Make a Splash with this DIY Mermaid Tail Beach Blanket

JUL 14, 2017 updated Jun 3, 2021

This summer, it’s total mermaid madness and we’re getting poolside ready with SammyK’s newest project: DIY mermaid tail beach blankets! It’s the perfect gift for your beach buddies and they’re sure to make a splash at your next pool party! To complete the look, we recommend choosing our super-soft Minky for the outer shell and your favorite toweling fabric for the lining. Dive in and see the full tutorial from our good friend Samarra Khaja… 

Samarra: Calling All Mermaids and Mermen! I know you’ve been on the lookout for sparkling fresh options to expand on that tail repertoire of yours, so wait no longer fine-finned friends! 

Introducing these two wild-caught options for you: the Rainbow Spectrum Tail and the Rock-n-Roll Fishbone Tail! Each of them are ready for your post-swim lounging pleasure. And guess what? Each design comes in both kid and adult sizes, so you can mix and match your poolside style to your heart’s content. You just might never want to wear anything else again!

So let’s not flounder about and get right to the how-to portion of this swimmingly fun project:

Materials

  • 1-2 yards* of mermaid tail design, printed on Minky
  • 1-2 yards* of your favorite toweling fabric
  • sewing machine
  • ball point needle
  • scissors
  • pins

*Yardage amount will depend on what size tail you are making. Child size requires 1 yard and adult size requires 2 yards.

The start of a rainbow mermaid tail!

Step 1. Cut out the front and back tail panels out from your yummy new yardage.

Stitch together the outside panels (aka outer shell) of your mermaid tail panels

Step 2. Place them face-to-face, pin in place and straight stitch all the way around, using a ball-point sewing machine needle, leaving the waist open.

Snipping the curves of your tail will allow for a smooth seam. Be careful not to cut into your stitches!

Step 3. Snip into the seam allowance on the convex curves near the top of the tail. This will make the fabric sit nice and flat once turned right side out.

Step 4. Trim off the excess allowance at corners of the tail fin base. We’ll call this assembled piece the ‘outer shell’.

It’s time to start making the lining of your mermaid tail!

Step 5. Using a favorite toweling fabric of your choice, cut a pair of matching lining tail panels out using your outer shell as your template. I layered my toweling and cut out both at the same time.

Outer shell and inside lining. You’re getting closer!

Step 6. Stitch your towel lining pieces together in the same manner as you did with the outer shell, stitching all the way around, leaving the waist open, making sure to snip into the convex curves and trim off the tail base corners. We’ll now call this the ‘inner lining’.

The right side of the inner lining should be touching the printed side of the outer shell.

Step 7. Flip the inner lining right-side-out and then place it inside the outer shell, which should still be wrong-side-out. Align everything so it all fits snugly inside and the base of the tail lies flat.

Align your lining and outer shell

Step 8. Align the edges of the inner lining and the outer shell at the open waist. Pin in place, if needed.

Step 9. Straight stitch all the way around the waist, leaving a 3” opening.

It’s magic!

Step 10. Magic trick time! Pull everything through that remaining hole, so it all turns right-side-out. This amazement is always a Poof Magazine-worthy moment.

Step 11. Both the inner lining and the outer shell should be right-side-out and look like the above picture. Hand sew the remaining hole shut, using a sweet ladder stitch which will disappear nicely.

Step 12. Now place (stuff? shove?) the inner lining into the outer shell. This is a fun wiggly-worm process of wrestling, pushing and flattening the fabric to fit all the way inside the outer shell nicely.

Your finished Rainbow Spectrum Tail should look like this! Ta-da! Fin! (get it? get it? hardy har har!)

And KAPOWIE, this is how both your new Rainbow Spectrum Tail and the Rock-n-Roll Fishbone Tail will look once they’re all sewn up and ready to snuggle in poolside!

You’re sure to make a big splash in these on your next aquatic adventure! Enjoy and keep on swimmin’, fellow mermaids and mermen! -SK

 

Samarra Khaja makes happy, beautiful things, inspired by her love of travel, local markets, food and culture, and her young sons.

The daughter of an Indian architect and an Australian painter, Samarra got hooked on making interesting things when she was still a kid, raiding her parent’s high quality art supplies.

She studied for her masters in photography and moved to New York City to work across disciplines as a graphic designer, art director, illustrator and photographer for the likes of The New York Times, the Guggenheim, Bliss, Time Magazine, Victoria’s Secret and Cirque du Soleil, all in her signature whimsical style.

She’s been published and exhibited worldwide and won several awards, but gets the biggest kick from seeing her prize-winning 24’ x 120‘ mural, “Heartbeat Brooklyn” featuring a smiling clawfoot bathtub, bagels on a rollercoaster, and hot-dogs on a ferris wheel, all frolicking and untouched by graffiti on the side of Lowe’s Brooklyn store. Check out Samarra’s latest Skillshare class on how to design surface patterns like a pro.

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