How to Make a Metal Fish Sculpture

Cut, weld and spray paint metal to create this whimsical fish sculpture.


Materials and Tools:

16-gauge sheet metal
1" wide strap metal
1/8" wire
spray paint in various colors
clear coat sealer
plasma torch
acetylene torch
MIG welder
hand grinders
several sets of pliers
eye protection
welding gloves
permanent marker
white glue
half round jewels for eyes
painter's tape


  1. Draw three fish shapes on a sheet of metal with a permanent marker. 
  2. Cut the fish out with a plasma torch.
  3. Grind smooth all the sharp edges with a grinder.
  4. Cut three lengths of 1-inch strap material for seaweed.
  5. Create pointy straps with a torch and then grind smooth. 
  6. Put each piece of seaweed in a vise and twist into artistic shapes using pliers.
  7. Lay out the seaweed and fish on a table in desired positions.
  8. Weld the seaweed together.
  9. Contour the fish with a large rubber hammer and vise. Pound the metal until it is curved and bent to the desired shape. This will give dimension to the fish.
  10. While cooling, paint the seaweed with glossy black spray paint.
  11. When the seaweed is dry, place the fish in the original layout position.
  12. Tack weld the fish into place on the seaweed.
  13. Add a hanger to the back of the seaweed. Let cool. 
  14. Place newsprint paper and tape around the seaweed to protect it from paint overspray.
  15. Spray paint fish in lively colors.
  16. Add detail to the fish, including gills, mouth and fin lines with a permanent marker.
  17. Let dry and spot paint the seaweed as necessary.
  18. Glue one-half round jewel to each fish for eyes using white glue. Weld two rods to the back of each fish a few inches apart to attach later to the seaweed.
  19. Clear coat all parts and let dry.

Next Up

How to Make a Recycled Metal Fish Sculpture

Turn an old car hood into a fish sculpture with simple welding techniques.

How to Make a 3-D Ceramic Art Block

Create a 3-D ceramic art block to hang on your wall using under glazes and a silkscreen design.

How to Make a Flower Belt Buckle

Brighten up an outfit with this whimsical metal flower buckle.

Copper Frog

Steve Jones creates a frog out of scrap copper pieces and copper wire.

Copper Wire Willow Tree

Matt Sipes wraps four cables of copper wire to form a tree trunk and then twists the wire to form branches for his willow tree.

How to Make a Steel Lily Wall Sconce

Weld and sculpt a steel lily to hang on your wall for instant industrial, modern style.

How to Make a Rainbow Fish Sculpture

Make a whimsical fish sculpture from a coconut palm with these simple steps.

How to Make a Metal Sunflower Stake

Hammer copper and brass into a unique piece of garden art with these steps.

How to Make Rubber Stamp Art

Use ultraviolet light to make a stamp from a negative, and create a work of art with the stamps.

How to Make a Statue Mold

Use latex, putty and gypsum cement to create an artistic sculpture.

What's New in Handmade

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.