The Little Crochet Mermaid

Introduction: The Little Crochet Mermaid

Have you ever wanted a palm-sized mermaid? Well, I'll show you how to crochet one here!
Note that I designed this mermaid to be small enough to fit in your hand. If you want a larger mermaid, you will have to use a thicker yarn and a larger hook.

Materials: (items used in this tutorial)
- You will need 5-6 colors of yarn for the skin (brown), tail (dark green), fins (light green), bra (yellow), hair (black), and face details (black). (I used Marks&Kattens brand "Bianca" 100% cotton yarn)
- Crochet hook (I used a size 1/2.75MM Boye hook)
- Yarn needle
- Scissors
- Stuffing (polyester filling)

Abbreviations and Notes:
mr - magic ring
st - stitch(es)
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
(st) - total number of workable stitches
scdec - single crochet decrease
2sc in ___ st - single crochet increase
join - slip stitch in the first stitch of the round to connect the two ends of the round

Step 1: Crochet the Pieces

A - The Head (make 2)
Round 1: Create a mr and sc 6 inside. Join. Ch 1. (6st)
Round 2: 2sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (12st)
Round 3: [Sc in next st, 2sc in next st] repeat around. Join. Ch1. (18st)
Round 4: [Sc in next 2 st, 2sc in next st] repeat around. Join. Ch1. (24st)
Round 5: Sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (24st)
Round 6: Repeat round 5. Finish off.
Note: You will need to leave a long tail on at least one of these pieces to later sew the pieces together.

B - The Body (make 1)
Round 1: Create a mr and sc 6 inside. Join. Ch 1. (6st)
Round 2: 2sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (12st)
Round 3: [Sc in next st, 2sc in next st] repeat around. Join. Ch 1. (18st)
Round 4: Sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (18st)
Rounds 5-10: Repeat round 4. Finish off.

C - The Arms (make 2)
Round 1: Create a mr and sc 6 inside. Join. Ch 1. (6st)
Round 2: Sc in each st around. (6st)
Rounds 3-7: Repeat round 2. Finish off.
Note: If you're going to turn your pieces with the right side facing outwards (like I did), you will need to do this to the arms within the first couple of rows. Because of how smal they are, this will be difficult to do if you wait until the end.

D - The Tail (make 1)
Round 1: Create a mr and sc 3 inside. Join. Ch 1. (3st)
Round 2: 2sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (6st)
Round 3: Sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (6st)
Round 4: [Sc in next st, 2sc in next st] repeat around. Join. Ch 1. (9st)
Round 5: Sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (9st)
Round 6: [Sc in next 2 st, 2sc in next st] repeat around. Join. Ch 1. (12st)
Round 7: Sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (12st)
Round 8: [Sc in next 3 st, 2sc in next st] repeat around. Join. Ch 1. (15st)
Round 9: Sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (15st)
Round 10: [Sc in next 4 st, 2sc in next st] repeat around. Join. Ch 1. (18st)
Round 11: Sc in each st around. Join. Ch 1. (18st)
Rounds 12-16: Repeat round 11. Finish off.

E - The Fins (make 2)
Ch 8. Turn.
Row 1: Skip first ch, sc in each remaining ch across. Ch 1. Turn. (7st)
Row 2: Sc in next 5 st, 1 scdec. Ch 1. Turn. (6st)
Row 3: 1 scdec, sc in next 4 st. Ch 1. Turn. (5st)
Row 4: Sc in next 3 st, 1 scdec. Ch 1. Turn. (4st)
Row 5: 1 scdec, sc in next 2 st. (3st) Finish off.
Note: Both of your tails (from the foundation chain and from finishing) should now be facing in the same direction. Leave a long enough tail on both fins to later sew the fins onto the tail-piece.

Now you should have all of the pieces shown in the picture above.

Step 2: Closing the Head

1. Thread the long tail of one piece (A) through the yarn needle. Line up the edges of both A pieces and secure a knot to hold them together. Insert the needle into the top two loops of both pieces (4 loops total) and pull through.

