Cheap Easy Fish Center Pieces




About: I am crazy and inventive and never do things the easy way, though I do look to others' projects for help. was voted most likely to take over the world :D everyone who knows me will say I'm a crazy, eccentric...

These center pieces are really simple and neat.

I helped my sister make these for her engagement party last year.

[Note: If using fish: PLEASE make sure the fish have a home when the day ends, put them in a bigger tank and if you're leaving them in their container take out some of the water beads , they need oxygen otherwise they will die, if you see the fish at the top kinda gasping for air please change some of the water, that is at the same temperature of water the fish is currently in]

{Side note: When we used the fish we only had about 6 tables, two people took one home and I gave them instructions on how to make sure they don't die within 24hours, and I took the other 4. Gold fish don't tend to have a long lifespan but might last longer if taken care of, one of my 4 is still kicking :D}

Okay now that the formalities are through, materials can mostly be found at a dollar store or a craft store if you want something cheap and simple


- Glass vases

- Hot glue gun/sticks

- Battery lit candles

- Artificial flowers

- Craft water beads (in this case they're blue)

- Appropriate amount of small fish

Step 1: Step 1: Grow the Bubbles

Materials for this step:

- Glass jars or a sealable jug. We used a plastic juice jug that we washed out.

- Water beads (fig 1)

- Water

Step 1: Fill the jar/jug about 3/4 full

Step 2: Place a bunch of bubbles in the water, they are tiny at first but will expand in water. expansion might take a couple hours to about a day or two depending on the desired size. (the bigger the size the longer amount of time)

Note: if your jar/jug is big enough you could probably grow all the beads you need for the centrepieces in just one container.

See figure 2

Step 2: Step 2: Construct the Centerpieces

Materials for this step:

- Glass Jars

- Artificial Flowers

- Battery lit candles

- Grown water beads

- Hot glue

- Small fish/ net

Step 1: Arrange the flowers:

Depending on how simple or elegant you want, get an arrangement of flowers that suits you, but has a relatively thin stock.

We used very simple purple flowers because of their big petals and middle that could fit the candle.

Place 1 or 2 flowers in the jar and place them in the middle of the jar (fig 1)

Step 2: Glue the flowers down

Take some hot glue and glue the base/stem of the flower to the middle of the glass jar bottom (fig 2-3).

{Note: you may need to have a bigger bas at the end, because our fish essentially uprooted the plants, they stayed in the water so we didn't find it a problem but if you don't want the stems to move you may have to improvise}

Step 3: Attach the candles.

The candles tend to have a switch on the bottom, so if you glue them on, you have to turn the candle on before you glue.

you could just place them on top if you don't want to glue them, although the candles will probably shift if the fish swim about.

Step 4: Place the beads and water

Pour some of the beads into the glass jars, about 1/4- 1/2 full, no more than 1/2 because the fish won't have room to swim, fill the rest of the jar with water (fig 4).

Step 5: Place the fish inside

Gently place the fish inside the jar, using a fish net and you're done(fig 5).



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    6 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is a terrible idea for the fish. Fish needs a certain environment and the center piece does not provide it, meaning that its just plain cruel. Rather find a way to have the ideal environment for the fish first and then create the center piece around that for a pretty, functional and neat piece of decor.

    5 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I agree with csschoeman.

    I also wonder about those "Water Beads" and how good they are for the fish since you have to even be careful about the types of rocks and wood you put in a fish tank. Using something meant for a fish tank would be better and it could be gorgeous to add a bubbler (You can find some that are battery powered). Then problems solved for short term display.

    You may also want to mention to keep them out of direct sunlight since that can cause the water to get too hot and boil the fish.

    You say that goldfish don't live very long, but in reality they can live up to 10-25 years if taken care of properly. I've personally known some gold fish that old that were originally won from a carnival game!

    An even better option would be to use a Betta instead of goldfish. They are a bit more costly, but they are gorgeous and do not need as much space and air in the long run. You wouldn't need the air bubbler as I mentioned for goldfish. Carp = Running Rivers, Betta = Puddles/Still Water


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    That's fair,

    yeah I agree with you, the display was more of my sister's idea, I personally was against the idea of a small space , your ideas are a lot better i've debated taking this instructable off because people tend to mistreat fish and I don't want them to get the wrong idea here. I have many successful fish tanks I just didn't know how to add all the notes for everybody to take proper care of fish


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    * by that I meant that I don't know which fish help tips to add on the description because I originally assumed most people would know how to take care of fish , but since you guys commented on the mistreatment, I guess normal health of fish wasn't implied in my description or that people don't have common sense with fish


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, you have to basically assume the general public has absolutely ZERO knowledge about ANY animal. Working at a pet store I came to realize that. To think about it, I wouldn't know the first thing about caring for a reptile. I know fish are taken for granted because they are so common, but people don't know how to really take care of them, like water temperature, treating the water so there aren't chemicals in it, which fish need oxygen in the water (goldfish) and which need to breathe from the top (betta) ... etc.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    the fish aren't staying in there long, they were only there for about an hour and then they were placed in a good home