Coolest Little Mermaid Costume
My friend Alex and I wanted to be dressed as Ariel and Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid, but then I realized that Prince Eric’s would not have been very recognizable, and honestly, he lacked some personality. So my sister came up with the idea of Sebastian the crab; indeed, it would probably come out better. We were also convinced that the girl being the crab and the guy being the mermaid would be a lot funnier that vice versa.
Alex was already in love with a mermaid tail he had seen in a costume store, so he rented it, along with a wig. We bought fake eyelashes and nails, and we sparkled his face and chest with glitters and small colored gems. Unfortunately, we tried several techniques to glue seashells on his chest (glue, acrylic medium) but it would not hold and we ran out of time. Thus, Princess Ariel walked around topless (which was quite funny, after all!)
I wanted my crab to be entirely homemade though. I started off my costume by buying red kits of mittens, scarves and tuques at the Dollar store, as well as red felt, a burgundy plastic tablecloth, two white soap dishes, two pairs of red tights and a red felty cloth used to hide the base of a Christmas tree.
To make the mask, I unraveled the lining of the tuque to make it longer (and thinner, to ease the breathing). It took the flat halves of the soap dishes to make the eyes. I nailed two small holes in it, stretched the holes with scissors and cut the sharped edges with an exacto. Then, I glued a small piece of old photo negatives that I had on the inside part of the holes (so people could not see my eyes in the holes, but I could see them quite well).
I used the corrugated hold of a soap dish to make the teeth. The texture made the teeth look great! Then, I cut some mitten fingers to create Sebastian’s eyelids, cheekbones and lips. I hot glued everything together, without forgetting to cut holes in the tuque were the eyes were placed. Finally, I traced the face’s contours with a black Sharpy, to make it very cartoonish.
For the claws, I just cut 4 pieces of felt, making sure my hands would fit in, and then hot glued them together. I filled them a bit with socks, so they would not be flat.
My carapace was a bit tricky to make; Alex/Ariel helped me making it, especially when I had to try it on. We used an old backpack as a base. We covered it with chicken wire, and made a chicken wire piece for the front as well. We tied the two pieces together with the wire. Then, we hid the wire and the bag straps with the red Christmas material, but just on the front. Then, we hid the back part with the burgundy plastic tablecloth, so that the shell would be shiny and not the same colour as the rest of the crab. The important thing here is to make sure that you can get out of the costume by pulling it over your head, since it was all attached together. We also had to be careful with hiding the chicken wire, so I would not cut myself while putting the costume on.
On the bottom of the tummy, we let a thin and long piece of felt-covered chicken wire hanging. Then, when I wore the costume, we pulled it under my butt and attached it with a safety pin on my back, under ma carapace. It was like a big red diaper, but it felt very secure this way (especially since I was not going to wear pants).
Using a backpack as the base for the shell made it easier, but also more practical: We let a small opening available, hidden in the carapace, so we had room for our stuff (camera, money, cellphones, ID cards, eyelash glue and sparkles for touch-ups, etc) when we went out, without having to carry a bag around.
For the legs, I cut the remaining red scarves from Dollar store and hotglued them. I flipped them inside out to hide the glue, and we filled them with shredded paper from my dad’s office, that was going to garbage anyway. I pined them to the body with safety pins.
At last, I wore red tights on my legs and arms (cut for my thumb and fingers), small red shoes and a red t-shirt that I already had. I also brought some clothes in my backpack-carapace, so that when I would be tired and too hot for wearing the mask, I could stuff it with the clothes and wear it as a hat.
For the finishing touch, I sprayed on the whole costume the same sparkles that Alex/Ariel had on his/her body.
We obviously had a blast making and wearing those costumes! We had to walk 20 minutes to go to, and to come back from our party. I live downtown and it was a Friday night, so the streets were crowded and, when we were walking, people were laughing, calling us, taking pictures, whistling at us and even signing the Little Mermaid’s theme songs! We also won 1st and 2nd prizes at our party (we were not aloud to register to the contest as a couple)! But I think that the best part is when people were asking me where I had rented/bought my Little Mermaid costume.