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.