Making a DIY Doll Mermaid Tail (as inspired by Barbie: Dolphin Magic Netflix Special)

The Netflix special Barbie: Dolphin Magic was much better than I expected it to be. It was action-packed, full of interesting dialogue and most importantly, there was a huge focus on mermaids! This special has reignited my love for mermaids, and made me desperately want a mermaid doll.

However, as a consumer, I know it is important to think about my environmental impact. I purchased a Dreamtopia mermaid only last year, and where did that mermaid end up? In a batch of other dolls that sold for a fraction of their cost. *facepalm*

So! I have decided that instead of buying a whole new doll, I will simply DIY myself a mermaid tail. Bonus: the tail can be slipped on and off, so the doll can easily become human again at will!

If you’re a parent, consider buying a Fashionista doll instead of a mermaid (they are the same price), and then making your child a tail. This only took me a few hours and I already had all the materials. If you are a better seamstress than me, it will probably take you much less time!

This way, your child gets a doll, some clothes and a removable mermaid tail, instead of a doll who is permanently stuck as a mermaid.

I decided to use an old ball gown, but you can use any fabric you have handy, or you can use an old t-shirt that you don’t wear anymore.

The model is Fashion Fever Teresa Wave F. I have done a previous post on her, which you can read here.

Begin by turning your fabric inside out (this is the most important step!) and sketching a rough design on the fabric. My tail ended up looking too straight, so if I were you, I would make my tail curvier and over-the-top.

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This is the shape you are aiming for.

Next, cut out the pieces and sew them together. I sewed the tail and the fin in two seperate pieces, because obviously my dress wasn’t long enough, but you can keep them connected if you prefer.

This is how my tail ended up looking. I didn’t do any kind of fancy sewing, I just sewed (is that a word?) straight down my fabric.

To finish, I added a piece of fabric from an old shirt to hide the rough edges, but I’m sure you can hem it if you’d prefer. The tail slips on and off without any buttons or zips necessary.

I also cut up the top of the ball gown to make a matching bikini top.

The material of the dress gives the tail a “shiny” look.

And that’s my mermaid costume!

While we’re on the subject, let’s look at some mermaids through time!

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I believe these mermaids are from 2015, just after Barbie did the whole rebranding thing.  I remember really wanting them!

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I think these are from 2017, although they might have technically released in 2016? I honestly can’t remember.

I purchased the one in the middle, the “Candy Mermaid,” but I ended up selling her because her face looked weird and her hair kept falling out in big clumps. You can read my original post about her here, and another one here where I gave her a makeover.

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And here are the mermaid dolls for 2018! I think they are the prettiest so far! The blue one is my favourite, but I think they all look very cute.

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There are also some Chelsea mermaids coming in 2018, which is new. I don’t really have a use for little mermaid dolls, but I suppose I don’t really have a use for bigger mermaid dolls either! My favourites are the first two, purple and pink.

If you’re interested in looking at other Dreamtopia dolls coming in 2018 (and some of them are really pretty!) the video below shows you everything:

6 thoughts on “Making a DIY Doll Mermaid Tail (as inspired by Barbie: Dolphin Magic Netflix Special)

  1. Hi! I love your DIY! I never would’ve been able to come up with that!

    Okay, yeah, this is unrelated, but I found the full Barbie:Dreamhouse Adventures trailer on YouTube literally a few minutes ago! I don’t know how it was leaked, but it was, and I thought I’d share this information in case you haven’t seen it yet.

    I don’t wanna spoil it too much for you, so I’ll just say that the animation looks almost identical to that in Dolphin Magic. Oh, and it also said something about a May 2018 release to Netflix.

    So that’s just something I thought I’d share. I’ll also say that it looks really interesting, especially with some of designs and scenery. It also looks like they redesigned the Dreamhouse. I mean, not like it was in the original Life in the Dreamhouse series that ended in 2015.


    1. Aaaa thankyou!! I have to head out now, but I’ll definitely check it out tomorrow. I’m a bit bummed about the animation, but at least it’s not as bad as it was in the Pink Shoes, right? It’s funny that they’re saying May now, didn’t they say March before? Also, I literally just cancelled my Netflix, so I’ll have to get it again just for this! lol this is why I have no money 😂😂 Tysm for letting me know


      1. You’re welcome! No, the animation is nothing like Pink Shoes, to me it looked exactly like the animation from Dolphin Magic.

        Yes, they did originally say March, but now they’re saying May. I have absolutely no clue why, but I’d guess it has something with an unexpected delay in production. It’s defiantly a bit odd, though.

        Oh, I forgot to mention something in my first comment! You know how, on the original poster from Mattel, they show a picture of a pink-haired girl? Well, I at first thought this was to be a new version of Harper, from Barbie’s vlogs, but looking at her now that doesn’t feel quite right. If I remember correctly, Harper always has blue hair and a very dark skin complexion, so maybe this is someone else? Like, some new character they decided to introduce in the series?

        Also, remember how it took you a while to find Dolphin Magic on Netflix? Well, I thought I should mention that I’m in the United States, and I don’t know if they are different release dates for other countries. I don’t see why there would be, as that’s not fair for those living outside North America.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Stop motion looks so hard! I tried it once and then I realised I have no patience for that kind of thing. Best of luck! Maybe you could put the finished result on YouTube? If you want to, of course!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The first few stop motions anyone makes are so hard and the result gets them very mad. It is choppy, the lighting seems to change, nothing moves like it is meant to, and it takes two hours to make a ten second video. But after a few tries, I’m now able to make a 15 second video in under and hour, and it moves almost like I want it to.
        I might put it on YouTube if I get permission. But I do have some on now. If you have it, you can have a look at the accout for it – @ stop_motion_masters
        (I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m advertising)
        Thank you 🙂


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