Make a Mermaid’s Tail

If your kids love to dress up, they’ll adore our mermaid tail make crafted from metallic cupcake cases. Perfect for little mermaid and mermen imaginative play. We also share our favorite under-the-sea game ideas.

Our fabulous design team have created a shimmering tail for you to make. You can use a variety of colors, or stick to one shade – blue and silver looks beautiful, as does gold. The tail looks amazing when worn over a swimming costume, or leggings/shorts and a top.

You Will Need:

• Metallic cupcake cases
• A long piece of paper (such as wrapping paper)
• Double-sided sticky tape
• Elastic or ribbon
• Stapler
• Regular sticky tape
• Scissors
• Measuring tape
• Aluminium foil

(Blue and silver tail is made with 27 cases: suitable for a 3-4 year old, gold tail is made with 37 cases: suitable for 4-5 year old. Depending on height.)


Step 1: Measure your child’s waist and divide in two and measure the distance from their waist to the top of their ankles and draw a tail shape on a large sheet of paper/wrapping paper.

Tip: fold the paper in half. Along the crease, mark the height measurement and along the top, mark a quarter of the full waist measurement, leaving a little extra room for the waistband and draw half the tail and cut it out. When you fold out it will be a symmetrical tail.

Step 2: Fold out flat all of your cupcake cases.

Step 3: Fold them all in half and cut them in two.

Step 4. Cut one into quarters, this is your first scale.

Step 5: Time to start adding the scales. Add double sided tape underneath the top section of each cut case. If you do this, then the bottom section of the case overlaps nicely like scales.

The first ‘scale’ is the quarter case. Stick it down, but let it slightly overlap the bottom of the paper. As all the scales are added, try not to let any of the paper underneath peek though. Arrange each row as you go before sticking down.

Step 6: When you reach the top of the tail, then you can fold the top section which has the extra waistband allowance in, over the elastic or ribbon waistband. This can be secured with staples.

Step 7: Cover the folded section with tape, this will smooth the cases and their edges against clothing or skin.

Step 8: For the tail fin, use some aluminium foil and fold it into a concertina fan, then staple it behind the tail underneath an overlapping scale.

(You could also use something softer here, like paper, or fabric which would be soft against the feet.)

Step 9: Now everything is stuck down, it is time to cut corners of the cases and the fin if need be. This will stop them catching on anything.

At first the tail may be stiff and flat, but you can help fold the tail around your child by smoothly shaping with your hands at the sides. If you want a mermaid look, but haven’t got the time or inclination to make this tail, then check out our delightful Mermaid Wrap Dress-Up Costume.

Magical Mermaid Games

Why not play mermaid games whilst dressed up like one?

  • • Pop the ‘air’ bubbles. Use bubble liquid to blow lots of bubbles, and then set a timer to see how many you can pop whilst you dip and dive pretending to swim under-the-sea.

  • • Mermaid treasure hunt. Hide several sea-related ‘treasures’, like sea shells and shiny trinkets, in the ‘sea’ (your garden or your sitting room). Fill a container with water and tell your kids that this is the ‘cove’. Their aim to is to hunt in the ‘sea’ to find the treasures and return them to the ‘cove’. The winner can be the mermaid/merman who finds the most treasure in a set time.

  • • Mermaid freeze. Play some sea-themed songs (like the soundtrack from The Little Mermaid film) and get the kids to do swimming motions to the music – really move those arms and flip those mermaids/mermen tails! When the music stops then so must they. The last person to freeze will be ‘swept away by the tide’ and is out of the game.

  • • Underwater limbo. Make an underwater limbo stick that looks like it is covered in long seaweed tendrils. Your little mermaids/mermen can limbo/pretend swim underneath it. Use a broom stick or a long branch, and tie on long strips of fabric, plastic or paper streamers to make your ‘seaweed’. Hold the stick on either side, put on some dance music, and get everyone to take turns. Lower the stick each time.

  • • Mermaid slime messy time. After lots of jumping around your kids will enjoy some craft time to make some mermaid slime. Here is a brilliant recipe and step-by-step instructions. Once the slime is made, the kids can play games with it, like who can make the longest slime ‘seaweed’ tendril. This is a good game to do before bath-time, when any sticky slime can be washed off.

If you want to treat your kids to a special party, take a look at our wonderful mermaid themed range, which includes tableware, garlands and a brilliant mermaid foil balloon.

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