missfit1023's avatar

my tail tutorial

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By missfit1023   |   
Published:
© 2011 - 2020 missfit1023
i have been asked by many people, and here it is! this is the exact method i used for my tail.

**PLEASE READ COMMENTS BEFORE YOU ASK QUESTIONS!**
I did forget to mention the Spray Silicone in the first picture, which is $9 on Amazon.com. It is used for divers, and should be applied to the finished tail to prevent stickiness!
This tutorial was a collaboration from many of the mer community on Mer.Yuku.com
**DISCLAIMER**
Do not swim in a mermaid tail without supervision - This particular tail-tutorial makes a tail that is easily 40-50bls when finished. It will be weightless in the water, but will double in weight after being wet on land.
I suggest practice swimming with a monofin while in the process of making your tail - it will help you learn how to move with the fin and build the necessary muscles to swim with it.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN COMMISSIONING A TAIL:
read this first: [link]
Image size
4290x10899px 3.94 MB
Comments284
anonymous's avatar
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L1nn1e's avatar
L1nn1eProfessional Traditional Artist
What kind of sprayzon silicone are you using?
FrostDragonGirl16's avatar
FrostDragonGirl16Hobbyist General Artist
Could this same method apply with food grade/aquarium silicone or skin safe latex? I really like the idea of using latex and neoprene together but am not sure if this would work.
Kaderpow's avatar
KaderpowHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the tutorial, my friend and I have been looking for something like this. We originally tried to save up for a tail but combined we only came to about $1,000 and most of it went to better computers, and our swim team and school. We are hoping to make 2 with our families. Again Thank you for this tutorial and btw your tails are awesome! :D
NorhtlandZentai's avatar
Can you post a link to where you got the different supply on amazon?
L1nn1e's avatar
L1nn1eProfessional Traditional Artist
Question: I'm curious how it was sewn together. I've read some other comments asking the same question, but the answer you gave wasn't very descriptive, so I'm still very confused. There's also the question of how to get it on. I'm still confused about that too.
Baffalena's avatar
were did you get the Alex plus from? I cant find it any where.. :< 
MinxFox's avatar
MinxFoxStudent Digital Artist
This is an old tailmaking method. Alex Plus is dangerous to use and it will not hold up long. Most tailmakers use Dragonskin Silicone to make their tails. A cheaper alternative that is safe would be aquarium silicone/food grade silicone. One tailmaker, Tigg's Tails, in Australia uses this type of silicone and puts it on neoprene to create her tails.

For tailmaking tutorials using fabric, neoprene, sequins, silicone, etc look here: mernetwork.com/index/showthrea…!

This tutorial still has helpful information, but as I said no one uses Alex Plus to make tails anymore because it can literally make you sick.
shadeofmyheart's avatar
This is a very well made tutorial, but aren't you worried about the health effects of using alex plus?
MinxFox's avatar
MinxFoxStudent Digital Artist
Alex Plus is dangerous to use for tails. One mermaid had dangerous things show up in her bloodwork tests from her Alex Plus tail. Most mers now use Dragonskin silicone (the professional tailmakers use this material). You can also use food grade silicone/aquarium silicone.

The best thing is to just save up for the good quality materials if you decide to make your own tail. Or save up for a tail made by a tailmaker who uses quality material.
NorhtlandZentai's avatar
Can you send a link about the health effects?  I can't find anything definitive.
MinxFox's avatar
MinxFoxStudent Digital Artist
This link goes into all the details of the health effects of using this in tails:
mernetwork.com/index/showthrea…

One danger is that you can get kidney or liver damage among other things...

In 2011, when this tutorial was posted, was when many were experimenting with using Alex plus to make mermaid tails. No one uses it anymore because of the harmful health effects on not only the wearer but on the environment. Now most people use Dragon Skin Silicone for making their own silicone tail or food grade/aquarium grade silicone in a bottle.

Of course mermaid tails don't have to be super expensive. You can make them out of spandex, neoprene, neoprene & sequins, etc. Also there are many companies that make custom silicone mermaid tails if you decide making your own is too much to tackle. Merbellas, Finfolk, Tails of Art, etc are a few examples of tailmaking companies.

