How to make no-sew mermaid tails. This is a cute and easy DIY fabric craft or party favor for a Little Mermaid birthday or kid’s homemade Halloween costume.
How to Make No-Sew Mermaid Tails
Dive into the magical world of no-sew DIY mermaid tails! Perfect for mermaid-themed birthdays or rocking that underwater look on Halloween – let’s get crafty (and a little bit sassy) without breaking a sweat!
I made these cute no sew Mermaid Tails for my daughter’s Mermaid Party when she was in preschool. This DIY craft idea was so easy and looked adorable on all of the little mermaids who came to the pool party.
Since showing these homemade mermaid tails on my blog many years ago, I have received a ton of questions on how I made them.
We love all things Disney and being The Little Mermaid for a day was a hit with the kids!
At the time of the party, I took a photo of my daughter’s tail for people to use as a template and guide.
These little tails are a quick DIY craft project. You can just cut the fabric as pictured below from a yard of fabric and it should work, but might not be perfect for each girl.
Scroll down for directions and answers to some of my most frequently asked questions.
How much fabric will I need for mermaid tails?
The best advice I can give on how to make these tails yourself is to measure your little mermaid’s waist, then add some extra fabric to the width. Try wrapping a towel or some fabric around your child’s waist and use that as a guide as to how much fabric you will need to buy.
I only had to make four mermaid tails, and bought one yard per child. That was plenty of fabric for four mermaid tails that would fit kids ages 3-5 years old.
Supplies you’ll need:
How do I know where to put the velcro?
I wrapped a yard of fabric around my daughter’s waist to figure out where I would place the velcro and hole to tie the end of the fabric through. Mark the spots, then proceed to add the velcro (in two places) then cut a small hole. The hole should be on the side of the waist.
There was no particular measurements, it was done quickly by wrapping the fabric around the waist.
How Do You Tie These Mermaid Tails?
Test out your homemade mermaid tail by trying it on your little mermaid. Here’s how you tie these mermaid tails.
- Wrap the fabric around your child’s waist and use the velcro to hold one side together. If they are tiny, the velcro might end up on their back and not the side. It’s okay.
- On the other side of the waist, push the corner of the fabric through the hole, bring the fabric up over the top edge and tie it in a loose knot.
- Now with both sides held together (one with the velcro and one with the knot), the entire skirt stays up on the child’s waist.
How do I get the mermaid tail to line up perfect in the back?
After making sure the waist fits, then you can cut the fabric in the shape of the template. It might not be perfect, but you can move the skirt around the kid’s waist until the tail is in the back.
After measuring your child from the waist to the floor. Cut the fabric in the shape as you see in the photo. Try it on your mermaid and make sure it works before proceeding.
I had to trim mine several times before it fit my daughter. Then I used her tail as a template for the other girl’s mermaid tails.
I centered the tail shape in the middle of where I had the hole and the velcro.
As you can see in the photo above, the tail was really short on one of the taller girls, but she didn’t seem to mind! I planned for one tall little girl, but I didn’t realize how tall some of the others would be.
How did you do make the green mermaid fin?
The green fabric is a sparkly glitter tulle type of fabric. You can find similar fabric here.
I took a big square of green fabric and tied it together at the top in a knot. I then folded down the knot and hot glued that to the blue fabric.
Hot glue the edges to the rest of the tail and trim the fabric into the shape of the tail.
I hope I didn’t confuse you even more! Just have fun with this project, kids won’t care if they are perfect or not.
Little Mermaid Party Supplies and Gifts
More Mermaid Party Ideas
No Sew Mermaid Tails
- Measure your child’s waist then double that for the length of fabric you will need. One yard per child should be enough fabric.
- Lay your fabric on a table or floor horizontally.
- Measure the length of your child from waist to the floor for the length. Subtract that from the width of the fabric. For example if your child’s measurement from waist to floor is 35” and the fabric is 50” wide, you will measure 15” up to trim from the bottom of the fabric to start cutting the shape. The mermaid fin will be cut from that extra 15 inches.
- Measure beginning from the bottom right end of the fabric, begin to cut the fabric straight across towards the left side until you get close to the middle of the fabric. Now you want to cut a mermaid fin shape in the bottom middle of the fabric. (See photo example)
- After cutting out the mermaid fin, continue cutting straight across the other side of the fabric and curve your cut to the top left corner.
- You don’t want the mermaid fin too long where kids will trip over it. A 8”-15” long fin is about perfect.
Cut a Hole
- Next wrap the fabric around your child’s waist where the mermaid tail hangs directly in back of them. Mark a spot to the left side of their waist (your right side). This is where you will cut a small hole.
- Place the fabric back down flat and trim a small hole where you marked the spot.
Tie and Velcro
- Wrap the fabric around your child’s waist and use the velcro to hold the curved side of the fabric together. If they are tiny, the velcro might end up on their back and not the side. It’s okay.
- On the other side of the waist, push the corner of the opposite side of the fabric through the hole, bring the fabric up over the top edge and tie it in a loose knot.
- Now with both sides held together (one with the velcro and one with the knot), the entire skirt will stay on the child’s waist.
Add Tulle to Fin
- Cut a large square of sparkly tulle fabric and tie a knot in the middle. Fold down the knot and hot glue the knot to the blue fabric at the top of the fin. This will make the fabric poof out over the fin.
- Hot glue the edges to the rest of the fin and trim the fabric around the fin’s shape.
- Now your little mermaid tail is ready to wear!
Originally published July 9, 2012 – Updated 2023