2. Repeat sewing the needle through the top loops around. Stop when you only have a few stitches left. Don't finish off. If you previously wove in the tails of your magic circles, that's fine. If not, you can now just push them into the inside of the head, since they won't be seen anyway.

3. Now, stuff the head with your stuffing until it is as firm as you'd like it to be. I like mine to be soft, but still firm enough to hold its shape.

4. Pick up where you left off with sewing the pieces together. Once you reach the spot where you began, finish off your piece by securing a knot around a nearby loop or post. For extra security, you may choose to weave in the tail here. When making a stuffed piece like this, I don't weave in my tails. I insert the needle and thread into the stuffing of the piece, pull it through to the other side, and cut off the end of the tail there. When doing this, make sure that you're pulling it through the stuffing and not along the edge of the fabric (because different colored yarns may be seen through the fabric).

Step 3: Joining the Tail to the Body

1. Line up the edges of pieces B and D. Using the same color yarn as pieces E, make a slip knot around your crochet hook. Insert the hook into the top edges of the pieces, yarn over, and pull through the slip knot to secure the pieces together.

2. Hold the piece with D facing you and B facing away. With a loop still on the hook, insert the hook through the outside loop of each piece (2 loops total) and create a sc. Repeat this and continue to sc around until you have a few left.

3. Pull your loop out a bit (not all the way) so that the stitches you just made don't come undone while stuffing. Stuff both the B and D pieces. You can use the blunt end of your crochet hook to help push the stuffing into the pointed side of the piece.

4. Pick up where you left off and sc the remaining space. Join. Finish off the piece the same as before.

Step 4: Attaching the Fins

Turn your piece around in your hand and find whichever side looks the most clean, this will be the front of your mermaid (I usually finish all of my pieces on the same side, so most of the lumps, knots, or seams can be together on the back of the piece).
Take a look at the BACK and FRONT views in the picture above. You might not notice a difference in the pictures, but the fins have a more flat connection on the BACK view and a more round connection on the FRONT view. Now, this may all depend on how close I place the fins, or how I hold the piece while sewing, but whichever side is facing me ends up with a more flat look. I prefer the rounder look for the front of the mermaid. If you prefer the same, make sure to hold your piece with the back of the mermaid facing you while you attach the fins.

1. Place the short, flat side of piece E against the side of piece D. Both tails of piece E should be facing D. Line up the pieces to where the bottom of E touches the very bottom point of D. Using the top tail and your yarn needle, follow along the edge and sew the two pieces together. Finish off the tail that you were using so that only the bottom tail is left.

2. Repeat step 1 with the other E piece. Now you should just have the two bottom tails sticking out. Tie those two tails together to securely connect both E pieces together under the point of D. This gives it the slight impression that it's one big fin instead of two small fins. Finish off.

Step 5: Joining the Head to the Body

1. Using the skin color yarn and your yarn needle, secure a knot to the underside of the head (A). Take a look at the top of the mermaid's body. You should see that there are rounds of circles. Following around the circle, inserting your needle into the body and head, sew the head onto the body and finish off.

2. I sewed around the first and second rounds of posts, just to make a thicker "neck" and more stable connection. While sewing the head to the body, make sure that the sides of the head are pointing in the same direction as the fins. The largest round surface should be facing the front of the piece.

Step 6: Joining the Arms to the Body

1. Place piece C against the side of the body (closer to the head than the tail). It should be pointing in the same direction as the side of the head and the fin. Using the long tail of the piece, follow along the edge of C and sew it to the body. Finish off.

2. Repeat step 1 with the other C piece. Your mermaid should now have arms.

Step 7: Bra Strap

You could always improvise and make other clothes for your mermaid (or none at all), but this mermaid is going to have a seashell bra.

1. Using whichever color you chose for the bra (I used yellow) and your yarn needle, secure a knot in the center of your mermaid's back.

