Mermaid Top Review 5: Mertailor Silicone Scale Top

Top #5 Mertailor Silicone Scale Top

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Photo by Dan Compton

Custom made to match my Spellbound tail.

Price:

$159.00

Production Time:

  • Purchased with tail 9/7/2017
  • Almost ready/ teaser 10/28/17 (Mermaid Meet-up/tail delivery)
  • Picked up at during photoshoot with Mertailor 11/5/17

Customer Service:

I ordered a silicone scale top to match my Spellbound tail. I ordered it online at the same time my tail order was put it. Cup size and measurement under bust around rib cage was requested.

I received an email saying my tail was complete but the next day I was told that they were still working on my top. Candy was great and kept me updated on its progress. It was taking longer to cure than normal because the weather was changing.

Mertailor met me at a Florida Mermaid meet up at Ginnie Springs, FL to deliver my tail in person (which was amazingly nice of him). At that time he had my top but it was just a basic pink and hadn’t been painted yet. He offered it as is, but said if I swam in it he couldn’t paint it (Candy had emailed me this prior to the meet-up so I was already aware.) I told him I wanted it painted to match my tail. I gave him freedom of how to paint it but I wanted at least one star on it and not directly over the nipple area (😊).

Later that week, during a photoshoot with Mertailor I was able to pick up my freshly painted top.

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Photo by Mertailor

Quality/Durability:

This top is made out of thick durable silicone. The scales are well sculpted to match my rounded scales on my tail without looking like they came off a scale sheet. The silicone is attached to a Mertailor’s bikini top that has had the side bands removed. The silicone side bands are reinforced with power mesh and connected in the back with a swimsuit clasp.

The paint job matches my Spellbound tail. The color is slightly darker pink than my tail but this was done on purpose. Eric said he was worried about the top being too close to my skin tone and wanted it to stand out a bit. It has 2 gorgeous black stars (one on each side) and some stripes on the back. It is speckled and detailed exactly the same as my tail.

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I love how it matches and compliments my tail!

I’ve worn it in a pool, in the Florida Springs, on the beach and on a float at a dry event. It has gotten dirty, sandy, and sweaty. It has cleaned up fresh and new easily with a bit of soap and water.

As I was taking photos of the top I noticed that the power mesh near the clasp is pulling away from the silicone. It just needs a little silicone reinforcement. I’m finding that although silicone is a fun mermaid material, it does tear and pull away from itself with use. I’m getting more and more comfortable with small repairs like this.

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Oops.

Comfort/Fit:

The size is custom made to my measurements and it fits perfectly. This is my most comfortable silicone mermaid top. I am a bit concerned that there isn’t any way to adjust it if needed (as in: if I gain or loose weight). I haven’t had to worry about that yet and will cross that bridge later, if needed.

Since the cups are made with Mertailor’s bikini cups it does have a push-up quality that gives “The Girls” amazing cleavage. Eric did make a comment that some mermaids have been surprised at how enhancing the tops can be.

It is a strapless top but there are loops in the front that will allow for a halter strap to be added. The first time I swam with the top I didn’t have a strap and it flips down as I propel myself forward. Now I have a black, a nude, and a pearl halter strap to use with it. If I wear the halter strap, it keeps the top in place while I swim. If I’m not swimming the top fits fine strapless.

I may add permanent fishnet straps to both add a bit of extra coverage and to keep the top in place. It would be easy to do with a bit of silpoxy. But I also enjoy it being strapless so I’m still undecided.

Pros:

  • This is probably the best deal cost wise for a really well made quality Silicone Top on the market.
  • It gives me AMAZING cleavage
  • Nice paint job that matches my tail. I love the matching stars.
  • It fits me perfectly. It’s the exact measurement I gave for the top.

