Make a mermaid tail

Delight little mermaid fans by making this mermaid tail for her. She will love playing lots of imaginary games wearing her fishy tail.

What you need:

  • Roll of brown paper
  • Fabric, choose a stretchy lightweight fabric (see notes below)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing accessories
  • Thick elastic for the waistband
  • Decorations, such as glitter glue pens and sequins



On the floor, roll the brown paper out until it is the length of your child from waist to feet plus 15cm extra. You may need to roll out two lengths of paper and sticky tape them together so that your child can lie on the paper and not come too near to the edge on either side.

Trace around your child’s shape from the waist down, including an extra 10 cm on each side of her body. At her feet, draw a fin shape flaring out from her ankles. The bottom of the fin should come just below the soles of her feet.

Cut out the paper pattern.

Fold the fabric in two with the front sides facing each other.

Lay the fabric on a flat surface and then pin the pattern through both layers of the fabric. Carefully cut out the fabric following the paper pattern.

Remove the pattern from the fabric and then sew up the side seams from the waist to just above the ankles.

Turn the waistband over 5cm and pin. Sew along the waistband, leaving a small opening at one of the side seams so you can thread the elastic through.

Thread the elastic through the waistband. Once it is completely threaded through, fit the elastic against your child’s waist then cut the elastic and sew the two ends together.

Decorate the fin with glitter glue pens, or sew on sequins for a more sparkly effect.


  • If you want to make a mermaid tail that she can swim in, choose a swimwear or dance fabric such a lycra.
  • Make sure the fabric you choose has some stretch to it – or your little mermaid won’t be able to move in her costume!
  • There are some wonderful ‘watery’ fabrics out there – metallics, scaly and shiny – and most of these won’t need hemming.

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