Mermaids-at-heart, rejoice! Our latest fun craft is made easy to do it yourself with a surprise ingredient: paper napkins that look like mermaid scales! Get ready for a no-stress, splashy adventure that’ll bring that mermaid spirit to your walls. Have fun!
One of our friends is a pure mermaid at heart! So bubbly, joyful, heart of gold, and eyes lit with adventure. She inspired us to create something that would reflect that sea-inspired soulful spirit, so we set out to make something to decorate her walls.
We came across a fabulous inspiration — printed paper napkins that look like mermaid scales (or fish scales, whichever you happen to prefer!). Ooooh we can see the possibilities for so many variations: coasters, wood crates, and more that match the pattern!
This would make for a fun art craft to do for a mermaid party, a beach house, ocean themed classroom, a gift, or just because. First things first, here’s what you’ll need:
- wood hanging sign (we found one that had a distressed look to it, you could do it yourself with a thin layer of watered-down white paint)
- letter stencils (we used 3″ & 4″, but the size depends on your board)
- scallop printed paper napkins that look like mermaid scales (we used these from Michaels) OR you could use scrapbook paper of a similar design
- mod podge
- wood glue
- paint brushes – 1 thin & 1 thick
- white paint
- turquoise craft paint – metallic
- teal craft paint
- aqua craft paint
- faux starfish (we like using eco-friendly faux ones, so to not take living ones that are often killed for sale)
- chipboard mermaid tail (found at a craft store or search online)
1. Plan your board
Do a little bit of planning so that you know where you want the letters, mermaid tail, and starfish. You can flip the tail, get a good vision of the letter placement with the stencils, and figure out how you want everything arranged before you start!
2. Paint the mermaid tail
Paint the mermaid tail white (you only need to do the side that you’re putting the scales on), so that the napkin colors come out nice and bright:
3. Stencil the letters
While the mermaid tail is drying, stencil the saying onto the board. We chose “Adventure Awaits” to speak to the adventurous spirit of our mermaid-at-heart friend:
4. Paint in the letters
Using the thin brush, use aqua paint to fill in the letters:
5. Paint the tail fin
We made the tail fin metallic aqua, so we used the wider brush on just that part. You can play with the brush strokes so that it looks more “fin-like”:
6. Shadow the letters
Once the aqua paint on the letters was dry, we used a thin brush to make a slight 3D effect on the letters with the teal paint:
7. Trace & cut the napkin
Once the mermaid tail is completely dry, place it upside down on the napkin section that you want it (only one of the sections of the napkins we used had silver scales). Then use the pencil to trace it, and use the scissors to cut it out.
8. Give the mermaid tail scales
Use the paint brush to apply Mod Podge to the painted side of the mermaid tail, position the napkin on top, and then paint Mod Podge on top of the napkin to seal it.
You can gently press any large wrinkles out of of the napkin with the paint brush or your fingers (be careful not to tear the napkin, it gets pretty soft and can tear easy if you’re not gentle…if it does, on the bright side there’s more than one napkin that comes in a pack!).
9. Glue down the mermaid tail and starfish
Use wood glue to attach the mermaid tail and starfish to the board:
Let the glue dry before hanging, and then soak in the mermaid vibes!
Whether you’re following our design exactly or adventuring out on your own design, we hope you make it an adventure!