Ahoy mateys!! Look at this magical discovery that pirate Blackbeard stumble upon on his last voyage! This beautiful mythical creature (also known as my 4 yr old daughter, Sophie) was 100% handmade and created out of her want to become mermaid.
I thought the idea of just a mermaid was too plain and simple, so I decided to complicate things, (because that’s what I’m good at :-), and create a pirate to hold the treasure chest she’d “sit” on. Since this was my first time making a costume like this, it did take a lot of time trying to figure out the “how to’s”, but it was definitely well worth it! And with all the thrift and dollar store finds, it was fairly cheap to make, I’d say under $50. And here’s how I did it….
First I made the pirate. I started with small back pack and built him around that. I used a turtle neck filled with pillow stuffing, a hanger to shape his shoulders and a styrofoam wig holder for his head. I used a dowel and duck tape to secure everything stable and even. I got black pants and tan jacket from the thrift store. His hands were a black glove and plastic pirate hook I stuffed and sewed onto the jacket. His face mask had the hair already attached, so I pinned a hat and scarf on it. I pinned up the neck of the turtle neck to keep the styrofoam head base all covered and in place. And I covered the back pack straps in skin tone material to blend better against the mermaid.
Next was the treasure chest. It’s a small styrofoam cooler that I trimmed the bottom off to proportion it to her size. I glued on wood like scrapbook paper and leather straps and buckles from a thrift store belt. I painted the trim gold. Then the fun part, adding the treasure! I glued bead necklaces, gold coins, and gems, (all from the dollar store) all around the chest and spilling out. I even added a container to hold her candy.
For the Mermaid Halloween costume, I made the top out of a bandeau bra and foam paper. I cut the shell shapes out of the foam and glittered it up. Then sewed it onto the bandeau bra. I freehand cut the tail out of sparkly material, then sewed and stuffed it. I added a sequence elastic waist band that attached with velcro, just to hold it properly around her waist. Her fins are butterfly wings from the dollar store. I used the top half of the wings and sewed them into place. I found the wig at a thrift store and did sea colored makeup with glitter and gems.
Now to bring it all together…
Once her mermaid look was ready, I attached the treasure chest by cutting slits into the sides for a belt to go thru. The belt looped thru the chest and into her pants to hold it in place. Then we put on the back pack pirate. To attach his hands to chest, I used heavy duty velcro. And I also used velcro to attach the sides of his jacket to the bottom of the back pack straps to cover the “behind the scene” up a bit more. Last, I put her tail on and she was ready to go!
I took her to the mall for trick-or-treating and she was stopped every 5 steps for picture! Jaws dropped, stares, pointing….the reactions to the Mermaid Halloween costume were awesome! Some people couldn’t figure out how it was done. They thought the pirate was an actual person carrying her! One store was giving out hot cocoa and they were trying to give me 3….I laughed and said, “There’s just two of us!”
Our Little Mermaid Halloween Costume
My 3-year-old daughter is really into mermaids. Not the Little Mermaid specifically, but mermaids in general. She asked me to make her a Mermaid Halloween costume this year.
I looked online for Mermaid Halloween costume inspiration (this site included, of course) and borrowed ideas from here and there. My daughter went with me to shop for fabric and chose purple for the top and magenta for the tail. Making it simple enough for her to walk around in and warm enough were the first factors. Since I am a novice (but determined) seamstress, my technique is certainly lacking; I basically just wing it. But after a little trial-and-error, I got to what I was envisioning. My daughter loved it, and that’s the most important part.
For our weather, I had to find a longsleeve shirt close to my daughter’s flesh color. (She asked me: “Why can’t I just use my own skin?” Yeah, 50 degrees, that’s why.) You could also dye a white shirt to desired color. I also put a sweatshirt under the flesh colored shirt. We also had leggings to match the fabric of our tail.
For the top of her Mermaid Halloween costume, we chose a satiny purple fabric. I measured how wide (top to bottom) I wanted it to cover on her chest (about 4 inches for us) and allowed an extra inch or so for hemming the edges. I measured her chest, accounting for the layers to be worn underneath, and added an extra couple of inches for hemming the edges. I hemmed the top and bottom edges, hemmed the ends, and sewed on snaps to close it. You could use Velcro or just pin it closed.
