DIY Mermaid Costume for Kids


Halloween time is nearing, and I can barely contain my excitement. It’s my favorite time of year! I love decorating the house, making fun Halloween treats, and of course – making DIY Halloween costumes.

Growing up, it was like an unspoken rule that we DID NOT. BUY. Halloween costumes. When it came to dressing up, it was DIY all the way! I’m not exactly sure why this was. Probably because my sister and I always picked odd things to dress as that couldn’t be bought at the store, such as a giant bag of Fritos (true story). So I’ve always continued this tradition of DIY’ing my Halloween costume every year.

Once my daughter was born, all my DIY efforts went into making her Halloween costumes. Last year I decided she would definitely make the cutest little mermaid ever, so I made her a DIY mermaid costume.


To be fair, I didn’t make her leggings or shoes, but I think I did a pretty good job of putting together the different aspects of her DIY mermaid costume, and then also making her shirt and tutu.

The whole concept behind her DIY mermaid costume was that I wanted it to be comfortable and toddler-friendly. So any kind of intricate fish tail skirt was way out of the question. So the first piece I found were the adorable green fish scale leggings. I found them on ebay for only about $5, so it was a total score! I knew she would be able to run around easily in her little mermaid leggings, and I was extremely happy with the price.

Next, I made her shirt. I just happened to have an old purple shirt of hers with stains on the front of it. It was really wearable as a regular shirt anymore, but the stains were positioned just so, so that I could cover them up with paint. This part of the DIY mermaid costume was probably what took me the longest. I used fabric paint to draw on some white shells, which takes a while to set and dry. I had a little trouble with drawing out the shells to look how I had initially imagined them in my head, so I think I ended up putting on about three coats of the fabric paint, plus some glitter paint. The shells ended up kind of 3-dimensional, so in the end they looked really cool, but it was definitely a lot longer process than I had originally thought it would be.

Last but not least, I made the mermaid tutu for her DIY mermaid costume. These tutus are so simple to make! All you need is a roll of tulle in the color of your choice (I used four different shades of green tulle), plus some “no-fold” elastic, and ribbon. Measure the elastic around your child’s waist, and then take off an inch or two to guarantee it will be snug and won’t fall off amidst any crazy Halloween shenanigans. Cut your tulle to your desired length, and then tie the tulle onto the elastic using a simple cow hitch or lanyard hitch knot. (Make your own DIY tutu tutorial). To finish the DIY tutu, you can either sew the ends of the elastic together, or tie ribbon to each end and then tie the ribbon together when wearing.

To finish the DIY mermaid costume, I found some “Frozen” Elsa shoes on clearance at Payless Shoes. I was initially going to paint them green, but my daughter was so excited when she saw them, I figured I could just leave them silver and then she could wear them a lot more after Halloween.

I was so happy with the end result of my DIY mermaid costume. My daughter was totally comfortable and able to easily run around and go trick or treating without risk of tripping on long skirts or getting caught in awkward articles of clothing.

I have to admit, I did break my own cardinal rule, and I bought the top that I’m wearing before, but since her DIY mermaid costume turned out so well, I gave myself a break for just one year.

DIY Mermaid

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