Mermaid Costume Made from Curtains

I needed a costume: I’m thrifty and creative. Hmmm, I always thought a mermaid would be cool to be. This was my first attempt at making/sewing something without a pattern…where and HOW do I start?! I already had some ideas & materials for props and embellishments-pearls & necklaces from a friend’s Gramma, ribbon/pearl sewing items, shells from some long ago trip to Florida that were STILL sitting in a bag in the attic, alligator teeth earings my dad got me from a work road trip.

I went to a thrift store to look around for inspiration. Found a curtain panel with an almost scale-like appearance and screamed fish! Found a batch of curtain shears…hmmm, those could somehow be a fin… Everything was cream colored, not really my idea of “mermaid”. As I’m envisioning my materials and talking aloud to a friend over a beer, he mentions some green & blue spray paint he can give me. My vision is complete! I will be an elegant pearly blue-green maiden of the sea. The project was a whirlwind of ideas constantly flowing…I couldn’t sew/paint/create fast enough. I was so excited! I can’t believe I just kinda threw this thing together in not much time.

The outfit…Skirt – used another skirt as a starting point for the shape (I had to experiment with the shape because I didn’t want it to be too constricting or fall down. I made a flap from the fabric and used velcro for closure around the waist which also made it adjustable . I had the skirt on a hanger over my door and just started pining the shears up around the bottom. That kinda looked fin-like so I continued around the base. I spray painted the layers with the blue, green and silver spray paint. I added pearl and ribbon to add to the under water sea look. I started to paint the scallop design with fabric paint, but decided I liked the cream/white color scheme. I found a pair of shoes to spray paint the matching fin. Since I wasn’t going to bare my top half, I found a nude-like colored tank top. That looked a little plain. I had some scrap curtain sheers so I just started cutting, sewing. What emerged was a tank top/bra looking thing with velcro on the back to close. I tried it on…YEAAA!!! It works! Did some minor adjustments to make it fit then hot glued some shells on. Took ribbon and pearls and pinned them to the top. Since I was worried about being cold, I had leftover “skirt” material so I made these “fin” type things with more pearls & ribbon to go on my arms. I made them looser than my arms and used elastic on the inside so they’d fit and not fall off. I spray painted some more scrap fabric to match my fin and attached it with more ribbon & pearl for hair accessories. Wanted some cool makeup but didn’t really want the messy cream stuff – trying to keep “elegant” in mind..after all, I am a lady of the sea! I went to a local theater costume company and bought some mineral-type eye shadow at  (was reasonably priced). I would have loved to incorporate some big crazy hook…how fun would that be! But I’m running out of time and how do I make THAT!?! Last minute, I got an idea and made a hook for my cheek. I used acrylic caulk with toilet paper to make a wound. Crafted a hook out of some picture hanging wire I had and used this putty stuff to attach to my cheek then added some cream coloring. Put on and fastened my long blonde wig and I was ready to go! Since I always wear a flower in my hair, I had to add a few of those as well. I didn’t win any contests, but received LOTS of compliments! Later in the night, I looked so good that I got attacked by spiders… ;p I had such a fun time creating this costume. I look forward to being the swimming maiden of the sea at the next future party.

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    A Few Days Adult/Teen Cost: Under $20 Individual Woman/Girl Costume Makeup / Body Art