The Perfect Gift: Custom Fish Bowl + Free Downloads + Win an iPad Mini!!

December 17, 2013

A cute gift idea! Customize a fishbowl with these (free!) downloadable doodles. #DIY

This post is brought to you by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Donate $5 and give a miracle to a child in the hospital this Christmas.

CMNH Logo

By Gabrielle, created with Amy Christie for Design Mom.

As I mentioned last week, I’m working with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to raise awareness and encourage donations. This month, a million children will be spending the holiday in their hospital bed, and they could really use a miracle. So CMN Hospitals’ created a campaign where you can donate $5 to honor one of those children. They even have a real-time counter that tracks donations, and every time $5 is gifted, the counter goes down by one.

That warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you do something good is probably enough temptation to donate, but as a little extra encouragement, I mentioned I would personally send one of my favorite children’s books to 50 (that’s right, 50!) different readers who donate — I’ll randomly pick 50 people among all who donate, which means if 100 people donate, there’s a 50/50 chance of receiving a book. Just a $5 donation! And you could receive a book worth $20. Not a bad deal.

iPad Mini

BUT. Apparently books are not the temptation I thought they would be (hah!), and I’m hoping for a bigger response with this post. So I’m upping the prize. Way, way up. Fifty people will still receive a book, but there’s a new grand prize, too! Let me know you made a donation (by commenting below, or on the earlier post), and you’re automatically entered to Win an iPad Mini. Plus, I’ll donate the value of an iPad Mini, in the grand-prize winner’s name to CMN Hospitals!!!

Yep. A $5 donation (or more!) enters you to win. Once again, this is not a CMN Hospitals contest, it’s just me doing what I can to help. I really hope you donate — I’d love to send you a book, and I hope you win the iPad Mini! You have until December 25th, and as of this posting, your chances are good. : )

A cute gift idea! Customize a fishbowl with these (free!) downloadable doodles. #DIY

While you ponder donating, I thought it would be fun to share a fun DIY gift idea for those children cooped up in a hospital — a simple fishbowl customized with sea-themed doodles! I think watching a little fish paddling around its bowl could be a calming way to spend some time. And adding happy illustrations to the bowl is an easy way to make this simple gift into something special.

As you probably know, you have to be careful about what you bring into a hospital gift-wise — no latex balloons, fresh flowers, stuffed animals or used toys. I called our hospital and asked if a small fishbowl would be okay, and they said yes, but you might want to ask your own just in case, because each hospital has different guidelines.

A cute gift idea! Customize a fishbowl with these (free!) downloadable doodles. #DIY

Just think, a simple doodle can transform a plain fish bowl into a fun and interesting home for our finned friends — without having to buy (or clean) extra accessories.

If you’re worried about your doodling skills, we took care of that for you. With the help of illustrator Stephanie Frey, we have three underwater scenes you can print off and trace on your choice of fish bowl.

A cute gift idea! Customize a fishbowl with these (free!) downloadable doodles. #DIY

You can choose from a school of fish, the ocean floor (with pirate’s treasure!), and seaweed and coral — or choose all three!

Ready to find out how simple it is? Come see!

A cute gift idea! Customize a fishbowl with these (free!) downloadable doodles. #DIY

Supplies:

-fishbowl
-marker*
-printable fishbowl scenes — treasure + ship, school of fish, seaweed
-tape

*To doodle, there are a number of marker options. The basic permanent marker will work although it won’t withstand scrubbing but if you’d like a change of scenery often, this marker will work fine. The oil-based permanent marker is what I used. It has better color opacity and really sticks. It can be removed with rubbing alcohol or acetone if you make a mistake. Finally, there is the option of porcelain or glass markers. These are made for drawing on glass surfaces and require a little oven-cure to make them permanent. Just follow the directions of the manufacturer.

A cute gift idea! Customize a fishbowl with these (free!) downloadable doodles. #DIY

The only step is to tape the printable in place and then trace it with the marker on the outside of the bowl. That’s it! You might need to resize the print-out to fit your bowl. Most of mine were reduced to between 70-80% size, except the ocean floor which was enlarged to 125%. And feel free to rearrange them to fit your needs. Whatever works!

A cute gift idea! Customize a fishbowl with these (free!) downloadable doodles. #DIY

Once you have the doodles just the way you want, add the water and fish (make sure to follow all the instructions for introducing the fish to a new bowl). Note about the fish: A commenter mentioned that Beta Fish thrive in fishbowls, but Goldfish do not. Good to know!

A cute gift idea! Customize a fishbowl with these (free!) downloadable doodles. #DIY

Tie a ribbon on and it’s ready to give!