Cons:

  • Maybe too much push up & cleavage (maybe?)
  • It did not come with straps (there are hooks to attach a strap, though)
  • If I do not wear straps the top flips down while swimming
  • There is no way to make adjustments, if needed, around the rib cage

Lessons learned:

  • Silicone tops can sometimes be what makes the wait time for a tail seem endless. Tops are just as difficult to make and paint as silicone tails are.
  • I LOVE & highly recommend Mertailor’s silicone tops as well crafted & affordable. I want another one only with a black base.
  • I’m not sure if Mertailor is still making this smooth rounded Scale style top but he does have a new scale pattern top that looks just as nice.
  • Update: As of 5/11/2018 Mertailor discontinued this mold and no longer makes this style top. He has a new silicone version for sale on his website for $265 (with shipping & tax its around $300…I just ordered one. He must have realized he was under pricing them. I’ll do a review when I’ve had it for awhile.)

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Mermaid Aerial Princess Mermaid Top Reviews

For those of you who follow my blog for the aerial equipment info…I’m taking a bit of a side track and highjacking my blog for my Mermaid fans. I’ve developed a bit of a Mermaid Top collection (it’s really an obsession, at this point). I have tops from several big Mermaid brands (& some from lesser known designers). They range quite a bit in price and quality. In my reviews I’ll give insight into some of things I wish I knew before I purchased them.

Please click the links below to read my reviews:

#1 MerNation Silicone Scale Top

#2 Merthology Creations Silicone Seaweed Top

#3 Merthology Creations Silicone Shell Top

#4 Sirenalia Silicone Starfish Top

#5 Mertailor Silicone Scale Top

In progress:

#6 Marine Magic Silicone Stingray Top – started

#7 Merbella Studios Silicone Ariel Top -started

#8 DIY Real Lions Paw and Rhinestone Tops – started

#9 Mermaid Kariel Top of Art Silicone Scale Top – started

#10 FinFolk Silicone Mythic Top

Mermaid Top Review 4: Sirenalia Silicone Starfish Top

Top #4 Sirenalia Silicone Starfish

Custom made to color request.

Base color: Gold.

Size: Medium.

Price:

$125.00 + $20 shipping = Total $145.00. Plus new bikini top $154.99

Production Time:

  • Purchased 4/20/17
  • Shipped 5/11/17
  • Delivered in Tampa, FL USA 5/15/17

Customer Service:

Initially I sent Sirenalia a FB message asking how to order a starfish top to match my tail & added a photo of the front part of my MerNation Silicone Tail. Then I found her Etsy Store. I placed my order on Etsy for the Silicone Starfish top on Etsy.

They advertised “any color.” I choose the base color as Gold and then wrote another note on Etsy to clarify the colors. I asked for a gold/light yellow & light pink (like ballet pink) to match my tail and let her know I sent a FB Message also. I also requested glitter.

In my note I also asked that the starfish be placed a bit closer together than her previous ones because it didn’t look like those would fit me quite right.

She messaged back a few days later on FB that she’d communicate with me on Etsy.

These are some of the Instagram posts Sirenalia made with my top:

Instagram post on May 4, 2017 of the silicone starfish with glitter

Instagram post on May 11, 2017 of just gold (I’m not sure if these are actually mine or just a similar color.)

Instagram post on June 16, 2017

Sirenalia sent me a note on Etsy the day they shipped in saying “Sorry it took so long….” and asked me to send pictures of me in the top. I guess they usually get them out a bit faster than 3-weeks. I thought it was a very easy process.

Quality/Durability:

It came with the silicone starfish attached to brown netting and a thin nude bralette. The silicone starfish have gorgeous realistic details and the paint job is beautiful. There is a light sparkle of glitter on them. The silicone is very thin around the edges and the entire starfish is soft and pliable.

The bralette is not my favorite. It is thin and seems like it stretches out of shape very easily. The straps are very narrow and dug into my shoulders.

The netting is nice. It seems sturdy and strong but I did have a some challenges keeping it tied at first.

Fit/Comfort:

The original top has a thin bralette with a brown fishnet under the silicone starfish. I ordered the Medium and even though it fit the starfish are a bit heavy for it and they pulled the fabric down in the front so I felt it made my boobs look saggy. I think I just needed a bit more support than the bralette offered.

This top would probably work better for small chested/small framed mermaids. I never really felt comfortable in it…as is. I also had a hard time keeping the fish netting tied (I even tried to safety pin it and put some extra stitches on it but nothing worked perfectly).

