Skip to Content

Merman Doll – A Boy Mermaid Softie for My Son

Sharing is caring!

A boy mermaid, better known as a merman, in doll form! I loved sewing this handmade toy for my son - sewing things for boys can be a little trickier but no less fun.

I grew up as an avid reader and loved legends and lore. Carrying around a yellow steno pad, I was always writing stories about unicorns, dragons, and girls with special powers. These days I spend more time reading magical stories to my kids than writing them but I still have a soft spot for make believe! I had so much fun making a merman doll softie as a part of the ‘For The Love of Legends’ tour put on by the ladies at Phat Quarters fabric shop & Crafting Con.

The tour celebrates all those mythical beasts and beings, with lots of cute clothes and softies. There are over 25 participating bloggers – links to all of their work are at the end of the post!

I had SUCH a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to make. Without any fabric that fit the theme, I decided to sew up a softie instead. I spent some time browsing the patterns that are out there – I was especially tempted by this beautiful Selkie Doll from SweaterDoll. I sketched out a centaur, a griffin, a dragon, and a sphinx but ended up going with a very simple merman.

I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for – floppy arms that were easy to hold on to, a blend of wool and cotton, embroidered details, and able to ‘sit’ as well as lay flat. So I drew the pattern up myself! It was a nice change to just sew, instead of photographing along the way, testing the pattern, formatting the instructions, etc. I haven’t decided if I will offer this as a pattern down the road – but I definitely want to make him some fun accessories.

Merman softie

I experimented with sewing a seam along the middle, for ease of bending/sitting, but it looked wonky. I just left a gap in the stuffing in that spot, and will redistribute with my fingers as needed. I like that the doll can “sit” in a chair instead of just laying flat on his back.

embroidered boy doll face

I didn’t initially set out to make a merman, but once I started sketching and thinking about making it look like my daughter vs. my son… I realized they looked about the same! She has just turned one and has pretty much the same hair as he does. They both have long eyelashes and smirky grins! But my son immediately claimed the “fishboy” (apparently we haven’t read enough mermaid/merman stories?) and decided the doll’s gender.

The face and arms are interfaced cotton, with a wool blend felt tail and hair. I embroidered the face and scales, they add a nice tactile element.

baby with handmade toy

I handed him over to my daughter, who instantly started poking at the tail and then at her feet, saying “Dat?”. Basically the cutest thing ever. She might be checking everyone’s feet from now on, seeing if they are hiding a tail!

toddler toy sewing

Off he went, over her shoulder, into her brother’s room. Typical.

Handmade merman doll

I really love how he turned out, especially for a first draft of a pattern. I am thinking he needs some accessories though – maybe a felt crown? A kelp vest? If you have any ideas I’d love to hear them!

A boy mermaid, better known as a merman, in doll form! I loved sewing this handmade toy for my son - sewing things for boys can be a little trickier but no less fun.

Be sure to keep reading and see more mythical handmades!

The Wholesome MamaSkirt FixationAmazing Adventures Of Bubba and BugBella Sunshine DesignsFrom-a-Box
Wild + WanderfulThe Fairy Dust BinGYCT Designs•The Kisses Co.•Call Ajaire
Handmade Boy•Mae & K•create3.5•Pear Berry Lane•Sewing Mama RaeAnna
The Inspired WrenRebel & Malice•Sew Starly•XO JessicaFalafel and the Bee
PenSeb&RoxKnot Sew NormalBeatnik KidsLulu & CelesteSwoodson SaysFriends Stitched Together


Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Barbara B Dantoni

Wednesday 30th of May 2018

I have lupus and RA plus fibermyalga so I can't sew my son is deaf and autistic and loves mermen and mermaids is there anyway I could get a Merman doll already done please I didn't find your site my son did

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 16th of July 2018

Hi Barbara, I'm sorry, I don't sell what I sew. There are several on Etsy that are ready to buy! Good luck!

Sherry bessonette

Sunday 27th of November 2016

I so need one of these for my 3 yr old grandson!!! He has been wanting a mermaid boy all year I have searched high and low to no avail!!! Plz tell me you sell them and I can have by Christmas!!!!!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 27th of November 2016

Hi Sherry! I am so sorry, but I do not sell them, I just sewed this one and my kids love on it! I did find a few on Etsy, did you check there? Here's an affiliate link to the search that pulled up a few :)

Thanks for reading! Stephanie


Thursday 24th of March 2016

Great idea! I love that you made a male version. Ariel's father, King Triton, must have started out as a "merboy."

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 28th of March 2016

Brilliant, of course he did! I need to rewatch that movie :)


Wednesday 23rd of March 2016

This is so so sweet!!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 28th of March 2016

Thanks Kelly!

Allison Dey Malacaria

Tuesday 22nd of March 2016

Fishboy! That's such a great description from your son. I can't wait to see what you add......seaweed of sea stars or coral? And thanks for linking to my Selkie pattern. Happy stitching!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 28th of March 2016

I LOVE the idea of a sea star crown, thank you! Happy to link, always, hope it brings you some new customers :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!