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Discussion Starter #1
As part of my pirate theme this year, I had the idea that in the area where I was using my wave projector I wanted to hang some mermaids from the ceiling to look like they were swimming in it. I usually have a few ideas to try and they usually work or fail, but I just don't know where to start with this. As my theme is dead pirates like those on Flying Dutchman, I was going with the idea of the mermaids looking awful not nice, kind of like these shown below. I was thinking paper mache originally as they can't be heavy. I know you guys are so talented, and I'm sure some of you will have made these. Any ideas/suggestions and pics greatly appreciated:)

mermaid 1.jpg

mermaid 2.jpg
 

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I would suggest using wig heads to serve as a base, and sculpt different heads. Next make the torso using a mannequin hanger for a mold and cast it out of lightweight foam. Then cut the tail shape out of seat cushion foam. Finally coat everything with silicone caulk or carpet latex for the skin and sequins for the scales.
 

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Great idea on the foam head... I was thinking you could have your daughter pose as if she had a tail (lol) and do the duct tape/packing tape method from her neck down to her feet. I know it would be time consuming but I've seen several use it for other applications with great success. And if you make several she can change her poses so they're slightly different.
 

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You could always do it the hard way...
sculpt it
sculptures (2).jpg
sculptures (3).jpg
mold it
2408051.jpg
4448636_orig.jpg
paint it up
sea creatures.jpg
sea creatures (2).jpg

but if you don't have the time/budget for that here is an idea...

I have in the past made large light weight props for people before and did not want to go the traditional routes...
what I came up with worked...
Thick cloth (i dont know if it would work with thin cloth?) over a rough shape you could make a head, body, tail etc, you could use foam peanuts, beaded foam (that is what used), cardboard, foam in a can, you could cover a foam head with the stiff cloth

make sure all the fabric is pinned/glued down in the shape you want it to be in...

for your fins you could put ropes for the ridges for the flukes, then lay/glue down the fabric on top

then brush the whole thing in wood glue that you have watered down a little to get it to be brush-able...and so it goes through the cloth and sticks to the form underneath.
does not sound like much but I made a giant lite weight forms that still gets used and withstands lots of pressure if i punched it, it might dent, but not with normal use it seems to last for a long time.

you can make massive things i would put a spine on it just to be sure,
i mounted mine to a plywood board, with shaved foam inside ( to get the shape i needed, but if you built the interior frame out of pvc or made them 'flat backs' it should work just fine
turned these pieces into almost fiberglass like hardness with little to no weight you could easily hang these from the ceilings or anywhere as long as they are secured...then paint them up
So make a light weight form, that you cover completely and tightly in tuff fabric, then brush watered down wood glue on the whole thing,
good luck! hope that helped
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for that what a great idea! I am sure my teenage daughter will be more than happy for me to cover her in tape! :D However, I am sure I can find a willing model! I think it would work, I will give it a try and see what fishy creatures I can create :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the reply. Those wooden sculptures are just amazing! I think your idea sounds really good and worth a try. I will certainly post pics if my fishy creations are ok :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the link, I love the mermaid itself but the thought of gutting fish:p I am doing a creepy carnival theme next yearand was going to to do a cabinet of curiosities, this would be good to in there, but think I may have to make a little fishy of mine rather a real one:)
 

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If I only knew then what I know now! haha

I made mine from a foam seat cushion, paper napkins and foam head. She was inside for the party hanging in the laundry room and she was fairly light weight.
Then I moved her outside for the TOTer's. She wasn't great but I used her 3 years in a row. Used her in my Carnevil and then in my voodoo theme as a witch, just covered her tail.
So many better options now!
DSCF4679.jpg DSCF4680.jpg DSCF4743.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
She looks really great! This is going to be my weekend project to try create some form of mermaid! I will post some pics if it turns out:)
 
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