Finally, after having it for over 6 months and not feeling comfortable enough to wear it in public (I only wore it a few times in my pool & around my Fiancé), I realized I needed to revamp it so I could wear it. I mean…those little starfish are gorgeous and I wanted to show them off!

I had already successfully attached the Merthology Creations Silicone Shells to a bikini so I decided to do something similar with the Starfish.

Revamp:

I found another Bikini on Amazon that fit me well. (My Fiancé said the lace wasn’t very “mermaid-like” but it is covered by the netting and I really like it.)

Bikini purchased from Amazon: Xhileration $9.99

First, I cut the sutures that tied the netting down on the bralette. Then VERY carefully and gently peeled back the starfish from the bralette. The netting stayed attached to the silicone starfish. Some of it nicely and easily pulled away from the bralette but other parts I helped with a sharp scissors. Some of the starfish neat the edges are really thin so it was a slow process to make sure I didn’t damage it.

I kept the netting attached as is and used silicone adhesive to glue the starfish onto the bikini. Then I sewed down the netting to the bikini in a few places so it would hang correctly.

I recently wore it with my MerNation tail at Gilchrist Blue Springs (Central Florida). There were tons of families and kids everywhere. I received so many compliments on my top. Everyone loved it. It swam phenomenally and didn’t move. It’s definitely a top I’ll wear a lot more often now.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous paint job
  • A lot of details in the starfish
  • Nice paint job that matches my tail
  • Unique top that gets many compliments

Cons:

  • Not very supportive
  • I had to revamp it and attach it to my own bikini to make it useable
  • I feel it’s high priced for what I got out of it.

Lessons learned:

  • Not to expect a “one size fits all” to actually fit and look good on me.
  • That I can craft and use something I felt self conscious in and make it into the perfect top for me with a bit of confidence (it was scary taking the starfish off the bralette) and ingenuity.

Mermaid Top Review 3: Merthology Creations Silicone Seashell Top

Top #3 Merthology Creations Silicone Seashells

Custom made to color request. One size fits all.

Price:

$47.00 (+ $50 shipping UK to US, included with a 2nd top) /UK dollars £38 = Total plus bikini top $80.79 (plus shipping)

Production Time:

  • First message 5/20/17
  • Ordered & payment sent 6/12/17
  • Production started 7/9/17
  • Shipped from the U.K. 8/3/17
  • Arrived in Tampa, FL USA 8/7/17

Customer Service:

When I contacted Merthology Creations about commissioning a silicone top she had several options. One option was for silicone shells connected with netting embellished with seaweed and little silicone starfish. All of our communication was over Facebook Messenger. I asked her to match the color of blue on my little seahorse on my tail for the seashells with the edges in cream/gold.

She sent me this picture before shipping. She had also warned me that they were not very supportive which I understood when I purchased them.

Quality/Durability:

The silicone shells are very well made but the seaweed that was attached did not stay on very well. Upon arrival one piece had already fell off. When I tried it on she was correct in that there was ZERO support.

I decided I needed to give them support so I found a bikini on Amazon to attach them too. I removed the netting from the back of the shells. Then I tried to use E6000 to attach them to the bikini….sadly this was my first lesson in “silicone ONLY adheres to silicone.” I then purchased some silicone adhesive and used a ziplock bag filled with water to weigh the shells to the bikini while the silicone dried. Then I attached the little silicone starfish to one strap.

Bikini top purchased from Amazon: Kenneth Cole $33.79

I wore this top at one of the first mermaid meet ups I went to at Ginnie Springs, FL. It fit great but the seaweed kept rubbing on me and it was uncomfortable. A few more seaweed pieces fell off so I ended up just removing all of them. They were just attached with a little bit of clear silicone adhesive so they came off very easily. I find that I really like the simplicity of just the shells and tiny starfish.

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After I removed the seaweed and was trying out the Mertailor Fantasea Fin and Skin.

Fit/Comfort:

The shells alone are very uncomfortable with no cups to support “the girls” (which Sam told me about). The back of the shells are a nice smooth silicone that felt nice against my skin. However, the seaweed was irritating around my armpits.

