Red Fish, Blue Fish: Fish Printing

June 28, 2009

My sister and I (with help from Noah and Clementine) made fish print shirts for the thirteen kids (ages 12-1) at the beach last week. Brought back memories of our tie-dyed beach shirts a few years ago. I had initially envisioned letting each of the kids do their own shirts but things were just a wee bit too crazy for that. It would work well with a smaller group of older kids or more one-on-one adult supervision. Inspired by the Japanese art form of gyotaku , previous fish printing experiences in Seattle, and Martha Stewart, we set up our work area outside. We used real fish (we bought one red fish with beautiful scales and two were free from the fish market...some type of bait fish). We used screen printing paint from Hobby Lobby, paintbrushes, plain white t-shirts, and lots of newspaper.

Basic steps: paint the fish (rollers may work better but brush seemed to work well), gently press the shirt down on top of the fish, carefully hang it up to dry and follow directions for your type of paint (we heat set the paint later with a hot iron).

In the future I would plan on ordering these fish molds, but while at the beach the real fish worked pretty well. And after all of the printing was done, Adam and the boys spent quite a while dissecting the fish and exploring their insides.

boatbaby said...

Wow, I have been eyeballing this in the magazine for a couple of weeks now. Thanks for doing it first and sharing your experiences! I may take the plunge when we head out to the beach this week. Yours look fabulous and you rock for using real fish!

Anonymous said...

Love the shirts! Glad you had a great time. Hope all goes well with Noah's surgery.


Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

It is a great beach pics if you guys try it. And if anyone has ever used the plastic molds would interested to hear about that, too.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Jan, thanks for the good wishes. I have a feeling there will be a few sleepless nights ahead, but hoping all goes very smoothly.

sara said...

Hey Lucia,

I know you don't have 2 seconds to spare, but I am wondering if you have any quick recommendations for a vacation spot on the Florida coast somewhere nearish to Orlando. We are planning a January vacation to Disney World and would like to spend a few days at the beach to get away from theme park craziness. Do you have any suggestions?

bigbucketgirl said...

Oooh! I think my boys would love that red one but they'd have to fight my husband and daughter for the fish....they'd be bbq-ing it! The bait fish idea sounds good though...and the dissection to follow! my husband took my kids mackerel fishing and they gutted them on the boat. they LOVED it!

an idea to add to our summer to-do list...thankyou.

foodcreate said...

Fabulous ! Shirts Red fish, Blue Fish all the fish! They are beautiful.

Thanks for sharing your photos!

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Cami said...

Wow, I can't believe you used real fish! Nice job. They look great.

craftymama said...

wow! those are great!

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Thanks...wish I had done a couple for myself, too.

Sara, happy to send some recommendations. I'll try to e-mail you soon. You should try to make a trip to Blue Springs to see the Manatee in January.

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