Super Mario Brothers-Themed Aquarium Built Using Lego Bricks

Design & Architecture

Graphic designer recreates a Nintendo classic for her fish to enjoy

Ross Brooks
  • 22 july 2014

Super Mario has been an inspiration for countless design projects, and this Nintendo-themed aquarium made with LEGO is no exception. It was created by Kelsey Kronmiller, a graphic designer who was inspired by a similar tank a friend showed her on Facebook, and then challenged her to recreate. Between a layoff, the start of a small business, job changes, and keeping her cats alive, the designer has finally finished this underwater masterpiece.

In an extremely detailed blog post about the process, Kelsey explains that “aside from the Legos being an ungodly amount of money, the set up was also relatively cheap.” Lego, vinyl, and spray paint were the main components, along with the ability to use a die-cutter. To make sure the chemicals didn’t kill off the fish as soon as they went in, a layer of Krylon Fusion clear enamel was also applied.

Sourcing the LEGO was one of the most difficult parts of the project, who described brown bricks as “the Loch Ness monster of the Lego world.” To give you an idea of cost: A “large” cup of individuals is $15 and a small cup is $8. Kelsey went through about 8 large cups and maybe 4 small cups for the whole project.

During the planning stages, Kelsey and her boyfriend considered various Nintendo classics. “Our first thought was The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, but I soon realized there weren’t enough visually engaging structures within each level, like castles and flags, like there were in Mario.” Because the aim was to build an awesome aquarium, and give the fish plenty of places to hide, the little red adventurer turned out to be the best option.

Plenty of people have also asked her why she didn’t go for an underwater level:

Obviously this came to mind, but as I researched each water level, I found there weren’t many objects or structures I could build to put inside the tank. Fish are naturally shy, like to hide and can actually die from stress if they don’t have somewhere they can get away. And also because fuck the water levels.

There are no plans for the designer to create a kit, but she is more than happy to sell the files/illustrations used for the die cutting machine and other pieces of the project.

Kelsey Kronmiller

[h/t] DesignTaxi

Images by The Pixelist

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