How to Make a Mermaid Costume

Learn how to make a mermaid costume and you'll have a very happy daughter. Mermaid costumes are popular with girls into their teens because these costumes allow girls the opportunity to be a little glamorous.

Costumes for the Littlest Mermaids
Toddler mermaid costumes can include a long, flowing tail as long as you're using a stroller. Child mermaid costumes can be done in the same manner as long as the child fits into a stroller and you're doing the honors of pushing them around the block for trick-or-treating. If, however, the mermaid outfit is for day care or school, a mermaid outfit with a fish tail won't work.

The number one thing to keep in mind is the child's comfort and ability to move. Ifn you're sending your child to school or day care and she'll need to dress herself, don't create an elaborate costume that requires help to put on. This is frustrating to the teacher and to the child and can quickly turn into an unpleasant experience.

Creating a Mermaid Costume
Mermaids can wear bathing suits in solid colors for the top portion of the costume, or a tank top, t-shirt or long-sleeved knit top. A form-fitting skirt made of some type of stretchy material, such as lycra or stretch knit, works well as the mermaid's body. If possible, choose a blue or green fabric. Shiny material is best, as it resembles fish scales.

Materials:

  • Stretchy fabric in the color/print you desire
  • Elastic for the waistline
  • Sequins
  • Glitter
  • Leaf garland (as a belt for older mermaids)
  • 4 or 5 artificial tropical flowers
  • Shell necklace, bracelet and earrings
  • Fabric glue
  • Yellow felt
  • Green and blue felt

Start out by measuring the girl who will be wearing the costume. Measurements should be from the waist to the floor. The skirt will create the fish scale look-alike body of the mermaid. The fabric should reach to just below the knees on a child. The top of the skirt should be tighter, but not necessarily form-fitting for children, as this makes it harder to walk. Make sure you flare the material enough in the thigh area so that the child can walk easily. The tail will be attached at the bottom of the skirt.

Use felt for the tail. Cut out two identical fish-tail shapes. Sew the top of one fish tail to the bottom front of the skirt, and the second fish tail to the back. Do not sew the sides. The opening will allow the child to walk easily.

Finish the costume by gluing on a few strategically placed felt starfish. 

Important Notes

  • For young child mermaids, you may choose to make a one-piece fish tail instead.
  • Make sure the fish tail is not too heavy. The last thing you want is a child to trip because the skirt is being pulled downward. If you're concerned that the skirt will be too heavy, made felt straps on the skirt that crisscross in the back.
  • Do not make a seaweed belt for young children, as it can be used incorrectly and cause choking.
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