DIY Mermaid Tail Tutorial

DIY Mermaid Tail Tutorial

Do you dream of the sea and adventures beneath the waves? Are you looking for a special summer accessory to look glamorous by the water? A beautiful, shiny mermaid tail is the perfect item for lounging by the pool or celebrating MerMay!

This tutorial uses a sequined fabric in mermaid scales on a mesh fabric, but work also work with other stretchy and shiny fabrics. Foil fabrics would make a nice lightweight Halloween costume, and spandex would create a tail you could use in the swimming pool. However, nothing beats the glamour of sequins!

A mono fin (swim tail) that is made of plastic or foam will be used to give structure to the fin of your tail and can be purchased at a toy or sporting goods store.

Before you begin, take the following measurements: 

  • Waist circumference
  • Hip circumference
  • Around your knees when held together
  • Around your ankles when held together



4-5 hours




  1. Lie down on top of your muslin fabric, with your feet on top of the mono fin and your ankles positioned at the ankle openings on the fin. Have a friend help you trace around your legs and the fin, starting from above your belly button. 

  2. Add seam allowances around your pattern. Add 1 inch around the fin. The amount added to the areas around your waist, hips, knees, and ankles will depend on your personal measurements. Take each measurement, divide by half, and add 1 inch. That should be how wide the pattern piece is at each location. Also add 2 extra inches of length at the top for making the waistband. 

  3. Cut your pattern out of the muslin and make a second identical piece for the front and back. Sew up the side seams to check the fit, and make any adjustments before using the pattern for your sequins.

  4. Cut out 2 of your sequins and 2 of your lining using your pattern. Sew the long seams down the side of your lining, leaving the top and bottom open. (You will need the bottom open to insert your mono fin later). Repeat for the sequins. 

  5. On the lining only, fold down the top edge 1 inch and sew a channel for your elastic. (Leave a small opening where you will insert the elastic). Keep the raw edges of the channel on the same side as the raw edges of your side seams (wrong side out). Insert elastic and sew the opening shut. 

  6. Put the lining inside the sequins, matching up the side seams. 

  7. Insert the mono fin in the bottom of the lining and sew it shut so it is trapped inside the lining. 

  8. Fold the raw edges of the sequins inward over the lining, pin shut, and hand-sew with whip stitches to close the bottom. 

  9. On the waist, fold the raw edge of the sequins over and hide with the finished edge of the lining (that contains the elastic). Whip stitch together by hand. You may have to stretch the lining a bit as you sew to keep the side seams aligned. 

Now you are done with your tail! 

A coordinating shell bra can be made by decorating a bikini top with pearls, rhinestones, seashells, fake seaweed, sequins, or whatever you desire! 

      1 comment



      Can you make me one? I bought a flat green sequin mermaid tail at least 25 years ago. I can’t find them anymore

      Can you make me one? I bought a flat green sequin mermaid tail at least 25 years ago. I can’t find them anymore

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