We used pearl straps. I had some craft pearls and threaded them on embroidery floss, but you can probably find ready-made strands. I measured over her shoulders and allowed a couple extra inches to stitch them in place.
We used a real seashell and green and magenta sequins to decorate (hot-glued on). You can be as creative as you want with your design and embellishments. I wanted to avoid the “seashell bra” look.
We chose a stretchy magenta fabric with small sequins attached. The fabric was thin, so I kept it folded double as I cut the pieces. I knew I wanted to make a tail and fins rather than just a skirt that flared open at the bottom. I measured her waist and added a couple inches seam allowance and divided this number by 2. I measured waist to knee. This was my measurement for the back of the skirt, tapering out just a bit at the hips and the bottom edge just a bit wider than the waist/2 measurement.
The next piece of fabric is the front of the skirt/tail. I cut it the same size as my already cut piece but continued out the shape of a mermaid tail out to the side, making the end of the tail 3-4 inches longer than where I wanted it to end up – I knew I would need to fold the fabric over to secure the fins in place later.
The next piece I cut was the “pocket” that would create the tail. This was the same size as the tail portion of the full skirt/tail.
This was where the Mermaid Halloween costume got tricky for me – how to attach the three pieces so I could have my seams inside and everything facing the right way when I was done. I don’t know how long I sat and looked at the fabric, willing it to tell me which way to turn it and pin it. (My mind does not work spacially. I have to turn a map the same direction I am facing in order to be properly oriented.) But finally I figured it out. I hemmed the bottom edge of the back skirt piece. I stitched up both sides to attach the back piece and the full skirt/tail piece. And somehow I managed to attach the tail “pocket” piece to the full tail/skirt piece, stitching seams at the curved parts and the end of the tail where I wanted it to end but left 3-4 inches at the end of the tail for securing the fins later. I left the long straight edge of the “pocket” open and turned everything right side out. I stuffed the tail with lightweight polyfil and stitched the long straight edge closed.
I measured elastic to my daughter’s waist and stitched that into the top of the skirt.
On the leggings, I used green felt cut into “vine” shapes and glued leaves from artificial flowers on to make it look like seaweed. I safety-pinned the seaweed strips to the leggings to cover where they showed through at the bottom below the tail.
We used a shimmery shite gossamer fabric with a pink tint. I used a wire hanger to bend into the shape of two fins and used wire to secure the ends together. I left two “prongs” at the end about 2 inches long so I could insert it into the tail. I hot-glued the fabric over the hanger and stuffed it a bit. This proved a little difficult, as the fabric was so thin that the heat of the glue really came in contact with my fingers as I pressed the fabric around the hanger. I was glad when that was done, and I think it really turned out like mermaid fins.
I put the prongs onto the end of the tail and folded the extra 3-4 inches of tail fabric over, sewing tight to secure the fin to the tail.
I attached fishing line (ironic, right?) to the fin and to a pearl bracelet that we had, so my daughter could hold up the tail to keep it from dragging. I realized then that if she lowered her arm all the way, the tail would still drag, so I added an extra line of fishing line from the tip of the fin to the skirt about 2 inches below the waist. This kept the tail up even if she lowered her arm.
For the waist part of the Mermaid Halloween costume, I cut a piece of the gossamer fabric to fit her waist and stitched along the long edge to make a sleeve. I stuffed it and sewed the ends closed. I hot-glued sequins and a jewel heart on it. I just pinned this closed rather than sewing on snaps.
I used an old brown shoelace (looked like rope) and hot-glued a shell to it to make a necklace. The shell looked a little too close to the color of the shirt, so I used pink and purple marker on it to help it stand out more.
I hot-glued shells to clip barrettes. After our first party, I had to re-glue these, as they were pretty delicate.
I used some green fabric and cut fringe into it and pinned this to both sides of the ankle of the leggings to cover her shoes with seaweed (not shown in full length picture).
I braided her hair when wet, tightly in several braids, let it out when dry, and she had mermaid wavy hair (realized this will also work for an 80s look – Cyndi Lauper next year, perhaps?). We used purple shimmery eyeshadow. I’m not really good at makeup, but you can be as creative as you want here.
