Under the Sea Display Ideas

Whether you are setting up a retail shop window display, a still-life for art students to draw or an elementary school classroom notice board, a specified design theme unifies the display. Create fanciful or education under the sea themes with two-dimensional ocean artwork or 3-D finds.

Sunken Treasure

Chests overflowing with gold, silver and jewels take centre stage in a 3-D, sunken treasure display. Create the deepwater illusion with a dark blue backdrop fading into a tropical turquoise. Make up faux shipwreck debris out of splintered 1-by-6 boards that are sanded and stained to appear waterlogged. Fill up the majority of the treasure chest with packing peanuts and top off with oversized faux gold and silver coins or costume jewellery. Add height to the display by incorporating a wooden ship wheel picked up at a local flea market. Turn the treasure display into pirates' booty by incorporating a black skull-and-crossbones flag and a sword or two.

Tropical Reef

Explore the mysteries of the deep with an educational undersea setting on ocean-dwellers. For 2-D notice boards, use pre-made cut-outs of illustrated fish, plants and coral to serve as a display for student class work. For a realistic backdrop, clip photographs from old oceanography magazines and showcase them with educational information about the creatures.

An undersea still-life can be created with seashells, starfish and pieces of coral picked up at a local aquarium store. Though 3-D fish can be more difficult to find, some manufacturers do sell sculptures of marine life, or models can be fabricated out of papier-mâché and painted to resemble actual species.

Mermaid Kingdom

Forego realism for an undersea theme based purely on fantasy with a mermaid-inspired display. Along with drawings of the aquatic creatures, create an underwater kingdom for them using a cavernous castle created with purple, dark blue and black construction paper. Embellish the turrets and spires with images of colourful coral and anemones. Add to the fantasy by incorporating drawings of items normally seen on land recreated out of underwater objects, such as a clamshell carriage being pulled by seahorses.

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About the Author

A former art instructor, high school counselor and party planner, Christine Bartsch writes fashion, travel, interior design, education and entertainment content. Bartsch earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in communications/psychology/fine arts from Wisconsin Lutheran College and a creative writing Master of Fine Arts from Spalding University. She's written scripts for film/television productions and worked as the senior writer at a video game company.