I loved The Little Mermaid as a child, and being a plus size gal, I’ve always been drawn to Ursula. I never thought of her as a villain, just the product of her environment. This Halloween, I really wanted to finally wear a “sexy ______” costume and what’s better than a sexy cerulean! Hence, my fabulous Ursula costume- like a mermaid, but with tentacles!!!!!
There are some really great costumes of Ursula on this site (like this awesome Ursula cosplay costume). And, now that there is a stage musical, there are some very creative versions. I wanted to give it a try myself. Using tons of reference photos from the movie, I found a few costumes loved and settled on my make-up style. I really wanted 6 ft tentacles without any ball gown underneath. I also did not want purple body paint all over. And NO WIG!!! So once I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t want, I had to figure out how to get it! And I had to make it of course!!!
Making the Ursula Costume
This Ursula costume was one of the more difficult things I’ve sewn so far. I designed the tentacles to be 6 feet in length and wide enough to cover my hips when stitched together. Each tentacle is 4 pieces of fabric. The top is two long triangular shapes cut from some crepe back satin. I placed a narrow triangle of python printed black pleather along the middle seam to create the “ribs” The underside of each tentacle is a long triangle of this awesome fabric called “liquid satin” in cobalt. The color ends up being closer to indigo with a brighter purple in certain light. After making the 6 tentacles, I sewed them together and added a wide triangle of the python printed pleather to create a web and keep my butt covered, ;-)
I put a wire coat hanger with a glob of hot glue on each end in each tentacle to make them malleable. Then the stuffing! I originally stuffed the whole thing with packing peanuts since they’d be lightweight. It was light, but the tentacles wouldn’t move! I couldn’t squish them enough to get through doorways, so I had to use fiberfill instead. Fun fact, bed pillows from a warehouse store are cheaper than bulk fiberfill from the craft store, who knew?!? So, I purchased 10 pillows. Each tentacle has an entire pillow in each one plus there’s half a pillow stuffed in all of the ribs. (I ended up with 3 extra pillows, but my overnight guests will appreciate them!)
After the tentacles were stuffed I added the waist band. In hindsight, I wish I would have done this first, but I just didn’t realize my mistake until I was sweating a swearing trying to feed 12 inch thick stuffed tentacles through my sewing machine. Urgh!
I already had the black corset, and was so excited to find indigo tights!! The gold shell necklace and purple shell earrings, I ordered from Etsy.
I really didn’t want to wear a wig. So, I had my hair stylist cut and color my hair. She couldn’t bleach it all the way to white without some severe damage, so we compromised on purple. (young Ursula?) The make-up was all cheap drug store finds and some amazing lashes from the costume store. Thanks to a YouTube tutorial, I was able to put them on.
Reactions from the Crowd
Everyone loved my Ursula costume! Although the size and weight of the tentacles were not very practical. I had to ride in the backseat of my car because my hair was too high!!
I had to have the costume ready for an early Halloween party (10/15), and my friends and family saw the pictures so a few of them put together costumes to match for my Halloween part (10/29). It was fantastic!!! We ended up singing all of The Little Mermaid songs well into the night.