Introduction: How to Make a Mermaid Tail for Swimming

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

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.

Comments

author
AuroraK1 made it!(author)2016-03-29

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

author
msaraann made it!(author)2016-09-12

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.

author
JaimeW12 made it!(author)2016-07-28

i bought my daughters fin at chapters

author
4Password made it!(author)2013-08-18

We're did you get the fine

author
JaimeW12 made it!(author)2016-07-28

i bought my dsughters fin at chapters

author
JaimeW12 made it!(author)2016-07-28

i bought my dsughters fin at chapters

author
ajfonz made it!(author)2015-07-12

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.

author
bryannae21 made it!(author)2016-03-03

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

author
msaraann made it!(author)2015-07-26

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

author
zaragie17 made it!(author)2015-09-05

wow amazing :)

author
fluffernutter+3605000 made it!(author)2015-04-03

Can you make it with flippers?

author
msaraann made it!(author)2015-04-04

Yes. Lay them out in place of the monofin.

author
fluffernutter+3605000 made it!(author)2015-04-05

Ok, thanks!

author
Mysterious_Gal made it!(author)2015-02-15

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

author
kletourneaux made it!(author)2015-01-25

by the way my name is catrina what is yours :-)

author
msaraann made it!(author)2015-02-13

I'm Sara : )

author
MelissaL6 made it!(author)2015-01-20

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

author
msaraann made it!(author)2015-02-13

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.

author
autumn11 made it!(author)2015-01-19

how much are they because my daughter once one

author
msaraann made it!(author)2015-02-13

I've seen these tails listed for $100, but they're easy to make for much less. The monofin is the most expensive part at about $30.

author
fluffernutter+3605000 made it!(author)2015-02-01

How mutch is the monofin? Where did you get the monofin?

author
msaraann made it!(author)2015-02-13

The monofin costs about $30. You can find it on Amazon or through the FINIS website.

author
kletourneaux made it!(author)2015-01-25

hi there I'm 10 and my mom is going to make my tail from your video

author
mermaidHannah made it!(author)2014-12-10

I'm making this tail with your tutorial and i think it will work great! One question, where did you get your fabric?

author
msaraann made it!(author)2014-12-14

I found swim fabric on ebay.

author
Coolcat35521 made it!(author)2014-11-27

cool

author
tryphaena.jakomis made it!(author)2014-10-19

hi, video is ace looks easy enough {she says full of optimism } thanks for doing it ,material bought,, fin arrived today template done , keep your fingers crossed for me

author
tryphaena.jakomis made it!(author)2014-10-19

hi, video is ace looks easy enough {she says full of optimism } thanks for doing it ,material bought,, fin arrived today template done , keep your fingers crossed for me

author
tryphaena.jakomis made it!(author)2014-10-19

hi, video is ace looks easy enough {she says full of optimism } thanks for doing it ,material bought,, fin arrived today template done , keep your fingers crossed for me

author
leda.kliesing made it!(author)2014-08-28

is the body all one piece or are the fins separate for easy on and off?

author
msaraann made it!(author)2014-08-30

It's all one piece. Pulls on like pants.

author
Mike9Nina made it!(author)2014-08-20

I MADE IT on Monday night! My daughter's birthday was Tuesday. It was so simple to make... thanks to your detailed instructions. Thanks so much. I ended up using the scrap pieces along with an old swimsuit to make a matching top for her. Huge success! Really easy to make and at least 1/2 the cost of the websites selling these retails.

author
4Password made it!(author)2013-08-18

I mean tail

author
msaraann made it!(author)2013-08-21

I got the fin thru Amazon. It's made by a company called FINIS. They have a website too. You can find the FINIS mermaid monofins at many online stores. Just search for mermaid tail or monofin.

author
vacroom made it!(author)2013-07-15

We're do you get the tail part

author
msaraann made it!(author)2013-07-16

I found several on Amazon.com or you could go to the FINIS website. You can go to a search engine and search for FINIS mermaid monofin. You'll find it for sale at many places.

author
bratybrat11 made it!(author)2013-07-08

Is their an easier way?

author
msaraann made it!(author)2013-07-08

You could buy a pattern. Child sizes: Size 8-10. Size 5-7.

author
hanna+maaj+piccio made it!(author)2012-04-18

this idea is amazing i could do it myself anyway.


i want to make my own mermaid tail because i am totally obsessed with mermaid especially h20



ty!!

author
msaraann made it!(author)2010-07-20
Greetings everyone. I'm the one who put up this DIY mermaid tail. Similar tails are available commercially (I'm not affiliated with the company). (Check out Mermagica.com for videos of children swimming underwater mermaid-style in mermaid tails--Very cool!)

Some people allow fear to guide them, while others primarily follow joy. I try to live somewhere in between. Getting in the water with this mermaid tail (and any pool or water use, really), certainly warrants caution and care. My young daughters and I have had a lot of fun learning and experimenting with this style of swimming.

There's also a video series on Youtube, "The Secret Life of a Mermaid," which features girls wearing mermaid swimming tails. Check it out for more ideas on swimming with these tails.

author
purplemermaid745 made it!(author)2012-04-15

where can you but a mermaid tail that is already made?

author
msaraann made it!(author)2012-04-16

Here are a couple of places:

http://mermaidtails.net/

http://www.mermagica.com/

author
vallee33 made it!(author)2012-04-17

Also 2tails.com it's a new place $100 for adult tails with monofin

author
kiara+barlet made it!(author)2010-07-26

i would love to have a tail

author
vallee33 made it!(author)2012-04-17

try 2tails.com they have them for $100.00 for adults

author
jessiehughes made it!(author)2012-02-02

Can u pladvise where you get the fin from ie. the bottom bit you put your feet in. Thanks.Jessie

author
msaraann made it!(author)2012-02-02

Hi Jessie. I ordered directly from the manufacturer, FINIS http://www.finisinc.com/mermaid-fin.html. I've also seen the mermaid monofin on Amazon and other swim outlet websites.

author
randomstar11 made it!(author)2011-12-24

can you do it without the monofin

author
msaraann made it!(author)2011-12-30

I've heard of similar tails using regular flippers, but it wouldn't swim quite the same way.

author
esantos10 made it!(author)2011-11-28

u see when u make the tail do u take the paper or do u leave it inside?
please comment back!

About This Instructable

385,671views

186favorites

License:

Bio: 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 ... More »
More by msaraann:Magic Fairy WandBarefoot Running Plasti-SocksHow to Make A Mermaid Tail for Swimming
Add instructable to: