Seaside Mermaids

Seaside Mermaids

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You have meet our Seaside Gnomes and Seaside Mermaids. Today learn how to make these lovely magical ladies of the sea.


A NOTE BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Unlike most of the peg dolls you’ve seen, these have bendable arms. I have tried many ways to secure arms in the past and they were all too bulky. Now, we drill holes through the pegs before we begin and it works like a charm. To the best of my knowledge you cannot buy wooden pegs pre-drilled. If you do not have the ability to drill a hole through the peg, you can try making the arms as 2 separate pieces and hot gluing them to the peg. I have never tried this so I don’t know how well it will work or if they will hold up to play. If you use that method please let us know how it works. ~Kimara~

SEASIDE MERMAID MATERIALS

IMPORTANT: There can be significant variations in the sizes of the wooden pegs even from the same manufacture and even in the same shipment! Cut pattern pieces out of paper first, and “try them on” your wooden pegs. Make adjustments to the paper pattern before cutting out your felt.

SEASIDE MERMAID DIRECTIONS

NOTE: The directions for the blue and green mermaids are intermixed. They are made basically the same with the major differences being how the tail is made and how the hair is styled. Obviously, mix and match and get creative.

Using a 3/16″ or 1/4″ drill bit, drill a hole through the peg right under the body curve at the neck.

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If you would like to paint your mermaid a color, do so now. You will want your paint and embroidery floss that you use to wrap the arms to be the same color because these are both skin. Let dry.

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Cut pipe cleaner to 6 1/2″. Beginning at the center of the pipe cleaner and using 6 ply embroidery floss, begin wrapping the pipe cleaner from the center to one end. When you start, make sure to cover the end of the thread so it does not unwind. Try to cover most of the fuzzes on the pipe cleaner, but you will be making a second pass so don’t fret it some of the fuzzes stick out.

When you get to to end of the pipe cleaner do not cut the floss and re-wrap the pipe cleaner going back to the center and covering the floss you already wound around the pipe cleaner. Do not cut the tread.

Now do the same for the other half of the pipe cleaner and tie off when you return to the center. Leave the floss attached.

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Loosely fold the pipe cleaner in half.

Bring the two ends to the center and press the sides closely together.

Starting from the center, wrap down one of the sides towards the “hand”. You will be wrapping 2 sections of the pipe cleaner together.

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Leave a small amount of the arm unwrapped. This creates a “hand” and stops the thread from unraveling at the end.

Clip the thread leaving a 12″ tail. Thread a tapestry need that you can thread the 6 strands of floss through.

Slide the needle between the 2 sections of pipe cleaners and under the thread you just wrapped them with. Work your way up the arm and when you are about halfway up the arm, clip off the extra thread close to the arm.

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Attach more floss to the center and wrap the other side in the same manner.

With the arms held straight, guide them through the hole in the peg so the middle is positioned in the middle of the body.

Bring the arms forward until they are the same length.

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I usually do not add faces to our peg dolls, but if you want to, paint a face on now. You can read about adding a face HERE.

Place a little glue on the arms at the body. This will stop them from pulling out with play.

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NOTE: Unless otherwise stated the directions are for both the blue and the green mermaid.

BLUE MERMAID CLOTHING (the seam is on the outside of the mermaid’s tail):

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Make a copy of the pattern. Cut out the mermaid top. Place crafting glue on the top.

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Glue the top to the mermaid making sure the middle of the top lines up with the middle of the mermaid’s body.

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Cut out the pieces of the tail together. For more information on how to cut out felt visit our tutorial HERE.

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Staple or pin the two pieces of the tail together. Using a running stitch and 2 pieces of felt, sew the pieces together leaving the “waist” open.

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Using 6 strands of embroidery floss, and beginning at the center front of the waist, sew a running stitch around the waist. Leaving both ends of the floss long.

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Using wool roving or fiberfill, stuff the tail.

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Run a bead of glue around the inside of the waist or you can run a bead of glue around the waist of the mermaid.

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When you glue on the tail, a small part of the top should be showing in the back.

