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Coolest Homemade Ariel the Little Mermaid Costume

My little princess decided this year she wanted to be her favorite princess, Ariel the Little Mermaid. We looked at all the costumes ready made, nothing really looked like a true mermaid. Being the somewhat crafty Mommy, I decided to make my own Homemade Ariel the Little Mermaid Costume from the image I had in my mind.

I started off making a sketch of front and back. My daughter and I shopped for the perfect materials from the fabric store and I began her costume. I hand sewed everything. The idea for the costume: My daughter being the actual mermaid sitting on a rock in the ocean.

Separate components to be made: Ocean blue skirt (this could also be bought ready made), crepe type material for ocean surf/waves, green shimmer/sequined tail, green tail fins/waist fins, purple seashell bra/top, brown or gray material rock.

Ready made items used: Peach colored bodysuit, jeweled button as bellybutton and accessories: seahorse, starfish, wig, crown, light up shoes, plush flounder and mermaid singing necklace.

I used no ready made patterns. I started off using 1 yard of satin feel material to make a drawstring skirt (one could also be purchased.) Under the skirt I pinched sections and sewed the small pinched section to make a diamond design.
Next I free cut the shape of a tail from the sequin green material and sewed it inside out, leaving the waist part open. I stuffed it with a light polyester stuffing.

After a few sketches and thoughts I figured out which tail fin design would work best and drew it onto a piece of very light cardboard (a cereal box would work best). Next I cut out pieces of the light green fin material and sewed it onto the pieces of cardboard for firmness. I sewed all the way around each fin.

For the waist fin I measured for around the waist and hemmed and rolled it around the waist. I pinned the rolled fin to the bodysuit, and sewed it alternately around the waist so that there would be enough room for it to still stretch while worn.

The brown rock material I placed around the top of the skirt and cut as needed to look like a small rock on top. I then hemmed it on the edges. Also I took a brown marker and permanent black marker and made lines on the material to make it look more like a rock and distressed. I then sewed it onto the skirt around the waist as well as the bottom of the rock.

I placed the main part of the tail on the skirt and bent it as I would assume the natural tail of a mermaid to lay when sitting on a rock, pinned it. Next I added the tail fins and pinned them as well. I went through and sewed all the way around the tail and attached the middle parts of the tail fins to the skirt. I wanted the tail fins to stick out and look natural.

Then I took the open waist of the mermaid tail rolled and tucked it under the waist fin and sewed together. The seashell bra I made by using double layer purple material with a shimmer top layer. I cut out two large ovals and made them look like seashells by pleating them, pinning and sewing by hand. I attached them to the bodysuit by sewing and made a matching rolled back strap. I also added a jewel button as the bellybutton.

For the surf/waves, I pleated and folded the surf crepe material and alternately sewed every 5-7 inches and poofed out the material in between.
For the back of the costume, I cut out another piece of green sequined material in the shape of a sitting bottom and sides. I put padding in between the material and the skirt to make it look like the mermaid is sitting on the rock from the back. I sewed the bottom and sides to the skirt so it truly looks like the mermaid is just sitting on the rock from the back of the dress.

Lastly I added very lightweight plastic accessories of a sea horse and starfish by hot gluing them to the back of the skirt as actual sea life.

It took me about 40 hours total creating, making mistakes and redoing and sewing by hand.
My Lil Princess just loves her costume and so do I. I hope she’s “caught” your fancy too.

Ariel the little Mermaid Costume

Ariel the little Mermaid Costume

Coolest Homemade Costume Contest 2023

19 thoughts on “Coolest Homemade Ariel the Little Mermaid Costume”

  1. THAT IS AWESOME! I am 20 years old and love Ariel.I am having the same problem, not able to find a true Ariel costume. I wish you could make ME one in my size!

  2. Thank you for the nice comments! I have a lot of the tail material left over and might make a more simple version for my daughter to wear for dress up play everyday. When I get to it, I’ll try to post pics too. I have a different idea on how I’ll make the bottom fins too.

  3. This has got to be the most amazing idea I’ve ever seen! Kudos to you for being such a dedicated mom and wanting your child to have the best costume out there! I’m a teen and completely jealous of your young daughter’s outfit.

  4. Would you consider selling this costume? My daughter is 3 years old and is in LOVE with Ariel – no other princess can hold a candle to the little mermaid in her eyes. This costume is absolutely the BEST that I have ever seen. She went nuts when she saw it online. Please post and let me know if you are willing to part with it.

  5. My grown daughter is a huge fan of Ariel, the little mermaid, it was her favorite growing up. She now has a 7 month old little girl whom she was wanting to dress up as Ariel for Halloween. We looked at all the ready-made mermaid costumes and most are for girls 4 ages and up, nothing for a small baby. And even the costumes for the older girls don’t really look like the true Ariel either. After searching around all day, we finally decided to make our own and went fabric shopping. Then we looked online to see if we could find a good pattern. Instead we came across this article with the pictures of your wonderful costume. We are thinking about adapting some of those ideas for my grandbaby. You did an amazing job with the costume for your little girl, I hope ours will turn out as well.

  6. This is just beautiful!
    I’m from Israel and I was looking for ideas how to make a Ariel costume to my 6 years old, and your is absolutely the best i saw. Thank you for a wonderful idea.

  7. My soon to be 3 yr old daughter absolutely loves and adores Ariel and always says she wants to be a mermaid so for her 3rd birthday I decided to let her have it her way. The Disney store as well as other sites viewed online had nothing that actually caught my eye as far as looking similar to the mermaid princess or they were way to expensive. When I came across your site, this picture of the little mermaid costume completely caught my attention. To see the beautiful smile on my daughters face while wearing your idea will be well worth the 40+ hours. I commend you for putting your heart and soul into this idea. I’m hoping my little princess will be just as happy.

  8. I adore your costume!!! My daughter wants to be Ariel this year but all the mermaid costumes available are sooooo lame! Did your daughter grow out of it, would you consider selling it???? I am very serious LOL

  9. Whoa! That’s amazing. You are a crafting genius. I’m 11 and want to be Ariel for halloween. I guess I will have to settle with some cheap, fake one. I wish you could make one for me :D

  10. I would say you have a great talent worthy of value.
    I wish someone from Disney will find this site and see your photos and will get in contact with you to be the official designer of the costumes.
    This is the best costume of Ariel I have seen in my entire life.
    I worked 12 years designing products for Disney, and I assure you that what I am saying is true.
    I congratulate you indeed!

  11. This is the best Ariel costume i have ever seen! I know this post is a long a time ago but when i showed it to my daughter her eyes lit up and ask me if i can make it for her. I hope you can still answer some of my questions. What material did you use to make the rock and the water? And how did you attach the tail fin to the body? Thank you in advance!


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