2. Following along the same round, all the way around, weave your yarn over and under posts. This will make a dashed line look. Don't pull too tight though, we're not looking to squeeze the body.

3. When you reach the point where you began, keep going again along the same round. But, this time you should be going over and under the opposite posts than before, filling in the empty spaces, and giving it the appearance of a solid line. When you reach the starting point again, finish off your yarn.

Step 8: Bra Shells and Face

1. Bring out your crochet hook again and using the bra color, make a mr and sc 6 inside. Join and finish off, leaving a tail. Do this one more time so that you have two pieces.

2. Line up one piece so that the bottom of it is touching the bra strap. Imagine there is a line going down the center of the body. Move your piece onto the left or right side of this line while not letting the edge of the piece touch the line. Using the edge tail, follow along the edge of your piece and sew it onto the body. Finish off whatever tails you have.

3. Repeat step 2 with the other piece. Your mermaid should now have a finished seashell bra.

4. If you decided to use saftey eyes for this mermaid, that's fine. If not, you'll want to embroider on a face with black yarn. Secure a knot and using the same method that you did with the bra strap, sew over and under until you have a pair of eyes and a mouth (my mermaid's eyes are closed). Finish off.

Step 9: Hair Part 1

Here comes the part where you attach the hair. First, using the hair color, cut pieces of yarn that are about twice the length of the mermaid's body. You will need more or less depending on how dense you want your mermaid's hair to be (I used exactly 60 pieces).

1. Find where you want your mermaid's hairline to be (mine is on the round right in front of where both A pieces were joined together). Insert your yarn hook under a post. Fold one piece of hair in half and pull the folded part about half-way through the head (where you inserted your hook).

2. You should now have a loop on one side of the post and two ends of the yarn on the other side. Pull the ends through the loop.

3. Pull tight. Now the mermaid has two strands of hair sticking out of her head. Notice how the hair lays at the base. There's a loop on one side of the strand and a v-like shape on the other. I like to have the hair lying with the v-shape showing (if it must show). So, whichever direction you want your hair to lie or be parted is the direction where you'll point your hook when inserting it into the head.

4. Following along the round, fill in every post of the hairline with hair. Do not go around a full circle unless you want your mermaid to look like a lion. Make it more like a rainbow shape (mine ends at the same level as her eyes). Because of the way I'm parting her hair (as shown in the picture), I also filled in every post of the second round, too. When all of the hair is flat, the back of the scalp won't be seen much, so after the second round, I only filled in every other post (like a checker-board pattern).

Step 10: Hair Part 2

Continue to fill in the hair until you've reached your desired density and hairline. The picture above shows how my mermaid's finished hairline looks from different sides.

If you like the Raggedy Ann-sort of yarn-hair look, you can skip the next step.

Step 11: Hair Part 3

I don't like the yarn-hair look. If you want hair that looks more like actual (curly) hair, you can split your yarn. As shown above, you can use your yarn needle by pushing it into the actual piece of yarn and splitting it into (4) pieces. It's easier to do if you twist the yarn to where the pieces loosen up first. You will need to do this to every single piece of hair on the head. You can choose to skip this step, since it is very tedious and time-consuming, but I think the end result is worth it.

Step 12: Finish!

When you're done with the hair, comb through it (gently!) with your fingers, yarn needle, or a wide tooth comb, and trim it to the style you want it to be.

That's it! Now you have a little mermaid that can fit in your hand!

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    6 years ago

    thanks for the inspiration! My daughter thinks you are the best.... maybe time for a serious discussion about meeting people on the internet and the importance of having a father like me......


    7 years ago

    So freakin cute I love them :D

    They look really cute! I'm still a beginner in crochet.. really wish I could make this!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Once you learn how to crochet in rounds, increase, and decrease, it really opens up a whole new world of things you can make with crochet. Just keep practicing and learning and you'll be able to do this sort of thing in no time! :)


    7 years ago

    Crochet has defeated me, so I knit. This makes me wish I could crochet! I love it!