ecosystem Model With Candy!

For this candy-inspired theme, I have made a freshwater pond ecosystem model! With candy, learning the different elements of the ecosystem, to a complete science model! Follow my instructable guide on learning how to create this model!



  • Gummy green apple rings
  • Gummy worms
  • Chocolate pebbles (the ones that look like rocks)
  • Blue Jolly ranchers

Craft materials:

  • Parchment paper
  • Paintbrush(s)
  • Green paint
  • Sky blue paint (Light blue paint works just as fine)
  • Brown paint
  • Black paint
  • Paint tray (or things like cardboard, paper plate, etc.)
  • Green yarn
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue gun sticks
  • Birds nest (You can get those from the dollar store)
  • Mushroom model
  • Dragonfly decor
  • Butterfly stickers
  • Colour in placements (you can print out like frogs, cattail plant, water lilies, etc.)
  • Shoebox
  • Extra pieces of cardboard
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • A pen or anything to write with
  • Markers with different colours
  • Spoon
  • Boul

Step 1: Covering the Box With Paper

For this step, you are going to have to get your glue stick and normal printer paper. Start by gluing down the pieces of paper all over the inside so that it will be easier to paint and work with going forward. Trim the paper if needed like in the picture. I also covered the outside with paper to hide the red colour.

Step 2: Painting

This next step is almost going to be finishing the paper-mache we started. The reason we put paper first was so that it would be easier to paint so that if it was just cardboard we would have to do layers on top of layers. Before painting, we need to mark out the spot where we are going to add the pond. Now we start painting the back of the box blue and the sides as they represent the sky. Now that we are done painting the sky, start painting the circle we made earlier blue, then everything around that green. (Also don't forget to add in the yellow sun at the top) Now wait for it to dry and we can start with the willow trees!

Step 3: Tree Base and Branch

Put aside your ecosystem box and grab the extra pieces of cardboard. We are going to be working with cardboard, and it might take a little longer on this step just to get the just of handling with cardboard. Roll out the cardboard, then fold it as I did in the second photo. Unfold and start folding to make a cone, but leaving space between both ends. Hot glue together, and glue on the base of the tree. (Remember that there is still an opening that is at the top) Make double, then paint them both brown. Take a small paintbrush and put detail in it to make the stokes of the tree darker. And that's how you make the trees! Making the branches is very similar. Make a duplicate, but instead cut the cardboard out smaller and thinner. Make around 3 or 4 of them, Paint, and we are onto the next step!

Step 4: Branch Installing

For this step, simply just place one branch into the opening of a tree, this will help in glueing the willow on.

Step 5: Willows

For this step, you will need your green yarn, hot glue, tree, and scissors. Cut a good amount of yarn to work with and glue to the branch. Keep glueing until you have covered it all. Once you're done that, puff it out a little, a willow tree is supposed to look messy, so make sure it doesn't look too 'still'.

Step 6: Pond Animals

There are many animals that you can decide on making, I have chosen frogs, Birds, Eagles, Worms, Fish, etc. First, we are going to start by making rectangular, and circular markings to cut out so that it creates a base. Then paint them green (I decided to paint it green so that it would match the lotus plant theme). Now bend the paper ever so slightly and use a glue stick to glue the fold onto the lotus plant. After that take one of your branches from before and paper eagle. Do the same with the eagle, instead of gluing it onto the branch. Bring in one of your trees too and glue them on the back of it, also following the same format for the bird, but onto the other tree. Next, take your last branch and glue half a gummy ring onto it so that it looks like moss. Now stick the little extra things like butterflies, dragon flys, etc.

Step 7: Adding Candy and Gluing

Lastly adding the candy. Put in your jolly ranchers into a separate bowl, then microwave for 30-second intervals. Caution: This part is very hot and might burn you, so get an assistant if needed. Take the mixture out of the boul and spread it out on a piece of parchment paper into a circular shape. Let this harden and cool down. Then place onto the base and start gluing the things that lay on top of the pond, I used some worms, frogs, and water lilies. Now grab your chocolate pebbles (or rocks) and hot-glue them onto the sides of the pond. (It gives a really nice effect) Lastly cut the gummy rings into 4 quarters and glue them to make a nice natural green plant-grow effect.

Step 8: The End

This is the end, if you want to incorporate more candy, try using fondant for some of the animals, or green Twizzlers for the willow, etc! There are so many more ways you can elevate this, hope you had fun reading and maybe will try creating this :)

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