[DIY] Mermaid Costume/ Queen of the Sea

Last Wednesday (Halloween), the entire Lipstick, Lace & Lattes crew (minus Kris) went out to party with some of LA’s Fashion Elite at the Ti$a, Karen Civil and Power 106 “Halloween Bash” at The Rockwell. Although, most of my LLL counterparts went to multiple Halloween functions, due to my hectic schedule, I was only able to attend one. Therefore, I decided to go all-out (DIY-style) with my costume! Since Halloween is always exactly a week before my Birthday (November 8th, Happy Birthday to me!!!), I’m usually forced to choose which one I want to celebrate more. This year, since I was celebrating my Birthday at the Ti$a party, I decided to create a costume that would take everyone’s breath away. Find out how I took a simple, green formal dress and transformed it into Mermaid glory below!

Posted on Bella’s Instagram @MsBellaGraham


1) Acrylic “All-Surface” Paint. I used Martha Stewart’s line in “Pearl” Twilight Blue, Pink Taffeta, Gazing Ball and Aquarium for $1.99 each at Michael’s Arts & Crafts.
2) Seashells and Starfish. I bought a basket of seashells from The Dollar Tree about four months ago as decoration for my bathroom (which has an underwater theme), and so I simply used those for the costume. The small starfish I purchased from Michael’s (in a pack of 3) for about $5. The large starfish I used to make a hairclip was $5 by itself.
3) Paintbrush. I used a set I already had at home.
4) Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue. I purchased both of these from Michael’s.
5) Fish Net. This was also purchased from Michael’s. $5
6) Pearl accessories. I already had all of these at home (necklace that I used as a body-chain and bracelets).
7) Green formal dress. I got mine from the thrift store.
8) Needle and Green thread.
9) Sparkly Silver Hot Pants (from Cerritos Mall). I forgot the name of the store.
10) Stud earrings that you don’t mind destroying.
11) Beads. (I bought mine from the thrift store but you can purchase yours from multiple places).
12) Hair barrette clip.
13) Silver Glittery Shoes (Mine are by Guess)


How it began…

1) The green dress already had a slit up the front but it didn’t go as far as I liked so I took a seam-ripper and cut the dress up until the cut stopped just above my belly button. I then took a needle and thread and sowed the dress back up at an angle so that when I walked the dress would flow behind me. The drop in the front (bust area) also wasn’t as deep as I wanted so I cut that and sowed it down at an angle to give more of a plunging neckline.

The dress originally had a split up the front but I lengthened it to show my belly button

2) Then I painted the seashells in all the colors that I desired and waited for them to dry. I spread out a trash bag on floor so I wouldn’t get any paint on the carpet.

3) While I was waiting for the seashells to dry, I sowed on the fish net at an angle so that it would drape across the back of the dress at an angle and come up the side.

4) One the seashells were dried, I glued them onto the dress using the glue-gun (on the low-heat setting) in the desired places. I also glued the starfish onto the dress and the fish net.

Purple seashell earrings I created with silver beads and a painted seashell

5) Afterwards, I took a pair of stud earrings I didn’t want anymore and glued two purple seashells that I had saved over it so that it completely covered the stud. Then I cut a piece of a silver beaded necklace I got from the thrift store and glued that onto the seashell so that it would create a dangling effect.

Starfish Hairclip

6) Then I took a hair barrette clip and glued the large starfish onto it so that it could be worn in my hair. After that dried, I glued three smaller seashells on top to create the desired effect. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how large the starfish was until I held it up to my head and realized that it may be a tad bit too large to wear. I then hot glued a large purple painted shell onto another barrette clip to use as an alternative hair clip.

7) Overall, the entire process took about 3 days. I didn’t make it all in one sitting and because it was more of an experiment than anything, it took quite some time. I initially started out with different paint colors, realized I didn’t like them and then took them back and made other changes along the way. However, I was very pleased with the overall result, which ended up looking less like a Mermaid and more like “the Queen of the Sea” as my best friend called me. What do you think of my costume? Leave me comments below! :)

P.S. My weapon of choice is usually my Nikon D3100 but it was just more convenient to take pictures on my iPhone that night. Sorry for the poor quality of pics!

Follow Bella on Twitter/ Instagram: @MsBellaGraham

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