DIY Birthday: Mermaid Penguin

Kids, Party

Mermaid Penguin theme? No problem (wipes sweat from forehead). Check out our DIY birthday mermaid penguin party games, favors, and decor.

Girl in mermaid print skirt holding pink penguin with mermaid tail

Thanks to one of her favorite movies, Penguins of Madagascar, my daughter chose Mermaid Penguins as her birthday theme. Usually, we DIY most of our birthday party goodies (even though we’ve had very small birthday parties so far, we go big on theme) and supplement with minimal store-purchased decor. After some internet research, I realized we were on our own with this very specific and unusual theme.

Pink stuffed penguin wearing DIY mermaid tail

Her birthday last year fell during the pandemic, so we delivered dessert, favors, and supplies to our guests’ homes before a small Zoom party. The kids enjoyed the goodies and activities longer than I expected.

My daughter didn’t disappoint with her next birthday theme – Sisu the dragon from Raya and the Last Dragon. Check out our Sisu-themed party.

Child drawing mermaid creatures for DIY birthday mermaid penguin party

Here are some of our favorites from the DIY birthday Mermaid Penguin party:

DIY Birthday Mermaid Penguin: Games

Pin the Mermaid Penguins (and Mermaid Cars) in the Ocean

Laminated mermaid penguin and mermaid cars for DIY birthday mermaid penguin theme


First, I drew simple Mermaid Penguin outlines and asked my daughter to color. We then laminated the colored Mermaid Penguins and cut them out. I drew an ocean scene which I taped to the wall with painter’s tape. My son’s love of Disney’s Cars did not go unrecognized – we made several Mermaid Cars as well. For these, I traced the Cars characters from a book and drew on the mermaid tail.

Child playing pin the mermaid penguin in the ocean game

Mermaid Tail Drawing Sheet

Mermaid tail drawing sheet

On a blank piece of paper, I drew mermaid tails minus the upper body and made loads of copies. Use this printable or freehand the tails.

Child drawing mermaid creatures using mermaid tail drawing sheet

The kiddos drew a top on each tail, creating a range of mermaid dinosaurs, mermaid trucks, regular mermaids, and various mermaid animals.

Birthday Brownies With Mermaid Penguin Toppers

Laminated mermaid penguins and mermaid cars as toppers for birthday brownies

Laminated Mermaid Penguins made for perfect birthday brownie toppers. For my Cars obsessed son, we made Mermaid Cars toppers (Mermaid McQueen and Mermaid Carla Veloso).

DIY Mermaid Animal Party Hats

DIY mermaid bear, mermaid zebra, mermaid penguin and mermaid cheetah party hats for DIY mermaid penguin party

Prior to the party, I asked each kid for their favorite animal. We then prepared a mermaid animal party hat for each guest.

Mermaid party hat

Conveniently, I found mermaid tail hats at Dollar Tree for the base, then covered the hats with construction paper and added details for each animal. With the frequent rotation at Dollar Tree, the mermaid hats may not be available. But the mermaid tail party hat is an easy DIY.


  • construction paper
  • ruler
  • pencil and markers
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape
Steps for making DIY mermaid penguin party hat

Mark the middle top of a piece of construction paper. Mark 6 1/2″ from the center point around in a semi-circle. Connect marks and cut out the semi-circle. Roll construction paper semi-circle into a cone. Trim overlap and glue leaving a small opening at the top. From another piece of construction paper (we used glitter paper), make a small mermaid tail to fit in the opening of the cone. Fold the paper and draw one side of the mermaid tail with the fold in the middle so the tail is symmetrical. Cut out the tail, fit into the cone opening and glue or tape inside the cone. Trace and cut simple shapes from colored construction paper to make facial features such as ears, nose or beak. Glue onto hat base.

Draw eyes and other details like spots or stripes. I asked my daughter to help cut, glue and draw, so these hats looked 100% homemade. Hats prepared by a careful adult turn out less messy. Use hair clips to hold hats in place.

DIY Birthday Penguin Mermaid Party Favor

Elastic Waisted Mermaid Tail

Achieving my daughter’s request for a stuffed Mermaid Penguin required some sewing, but nothing too complicated. I purchased adorable fluffy stuffed penguins, then sewed elastic waisted mermaid tails. These made fun party favors.

Steps for making mermaid tail for stuffed animal
Mermaid and dragon tails

For my non-mermaid loving son, I made a dragon tail for his penguin.

Scrunchie Mermaid Tail

For an easy alternative not requiring a sewing machine, use a scrunchie and felt. Felt is the perfect fabric as it doesn’t fray or unravel.


  • felt
  • scissors
  • scrunchie
  • sewing pins
  • needle and thread
Steps for making scrunchie mermaid tail for stuffed animals

Use this free printable or cut out a freehand mermaid fin shape from felt. The waist should be the same length as the stretched scrunchie. Mark 5 dots at the felt waist, about 1/4″ from the top. Stretch out the scrunchie and pin to the tail at each marked dot, through the elastic. Hand sew the felt tail to the scrunchie at each pin with at least four stitches. Make sure to sew through the elastic inside the scrunchie.

I’m excited (and nervous) to see what my daughter picks for her next birthday theme. Try out this DIY birthday Mermaid Penguin theme or use the concepts for whatever mixed-up theme your child creates.

DIY mermaid penguin theme birthday
Steps to make mermaid animal hat

This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support!