Tutorial – Mermaid tail blanket with scales

These mermaid tail blankets are very popular at the moment. I first saw them knitted and then started seeing them in fleece. When the sewing challenge for the week involved using a circle rotary cutter to decorate a pillow cover, I knew what to do! I had no need for a pillow cover, but I could make a mermaid blanket complete with scales. I found a pattern at Made for Mermaids to get me started and then modified it for my style. First, I made the top cuff shorter. Second, I preferred the shape of tail I made rather than the one given in the pattern. I used the pattern for size and then used my french curve ruler to create the scalloped edges. I used a performance stretch fabric for the tail because I really like the shimmery look, but you can certainly use fleece or flannel instead. I left the tail open for Girl Child to put her feet in and she loves that she can do that. At 4 years old, this come up to her chin when she puts her feet in the tail.


  • 1 yard of material for the body (1.5 yards for big kid/adult blanket) – fleece or flannel or other soft cozy fabric
  • 1/2 yard for the tail
  • 1/3 yard for the top cuff
  • 1 yard of sparkly netting or mesh for the scales to cover the front and a piece cut out to match the main body pattern piece


All seam allowances are 1/2 inch.

Step 1:

Using the pattern from Made for Mermaids, cut out your pieces. Two each for the body, tail, and cuff. Cut out an additional body piece from your sparkly mesh. I reduced the size of the cuff from 18″ to 12″.


Step 2:

For the scales, cut out about 110 rectangles that are 3×4 inches each. Then round off one short end. This was where the circle cutter turned a potentially very long job into a fast one. I could cut about 10 pieces at a time with the circle cutter!

 The Olfa circle rotary cutter

 Yes, there is a piece of sparkle tulle there.

 Now it is a piece of sparkle tulle with a rounded end.

Step 3:

On the front of one body piece, mark out lines every 2 inches. This gave me 15 rows since I did not use the bottom line.

Step 4:

Lay out your first row of scales and sew them down about 1/4 inch from the top.

Step 5:

Continue laying down and sewing your rows until you reach the top.

I staggered the rows so that the center of the scales on one row landed in the gap between two scales from the row beneath.

Step 6:

Place your back piece right side up, then place the sparkle piece right side up on top of that as an overlay, then place the front right side down on top. Sew down both long sides to make a long tube. I went with french seams for a more finished look inside. You can certainly just sew these together normally then neaten up the seam allowances.

Turn this right side out to check your work so far.

Step 7:

Sew your two tail pieces, right sides together along all the curvy edges. Leave the top open! Turn right side out.

Step 8:

Edgestitch along the seam you just made.

Step 9:

Tack the bottom row of scales up out of the way for the next step so that they don’t get caught in the tail seam.

Turn the main body inside out. Tuck the tail into the body with the fins pointing in. The tail and the body should be right sides together. Sew around this circle.

Step 10:

Turn right side out and push the corners of your fins out.

Step 11:

Place your two cuff pieces right sides together. Sew along each of the short sides.

Step 12:

Fold the cuff in half long ways so you have a tube. Place the cuff around the body lining up the raw edges of the cuff with the raw edges of the body. Sew around the circle, turn the cuff right side out and you are done.

Enjoy your finished blanket!

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Girl Child loves this so much she has been sleeping in it on her bed at night rather than using her comforter!

Stay tuned and I will show you how I altered the pattern to make a shark blanket for Boy Child…


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