How to Make a Mermaid Tail for Swimming

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Introduction: How to Make a Mermaid Tail for Swimming

About: I'm an unschooling mom of three girls, author of 'Unschooling: A Lifestyle of Learning,' 'The Unschooling Happiness Project,' and 'memoirs of a strange little girl,' writer of articles on homeschooling, brea...

Make a swimmable mermaid tail in three easy steps. You'll need pattern paper, swim fabric and elastic, and a monofin.

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Step 1: Trace the Pattern

Trace around the lower body from belly button level to toe tips. Use any paper large enough such as pattern paper, postal paper, or a cut-open paper bag.

Line up the monofin with the toe area and trace to complete the pattern.

Add 1 inch allowance around the trace line for a child or 2+ inches for an adult.

Step 2: Cut Out the Swim Tail

Fold the fabric front sides together. Pin the pattern to the fabric. Cut out the pattern, adding room (about 2 inches) at the top for the elastic casing.

Step 3: Sew the Swim Tail

Pin the two sides of fabric front sides together and sew around the sides and bottom edges.

Fold down the top and sew a casing for the elastic. Measure the elastic to fit snugly around the waist, insert into the casing, and finish.

Insert the monofin into the swim tail. It's ready for swimming.

Step 4: Safety Tips for Mermaid Style Swimming

Use only with adult supervision. Always attend young or inexperienced swimmers.

Use core muscles to swim like a dolphin. Practice sweeping the tail forward to place the feet on the pool bottom to regain a standing position at any time.

The tail should slide on and off easily. Make the elastic tight enough to stay on, but loose enough to easily slide down to free the legs and feet.

Step 5: Video



Here you'll see my youngest daughter using her mermaid tail with a floating ring. She's older now and more experienced with her tail. However, with responsible supervision, even very young children can have fun being a mermaid.

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    88 Comments

    Hi There.

    just wondering if you had any difficulty getting the mono fin into the tail, or tip

    Just wondering if you tried different materials other than the swimsuit material. The stretchy dance material looks so pretty & I want to try but I'm not sure how it will hold up in the water. Thanks in advance!

    About the sewing part, could it be done with a sewing machine or hand sewn? And how exactly do you sew in the elastic?

    1 reply

    Yes. Can be done with sewing machine. Fold down top of waist to make case for elastic. Sew around all but leave a small opening. Feed the elastic into the case thru the opening. Sew together ends of elastic ans sew opening closed.

    i bought my daughters fin at chapters

    i bought my dsughters fin at chapters

    i bought my dsughters fin at chapters

    I love this idea so I tried to make a tail for my daughter. I sewed the tail on both sides and the bottom like insturcted but when I tried to insert the monofin I could not get it in without tearing the fabric. Is there a trick to it? The fabric I used was stretchy swim suit fabric.

    2 replies

    dont sew the bottom all the way shut. only about 2 or 3 inches on each side

    I was able to fold the fin to slide it thru the waist opening.

    Yes. Lay them out in place of the monofin.

    OMG this is so cool I love sewing so I have to make one of these. (BEST IDEA EVER)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This looks really great! Have you made one that is "walkable" - open on the end? Or do you have instructions on that variation?

    1 reply

    My kids sometimes take out the monofin and shuffle around. I haven't tried leaving the bottom open, but that would be easy enough. You just wouldn't sew it. Swim fabric doesn't fray, but you could hem or surge the edges if you wanted.