Dollar Store DIY: Under the Sea Tissue Pom Pom Creatures

If you haven't caught on yet, I am a SUPER FAN of dollar stores. If you aren't a dollar store shopper, you are missing out! You can find all kinds of craft supplies, party supplies, seasonal decor, and more -- all for $1 or less! In my part of the country, Dollar Tree is king, and everything is truly $1. However, no matter where you are located, stores like these can be a great go-to for a DIY-er.

This post is the first in a new series of periodic posts where I'll be sharing an easy dollar store DIY! This first project was a brilliant idea from my husband's cousin, Tracy. She was planning her little boy's 1st birthday party and had decided on an "Under the Sea" theme. As she looked into decor ideas online, she came across some fun Tissue Pom Pom creatures on Etsy, like this one, but was disappointed to see they cost nearly $10 each + shipping!

Under the Sea.jpg

If DIY isn't your jam, ordering from a maker on Etsy is a great idea, but if you are on a budget, getting a bunch of these could get expensive fast! Here's where Dollar Tree comes to the rescue. The store carries several colors of tissue pom poms and a 2-pack is only $1! That's right, you can buy the main supply needed for these cute little creatures for $.50 a piece!

Photo Apr 25, 6 07 17 PM.jpg

What You Need

  • Tissue Pom Poms (Colors of your choice)

  • Pack of Colored Cardstock

  • Black and White Cardstock

  • Glue Stick

  • Double-sided tape

  • Circle cutter or stencil

  • Scissors

For this project, we made 13 Under the Sea creatures: 2 sea turtles, 2 crabs, 2 octopus, 2 fish, 1 whale, 2 whales, 1 shark, and 1 seahorse. Once you decide on how many and which sea creatures you want to make, you'll be able to select the colors of pom poms you need and how many packages to purchase. 

Keep a lookout for coupons to your local craft store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. You can usually get a pack of colored card stock for $5 or less with a coupon. Larger packs may cost a few more dollars, but cardstock is great to keep around for other projects! Make sure your pack includes the colors you need. You may need to buy some additional black and white cardstock to create the eyes. 

You'll also need a pair of scissors, glue, and double-sided tape. To create circles, you can either use a Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine, a circle cutter or punch, or just trace something circular like a glass or lid.

Once you've gotten your supplies together, open a pack of poms and puff them up by following the directions on the package. Use your circle cutting method of your choice to create larger white circles and smaller black circles for eyes. If you are making multiple creatures, cut a bunch of these at once. If you want to get super fancy, you can use sparkly black cardstock like we did here. Glue the black circles onto the white circles.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 5.07.47 PM.png

The rest of the creature parts are where you get to test your drawing talents. Lucky for me, Tracy took on this part of the project, but she said it was easier than she thought it would be! Use your inspiration images to help guide you to draw these or consult Google for some clipart images you can use as a tracing guide.

Once you have the "body parts" drawn and cut out, use double sided tape to secure them to the tissue pom poms. 

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 5.08.24 PM.png

The pom poms all come with a string that you can use to hang these or you can add wood dowels to create table centerpieces. They also sit up nicely, so you can just set them on tables as well! Here are all of the sea creatures we created: 

Sea Turtle

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 5.09.01 PM.png


Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 5.09.47 PM.png


Photo Dec 24, 12 39 14 PM.jpg

Whales (Blue & Black)


Photo Dec 24, 1 22 20 PM.jpg


Photo Dec 24, 1 33 27 PM.jpg

For about $15, you can make 14 of these sea creatures! At about $1 a creature, that is a lot easier on the wallet, than ordering them online.

Photo Feb 16, 8 53 21 PM.jpg

Tracy hung these from the ceiling with some crepe paper from the dollar store as well! They were the perfect decor item for this Under the Sea party!