These instructions will show you how to create your own fantasy mermaid

This is a quick and easy project with fabulous results!

Doll shown is Pearl by Doreen Sinnett.  



Doll body, arms, painted, and assembled

Fabric, lace or netting for overlay                                          

Chenille Stems, cotton balls

Scissors, Tacky Glue

Sea shell for base

Viscose for hair

Very fine glitter (optional)

Accessories as desired



1.  Use a porcelain doll that has been painted, and assembled.  Doll here is one of my favorites, Pearl, by Doreen Sinnet.  You will not need the porcelain legs.  Attach porcelain arms using chenille stems.  Fill body with tacky or hot glue, and insert chenille stem folded in half up into body.  I left the ends of the stems 1/2 inch longer that the normal height of Pearl.  This is because I plan to have my mermaid in a sitting postion, which always needs a little extra length in the leg to work correctly.


2.  Plan ahead.  I knew that I wanted to use this seashell for a base for Pearl, so I positioned her until I was happy with the spot that she would eventually be glued into.  Then I checked the length of the chenille stems which would make the base for her tail. When I was happy with the length, I bent the stems into the curve that I wanted for the finished tail.


3.  Using unwound cotton balls, I wrapped the chenille stems from waist to bottom point.  Stems were first wrapped separately, then a final layer of cotton was put over the pair of stems, taking care to pad where necessary, and bring the bottom to a point.  Note that the wires are still bent into the seated position.  This will make for a smoother body than wrapping and covering flat, then bending. This is the point where my 10 year old walked past and said, "Oh cool, a genie doll."  Another project??
4. Wrap the arm area with cotton as needed.
5.  Measure your tail fabric and cut a rectangle that is wide enough to go around the widest point (usually the waist) and long enough to extend from desired waistline to beyond the point.


6.  Place glue under one raw edge of fabric, and glue to waist, and down cotton tail.  Quickly bring fabric around tail, and pull snugly, smoothing out creases in fabric.  Trim away excess fabric, fold under remaining raw edge and glue.

7.  Front view of fabric covered tail.

8. I had a very old piece of lace that reminded me of fishing net.  This somehow seemed appropriate for my mermaid.  Perhaps a section of crochet doily or lace netting would give a similar result.  Experiment with your "stash" of trims!  That's part of the fun of this kind of project.  This is the tail section with trim applied over fabric in same manner fabric was applied.

9.  I used wonder under to attach the trim to both sides of a rectangle of my silk fabric, then cut out two fin shapes.  If edges of trim lift from fabric, replace with tacky glue.
 10.  The straight ends of each fin were gathered by hand and whipped to the end of the tail section.  


11.  Upper arm sections of doll were covered with fabric that was frayed on the ends to look like sea grass. 

I waved viscose in my middle sized pleater and applied to doll's head.  Remember this is a fantasy doll, so VERY long hair is appropriate if you like it.  I also applied very fine glitter to bodice area, then dusted the entire tail section with the same glitter, and sprayed with hair spray to hold.

Accessorize your doll as desired.  My Pearl needed her own treasure to hold, and a small pearl crown.



Mold By Doreen Sinnett

Doll by Cynthia Howe

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