Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Make an Amabie Amulet

In this activity, we’ll create an Amabie Amulet that you can hang on a doorknob or from your backpack.


The uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the resurgence of a mid-19th century Japanese legend about a mermaid-like yokai, or supernatural creature, named Amabie. Amabie emerged from the sea with a scaly body, three legs, long hair, and bird’s face, and she is said to have the power to predict harvests and cure those who fall ill to spreading disease.

Read more about Amabie in the news here or here. Search #amabie on Twitter or Instagram to see the many versions of Amabie that people around the world have created.

In this activity, we’ll create an Amabie amulet (charm) that you can hang on a doorknob or from your backpack.


Index card
Hole punch
Pencils for coloring
Yarn, ribbon, or string of your choice
Optional: decorative paper like origami or wrapping paper
Optional: Glitter pens or glitter glue, yellow highlighter


  1. Start with an index card of any size. Trim it down so it matches the shape above.

  2. Start to draw Amabie on your index card. Begin with her face, making sure to include her beak.

  3. Add long hair that falls down to where you think her feet should be. You can use 3 upside-down “w” shapes for her feet.

  4. Add rows of “scales” for her body. Ears can be made with 2 sideways “w’s.”

  5. Color in your Amabie with the coloring pencils, using whatever colors you wish.

  6. Optional: Cut shapes from printed paper to decorate your drawing.

  7. Trim your index card so that it is the size/shape you like, then punch a hole near the top of the card. Add a piece of yarn, string, or ribbon to hang your amulet. You may also decorate it further with glitter or highlight markers.

  8. Tie your Amabie amulet on a doorknob, a window latch, a backpack zipper—wherever she can brighten your day!