We hope this idea comes in handy while you think of gifts for kids in your life this year. And we hope you’ll keep hospital-bound kids in mind as well, and honor them with a $5 donation. If you’d like to enter to win the iPad Mini or one of the 50 Books, comment below (or here), and let me know what name you donated under.

Best of luck! And thanks for all the good you are doing this holiday season.

CMN Hospitals

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon

{ 3 trackbacks }

Doodle Fish Bowls with Design Mom | this heart of mine
December 18, 2013 at 6:01 am
Smile List #4
December 20, 2013 at 5:03 am
DIY Comment customiser un bocal à poisson | Le Meilleur du DIY
January 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm

{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miss B December 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Not to be a bummer, but…you can’t keep goldfish in a fishbowl. Or, I mean, I guess you _can_, but you shouldn’t. It isn’t very humane and they’ll likely die pretty quickly. Goldfish need (1) way more space than that, and (2) filtration. Two goldfish in a 10-gallon filtered tank is pretty much as crowded as you want them to be. A betta, however, will do perfectly well in a no-smaller-than-a-gallon unfiltered tank (as long as you provide a plant or two or a large rock to serve as hiding places), so that would be a good fish-gift.

Reply

2 Design Mom December 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Good to know! I wish they would tell you that at the pet store. I’ll add a note to the post.

Reply

3 Madhavi December 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

Yes, I came here to write the came thing. It is VERY inhumane and you are essentially watching your goldfish aphyxiate to death. People think, or fish in fishbowls dont last very long, but there is a reason why – they dont have enough oxygen or space. Please Gabrielle, please put a statement about this on your post or else the ignorance will just continue. They need filtration.

Reply

4 Madhavi December 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

Addendum, I see you did. Thank you. Would you consider putting a statement near the beginning of the post? The photos are lovely but I am afraid they give the wrong idea.

Reply

5 Barbara December 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I donated! It WAS very satisfying to see the ticker go down by one!

Reply

6 But Why Mommmy December 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I donated! So glad to help out this holiday season.

Reply

7 But Why Mommmy December 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Just realized I may have donated anonymously. But I do have my paypal receipt showing Renee Fensin.

Reply

8 Ashley December 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I donated! I’m so thankful for healthy kids in my life and would love for those in the hospital to have some holiday cheer!

Reply

9 Becca December 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I donated! Thanks for the reminder.

Reply

10 Design Mom December 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Thank you, Becca. Glad the reminder helped!

Reply

11 Amy Jo December 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Done! Happy holidays to you and your family!

Reply

12 Irina December 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I donated! Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Reply

13 Megan December 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Thank you so much for reminding me to donate! I just did. :)

Reply

14 Terri December 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I donated! Happy holidays.

Reply

15 Monica December 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I Donated! Merry Christmas!

Reply

16 Ceridwwn December 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I donated in my nephew’s name, David sacran

Reply

17 jessie hansen December 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I so donated. Just for you Gabby. Hope that makes you feel special, I usually only donate to the ALSA.

Reply

18 Design Mom December 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Totally makes me feel special! Thank you.

Reply

19 Naja Luz Tepe December 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I donated! Happy Holidays to all!

Reply

20 Megan M. December 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I donated! CMN is a charity anyone can believe in… I love donating to them.

Reply

21 Annie C. December 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I donated! Thank you for the reminder. My baby (thankfully) has only ever been in the hospital for her birth but I know that we are lucky. My heart and prayers go out to all those kids and their families that will spend holiday time in the hospital. Much love and Merry Christmas!

Reply

22 Nan December 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I donated today!

Reply

23 Mercedes December 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Done!! Thank you!!

Reply

24 M.Young December 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I donated! Thank you for all you do.

Reply

25 Brent Morris December 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I donated.

Reply

26 Nicole Smith December 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Just donated under Nicole Smith. Thank you so much for bringing awareness to such a amazing organization and worthy cause! Happy to help where I can this Holiday Season. Thanks for sharing this and all your other wonderful things!

Reply

27 craftyashley December 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I donated. What a wonderful way to help sick children! Thanks for making me aware of this opportunity to give this holiday season.

Reply

28 Chantalle December 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I donated! What a worthy cause. Hospitals have been on my mind, as I’ve heard Hayward’s hospital is sending babies home who don’t have blankets! Our RS collected diapers for them, but I kind of want to call over there to know what there is a need for, cause it’s hard to believe that’s only just over the hills! (Pleasanton)

Reply

29 Julia A December 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I love that you are able to choose the hospital where your donation will go. I donated and was able to support a local hospital.