Now that I have them attached to a bikini top that fits me and removed the seaweed, it is one of the most comfortable tops I own. It is great for laid back swimming and enjoying myself in my tail. I like having an option for a casual mermaid top that is still 100% mermaidy. It seems like it will hold up for a very long time. The shells haven’t lost any color or gotten any scratches. I love how it folds in half making it very easy to store and carry.

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This top works great for layering. I’m wearing the blue shells under this see-through top and it works great.

Pros:

  • Well made silicone shells
  • Nice paint job that matches my tail
  • Silicone is thick and very durable.
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Not supportive
  • Had to attach it to my own bikini
  • The seaweed was uncomfortable and did not stay attached

Lessons learned:

  • I took a risk and ordered a top from someone who didn’t sell through a website and it worked out really well.
  • I would defiantly order from Merthology Creations again. The price for what I received was spot on. If I bought this again I would just purchase the pieces…just the silicone shells and/or the small silicone starfish.
  • Shipping from UK To US can be expensive but for the right price of the goods it can be worthwhile.
  • That silicone only adheres to silicone so don’t use E6000 on it.
  • Even if something isn’t perfect for you at first there are many ways to make it work for you. Get creative!

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Mermaid Top Review 2: Merthology Creations Seaweed Silicone Top

Top #2 Merthology Creations Seaweed Silicone Top

Custom made to size and color request.

Price:

$180.00 + $50 shipping UK to US, included with a 2nd top. (UK dollars £145) = Total $230

Production Time:

  • First message 5/20/17
  • Ordered & payment sent 6/12/17
  • Production started 7/9/17
  • Shipped from the U.K. 8/3/17
  • Arrived in Tampa, FL USA 8/7/17

Customer Service:

I saw some pictures of a top on Facebook that I really liked. I thought they would make a great addition to my top collection.

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Photo from Merthology Creations

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Photo from Merthology Creations.

I found Merthology Creations on Facebook and FB messaged her about prices and ideas. We FB messaged for a few days about 2 different styles she offered (I decided to get both). All our communication was done on FB messenger. I was worried about the European sizing compared to the US sizing and she calmed my fears by telling me she coverts it for the proper fit.

She kept me in the loop about everything. She double checked what colors I wanted and sent pictures of both tops before they were shipped. It was one of the best custom ordering processes I’ve had.

https://www.facebook.com/merthologycreations/

Quality/Durability:

It is built onto an underwire bra base. It looks like she uses pieces of silicone seaweed to build the top. The cups are molded using the bra but she cuts the edges of the bra down to make it look perfect with the silicone. The painting has several shades of green giving it nice dimension. My favorite is the two pearls above the pink/cream silicone seashell. I think it gives the top a final bit of

It it a robust top that hold its shape really well. The halter strap attaches with Velcro and over time this may be the first thing to wear.

Fit/Comfort:

This top is full coverage and VERY comfortable. I love wearing it. The sides are very wide and cover extra “side boob.” The bra is lightly padded but does not have any “push up” padding. It is a supportive top.

The halter strap is also wide and connects with Velcro. This has made for wonderful land/dry gigs because I can adjust the strap for my comfort. I tend to get neck pain with a lot of halter strap tops or swimsuits. It was also OK for the few times I was swimming/floating around my little pool. But as soon as I took it in bigger open water and really swam around in it, the Velcro did NOT hold. Suddenly I was holding to top up with one hand and treading water with the other….I think the can be easily fixed by sewing a hook to the halter.

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First swim.

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Reaching to hold the straps after the Velcro came undone.

These photos show one of my first long underwater swims with the top. The first is me swimming and the next is me reaching up to hold the top together after the Velcro came undone. LOL.

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Has great support and good coverage
  • Silicone is thick and very durable.
  • The straps on the side do an awesome job covering any extra “side boob” *this is probably my favorite thing about this top.
  • The top is unique and I don’t find a lot of other US mermaids with a similar top

Cons:

  • Velcro on the halter comes undone when swimming. (I have very large shoulder muscles). I need to figure out how to attach a good hook to the halter.

Lessons learned:

  • I took a risk and ordered a top from someone who didn’t sell through a website and it worked out really well. But I was prepared for it to have not worked out & me being out the money. (I had a really good feeling about Merthology Creations & I just went with it.)
  • Shipping from UK To US can be expensive but for the right price of the goods it can be worthwhile.

