My (DIY) Mermaid Costume

Mermaid DIY Costume on Catalina Creative

In very rare form, I'm sharing a DIY! I never do this, but I had so much fun with this over the weekend and was asked several times to share how I created it! While Halloween has usually been a time of anxiety over what to wear, where to go, and spending too much on costumes I end up hating or throwing out come November 1st, I'm actually quite excited for this year's holiday. This project was too fun, and the results are great when you get creative. Definitely a costume I'll be keeping my entire life. My goal here was to be less Disney's The Little Mermaid and more Coco Chanel. Make it your own!

How To

materials needed

  • Seashells (lots of them and preferably scallop ones)
  • Two large scallop or clam shells for the ladies
  • Starfish for extra detailing or to wear in your hair
  • Fishnet
  • Pearls on string
  • Simple hair clips that match your hair color
  • Midi high-wasted skirt
  • Corset (I suggest this because the material is strong and framed, it will hold the shells well. Keep in mind that it does get heavy)
  • Flats to match your skirt (and to keep you comfy while you're running around for Halloween shenanigans)
  • Glue gun and at least eight glue sticks
  • A creative mind and patience

Michael's is your best friend here. They have all the crafting materials needed. For the clothes, I suggest buying something cheap since you're going to be gluing to it. I snagged the bra from H&M and the skirt from Ross.


  1. Heat the glue fun for at least 10 minutes before using
  2. Try on your corset and hold up the two large shells to see where they should be placed. Use a marker or pen to draw a line across bottom and top of shell to outline placement. This will show you where to put them when you glue.
  3. Lay out your corset on a flat, protected surface.
  4. Scatter shells out so you can see patterns and colors
  5. Use the glue gun to glue on the two large scallop shells one at a time. Be generous about gluing - we don't want these falling off at your party! Press the shells to the bra for a good 15 seconds anywhere you use the glue to hold it in place and let it dry. Be sure that all areas around the shell are glued to keep it in place and secure.
  6. Then go for it! Create your own pattern using your shells, or just glue them on miscellaneously. Remember to press the shells to the bra with pressure after applying glue. We want them to be as secure as possible. Cover as much of the corset as you wish - for me, I made sure the entire front of it was covered and left the sides and back alone for comfort and easy clipping. 
  7. Once complete, do a run through of each shell, making sure all sides of them are glued on tightly. Try lifting the corset to make sure nothing comes loose or falls off. Once it's complete, set it aside.
  8. Take your fishnet, which should be in square form. Cut it diagonally down the middle, so you end up with a triangle. The size of your fishnet is up to you! I kept mine a little longer than my skirt. Measure the top of the triangle so that it fits just right around your high waistline (or wherever your skirt ends on your waist).
  9. Lay it flat on a surface so that the arrow of the triangle is pointing down or towards you. You're going to work with the right side of the fishnet (or the side that shows in front). Use your starfish and glue them around your fishnet with out any rhyme or reason. Just scatter them across.
  10. Take your pearls string and glue one end to the right corner of your fishnet and the other to the left corner. Lift of the fishnet by the two top corners, and you will notice that your pearls drape down. Set it aside.
  11. Take the starfish you want to use in your hair and glue them to the top of your hair clips.
  12. Try it on! Be careful applying the corset, making sure that shells stay in place. Put on your skirt. Take the two top corners of your fishnet triangle and secure them with a pin or tie them to one side of your waist, so that the arrow is pointing down on one side of your body. Clip the starfish into your gorgeous locks. Throw on some comfy flats to match your "fishtail" skirt.
  13. Voilà! You're ready to be the chicest little mermaid at the party. Happy Halloween.

side note

I worked hard on this! If you share, please please please site your source and mention the creator :)

MusingsNatalie Catalina