Homemade Mermaid Costume

Easy Homemade Mermaid Costume | Mama Papa Bubba

While Miss G may have decided that she wanted to dress-up like a mermaid months ago, in true Jen fashion, I started the costume last night – the night before Halloween {like I did last year, and the year before that}.  Honestly – I wanted to start it weeks ago, but I just didn’t have any clue how I was going to pull it off.  I’d scoured the internet for clever ideas, but the combination of Miss G needing to be able to walk down flights upon flights of stairs while trick-or-treating and my not having a sewing machine really didn’t turn up any viable options.   

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I’d almost resorted to having a long green skirt sewn by the tailors across the street when Grae and I stumbled upon a slightly mermaid-y dress on clearance in the big girl’s section of H&M.  We picked up the smallest size it came in {a size 9/10, while Grae wears a size 4}, grabbed a bunch of big sparkly foam sheets from our go-to craft store, and I knew we had a start.

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The whole project didn’t take long…  I started at about 7 p.m., and with many breaks – including one to the craft store for more foam sheets – I was completely finished by midnight, and that included making a headband and a trick-or-treating bag to go with the mermaid dress.  I didn’t take photos of the process, but it basically went down like this…  After I’d {haphazardly} taken in the width of the dress by hand, I got to work on the skirt.  To start, I made a scale template out of some cardboard I found in the recycling bin, then traced it onto the back of our foam sheets and got to work cutting out a TON of sparkly scales {about 9 large foam sheets worth}.

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Then, starting at the bottom, I used my hot glue gun to attach a horizontal row of scales directly onto the the skirt, making sure they overlapped just a bit.  Once the bottom row was complete, I moved up just a little bit and added a second row above the previous one.  I repeated this again and again, until the entire skirt was covered . Luckily the whole process was very forgiving and the end result didn’t show all of the little bumps and folds in the fabric underneath.

Afterwards, I cut a large tail shape out of another piece of craft foam, added a few glitter glue details to bring in the different shades of green found in the tail, and attached it to the inside edge of the back of the skirt, once again using hot glue.

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To add a little bit of a mermaid-y feel up top without going the whole shell bra route, I added a couple of little craft foam shells where the straps attach to the top, once again using hot glue.  That was pretty much it as far as the dress was concerned.

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Afterwards, I made a quick headband using some fold over elastic, a sea star I’d added iridescent glitter to, and you guessed it – some hot glue.

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As a finishing touch, I added a craft foam seashell to a plain canvas tote {using hot glue – who would’ve guessed?!} and that was it for her mermaid trick-or-treating bag.

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This morning, Miss G woke up to discover her homemade mermaid costume laid-out on the table and she was estatic!

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Just for fun we added some pink and green streaks to her hair tonight using hair chalk, which she also thought was pretty cool.

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That’s it.  An easy-to-make, easy-to-walk-in mermaid dress for my little mermaid.  ♥



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6 thoughts on “Homemade Mermaid Costume

  1. Adorable. You are a very clever mom. I too “sew on demand”. I am not a seamstress, but I have created some “passable outfits” over the years for my two daughter and now 2 granddaughters.

  2. This is soooo cute and honestly looks more “mermaidy” than half the mermaid costumes for sale. Plus here in good old MI I need something she can wear pants under (heavy long pants lol) and this would work. I’m going to seek out a long sleeve dress instead of a short sleeve and we should be all set. My daughter is dead set on being a mermaid this year even though I told her Halloween is always cold around here :/ Thanks for the idea and how to!

  3. Hi! I know this was from two years ago, but just stumbled across it as my 3 year old is insisting on being a mermaid for Halloween. You did such an amazing job! Was your daughter able to sit easily in this costume or was that a challenge? Thanks! :)

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