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Mermaid Top Review Series: MerNation Silicone Scale top

 

For those of you who follow my blog for the aerial equipment info…I’m taking a bit of a side track and highjacking my blog for my Mermaid fans. I’ve developed a bit of a Mermaid Top collection (it’s really an obsession, at this point). I have tops from several big Mermaid brands (& some from lesser known designers). They range quite a bit in price and quality. In my reviews I’ll give insight into some of things I wish I knew before I purchased them.

Top #1 MerNation Silicone Scale Top

Custom made to match my full silicone MerNation mermaid tail.

This was my first silicone mermaid top. It was purchased from MerNation at the time I ordered a full silicone mermaid tail (2017). It has a an “add on” feature of a light gold decorative filigree on the top and on the straps. It also has a glitter top coat.

Price:

Starts at $275 (pricing as of Mar 2018). I actually can’t remember what I paid for this top as it was included in my total Tail price.

(I also ordered a silicone waist/gap wrap…which was the BEST mermaid purchase I’ve made so far. Ask me why & maybe I’ll do a review on it too.)

Production Time:

  • First meeting/placed order 3/6/17
  • Paid 3/11/17
  • Update from MerNation with photo of painting 4/3/17
  • Complete & picked it up 4/6/17

Customer Service:

When I was at MerNation’s business to get measured for my tail, Erin gave me several plain bra tops to try on. I believe they were a few different brands (I know one was a Victoria’s Secret). I vaguely remember picking one but saying I needed at 36 (not a 34) for the chest size. I can’t remember if this was written down or not.

MerNation kept me posted every part of the way with text messages and pictures. This is a photo Erin sent to show where they were at after they finished painting but before they attached the filigree.

Quality/Durability:

The top is built with a plain bra top as the base. The silicone is thick and sturdy. The scales match my silicone tail exactly. They are about the same thickness as my tail. The filigree is thick and attached very strong.

The one place that may eventually have issues are the straps. They are more stretchy than the rest of the top therefore may wear out faster. So far I have had no quality issues with them at the one year mark.

I like this top mostly for my more “professional” gigs as it’s one of my more expensive tops. I want to keep it in the best shape possible. I’ve wore it for several underwater photoshoots but just once at a pool party and once at a Mermaid Florida Springs meet up.

 

Fit/Comfort:

I’m usually a 36/38 B. The cup shape is amazing and it gives me a perfect amount of cleavage without the risk of “spilling out.” It is slightly padded & a bit of a push-up. I feel like it gives me adequate coverage for it to be one of my more conservative tops. I’m very comfortable doing underwater acrobatics with it without being afraid of inadvertently flashing anyone.

It is VERY tight on me & it takes a few minutes for me to put it on without help. (Silicone sticks so clasping it in the front and sliding it around the body can be a humorous dilemma.) I did purchase a bra extender to make it fit better and now (although still tight) is just snug and not constricting. I still don’t want to wear this top for long periods of time because it doesn’t fit me just right. (Maybe if I loose some weight it will fit better…actually I’m sure it would…)

When my hair has been down, it has gotten tangled in the straps . It made for some awkward underwater modeling experiences. The photographer said he couldn’t tell but for me it felt really weird. I ended up taking the straps off to finish the shoot. Then in more recent events wearing the top, I’ve pulled my hair back and not had any issues.

First time wearing it and couldn’t get it hooked correctly because it was too tight.

Pros:

  • Matches my MerNation tail perfectly
  • Colors are amazing
  • Superb, unique artistic workmanship
  • High quality, thick silicone
  • Very professional looking

Cons:

  • It’s too tight. I had to put a bra extender on it. It can get uncomfortable (because it’s tight) after wearing it for a long time.
  • Long hair sometimes gets tangled and stuck to the silicone filigree on the straps.
  • The flaps in the back look sort of odd. I’d like to figure out how to tack them down in place.

Lessons learned:

Silicone once attached to a bra does not have much stretch. If you are a 36B and wear the bra on the last hook and it’s at its maximum stretch….the silicone top will be VERY tight.

