The mermaid obsession isn’t stopping anytime soon.
I’m not naturally craft-inclined but Ella loves crafts, so I try to come up with kids’ craft ideas that are flexible enough for her to be creative and not tied to a fixed product, while developing her fine motor and practical life skills.
Ella informed me that she was going to become the “Queen of the Mermaids” for her 4th birthday, so naturally we had to create a Mermaid Tiara for the occasion!
This kids’ craft idea is heavily inspired by a Youtube video from Debi’s Design Diary.
Our mermaid tiara is somewhat delicate, mostly due to the type of tiara used. If you used a more heavy duty tiara (like this metal one), the cost of the craft would go up slightly but the mermaid tiara would hold up better to frequent use.
Materials for Mermaid Tiara Craft:
- Cheap plastic crown update: for the amount of work this craft takes, I would invest in a $5 metal crown for the base to prevent breaking
- Sparkly pipe cleaners (approximately 10)
- Hot glue sticks (1-2)
- Cool touch hot glue gun
Depending on the cost of your seashells (and whether or not you upgrade the tiara to a metal version), this can either be a very frugal craft or expensive mermaid tiara. The starfish was the most expensive part of our craft, and while Ella loved it, any large seashell would have the same dramatic effect.
If you’re not comfortable with your child doing the hot gluing, you can swap out the hot glue for a heavy duty craft glue (for adult use).
Have your child wrap the sparkly pipe cleaners all around the tiara. It’s easier if you cut the pipe cleaners into smaller pieces, about 5-6″ each.
This is a great fine motor activity, though a bit time-consuming. We kept the cut pipe cleaners and tiara on a tray in the kitchen, and Ella returned to it whenever I was busy and she needed something to do with her hands.
Choosing a sparkly pipe cleaner gives you some flexibility with the wrapping job, so it doesn’t need to be perfect. The pipe cleaners add a bit of glitz while providing a textured surface for the glue to attach the seashells to; don’t worry if your child leaves some sections of the tiara bare or unevenly covered. It won’t be noticeable in the final mermaid tiara.
When your child is done wrapping the tiara, present them with a selection of seashells and plan out how they want the seashells to be attached to their mermaid tiara.
You can even encourage your child to sketch out how they would want their final tiara to look.
Encourage your child to either only use a few seashells, or attempt to balance the seashells’ weight across the whole tiara, to prevent the tiara from being too heavy on one side and toppling off their heads.
Ella has been using her Cool Touch Glue Gun for a few months now and I am confident in allowing her the opportunity to work with real tools, but do what works for your family. The glue still comes out hot, but considering she’s been cooking on the stove with me since she turned two years old, she’s proven herself to be responsible and careful when trusted with privileges like this.
We found that adding glue to both the tiara and the seashell before securing the seashell to the mermaid tiara seemed to attach them the best.
This was an incredibly easy but gorgeous kids’ craft — it really is so stunning in person.
And the best part? Kids can say that they made it themselves! This would be a great kids’ craft idea for a Hallowe’en costume, or for a special trip to the beach… or Disney!
For an added effect, you could paint the seashells or spray them with some glitter, but we decided to leave our seashells to their natural colour.
What do you think? Do you have a little mermaid in your house who would love to be Queen of the Mermaids?