Disney's Frozen movie is still raging in popularity, and I have to admit, Queen Elsa is my favorite character to play at kid's parties. And having a Frozen mermaid tail has been nagging in the back of my mind for over a year now... I decided it was time.
Mermaid tail sketches
Step 1 was coming up with the design. I did some fairly rough sketches, and decided:
- Two-piece separating tail, so I don't have to choose between being carried or being naked
- "Skirt" piece will be reminiscent of Elsa's skirt (duh) and fluke will reflect her cape design
- I want it sparkly.
- 3d printed snowflakes all over the fluke! Yay, I get to use tech. :)
Then I spent a week away from home and my craft room, which forced me to refine and hammer out all the little details on paper or in my head before getting started. This was good for me.. I tend to want to just jump in before I know what's what, for most projects, but this design phase is super valuable.
I also had time to order supplies online, and when I got home it was all waiting for me in neat little boxes.
Cutting the Fluke
I am using a competitor monofin inside the fluke. I drew a pleasing shape with a silver sharpie, and cut the fluke with a dremel. This was much easier than I thought it would be.
For the body of the tail I'm using 2mm neoprene from Seattle Fabrics. It comes by the sheet, and I ordered one sheet, which worked out to be just the right amount.
This isn't my first
rodeo mermaid tail, so I got Glimmer out and laid her down on the fabric, and just traced around her. (The first time I did this, I had someone help and trace ME). I left the bottom as long as possible, and cut it to shape later.
With the rest of the neoprene, I was a little worried that I'd come up short -- the heels of the monofin are hanging off a bit, what if there's not enough, OH NOES. Then I came up with this brilliant little idea:
I cut the fluke on the fold and just let the heels stick out through a couple holes. This will hold the fabric right over the monofin, neatly and tidily. Sometimes I'm really smart.
Yep. It's a mermaid!
Next I basted the front and back together and tried it on. A bit loose in the knees and ankles, but with a little pinning and fitting I got it snug. Then I cut the bottom of the skirt into a nice icicle-type shape to go over the fluke.
Velcro & texture
I used some 3" velcro on the back of all the points to hold the tail together when it's on. I added some texture lines with my sewing maching, to hide the stitching of the velcro and add a bit of interest to the points.
Then I edged the bottom with my serger using a rolled edge. Metallic silver thread FTW!
test paint: SO SHINY
I am using Jones Tones Paints again for this tail, because they are seriously the best Mermaid tail paints I've ever found, by far. I'd only used the metallic paints in the past, for my Ariel tail, but for Elsa I wanted glittery sparkle, so I tried the glitter paints. Oh. My. Gosh. SO SHINY. And just so so so so shiny!
messy? yes. Fun? Oh yeah.
First I squeezed and slopped a whole bunch of paint on there in different shades of blue and silver. Wheee!
Then I smoothed it out with a brush. ZOMG
Then I squeezed on another layer of paint and took an old loose-toothed comb and carefully raked the comb through the paint, to create texture lines all up and down the tail. I just. can't. even. I wish the photos did it justice!
While waiting for the paint to dry, I looked around online for 3d printable snowflake designs, and didn't find much that I really liked. Then I found this supercool snowflake vector generator. I can click around and make my own snowflake design (very satisfying in its own right) and then with a little fiddling, turn it into a 3d printable graphic and then print it. I'm uploading all the snowflake designs to my Thingiverse account in case you wanna print one too.
3d printing snowflakes
I'm patterning them as closely as I can from the ones on Elsa's cape. Hello. My name is Erin and I am a Cosplay Geek.
So that's how far I've gotten.. I will update more as I progress. Thanks for reading!