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Hello everyone, I found this tutorial online which was done by Torte di Ivana, this is one of the best tutorials I have found online.  Enjoy! 

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First, let’s begin by shaping the head and facial features:

 1- Take a piece of fondant, or gumpaste (whatever material you are using, also please remember that you can use cold porcelain to do this toppers), and form the eye socket and nose as shown.

2- Using a color shaper (a color shaper is a painter’s brush but with the tip made out of silicon, usually is used for clay art) draw the shape of the lips.  Take a modeling knife and slip the shape of the mouth.

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3- Continue by pushing the bottom part of the mouth to give it expression.  You can soften the lips by using a vining tool and forming the bottom lip and softening the upper lip. 

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Let’s work on the eyes:

4- Take a small ball tool and make an indentation where the eyes will be (forming the eye sockets).  Take two tiny balls of gumpaste or fondant and insert into the indentation previously made (eye sockets).   Continue by cutting an oval shape gumpaste or fondant piece to glue to the back of the head to give it a more round shape. 

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5- Glue the previous piece of gumpaste or fondant and glue it to the  upper back part of the head.   Let it dry a bit.  Once the head is dry, is easier to manage and better for the painting of the facial features such as eyes.   Take a light blue (or your color choice) to pain the eyes, take a fine tip painting brush (usually is 0 size or smaller, which can be found at arts stores and even Michaels) and paint half of the eyes (remember you can always change the direction where the mermaid will be looking at, for sake of this tutorial I am providing details on how this particular mermaid was done) leaving a bit less than half of the eye ball in white.  Now take black pain and do the a 3/4 circle outline for each of the eyes, then  shade the eye lashes as depicted in the photo below.

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6- Now continue by outlining very lightly the blue circle inside the eye, putting a black dot in the center of the blue circle.  Pain the lips in a neutral color, and dust the cheeks with color to give it a more girly appearance.

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Now let’s move on to the body (Arms, Torso, Fin, and Tail)

7- Roll out a piece of gumpaste or fondant into a elongated cylinder.  Make a indentation for the hand and cut with an exacto knife the thumb, them make smaller cuts to form the rest of the fingers, set aside for now, you will be inserting a toothpick into the right arm only, since it will be in an extending position.  Make sure you do this before it is completely dry.  Start rolling a piece of gumpaste or fondant in the shape of a cone to form the torso, make sure you tapper the upper part to form the neck, finally do small hole to form the belly button.  Now take a piece of gumpaste or fondant in orange color and form a cone shape, take a pipping tip and starting from the bottom up, indent half circles to form the scales on the tail. 

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Now we move to the fin and Shell (where the mermaid will be sitting on)

8-  Roll a piece of gumpaste or fondant and cut an upside-down  heart shape, with a veining tool draw lines to form the pleats on the fin.   Now take a round cutter with round borders and cut out a piece of gumpaste or fondant, take your knife or exacto knife an cut the right and left side of the circle as show in the picture to form a shell.  

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9-  After forming the shell, take your ball tool and ruffle the edges on a foam by dragging the ball tool from top to bottom center to cup it a bit.  Set it to dry on a shape former, or on pieces of foil, so it can keep its shape. 

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 Now we start assembling the body 

10-  Glue the torso to the tail, bend the tail to give it a sitting position and set on a foam, insert a small piece of skewer through the torso and tail.  Take a gumpaste or fondant circle and cut out 2 pieces in the shape of half moon to form the skirt where the torso and tail meet.  Let it dry for a few minutes before continuing (about 5 minutes).

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11-  Take one right arm (after inserting the toothpick into it) and insert it into the torse (be careful not to insert the toothpick all the way through the torso, cut the toothpick or make sure that when you insert it, the tip of the toothpick goes [down] towards the direction of the tail and not across).  Now take the other arm and glue it to the left hand side, making sure that it is  resting on its side.  Continue by taking a hear plunger cutter and make 2 small hearts which will be glued to the chest area to form her little bra. 

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12-   After attaching the little bra, you are ready to insert the head into the skewer coming out of the neck.  Roll 2 tiny balls of gumpaste or fondant and form the ears.  Glue the ears to the head.  To form the hair, take a few pieces (in aqua color in this case) of gumpaste or fondant and form elongated cones, take the veining tool and draw lines into them to form the hair lines, make sure you give movement to each piece to make it look more like natural hair.  

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Final Step

13-  Star gluing the hair pieces to the head and repeat it until you have the desired amount of hair into it.  Cut our 2 small star shaped pieces of gumpaste or fondant and glue to the sides of the head to make it look like hair clips.  Roll out 2 small balls of gumpaste or fondant to form 2 small perlas which will be her hearings, glue same to the hears or in this case to the hair in the ear area.   Add a small ball of gumpaste or fondant (this will become dusted with pearl dust to make it look like a pearl)  and glue it to her right hand.   Take a piece of gumpaste or fondant form a big upside-down cone with a veining tool draw lines around it to make it look like rooms, embellish it with seaweed, algae, corals, etc., glue the shell to it to form the seat where our mermaid will be sitting.  Finally, glue our sitting mermaid into of the shell and dust the whole lightly with a shimmer dust to give it a little of sparkle.  Now you can enjoy this beautiful topper. 

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Thank you for visiting.  A special thank you goes to Torte Di Ivana for this wonderful tutorial.  I hope you enjoyed it.

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