Bra extensions are your best friend. They are cheap (you can get them off Amazon). They come in several colors and can give added inches in comfortability.

* The last 4 photos are of the top after I have had it for over a year.

DYI Mermaid Tail Stands

DIY Instructions:
Mermaid Tail Stand

* This is what worked for me. I do not know how it will work with your tail as they are all different. Measure and make your own changes as needed. So far my tails have been fine on the stand but I do not know how they will hold if displayed long term. For now I am using these stands to dry my silicone/silicone hybrid tails after swimming in them.

Made out of wood and steel.


Measuring:

Step 1: Measure for the height of the stand. I measured from the foot pockets to the waist of my tails. Mine were around 4 feet. Initially I thought we could use a 3 foot (36″) piece (with the fork on top of that) but I forgot to factor in space needed to allow for air flow or a fan under the tail. So for me the 4 foot (48″) pipe worked best for me. To make it taller you could go to a 5 foot pipe but it will make the stand less stable.

Step 2: Measure the length of the foot pockets. Mine are about 9-10″ long. So the fork needed to be around that size. Initially I was trying for about a 12″ fork. But these are my final numbers that work are: Stand 1’s fork is 10″ & Stand 2’s fork is 9″ without padding.

Step 3: Measure the width of the foot pockets. Mertailor tail is wider at 9″ and MerNation tail is a lot more narrow at 6.5″. This made me have to have 2 different size forks (you can probably find a universal size that will work for several tails wanted 2 stands).


Tools:

  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • Pipe wrench (you don’t really need this but it is helpful if you really have to screw the fork tight to make it fit in your foot pockets or to un-screw the pipe if you make it too tight)
  • Cleaner/Acetone to remove pipe grease
  • Painting supplies: foam brush, paint brush, gloves, drop cloth, etc.
  • Wood stain & polyurethane sealant
  • Clear coat spray paint

Tools


Parts:

All the parts were purchased at Home Depot (Tampa, FL Jan 2018).

First Stand:
made for my Mertailor Spellbound Tail
(34 lbs, heavy fluke)

Since this tail is a bit heavier and more heavy in the fluke area with wider foot pockets I decided to go a bit beefier. I went with 3/4″ pipe and regular elbow pipes. I up-sized the floor flange to a 1″ because it has a wider footprint and it will be more stable on the base.

Pieces:

  • 1 Pine round 1″ x 23 3/4″ $10.35
  • 1 Galvanized steel pipe 3/4″ 48″ $16.38
  • 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ x close nipple $1.68 each / $3.36
  • 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ x 8″ nipple $5.33 each / $10.66
  • 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ elbow $2.94 each / $5.88
  • 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ cap $2.97 each / $5.94
  • 1 Galvanized steel 3/4 Tee $3.70
  • 1 Galvanized steel 1″ to 3/4″ Bushing $4.26
  • 1 Galvanized steel 1″ Floor Flange $13.20
  • Zinc sheet metal screws 14×1 (4 pack) $1.18

Total cost: $74.91 plus tax

Second Stand:
made for my MerNation Signature full silicone tail
(25 lbs, heavy body)

This tail is very narrow at the foot pockets. I had to downsize to 1/2″ pipe & use the “street” elbows that screw directly into the Tee. I couldn’t find a up-sizing (bushing) piece to go from 1/2″ to 1″. The 1/2″ Flange seemed very small to me but I compromised by using the 3/4″ Flange. It seems to be stable enough to hold up the lighter tail. I also couldn’t put metal caps on the top of the stand (they got caught on the silicone & didn’t fit very nice) so I used some plastic caps that were on the long pipe at Home Depot as a cap to keep the edges of the metal pipe from digging into the silicone while sliding the tail on the stand. Later I put padding over them.

Pieces:

  • 1 Pine round 1″ x 23 3/4″ $10.35
  • 1 Galvanized steel pipe 1/2″ 48″ $12.98
  • 2 Galvanized steel 1/2″ x 8″ nipple $4.26 each / $8.52
  • 2 Galvanized steel 1/2″ elbow “90deg street” $2.94 each / $5.88
  • 1 Galvanized steel 1/2″ Tee $2.94
  • 1 Galvanized steel 1″ to 3/4″ Bushing $3.18
  • 1 Galvanized steel 3/4″ Floor Flange $8.42
  • Zinc sheet metal screws 14×1 (4 pack) $1.18
  • Keep the 2 little red plastic caps that sometimes come on the pipe. (This will help protect the edges of the top of the fork they are free)
  • Something for padding (I used old socks) & tape (I used athletic tape)

Total cost: $53.75


Assembly:

Step 1: Screw the pieces together. See diagrams below.