For her trick-or-treat bag, we colored some images of seashells and sea horses from her mermaid coloring book and glued/taped them on her bag.
Royal Blue Mermaid Halloween Costume
I take Halloween very seriously. Probably too seriously but I can thank my mom for that for always throwing me Halloween parties for my birthday growing up.
For the past few years I’ve always wanted Mermaid Halloween costume but procrastinated each year because I knew it would be a lot of time, money & work. This year I had a Halloween/Birthday party for my 27th& knew this was the year.
I wasn’t wrong about all of the time, money and work! My costume took at least ten trips to Michael’s, AC Moore and Joann Fabrics. I purchased pearls, fabrics, hot-glue, glitter, fish net, sequins, etc. My roommates even got involved with helping me paint and glitter the shells, trimming my skirt and tolerating my whole Halloween costume creation all over the apartment. (Thanks girls!)
I’m great with a hot-glue gun but sewing is not my forte. You may think hot-gluing tiny pearls one by one onto my top the hardest part, but it was definitely the skirt. I wanted to include my Grandma because she is one of the greatest seamstresses I know so I drove down the shore twice to have her help sew me the base of the bottom, a pencil skirt. It was really great to spend time with her and have her help me. After she was done, I said I could finish the rest. When I got home, I had to add tool & trim it & must of put in on at least fifty times and bent over to cut it while looking in a mirror to get the length just right. After a while I started laughing every time I had to try in on. It was really ridiculous but fun. The makeup was also a ton of fun as well. I saw girls used fishnet stockings to create a scale look so that’s exactly what I did all over my face & body. Added a few pearls & rhinestones and voila! I purchased hair extensions & blue dye to create blue mermaid hair as well.
Finally when I was totally finished with my Mermaid Halloween costume and had the party, everyone was amazed. The reactions I got were really great. I got reactions such as, “I can’t believe you made that” and calling me the “Queen of Halloween” I felt so fulfilled knowing that my vision had crossed over into reality.
I was afraid to even add up the cost of the Mermaid Halloween costume so I didn’t, but I felt great in it so that’s all I’ll remember! Weeks of creating my Mermaid Halloween costume and having sore fingertips from hot-glue burns were so worth it because I had one of the best birthdays thus far, 27 shouldn’t be so bad! :)
Pod of Sexy Mermaids Group Costume
I love mermaids! I have always wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween but all the costumes I have ever seen are pretty cheap looking.
I wanted something that was sexy, form fitting and somewhat “realistic.” I told my friends about my mermaid costume idea and they wanted in as well. There are 7 of us total. I started by looking for a 4 way stretch fabric so the skirt would be flattering on all body types. I found the perfect scale fabric in multiple color options at spandexhouse.com. Each of us picked what color “tail” we wanted and went from there. We wanted to design our seashell bras to coordinate with the color of our tails.
Each of us put our own touch on our seashell bras. I personally wanted to go for a pastel goth look. My skirt is silver irredescent so i painted my foam seashells silver and glued them to an old bra. I added lots of glitter, a corset design on one side with ribbon and a black octopus on the other side. I added rhinestones and pearls to fill in empty spaces. Each girl put their own twist on their top. Some added strings of hanging pearls. some added flowers, some added starfish and random small shells, and some added lots and lots of glitter.
With all the tops finished, I had to start sewing the skirts. I have never really sewn before, so I had my mom give me a lesson before I took off with flying colors. I found a tutorial online on how to sew a pencil skirt, so I went from there. I measured all the girls waists and sewed 1 seam down the back of the skirt. It took me a while to figure out how to do the fin part of the tail. After a lot of researching, i finally decided to cut the skirt to a point and sew tulle and other shiny fabric to the bottom of the skirt to fan out and look like a fin.
We all got mermaid-like long curly wigs to go with our look. And our Mermaid Halloween costume makeup was done with a lot of glitter and rhinestones. We even had mermaid scales on our nails to complete the look.
More Mermaid Halloween Costume Ideas
Take a look at all the Mermaid Halloween costume ideas on the site.