Our little neighbour LOVES mermaids, so we wanted to make some gigantic ones!  We combined beach treasures with body tracing for a project that is easy for each child to personalize.

Materials

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

  • Thicker paper (e.g., bristol board)
  • Cardboard*
  • Pencil/eraser
  • Acrylic paint in various skin tones
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cupcake liners
  • Glue gun/glue sticks
  • Beach finds (shells, driftwood, beach glass)
  • Chenille sticks
  • Scissors
  • Felt
  • Gems, buttons etc.
  • Canvas (optional)

* We learned from @handywithscissors that IKEA cardboard is bit thinner and therefore easier to cut.  Gosh, connecting on the internet is handy!

We always find these items helpful too:

Make-it-your-own.com (Crafts & activities for kids)

  • Smock
  • Craft tray

Directions

  • Lay with your upper body on a bristol board sheet or cardboard.   Have an adult trace around you.  Our daughter wanted to make her head out of a canvas board, but you can easily trace around your head too.  Carefully cut it out.

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

  • Don your smock.  We usually paint on a craft tray, but as this project is a bit larger, our daughter placed the components on a scrap of paper and painted them to match the colour of our her skin tone.  You might find mixing various skin tones works to get your desired shade.  Allow to dry.

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

  • Sketch your tail on cardboard (we used cardboard as we wanted something sturdy that would hold all the cupcake liner “scales”).  Be sure to make the width of your tail at the top match the width of your waist.  As with all projects, sketch lightly at first to allow for modifications and then go over it with a darker line if that is easier for you to see.  Carefully cut out your tail.  You may need a bit of help with this part as cardboard it sometimes tricky to cut out.  Paint your tail if you like- this fills in any gaps that might exist within your scales.

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

  • Fold your cupcake liners in half and paint them if you like.  Allow to dry.

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

  • Glue your liners, layering them (it is easier to start at the bottom) all over your tail.  Flip your tail over, fold the edges and glue them down.  This will give your tail shape.

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

  • Cut out a top for yourself.  We used felt, but you could use paper, fabric etc.  Decorate it as you like.  We always recommend that you manipulate your pieces, experimenting with them prior to starting to glue.  Glue your tail onto your body.  Our daughter covered up the segment where the pieces attached with a driftwood belt.  Add any details or accessories as your may like- for example a seashell crown, jewellery and/or wand.

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

 

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

  • Create your face and hair.

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

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Make Yourself a Mermaid!  Extend Body Tracing to make yourself into a giant mermaid!

Purpose

  • Working on projects of various scales.
  • Incorporating nature into creating.

Safety Notes

  • We suggest that you wear a smock and use a craft tray to protect your clothing and surfaces.
  • Use scissors with care and direct, adult supervision.
  • Small items such as beads, shells and buttons can be a choking hazard, therefore be sure to keep them out of the reach of children ages 0-3 years of age or those that tend to put things into their mouths.
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