Also, I had a gold fish that I kept in a little glass bowl for YEARS. I won him at a county fair, brought him home in a plastic bag and was astounded when he was still alive – he even came to college with me two years in a row. I had him for more than 4 years.
His name was Rover. :)

Reply

30 Valerie Albanese December 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm

(I made a little donation for a big cause and want to thank you for helping me do that)
It’s so easy to get consumed by life-especially during the holiday season. I’ve been bookmarking your email updates (glad I subscribed) and today’s post REMINDED me what I wanted to do after reading your initial “call to donate” to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals — so today, instead of writing a reminder or putting it off– I donated and I feel great and thank you for doing what you do!!! (PS I definitely posted this under the lunch menu article–messed that up but definitely didn’t mess up my donation which was so easy to do on their website)!!

Reply

31 Christy Ghazimoradi December 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Donated!

Reply

32 Liz December 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I donated, happy to help!

Reply

33 Ashley Liles December 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Thank you for raising awareness of this charity. I just donated to our local children’s hospital!

Reply

34 Emily Bailey December 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Exactly a week ago my 10yo was in the hospital to have a diaphragmatic hernia repaired. He was only in for one night, and he’s doing great-even went to school today, but it was certainly a startling reminder that there are so many kids hospitalized for very serious reasons. It must be so hard on those kiddos and their families. I happily donated to the cause, I only wish I had more to give. Happy Holidays, thanks for all you do!

Reply

35 Corina December 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Thank you for sharing this opportunity to donate to the Childrens Hospital. I’ll be making a donation in the name of a young man, my daughters age, who was a part of her baby group 14 years ago. Today whilst the other babies from that group , are living all over the world , experiencing high school and looking forward to Christmas , he is struggling and fighting to overcome the immune response to a bone marrow transplant to treat lymphoma. I have been wondering many times what could I send or do that could help him and his family, and the idea of a quiet distraction, is very appealing. However I can’t help but admit that I am conflicted about the idea of an animal used in an ornamental/decorative way that doesn’t take into account it’s needs particularly for a healthy habitat. I’m sorry to bring negativity to your post , but I felt I had to share. There are places that have banned the use of fishbowls. The reasons are set out in this site..
http://www.answers.com/mt/fish-bowl
(I really loath fishing derbies too- all those fish bred for amusement.)
Now, a properly maintained aquarium (ie one that is large enough and with a filter) would be a great thing for a hospital patient, especially a child, – perhaps there are companies that could provide a”rental” service with visiting carers to mainatain them for young patients? Wouldn’t that be a fabulous service. Not as fabulous as beinghealed of course- so I’ll go make a donation for Nils now.

Reply

36 Maddy December 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm

What a great cause to champion! We donated!

Reply

37 Juliette December 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I donated. Thank you for bringing this forward, I take my daughter’s health for granted and this reminded me that we are so lucky, we have to help others.

Reply

38 Mary W December 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I donated! Normally I choose St. Jude but I love what this organization as well. :-) Tis the season of giving!

Reply

39 Kate December 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Gabrielle, this is such a great cause. Just chiming in that another much appreciated thing people can donate is blood. My brave and beautiful 3-year-old niece is fighting leukemia and has received many transfusions that are just one of the things saving her life. Every time Hazel receives blood we all think about what kind stranger might’ve taken the time to donate it.

Reply

40 Rebecca Moss December 17, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I donated :-) Thank you for raising awareness.

Reply

41 Lisa December 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Thank you for the information and motivation to donate. I feel thankful that I’m able to donate to such a wonderful cause.

Reply

42 Kat T December 17, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Thank you for this. I donated under my son’s name: Luke Thompson. He’s scheduled for surgery at seattle childrens hospital next month. The doctors and nurses at these hospitals are angels. And the children are just the sweetest.
Thanks for this post!

Reply

43 Miriam December 18, 2013 at 2:27 am

I’m sitting at home in my apartment sick and have been watching Christmas movies after Christmas movies. Last night I watching one about a little boy with cancer, I cried my eyes out. With your post today I just had to donate, thanks for posting!

Reply

44 Lisa Belt December 18, 2013 at 5:44 am

I donated in the names of my healthy sons, Sean and Luke Belt. With deep gratitude.

Reply

45 Gentry December 18, 2013 at 5:52 am

I donated! We have a CMN hospital in Tucson. Thank you for what you are doing to help raise funds to make the lives of these children more cheery!

Reply

46 Gillian Helm December 18, 2013 at 7:56 am

Thanks for the reminder and the opportunity to donate :) I am so grateful for my healthy little guy and donating to those kids reminds me to continue the gratitude. Happy holidays :)

Reply

47 sangeetha December 18, 2013 at 8:35 am

I donated and was so excited that I could impact a local hospital too, where I have taken my kids before and they do such a phenomenal job – thanks for posting about this

Reply

48 Sandra December 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

Thanks for the reminder. We donated and our thoughts are with the children that have to spend their christmas at the hospital.

