Summer is just around the corner so it is the right time to start planning your vacation and gathering interesting ideas and stuff you could try while on the beach. One of those activities that can be both extremely fun but also challenging and healthy along the way is swimming mermaid style. All you need is a bit of creativity and time and you’ll get the chance to swim like one. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a mermaid tail and all additional DIY mermaid tail tips and tricks for both kids and adults.
For both, you’ll need fabric. Spandex is a great choice – look for a shiny, scale pattern. Then, follow these steps. Although similar, there is some difference between making a mermaid tail for kids and adults, so we’ve decided to separate them to make it easier to follow.
How To Make A Mermaid Tail For Kids
Making a mermaid tail for kids is rather simple and all it takes is a bit of time and will.
Step 1 – Tracing The Pattern
Take a sheet of paper large enough for your kid to lay down on it. Use a pen to draw a trace starting from the right side of a belly button, down to toe tips. Then, line the monofin for swimming up with the toe area, trace it and complete the pattern. Make sure there is about 1 inch of allowance around the trace line.
Step 2 – Cutting The Swim Tail Out
Use the fabric, fold the front sides together and pin the pattern to it. Follow by cutting it out, with about 2 inches left at the top. This is where the elastic will go.
Step 3 – Sewing Time
Now it’s time to sew it all up. Take the two sides of the fabric together, sew around them and the bottom edges. Fold the top outside in and sew to make an elastic casing.
Step 4 – Elastic Measuring
Have your small one stand as you measure the elastic. It should fit nicely around the waist, firm but comfortable. Add it into the casing, put the monofin in and you’re done.
Safety Tips For Kids And Mermaid Tails
It doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer your kid is, don’t let them swim with their tail on without supervision. Remember, it takes a lot of effort to learn how to swim with it on, and it requires strong core muscles. Practice first, and always be on alert because they won’t be able to use their feet in a normal way. That’s why it is recommended to use mermaid tail in waters shallow enough so your kid can stand if needed. And practice dolphin kick.
How To Make A Mermaid Tail For Adults
This type of fun is not intended for kids only, but for grown-ups, also. Here’s how to make a DIY mermaid tail for adult usage.
Step 1 – Make A Mono Fin
Place a pair of water shoes onto the top of the poster paper in the middle, so their heels touch the edge of the paper. The inside parts of slippers should touch. Use a pen to trace around them.
Step 2 – Folding The Paper
Fold the paper so each of the traced slippers is on a different side. Turn it so you see only one trace and, starting from the bottom edge of the slipper, draw a half-fin shape. Make sure the bottom edge of the fin is between 1 and 3 inches from the top of the slipper.
Step 3 – Cut The Tracing
Use scissors or a scalpel to cut the tracing out, and then unfold it. Place the tracing onto the sheet of thin, flexible rubber, trace around the template with a pen. Take a pair of scissors, cut the rubber following the template and voila – you have your fin base! Place the template on the side and move on.
Step 4 – Glueing The Slippers
Take the water slippers, put them onto the fin and trace around them. Use water-safe glue to coat the underside of the slippers and the inside of the tracing. Place it somewhere to dry for a few days.
Step 5 – Body Measurements
The first thing you should do to make a mermaid body is to measure your own:
- From your waist to ankles.
- Around the waist.
- Around both or ankles.
- Around the hips.
- Distance between the belly button and the hips.
Step 7 – Measurements To Fabrics
Fold the fabric lengthwise in half and apply your measurements. Divide the waist value by 4 and make a mark in that distance from the fold. Continue by marking waist-to-ankle measurement, and then divide the ankle value by 4 and mark that distance from the fold. To the same with the hip measurement. Make sure there is enough space for the fins below the ankles. The right side should be facing up and scales should be facing down.
Step 8 – Connecting The Dots
Use a pen to connect the marks – waist mark to the hip and hip to the ankle to finish the body. Follow by folding the fin template in half and placing it on the fabric. Folded edges should math, while the top edge of the template should touch the bottom edge of the tail. Trace around the template and move it away.
Step 9 – Cutting The Fabric
Start cutting the fabric with seam allowances, so you’ll have to add an extra inch to the edges. Once you finish cutting the first piece and follow by cutting the second one.
Step 10 – Sewing It All Together
Now it is time to wrap it all up. Pin the sides and the bottom of two fabric parts together, with the right sides facing in. This will also give you the chance to see how well the edges match up. Now it is time to sew the tail with a ballpoint needle, a matching thread color, a stretch stitch while keeping a 1-inch allowance. Start from the top edge, move around the tail body to the fin, and finish the sewing process at the top side of the second fabric. You should also backstitch both at the beginning and the end of your sewing. Remove the pins along the way. If you go through the tail three times, you’ll get additional security. Take the tail and turn it right side out, push the corner of the tail fin out, also. This will give you the chance to try it out and see if there is something you have to add, change or modify.
Step 11 – Tucking The Monofin
Take the monofin and tuck it into the tail. You may have to bend it a bit to move it past the ankles, into the fin. The corners of the monofin should fit into the corners of the fin. Once you’re certain the monofin is in, hem the top edge of the tail by folding it inward twice between ½-1 inch. Finish by sewing through the bottom of the folded edge with a stretch stitch.
Step 12 – Try It Out
The last step should be trying out the mermaid tail. It should feel comfortable and nice and give you the option to move easily in it. If you don’t feel well in it or something feels off, try going back step by step, until you find what you’ve done wrong, and try it out again.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about DIY mermaid tail:
Q: How do you make a swimmable silicone mermaid tail?
Swimmable silicone mermaid tails are a bit more complicated, but can be done at home. Get your fins, make a trace of your legs on cardboard so you can create the pattern for measurements. Fold the previously purchased fabrics – nylon-spandex preferably, the thicker the better - in two, trace the pattern onto the fabric using chalk or marker and pin the traced line to keep the fabrics joined before cutting the trace with about an inch of allowance, along with additional two inches at the waistline area. Sew both sides of the fabric together. The second method is by using a mold, but it is more expensive and it should be done with the help of a professional, at least for the first time.
Q: How much does it cost to make a silicone mermaid tail?
Making a silicone mermaid tail is not only complicated and time-consuming, but it is also really expensive. The material itself needed for mid-quality mermaid tail can go above $1000, while the finished product is most often around $2000, or even more.
Q: How heavy is a silicone mermaid tail?
The weight of the mermaid tail is another reason to be extremely careful with them, especially when the kids are using it. It can go from 15lbs (7 kg) up to 40 lbs (18 kg), so make sure you or your child can carry that much load when in the water.
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Learning how to make a mermaid tail gives you the chance to be creative and have fun along the way, so even if you do something wrong, don’t worry. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll manage to make a DIY mermaid tail perfectly so you can learn how to swim like a mermaid!