How to Make Fondant Mermaid Tail Decorations

I’m all about the mermaids. I even had a mermaid wedding dress and an ocean themed cake to end all cakes! For my birthday this year, I designed an ocean themed mermaid cake and decided to try my hand at making my own ocean themed decorations. Mermaid tails are crazy popular right now, and rightfully so! With the right molds, paints, and glitter, you can make incredibly colorful and sparkly mermaid tails to make your cake pop.

Hand painted mermaid tails


  • Easy to make
  • Fully customizable mermaid tails
  • Can be painted or airbrushed


Most crafts stores such as Michaels, JOANN, and Hobby Lobby have everything you need to get started. You can also find molds on Etsy and Amazon. The most popular mermaid tail mold is the ScivoKaval-Silicone-Decoration, which can also be used to make chocolates, gum paste decorations, and soaps. This is the one I am using.


To color my mermaid tails, I used DecoPac Premium Gel Food Color. This is my favorite food coloring to use because it is highly concentrated and mixes well with nearly any icing. Mix a drop of food color with 1/2 teaspoon of vodka or lemon juice. The luster dust used is from Wilton.

These fondant decorations do take some time to prep. I suggest making them at least two days in advanced so that they have time to dry and set. They will not stay on a cake if they do not set. I made these decorations two days in advanced, and gave them plenty of time to dry.


Vanilla Cake

Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Buttercream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Mermaid Tail Pull-A-Part Cupcakes

Cakes of Interest: Dolphin Sheet Cake

Cakes of Interest: Neon Sea Shell Cupcakes

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  • Plain Fondant
  • Gel Food Coloring
  • Edible Luster Dust
  • Vodka or Lemon Juice
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting


Silicone mermaid tail mold

Bench scraper or knife

Wooden toothpicks

Paint brush


48 Hours


Create the mermaid tails

  • Very lightly dust the mold with powdered sugar. After you do this once, you don’t have to dust much again. Rub a light amount of powdered sugar on your hands to help keep the fondant from sticking to your hands. If you don’t like the fondant on your bare hands, you can also work with latex gloves.
  • Press the fondant into the mold, being sure to fill each and every crevice.
  • Use a bench scraper or knife to scrape off excess fondant from the top of the mold.
  • Gently release the mermaid tail from the mold. It should come out easily. Be sure to support the joint between the tail and the body since it’s the most delicate part of the decoration.
  • Stick a toothpick into the bottom of the tail. This will make it easier for the mermaid tail to be placed onto a cake or cupcake.
  • Place the finished mermaid tail onto a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper and allow the decoration to dry for 24 hours.

Paint the mermaid tails

  • In small mixing bowls, mix 1 tsp of vodka with 1 drop of food coloring.
  • Using a paintbrush, paint the mermaid tails in any color you like. I created a water-color multi-tone effect by blending sky blue, royal blue, teal, violet, and pink.
  • Be sure to allow the food coloring to dry completely; this may take at least 8 hours. Be careful not to disturb the tails. This can weaken the fondant structure.
  • If you are using luster dust, mix 1/4 tsp of luster dust with 1/2 tsp vodka. Paint a layer of luster dust over the colored parts of the mermaid tail only after they have dried completely.
  • Alternatively, you can airbrush the mermaid tails and add pearl shimmer.


Stick your finished mermaid tails onto cakes or cupcakes!

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