This is Ambra—the third and final DIY Mermaid of a set of three. Her sisters, Emery and Keeva, were in my two previous posts. When designing these mermaids I focused on making them look beautiful as a set, however I’m offering them each separately because I know not everyone will need/want all three mermaids.
Ambra is, by design, more flamboyant than the other two. I went a little outside the mold with the design of her fish tail. She’s floating and not actively swimming like her sisters, so I gave her tail a more fluid look. Mermaid tails are like fairy wings, I could design them all day and not get bored. I drew 8 different versions of Ambra’s tail before I decided on my favorite!
With each project I always have extra drawings that don’t make it to final design. Maybe when the new live action version of The Little Mermaid is released next year I’ll make some time to release more mermaid designs. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite kids’ movies. If you’re a fan or have kids who love Part Of Your World, look up Laura Osnes’ version on YouTube—it’s incredible. I can’t wait to see Hallie Bailey’s version in the live action movie!
If you want to create your own Ambra mermaid, you can purchase the design here, and follow along with the tutorial below.
Here are all three mermaids together…
- Ambra Mermaid Cut FilesCutting Machine
- Cardstock Paper
- Double Sided Tape with Lining
- White Glue and Small Paintbrush
- X-acto knife or any sharp point
- Clear String
Step 1: Cut two mermaids
Note about files: In your download you will see two folders, one called Ambra Cutouts and the other Ambra Separated Pieces.
In Cutouts, the mermaid is in one piece, with all the cutout shapes removed.
In Separated Pieces I left all the cutout shapes in place. With this file you can ungroup all the pieces and cut them out separately. There are some small parts in this mermaid and I find that if I’m able to cut them separately I can pay more attention to them and recut them if necessary. I like to use my cutting mat even when it’s lost some of its stickiness but this makes cutting tiny parts tricky. Sometimes a tiny piece gets stuck under my blade and if I don’t catch it in time, the blade ends up not cutting properly with the piece stuck under it. When this happens I can simply choose the parts that didn’t get cut properly and re-cut them. You can’t do this when the cutout pieces are not separated (at least I haven’t been able to with the software I use). Hope that makes sense! I am always happy to help so if you have any questions feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
On with Step 1…
With your cutting machine, cut out two Ambra mermaids.
You will notice your machine has also cut a dotted line below the mermaid’s tail. This will be the line you use to fold her tail open. In the image below the line looks solid because I’ve already folded the tail, but yours should be a cut dotted line.
Step 2: Attach double-sided tape along fold line of tail
Using just one of your mermaids that you’ve cut, lay it flat on your work surface with her head to the left and her tail to the right. Cut a piece of double-sided tape about 1 inch long, and about a half inch wide. It’s important to use strong double-sided tape and not the removable tape for this step. Tape with liner on it works best and you’ll see why in the next steps.
Place your tape along the fold line and let the excess hang off both edges of the mermaid’s tail.
Step 3: Trim off tape edges
Flip your mermaid over and trim off the excess tape. Then flip her back over for Step 4
Step 4: Attach two mermaids together
In this step you’ll be using the taped area below the tail to attach the two mermaid cut-outs to each other.
Take your second mermaid cut-out and align it on top of the one with the tape. Make sure all edges are aligned.
Once you have them aligned, while holding them in place with one hand, open up the tail of the top mermaid to expose the tape beneath. With an X-acto knife or any sharp object, pry off and remove the tape liner. You won’t be needing the liner any more so you can discard it.
Release the top mermaid tail back down and press on the tape area to secure the two mermaids together.
Step 5: Glue the two mermaids together
For gluing I like to pour my glue into a container so I can easily dip my brush into it.
I’m right-handed so for this step I have the mermaid’s head on my right side, tail on the left. Gently open the top mermaid all the way to the tail end and spread your glue on the bottom mermaid.
It’s best to glue in sections, as in the images below, rather than doing the whole mermaid at once. You’ll be able to line them up better by gluing in sections.
Spread glue on a small area and press down the top mermaid, making sure to keep the two mermaids aligned. Press down on the area you just glued to reinforce it, then carefully open the top mermaid again to work on the next area, working your way towards the mermaid’s head
When you get to the head area, have a look at the image below to see where I end the glue at the mermaid’s hair. Apply glue to her chest and head area, leaving her hair unglued. Leaving the hair unglued will allow you to curl it open later. I also leave her arms to do last, after gluing her chest/head together first.
Once you have the chest/head area glued together, just pry the arms open to apply glue and press them together.
Step 6: Open tail and curl hair
Once the whole mermaid has been glued together, fold open the mermaid’s tail. You can place your fingers up against the fold lines to make sure the tail folds open along those lines.
To curl the mermaid’s hair, use the end of a paintbrush or any cylindrical object like a pencil, and run it along the hair with your finger on the other side. If you’ve ever had to curl ribbon, it’s the same idea. You can also skip this curling and just gently open her hair with your fingers to leave it more straight.
Her hair should end up similar to the image below.
Step 7: Tie string to mermaid
Your mermaid is almost done. Now we tie string on her so she can be hung. Take the end of your fishing line or string and thread it through any of the holes in her crown. Then tie a d.
And that’s it! Your mermaid is ready to hang. I hope you enjoyed this one! Follow my Instagram @chaivdesign to see upcoming new products and tag us if you post pictures. I love seeing how all my designs are used out there!