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In the front, pull the “belt” tight and knot. This will slightly gather the waist. Tie the belt in in bow and knot the two ends so they do not fray and clip off extra thread. I put a small drop of glue on the bow’s knot so it wouldn’t untie.

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GREEN MERMAID CLOTHING (the seam is on the inside of the mermaid’s tail):

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Follow the directions above for cutting out and gluing on the mermaid’s top and for cutting out the mermaid’s tail.

Using 2 stands of floss and a back stitch, sew around the tail leaving the waist open.

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Make a small slit between the 2 fins being careful not to clip your stitching. This will make the tail lay nicer when you turn it inside out.

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Turn the tail inside out.

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Finish the tail like you did for the blue mermaid.

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ADDING HAIR:

The hair is added to the mermaids in 2 “wigs”. The blue and green mermaid’s hair is the same until the very last step. The following directions apply to both mermaids.

To add the hair, begin by wrapping the yarn around a piece of cardboard, book, etc. I wrapped my yarn around a 6″ planner. I did 20 complete wraps. Make adjustments if you are using thicker or thinner yarn. I used 2 different colors of the Little Loop Mohair Boucle Doll Hair Yarn. I wrapped the 2 strands at the same time so the yarns were nicely mixed.

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Cut the end of the loops where you started and stopped. DO NOT cut both end.

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Tape your hair to a surface using painter’s tape so the center of the yarn bundle is between the 2 pieces of tape. (TIP: I use painter’s tape because it comes off the yarn easily when you are done. If you are using regular scotch tape, place tape on a fuzzy surface first, like a towel or sweater. This will make the tape less sticky.)  The width of the yarn bundle should be around 1″. Wrap the tape around the yarn maintaining the 1″ width. This helps hold the yarn together while you are stitching it.

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Using 6 strands of floss the same color as the yarn, back stitch across the center of the hair, making sure to go all the way through all the layers of yarn. Start by knotting on the back of the wig and bring your needle to the front to stitch. This will be the center part. I like to split the yarn as I back stitch to keep the part straight.

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When you are all the way across, on the backside of the wig, tie off your thread and clip. Carefully remove the tape.

Make a second second wig identical to the first.

Place glue on the mermaid’s head where you want the hair it sit.

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Turn the mermaid sideways. Position the first wig on the head so the stitching line is slightly behind the glue. You do not want the stitch line to be visible.

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To add the second wig, turn the mermaid so she is facing you. Place glue on the first wig covering the stitching line of the first wig and extending toward the back of the head about 1″.

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Position the second wig so its stitching line is perpendicular to the first stitching line. It should just touch that first stitching line. Pat onto the head.

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HAIRDO FOR THE BLUE MERMAID:

When the glue has set up, pull the hair from the second wig back. Tie off half of each section with floss. I do this by threading a needle and making sure I go through the first wig, too. When you are done there will be two ties holding the hair out of your mermaid’s face.

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HAIRDO FOR THE GREEN MERMAID:

Create the hair like you did for the blue mermaid, however, this time, pull the hair back and tie off the front section in just one bundle.

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I added a piece of a shell for a barrette.

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Add any additional embellishments you would like. I have a jar of shells and bits that have holes in them for stringing. Not only did I add a barrette to the green mermaid’s hair, I also made necklaces for both of them.

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Kimara

5 Comments

  1. These mermaids are just wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. These look lovely! I have a question, though. When you stitch the wigs together, are you using a back stitch or a chain stitch? The instructions say back stitch but the photo looks like a chain stitch. I always have such difficulty making hair but I never tried a chain stitch before!

    1. Kimara
      Author

      It is a back stitch BUT every time I went back I split the thread instead of placing the next stitch next to the last stitch. This “locked” in the stitch and gives you a nice straight line and the stitches won’t slide around. Unlike a piece of fabric that has fibers going both ways, the hair is not woven. Without “locking” the stitches they float around a bit. I hope that makes sense 🙂 ~Kimara~

  3. These look lovely! Thank you for sharing. I have a question, though. When you stitch the wigs together, are you using a back stitch or a chain stitch? The instructions say back stitch but the photo looks like a chain stitch. I always have such difficulty making hair but I never tried a chain stitch before!

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