Embroidery Library

Mermaid Tail Towel



Let your little mermaid dress up for undersea adventures with this mermaid tail towel! A shaped fin is added to the end of a beach towel to make this fun project.

Read below for these free project instructions!


Supplies Needed:

**Beach towel (ours is 34
  inches wide by 84 inches long)

**3/4 yard of fabric (for tail - we
  used low-pile costume fur)

**3/4 yard of lightweight
  fusible interfacing

**2 1/2 yards of satin
  blanket binding

**Medium weight
  cutaway stabilizer

**Temporary spray adhesive

**Air-erase pen or dress
  maker's pencil

**Light-weight water soluble
  stabilizer (for topping)

**1/4 inch wide ribbon

**Small button


Designs used: 

Melinda Mermaid (large)

This design is also available in the following design pack:
A Merry Mermaids Design Pack - Lg

Project Tips:
We found our beach towel at Target.
We added a ribbon loop and a button so that the tail can be kept high and dry when
  it isn't trailing behind.



 First, we will prepare the towel for the embroidery. Fold the towel lengthwise (short ends aligned) and cut it in half along the fold (one towel equals two wraps).


Lay one half of the towel flat with the finished edge at the top and the right side facing up. Create a paper template of the design by printing it at full size using embroidery software. If you don't have embroidery software, you can cut a piece of paper the shape and dimensions of the design to help with placement and centering.

We placed the design in the upper right corner of the towel about 4 1/2 inches down from the top edge of the towel and about 4 1/2 inches in from the right side of the towel. Using an air-erase pen, poke a hole in the center of the template and mark the towel. Also, mark the horizontal and vertical axis points.

Remove the template and draw lines connecting the marks - the lines will be used for hooping.


Spray a piece of medium weight cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive and smooth the fabric on top. Lay a piece of light-weight water soluble stabilizer (we prefer Sulky Solvy or Sulky Super Solvy) on top of the towel and hoop all three layers together by aligning the marks on the hoop with the lines on the fabric. (For more information about embroidering on towels, click here.) Attach the hoop to the machine and load the design. Move the hoop so that the needle is directly over the center point on the fabric. Embroider the design.

When the design has finished, trim away the excess stabilizer on the backside of the embroidery.

Now we will prepare the pattern piece for the tail. First we will print the pattern piece. Click here to open a .PDF file of the pattern. Print the pattern - four pieces will print on four separate pieces of paper.

 Cut out the pattern pieces, align them together according to the instructions printed on the pieces, then tape them together.

Now we will prepare the fabric for the top of the tail. Lay the pattern piece onto the tail fabric, pin in place, and trace the shape. Then, cut out the shape.

Flip the pattern over, lay it on top of the tail fabric, trace, and cut out the shape.

Align the two pieces together, right sides together, pin in place along the inner edge, and sew a 1/2 inch seam along the pinned edge only. 

Using a pressing cloth, press the back seam open with an iron. Then, top stitch a 1/8 inch seam along each side of the seam.

Lay the assembled top tail piece flat with the wrong side facing up. Lay the interfacing on top of the tail piece with the adhesive side down. Press in place and then trim away the excess around the shape.

Lay the top tail piece on to the tail fabric, right sides together, pin in place, and trim around the shape. Sew a 1/2 inch seam around the sides and bottom of the tail - leave the entire top edge open.

Cut slits in the seam allowance every inch or so around the sides and bottom.

Turn the tail right side out, press the seams with a pressing cloth, and top stitch a 1/4 inch seam around the side and bottom edges.

Lay the tail portion flat and measure the width of the top opening. Then, lay the towel portion flat with the right side facing down. Fold and overlap the side edges at the bottom of the towel to match the width of the top of the tail portion. Pin the top layers of the towel in place and sew a 1/2 inch seam along the bottom raw edge, tacking the layers in place.

Turn the towel portion inside out. Fold the ends of the tail in and insert the tail inside the towel portion aligning the raw edges together (right sides together).

Next, cut a length of 1/4 inch wide ribbon to 4 1/2 inches. Spray one of the ends of the ribbon with temporary adhesive and form the ribbon into a loop. Insert the loop end of the ribbon in between the layers of fabric at the side seam opposite to the embroidered side. Pin in place and sew a 1/2 inch seam around the entire pinned edge.


 Turn the wrap right side out. Cut a 90 inch length of the satin blanket binding. Turn the ends in 1/2 inch, press with a pressing cloth, and pin place. Then, measure and mark the center top of the towel and the center of the binding by measuring and dividing by two. Align the center points together and wrap the binding around the top edge of the towel. Pin in place and sew a 1/4 inch seam starting at one end of the binding, sew all along the bottom edge of the binding, and end at the opposite end.

Add the button at the bottom edge of the binding about 10 inches from the upper left corner of the towel.


Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

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Products used in this Project:

Melinda Mermaid $4.99 - $5.99

Available in 2 Sizes:

4.86" x 5.33" | 3.50" x 3.86"

A Merry Mermaids Design Pack $10.45 - $16.44

Available in 2 Sizes:

4.88" x 6.85" | 3.86" x 3.87"