I have to agree that a goldfish would be unhappy, but a beta fish will do fine in a bowl and is even prettier to look at!

Reply

49 Emily December 18, 2013 at 10:06 am

OK, you convinced me. I donated. If it were one of my kids, I would be pushing for more donations. I am so blessed with healthy kids, so I will donate for someone else’s kids.

Reply

50 Gail Frentzel December 18, 2013 at 11:24 am

I donated! Thanks for making me aware of the opportunity to help.

Reply

51 wolfie December 18, 2013 at 11:54 am

I donated, am thankful for my healthy children. x

Reply

52 Sunny B. December 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I donated. I’m thankful to have healthy and happy nephews and hope these donations go a long way to help others not so fortunate. Thank you for sharing and Happy Holidays to you and your family Gabrielle!

Reply

53 Andrea December 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Donated!

Reply

54 Jen December 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I donated. Adorable DIY, and so nice of you to run this promotion to encourage the donations for such a great cause.

Reply

55 Holli December 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I donated (Holli Yoho). Wish I could do more. Merry Christmas!

Reply

56 Luzi December 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Donated!!

Reply

57 Stacy December 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I love that I could direct my donation to my local (relatively) hospital – WVU Children’s, that makes it even better for me! :) Thanks for the nudge!

Reply

58 Lucie Beeby December 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Donated!! Thank you Gabrielle – for shining light on such a great cause. I am so lucky to have a healthy 4 year old son but – as anyone can tell you – life can change in an instant. Nice to see you always, ALWAYS using your blog in a positive way. It’s heartbreaking to think of these children spending the holidays in a hospital. $5 is not a lot to ask to help bring a smile to a child’s face. From one mom to another – THANK YOU and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Reply

59 Zoe December 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Thank you! I just donated and it was a perfect thing of joy. Despite being majorly broke giving always makes me feel GREAT!!

Reply

60 Yulia December 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I donated! Thank you for the information and motivation to donate. My heart goes out to every sick child this holiday season and I am ever so grateful for all the blessings our family has. This is a great organization that helps millions of kids in need.

Reply

61 Allison McClymont December 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm

My son was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease this summer, and we’ve made about a dozen trips to our local hospital since then for clinic visits, treatments, and yes–even the dreaded overnight stay. I feel blessed and lucky that he’ll be home with us ( and in good health) this holiday, but know that might not always be the case. What’s more, every time we’re there, I see a child whose needs are even more dire than my child’s and am reminded how quickly things can turn, for all of us. Thanks, Gabrielle, for thinking of these kids and encouraging your readers to give. I did, and it feels great!

Reply

62 Kelly December 19, 2013 at 12:35 am

Just donated :) Happy to help-thank you!

Reply

63 susan altfeld December 19, 2013 at 6:55 am

This is such a worthy cause but the number of hospitalized children is way too high, at least if you are talking about in the US. There are fewer than one million hospital beds total in the US, so even if every one were full, there would not be this many patients.

Reply

64 Shani Ferguson December 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Wonderful cause. I was pleased to donate.

Reply

65 Hayley Frink December 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I donated – and I loved that I could pick our local hospital. It’s nice knowing you are helping sweet kiddos, but even more awesome when you know that these are kids in right in your own “backyard.” Thank you for raising awareness for this cause!

Reply

66 Hayley Frink December 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

PS, I apparently donated “anonymously”, unless it took my name from my paypal account. But I did save a web file of my transaction for proof! :)

Reply

67 Erin December 20, 2013 at 4:32 am

Our family donated! And if you donate more the tracker moves down in relation to the donation amount…nice feature for the kids to see! Happy holidays!

Reply

68 Brandy December 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

The perfect cause. Donated :)

Reply

69 Anne M. December 20, 2013 at 8:23 am

Thank you for helping with such a great cause. I donated.

Reply

70 Martha December 20, 2013 at 9:52 am

I donated. I’ve been having to take my baby to the deep suction clinic at the hospital the last couple of days. A child having to spend Christmas in the hospital breaks my heart!

Reply

71 Angela December 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I just donated!!

Reply

72 N Hernandez December 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Thank you for bringing this to mind. I donated in memory of my mother.

Reply

73 Mark M December 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm

What a fun idea! And a great cause! We happily donated!

Reply

74 denise matuzak December 21, 2013 at 8:42 am

I do feel warm and fuzzy after donating!

Reply

75 BP December 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I donated under BP. Fun giving opportunity! Thanks, Gabby!

Reply

76 Aleena December 24, 2013 at 7:29 am

Donated! Cheers xx

Reply

77 Tamara Stenberg December 25, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I donated!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: