Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DIY Mermaid Costume and Party

 When my daughter turned three she asked for a mermaid birthday party. I had no clue how to make a mermaid costume, so I browsed You Tube videos to find some kind of directions  to lead me. We ended up finding tutorials for those mermaid tails women can actually swim in. That is what gave me the idea for this mermaid dress.

I used sparkly blue fabric made for swim and dance wear. Taking advantage of Sunday coupons,  it only cost me $5. I think I bought 1 1/2 yards.
The top and bottom are really just two tubes with center seams. The top has a seam in the front along with a casing that runs along either side of the seam. I ran ribbon through the casing so I could bunch up the front a little then tie it around her neck.

The skirt has the center seam down the back. I did nip it in the waist a bit so it fit her body better and wouldn't fall off. Then I made a deep ruffle and just sewed it on the bottom allowing it to drag in the back forming a small train. I arranged the two ends of the ruffle to meet at the bottom corners so it looks a little more fishy. The bottom of the "tube" fabric was cut away beneath the ruffle so it was easier to walk in. This is kind of hard to explain and I hope my pictures show what I'm talking about!

I made a matching dress for her doll but the tail looks like an actual tail and I placed a piece of  plastic milk carton in it to hold the shape.

None of the edges are finished because this fabric doesn't unravel. Total time for her dress and the doll costume was only an hour and a half. I 'm sure it could be made in even less time but it took a while to figure out what would work.

Her headband was virtually free since I only used items I had on hand.
We just hot glued shells and rhinestones onto a blue headband.

Here are the other details of her party:
-Shell necklaces for party favors
-We painted wooden boxes (treasure chests) as our activity. The boxes were only 30 cents each.
- The kids went on a shell hunt (similar to an Easter egg hunt) on the front lawn. The shells I bought for super cheap at the dollar store.
Hunting for shells

- I made the cake using crushed graham crackers as sand, red fish candies and Playmobil mermaid toys as decorations.

This was easily my favorite kid party so far. It didn't cost much and was still loads of fun.