DIY Mermaid Tail Apron

There seems to be this recurring theme for me when I celebrate birthdays for my kids. I make a big list of all the things I’m inspired by and want to accomplish with my party planning and preparations. I fine tune the list and come up with my plan for food, decor, activities and favours. Within this plan there is usually an overly ambitious craft or project that I challenge myself to complete before the big day, and this year for P’s mermaid party it was a mermaid tail apron.

There was no shortage of great ideas on Pinterest for making mermaid tails using anything from beach towels to blankets, but I wanted something a little different. When I saw this apron-style tail, I was inspired to create a no-sew version that could actually be used as an apron as well as dress-up.

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I chose vinyl because it’s durable, easy to cut and can be wiped clean if the kids are cooking or painting in it. I had a pile of pinks, purples and blues picked out from the local fabric store until I saw these gold and copper metallic fabrics and completely changed my vision.

Here’s how I made them:

MermaidTail-Fabric

To cut the right length for the apron, I started with a pair of the girls pants.

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I traced the outside of the pants from the hip as that would give me the approximate width of the apron and then stopped just above the knee and removed the pant to finish drawing the fins.

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I just drew the shape of the tail free-hand using chalk as it allowed me to wipe away any lines I was unhappy with and start over. I then trimmed along the line and wiped the chalk lines off with a wet paper towel.

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I cut two sizes of tails. I had two 5 year olds coming including our birthday girl and three 7 year olds, so I alternated the base colours of the tails for the two age groups just for fun.

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I then used the extra fabric to cut scallops, one row of two and one row of three, that would be layered at the waist of the apron to mimic mermaid scales.

MermaidTail-Scallops

I decided to decorate the entire length of the apron skirt with a fish scale detail using metallic paint pens. I used the gold pen on the copper fabric and a silver pen on the gold fabric.

MermaidTail-MetallicPen

To adhere the cut fish scales to the skirt, I simply used a line of fabric glue along the top back of the fabric. I then glued a strip of coordinating sequins along the top of the apron skirt for some added sparkle.

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I cut two lengths of silk ribbon in a matching metallic shade that would act as the tie for the apron. I finished the end by folding the ribbon in half and snipping to create this shape.

MermaidTail-RibbonTie

I then glued the unfinished end of the ribbon under the edge of the scallop at the waist. This glue requires overnight drying, so I laid everything out in a spot that wouldn’t be disturbed, then I assembled the pieces, glued them in place and walk away.

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Here’s how the finished aprons turned out.

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The girls wore them at the party and even painted a craft and made homemade pizzas in them. I just wiped them clean when we were done and sent them home in their favour bags after the party. The girls loved them!

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I was so pleased with how these turned out and the girls’ moms loved them too!

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Are you crafting anything special for your parties?

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