This tutorial was great for when it was posted in 2011, but now we all know that it isn't worth the risk to be cheap and use Alex plus for a tail. It is better to save up for quality material because it will last you longer and be safer for you and the environment you are swimming in. This tutorial can still be useful if you decide to use latex or aquarium/food grade silicone in a tube to make your tail. I am sure many of these steps in the tutorial could be applied to that.
NorhtlandZentai's avatar
Or has Alex plus gotten safer in recent times?
MinxFox's avatar
MinxFoxStudent Digital Artist
I can't be sure if Alex Plus is safer now than it used to be. All I know is it is not meant to get wet and it is not meant to come into contact with skin.

I understand that Alex Plus is alluring because it is cheap, but it isn't healthy. No one I know in the mer community uses it anymore so no one is really testing it to see if it is safer now. With the side effects it can have I see why no one bothers re-trying it.

If you are really going for a realistic looking mermaid tail, sequin tails or sequin silicone hybrid tails are very beautiful like what Mermaid Hannah Fraser makes and wears. An alternative that mers use today in place of Alex Plus is the food grade/aquarium grade silicone in tubes. First you make your tail base out of neoprene and then you squirt the silicone onto it. Some people work with latex too but it isn't used so much anymore because it can degrade quicker than silicone and it can be harder to work with.

The top material though that IS safe is Dragon Skin Silicone which can be ordered from the Smooth-On company. Many people who decide to make their own silicone tail choose to save up for this silicone because it is of good, safe quality and it is what the pros use. Mertailor, Mernation, Merbella Studios, Finfolk Productions, etc all use Dragon Skin Silicone for their tails.

I have started off small. Right now I have a tail made of spandex with a Finis rapid monofin. Eventually I would like to make a neoprene tail and realistically paint it. Then I want to make a sequin tail, and eventually I want to purchase a tail from a tailmaker. Maybe someday I will make my own silicone tail, but there is so much work involved it can be easier just to save up the money to have one made for you rather than to try and figure out how to do it which can be frustrating.

The best advise I can give you is to join Mernetwork: mernetwork.com/index/forum.php

Tons of the members document their progress in making tails from simple fabric tails all the way to complex silicone tails with fine details. The community is a huge knowledge base for things like this.

Also, here is a silicone tail tutorial on Instructables: www.instructables.com/id/Silic…
NorhtlandZentai's avatar
I am already there.  I am Chatfish.
MinxFox's avatar
MinxFoxStudent Digital Artist
Ooooh okay lol I recognize your username! Hi!
Have you checked out Momo's silicone/neoprene hybrid tail topic? I don't think she is done with hers yet but that is a good example of what you can do with the safe silicone. I believe it is the same stuff Tigg's Tails uses.

Mermaid Raina has dealt with owning an Alex plus tail first hand if you want to ask her about them.
NorhtlandZentai's avatar
What if I coat the alex plus with a outer layer of safe silicone?  It is pretty cheep.
criollita71's avatar
Heart Very nice tutorial, but I can read very well, is so little for me, can su send me your tutorial in other way more easy to me please.
yusukeslovr's avatar
If you download it (hit the download button) then it opens in a new window in a much larger size
LadyShadowRayne's avatar
LadyShadowRayneHobbyist General Artist
This is really cool, I always thought about making my first mermaid tail but with me having limited money its really hard to even spend a lot in one day. If i had the money i would go and buy me some of the materials. I can i just can't buy them all at once. Cause everything is so expensive now these days. But i would love to make my own. :) This tutorial is really helpful. I love your tail its really beautiful.
TheFoxWitch's avatar
TheFoxWitchProfessional General Artist
I apologize if you answered this before but what monofin did you use? Was it a Finis and if so what style?
missfit1023's avatar
Finis rapid
TheFoxWitch's avatar
TheFoxWitchProfessional General Artist
Okay, thank you!
Magic-I-am-543's avatar
Magic-I-am-543Student Artist
how much would you say all the supplies cost?
Traubenzucker's avatar
TraubenzuckerHobbyist Traditional Artist
Can you maby send me you tutorial on PN too becaus i cant red it. I am sorry but it is to little for me :)
anonymous's avatar
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