I think all crafty people can agree that creating whimsical birthday parties for kids is so much fun! And for me, creating a party for a little girl when it's theme is something that was your favorite thing when you were a little girl (ie: mermaids) is amazing (perhaps because I still love mermaids just as much as I did when I was a kid, I won't lie, lol), not to mention that I love work that doesn't feel like "work" -especially when I know it's going to make someone else happy- and let's face it, that is literally the best thing, and that is exactly what this birthday was! Yay!
As you can imagine, the biggest part of a mermaid-themed birthday party are the mermaid tails- obviously- (and we already covered her mermaid crown and trident so this was the last big item for the big day), so My Moxie Creations came up with the idea to have the kids at the party make/decorate their own mermaid tails that they could take home as party gifts, and they came out great!
You don't need to throw a mermaid-themed birthday party to get down like a mermaid- you can decorate a mermaid tail for yourself at home for fun by ordering the tail and decorating supplies from our Etsy store, or you can make them yourself from scratch by following the steps below.
Because who doesn't want to be a mermaid- am I right? (#ArielForever)
For this craft, you will need:
3. Add Mermaid Scale Fabric or Scale Pattern
I chose to use a fabulous scale-patterned fabric I found for this project, but you can use any type of nautical/mermaid themed fabric, or you can draw on scales- it's really up to you. Originally, I was just going to paint on a few scales in different places up and down the tail, but this fabric changed my mind, so go with your preferred style (or budget) on this one.
Because I created a scalable piece pattern, I was able to use it for my scale fabric piece fabric as well, but most of the time I just laid my green mermaid fabric "base" on top of my patterned fabric and cut accordingly using a rotary cutter for fluidity of movement and a cleaner cut (scissors would work fine as well if you do not have a rotary cutter).
One I had my mermaid base and my mermaid scale piece, I glued them together to become one piece. Be sure to cut around the edges so that the two pieces of fabric have the same edge and one fabric is not shown over/under the other.
TIP: If you look at the image on the left below, you'll see that I almost accidentally cut one of the tails with the scale pattern upside-down, and then I forgot to take an updated picture for this blog, lol - so take my advice and remember to double check your patterned materials for aesthetic, not just for size/cutting clearance before cutting your fabric :)
Congratulations, you now have completed your mermaid tail!
At this point, you really don't have to do anything else. For our purposes, we were just getting started, but this is the crux of the project that we worked on, and included below are a few examples of how the different sizes came out:
We went ahead and also made items to decorate the tails with, but you do not have to be that extra by any means! Continue reading for tips of how to decorate your tail, or end here and enjoy!
6. Create Felt Tail "Ornaments"
I used computer paper to free-hand a few patterns of different types of mermaid/nautical pieces or "ornaments" to add some flair to our tails (ie: seashells, fish, starfish, etc.). I simply drew a bunch of fun little things on paper, cut them out, and traced them onto assorted colors of felt (making sure to highlight the birthday girl's favorite colors of course!) and outlined accordingly with a Sharpie. Some of the items I left plain, and some of the items I decorated a bit with some puff paint to make them a little more fun (and to show the kids some things they could do to decorate the tail and ornaments as well), but how far you go on these pieces is up to you.
I decided to use felt for the ornamental pieces because I wanted them to be easy for the kids to glue on, and also to draw/paint over if they wanted to while they were making their tails. It was also another chance to use contrasting textures (my jam!), and the fact that felt is heavy and doesn't tend to curl up if not glued down completely (because kids aren't always careful of things like that) meant the ornaments would lie nice and flat on the tail once applied- but you can definitely use your imagination on this one!
7. Decorate Your Mermaid Tail!
I will admit to the fact that I totally made a tail myself and had a blast -it's not just for kids! (Okay, the finished product was for a kid, but me and the other Moms totally wanted to make some for ourselves too and I was sad I didn't make adult sized ones for us- NEXT TIME LADIES!!)
To my "blank" tail, I added some felt ornaments, and on some of those I did add more puff paint for flair, and then I added about a million strategically placed rhinestones (because I love it when things sparkle!), to customize my tail.
8. Be a Mermaid!
Once you've customized your mermaid tail - don't forget to wear that thing and be the mermaid you are!
Below I've included pictures of the tail I made, as well as a picture of our Birthday Princess in her My Moxie Creations Mermaid Finery.