Step 2: Measure the forks to make sure they will fit in the foot pockets. At this point I folded my tails down and carefully slid the forks into the tails to see if it fit. I needed to screw the elbows into the Tee on the First Stand a lot more than I thought I would. This was difficult and took a lot of muscle. (Just be prepared to put some elbow grease and leverage into it. My Fiancé brought me his pipe wrench to help.)

Step 3: Find the center of the wood base (use your measuring tape). Screw the Flange into the wood base using a drill. Screw the Bushing into the Flange.

Note: Now you have 2 pieces: the fork (It kinda looks like a Triton) & the base. You can store it separately like this when not in use.

Step 4: Screw the fork into the base.

Step 5: Add padding to the top of the fork.

I only did this on the Second stand (for my MerNation tail). I thought the 3/4″ caps on the First stand had a nice round surface area that wouldn’t dig into the foot pockets too much (if needed I’ll add padding later). I used 2 old socks and rolled them up so there were several layers covering the top of the stand. Then wrapped them with athletic tape.

NOTE: If you are going to seal the steal pipe with Rust-Oleum, add the padding after the paint is dry.

There are many different options for padding and I’m curious to see what you guys decide to use. My way isn’t likely to be permanent and I’ll probably have to redo it whenever the socks or tape come off.


Finishing:

The wood and steel need to be sealed (especially since water may be dripping from your tail as it dries). The wood may warp or do weird things. Eventually, the steel pipe will rust (it will take many many years…but eventually it will happen).

Step one: Stain wood and seal with polyurethane. Or paint with a water resilient paint.

Optional Step two: Clean the steel with Acetone to remove the grease from the pipes. Seal with a clear coat of paint. I used Rust-Oleum Clear Spray Paint. I didn’t want to use a colored paint because I was worried it would transfer onto my tails.


Final product:


Final thoughts:

When I put my tails onto the stands, I roll/fold them down so I can see the foot pockets. Then I lift (or attempt to lift) them onto the stand. Or you can keep the tail on a table with it folded over and lean the stand into the tail. Once you see the fork is in the foot pockets than lift the tail and stand upright. Be very careful with your tails so you’re not allowing the stand to poke into the silicone bodies and potentially making holes or weak points.

Note: My MerNation tail had been dry for almost a week (or so I thought)…Then when I put it onto the stand for the first time there was hidden water that had dripped from it. I realized how much I needed a new way to dry my tails. I hope these will help. This is also why you should seal the wood base…to protect from water damage.

There are concerns about monofins cracking or the weight of the silicone body pulling away from the fluke. Remember that each tail is made differently. They are connected differently. They weigh differently. I do not recommend leaving your tail hanging unobserved for too long. Please check for possible damage. I do not know how your tail will react with the long term use on the tail stand.

I would like to hear the good and bad experiences that you’ve had with tail stands. Please leave me a comment.


There are also several options to making tail stands. The above just what I have done. I didn’t come up with the idea on my own. I got the idea from a Pod member who posted a picture of an already made stand. Then I asked my Fiancé to help me make one. These are some of the pictures I used for reference. *Please let me know if these are your designs or pics and I will give you credit (or remove the photos, if you request). A lot of the popular tail stands are made with PVC and maybe a good and less expensive option for you.


Side note: I also attempted to hang my tail on the wall using guitar hooks. It worked well for about 3 months then one day as the tail shifted one of the hooks pulled out of the wall. The tail fell and one of the heel fins tore. Sooo, I decided that wasn’t the best option for me to dry or store my tails.

If you have a tail stand or you build a stand like mine, please send me a photo and/or post on Instagram and tag me (my IG mermaid site is MermaidAerialPrincess). I’d love to see how everyone else is doing it.