A Mermaid Costume Tail DIY Project That Will Blow Everyone Away

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Bree can’t ‘wade’ to show off her Bathing Beauty One Piece in Emerald and Bake a Statement Necklace — the perfect pairings for her twinkling tail!

Halloween‘s right around the corner — how’s your costume planning going? Swimmingly, we hope. But if not, don’t fret! We’ve got a DIY to help you make a splash at all of your festive fêtes. Wave hello to our mermaid costume how-to! Dive in to this tutorial, then complement your outfit with this marvelous makeup tutorial.


Form-fitting pants
About 2 yards of swimsuit fabric (or any type that doesn’t fray when cut)
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Scrap of thick cardboard
Index card (or cardstock)
Lid (or a circle tool, if you’ve got one handy)

ModCloth's Dreamy Mermaid Costume How-To

Step 1
Trace a lid or other circle shape on an index card, then cut out the shape to create a stencil. You want to end up with a circle around 2 inches in diameter. You can make ’em smaller if you’d like, but you’ll be in for a whooole lot of gluing!

Once you’ve got your stencil, start tracing circles onto the back side of your fabric. You’ll want to squeeze in as many circles as possible.

ModCloth's Dreamy Mermaid Costume How-To

Step 2
Cut out your circles. Just a warning — this is going to take a little while. But hey, what a great opportunity to put your feet up and binge watch a few of those fall sitcoms you’ve been meaning to catch up on!

ModCloth's Dreamy Mermaid Costume How-To

Step 3
Grab an old pair of pants. Go for a style that’s relatively form-fitting, but doesn’t involve a lot of stretch. If you use leggings, for example, you might end up with gaps and spaces between your “scales” when you go to put them on (we’re speaking from experience here). A good pair of yoga pants, however, which are a little looser but still skim your silhouette, would be perfect.

Slip your spare piece of cardboard inside one leg of your pants. This’ll keep one side of the leg from sticking to the other while you glue. That’s right — it’s hot glue time!

Starting at the ankle, hot glue rows of circles to your pants. Draw a line of glue horizontally across your pant leg, then press a few circles into the glue. The glue line should go towards the top of each circle, rather than across the middle — doing so will make sure your “scales” hang nicely and don’t flop over when you stand up.

ModCloth's Dreamy Mermaid Costume How-To

Once you’re done with the first line, start a second one right above it. These circles should sit between, and overlap with, the circles in the first row. In other words, they should create that familiar fish-scale pattern. Check out the picture above to see what we’re gettin’ at.

And that’s it! Keep on gluing and sticking until the whole shebang is covered. Again, this isn’t the quickest process in the world, but the end result? Magic!

+ Click here to see more Halloween how-tos!

Impress everyone with this mermaid costume tail DIY project.

on 10/14/2014

About Anna

Anna's the kind of don't-take-yourself-too-seriously gal who can spend an evening at Monday Night Raw and then turn around and write about nail designs and glitter with just as much sincere, unadulterated delight. She's a firm believer in cats' ability to see ghosts, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the fact that if she wishes enough, she'll never have to iron again.

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