With Mother Nature turning up the heat all over the globe, Pinwheel Crafts knows that parents everywhere are looking for ways to keep their kids inside during the peak hot hours of the day. How can you keep a group of kids stuck inside entertained? We have the perfect project: Toilet paper roll mermaids! This is a fun mermaid craft idea and summer arts and crafts project for kids. As a bonus, this project is also a great way to teach your kids about up-cycling trash and the importance of reducing unnecessary waste.
We’ve laid everything out for you below.
You can shop the Pinwheel Crafts online store for your art supply needs. While you’re there, stock up on other mermaid and ocean-themed projects like the Pinwheel Crafts Mermaid Jewelry Box and the Pinwheel Crafts Soap Making Kit.
So what are we waiting for? Let's get started on how to have fun crafting with your kids.
You will need:
- Toilet Paper Rolls
- Acrylic Paint and a Medium Flat Brush
- Assorted Colors of Paper
- Colorful Yarn or Embroidery Thread
- Fine Point Black Marker
- Decorative Elements like Glitter, Shells, and Ocean-Themed Beads
1. Examine the surface of the entire toilet paper roll and glue down any frayed, or peeling edges. No one wants their mermaid’s face to start peeling off!
2. Using acrylic paint (like the acrylic paint set available from Pinwheel Crafts), have your child cover their toilet paper roll with the color they would like their mermaid’s skin to be. Let them know they don’t need to stick with standard skin colors. A mermaid can have blue skin, pink skin, metallic silver skin, or any other hue they like.
3. Help your child decide what color they want their mermaid’s tail to be. If needed, help them to cut a 1.5 inch wide, 6 inch long strip of paper in that color. Depending on the size of the toilet paper rolls you have in your house, you may need to cut a longer or wider strip of paper to cover the entire circumference.
4. You will also need to cut out the diamond shape of the tail (like the image below) from this same color of paper.
5. Have your child choose two more complimentary colors of paper. Cut out four 1.5 inch strips from these colors of paper (two strips of each). One of the long edges of the paper strips will stay straight. The opposite edge will need to be cut into circular bumps (like scales). Your children can also choose to make their mermaid’s scales pointy, square, or whatever shape is their favorite.
6. You will also want to use one of these colors of paper to cut out two mermaid tail fins (see image of tail pieces below). Help your child with this step, if needed. Once you have all your paper pieces cut out, it’s time to break out the glue!
7. Working from the bottom up, glue the straight edged strip of paper around the bottom of the toilet paper roll, aligning one side with the bottom edge of the tube.
8. Glue the scale shaped strips (scales pointing down) onto the tube in the same manner, alternating colors and moving each strip up about half an inch from the last strip.
9. Have your child use the fine point black marker to draw a little face onto the mermaid as well as any other details (like ridges in the tail fins, or scales on the tail). We kept our smiles pretty similar across all of our mermaids, but your children are free to draw whatever face and facial expressions they like best.
10. Glue the tail fins onto the back of the mermaid tail. Fold a tab on one side of the base of the tail and attach the tail by gluing that tab to the side of the mermaid body (like we have done in the images below).
11. Now it’s time to cut many equal length pieces of yarn. A quick way to achieve this is to wrap the yard around a piece of cardboard, small piece of wood, or even a booklet, then cut all the strands in one spot. You and your child will also need to tie the strands together in the middle with another piece of matching yarn. This this will create nice bundles of "hair" instead of trying to glue each piece of yarn individually (which does not sound fun to us).
12. Help your child glue the yarn bundles onto the inside front of the toilet paper roll near the top edge. You can use craft glue, but we opted to use a hot glue gun to speed up the process. If you choose to use hot glue, please make sure to take care and complete this step for your children to prevent them from accidentally getting burned. If done correctly, the yarn bundles will stick up and out of the roll, just like hair.
13. Use the yarn strands and bundles to let your kids design a hairstyle for their mermaids. They can tie it up into ponytails or pigtails, braid longer strands, or chop it into a short pixie hairstyle. They can make their mermaid’s hairdo as simple or complex as they like.
14. From here, the sky is the limit. Let your kids add whatever decorative elements they want. Beads? Do it. Sea shells? Go for it! Glitter? Of course … Just try not to spill it everywhere, please!
15. Once all the paint, glue, and glitter have dried, your kids are ready to display their wonderful creations for the world to see!
So what do you think? Isn’t that a fun mermaid arts and crafts project idea for kids to wrap up the summer?
With school just around the corner, projects like this toilet paper roll mermaid are a great craft to give kids one last hoorah before returning to classes in the fall. They can even take their finished mermaid creations with them to decorate their desk, locker, or cubby. Make sure to share your family’s unique creations with us on Facebook and Instagram. We love seeing all of the amazing things kids create and would love for others to get inspired by your family's beautiful work
And remember to shop the Pinwheel Crafts online store. If your kids had a great time making their mermaids, then they’re sure to love the Pinwheel Crafts Mermaid Jewelry Box and the Pinwheel Crafts Soap Making Kit.
That’s all for now. Until next time, happy crafting!