Picture of 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.
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Step 1: Trace the Pattern

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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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MelissaL65 days ago

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

autumn116 days ago

how much are they because my daughter once one

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

msaraann (author)  mermaidHannah1 month ago
I found swim fabric on ebay.


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

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

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

leda.kliesing5 months ago

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

msaraann (author)  leda.kliesing4 months ago
It's all one piece. Pulls on like pants.
Mike9Nina5 months ago

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.

4Password1 year ago
I mean tail
msaraann (author)  4Password1 year ago
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.
4Password1 year ago
We're did you get the fine
vacroom1 year ago
We're do you get the tail part
msaraann (author)  vacroom1 year ago
I found several on 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.
Is their an easier way?
msaraann (author)  bratybrat111 year ago
You could buy a pattern. Child sizes: Size 8-10. Size 5-7.
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

msaraann (author) 4 years ago
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 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.

where can you but a mermaid tail that is already made?
msaraann (author)  purplemermaid7452 years ago
Here are a couple of places:
Also it's a new place $100 for adult tails with monofin
i would love to have a tail
try they have them for $100.00 for adults
Can u pladvise where you get the fin from ie. the bottom bit you put your feet in. Thanks.Jessie
msaraann (author)  jessiehughes2 years ago
Hi Jessie. I ordered directly from the manufacturer, FINIS I've also seen the mermaid monofin on Amazon and other swim outlet websites.
can you do it without the monofin
msaraann (author)  randomstar113 years ago
I've heard of similar tails using regular flippers, but it wouldn't swim quite the same way.
esantos103 years ago
u see when u make the tail do u take the paper or do u leave it inside?
please comment back!
msaraann (author)  esantos103 years ago
I remove the paper.
ok thank you
I don't think it really matters, I made one of these over the summer, and I used a sewing machine and my sisters was hand sewed. they turned out the same. Good luck!!!!
dcontreras53 years ago
Do we need elastic?
msaraann (author)  dcontreras53 years ago
Sorry, I missed this comment. I use elastic, because my girls are slim. If you had more curvy hips, elastic might not be necessary.
dcontreras53 years ago
Hi I was wondering if we had to use something certain like if we had to use a sewing machine or sew by hand. Please Reply Back. Thank you
msaraann (author)  dcontreras53 years ago
I used my sewing machine. You'll want a good strong stitch since it's a tight-fitting stretchy garment, but you can do that by hand or machine.
I really want one now! i watched H2O so i really want one! did you use the spandex fabric or the regular swim/ dance fabric because i want to make one as soon as i can!
msaraann (author)  craftycat7213 years ago
I used two different types of swim fabric that I got off eBay. Both worked well. Stretchier is better if you have curves. Any stretchy spandex-like fabric would work.
tpickett3 years ago
Thank you soooo much for posting this information. My girls want Mermaid Tails for Christmas, which I didn't even think was possible until I came across, but I really can't pay $100+ dollars each. I CAN however buy a $25 monofin and sew. Yah!! My questions are, how well do you feel like your monofin is holding up? Do your girls do a lot of swimming? Was the fin you bought good quality do you think? Would the fin work well swimming in a full sized pool? Thank you again sooo much for the info. You're awesome!
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