Make a Mermaid Tail Skirt with Tulle

Learn how to make a mermaid tail skirt with tulle! It’s perfect for a handmade costume or just dress up time, and it’s easy to run and play in!

My daughters love dressing up and do any chance they can. It makes Halloween costumes extra exciting!

Currently one of my daughters wears dress-ups as her clothing. I love adding pieces that they can play with like this mermaid tail skirt with tulle!

make a mermaid tail skirt

I made my daughter a DIY mermaid costume and a mermaid dress a couple of years ago with a very simple how-to, but this is an in depth tutorial of how to make the skirt.

Especially since I have two daughters that both love to be mermaids!

Do you love sewing mermaid projects? Check out one of these:

diy mermaid costume

This is the original skirt that I made. I used a scale print stretch fabric that was white and gold. I had the “point” of the tail go down in the front and up in the back.

The gathered tulle tail is a pretty mint. I made the point go down for the look of a mermaid tail, and up for the ease of movement and running. (She ran to each house when we were trick-or-treating!)

I had extra scale fabric so I made a rash guard that she actually wore all summer for swimming. It’s a great addition to this costume though and makes it look seamless!

handmade mermaid costume

This is the new skirt that I made for today’s sewing tutorial. I used a scale print stretch fabric that was black and gold, and the gathered tulle tail is white.

I made the “point” of the tail go up in the front and down in the back. This look is more like the classic mermaid silhouette style, but moves just as well as the other version.

The sequin top was the original top I made for the first Halloween costume. I used sequin fabric with pale stretch fabric underneath. Then I added a tiny gathered tulle skirt to the hem of the shirt.

handmade mermaid skirt

How to make a mermaid tail skirt


mermaid tail skirt supplies

Measure the hips of you or your daughter. This will be the width of the skirt. Divide it in half to cut it out on the fold.

Measure from the waist to the knee for the upper point of the skirt. Measure from the waist to the mid-calf for the lower point of the skirt.

Whichever point you want to be in the front should be cut on the fold. The point you want in the back should be cut on the seam.

cut scale fabric

Cut six to eight pieces of tulle that measures from the knee to the floor. I used the width of the tulle for maximum volume.

cut tulle tail fabric

Pin the skirt seam right sides together and sew with a zigzag stitch or serger. Finish the raw edges if desired.

pin scale fabric

Lay out all the pieces of tulle on top of each other matching up both short edges. Pick up one side and match it up with the other side and pin.

Sew with a straight stitch and 5/8 inch seam allowance. This will form a giant tube.

pin tulle tail fabric

Cut elastic to fit your waist or your daughters waist snugly. Overlap the edges 1/4 inch and sew to form a tube.

Pin the elastic to the top edge of the skirt distributing evenly. Zigzag the elastic to the skirt.

insert elastic to skirt

Fold the elastic over so that it’s enclosed in fabric and zigzag in place.

fold elastic into waist

Sew two or three rows of basting stitches along one long edge of the tulle.

Pull the bobbin threads to gather the tulle. Gather it until it’s a smaller circle about the size of the skirt.

gather tulle tail fabric

Divide the bottom of the skirt into four equal sections. Divide the tulle into four equal sections. Match up the four sections of both skirt pieces. Distribute the gathers evenly.

pin tail to scale fabric

Sew the two skirt pieces together with a zigzag stitch. Be careful while going around the points. Finish the raw edges if desired.

sew skirt pieces together

Turn the mermaid tail skirt right side out for the perfect skirt!

You might need to trim the tulle shorter so that the tail lays evenly on the ground. Make sure you do this while you or your daughter is wearing it.

mermaid tail skirt

If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

make a mermaid tail skirt

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It is probably just me, but i am a bit confused with the tulle directions. Are you laying the 6 to 8 pieces of tulle end to end or are you stacking them on top of each other? Thanks!