Costumes: Turtles and Mermaids

Costumes: Turtles and Mermaids

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Carrie McBride
Oct 20, 2010

Why turtles and mermaids? We like to think these lovely mermaids are looking out for these little turtles out there on the seas and waters. Click the thumbnail photo above to see the whole costume and click through to find out how the costumes were made and for the link to submit your own!

Turtle

aka: Mr. Turtle Wurtle (8 months)
location: Oakland, CA
age group: infant
difficulty level: semi-easy

materials: Papier mache (shredded brown paper grocery bags, glue), Tissue paper, Craft paint, Modge Podge, Elastic , Velcro, Child's sleeper

description: For my little guy's first Halloween, he was still a crawler and I was trying to think of the perfect costume for him. It dawned on me that a turtle would be great for a crawler. I used a metal mixing bowl as the mold for the papier mache shell. I used shredded paper grocery bags and a glue/water mix to actually create the shell. After many layers, with drying time in between, I painted the shell green. After the paint was dry, I put tissue paper cutouts on it to simulate the detail on the shell. Modge Podge was then put on top of that and then I added a strap, using some black elastic and velcro and voila! A turtle costume. We had a footed green infant sleeper which worked perfectly underneath and he happily crawled around like a little turtle on Halloween. See more here.
Thanks Janelle!

Turtle

aka: Luca (4 months)
location: Montreal, QC, Canada
age group: infant
difficulty level: semi-easy

materials: Cotton backed Velvet, Felt, synthetic batting, gros grain ribbon

description: Make a turtle shell shape by layering the batting in a dome. Loosely stitch batting shell together (stab stitch through the layers). Cover the dome in the cotton backed velvet. Bottom piece is an oval cut to size of batting dome with about 1/2" seam allowance. Top piece is a large oval with four darts to accommodate the dome. Be sure to leave enough fabric to cover all sides of the dome and leave about 1/2" seam allowance around the edge. (Cut bigger! Easy to trim afterwards). Cut out a large oval from the velvet, drape on batting dome and pin darts in place. Mark darts with running stitch and turn fabric wrong side out to sew darts. Cut hexagons from 2 different colours of felt. Top stitch on velvet dome in desired pattern. Sandwich batting dome inside velvet shells (right side out). Top stitch around edge of batting dome. (Leaves about 1/2" seam allowance). Trim seam allowance to 1/2". Edge stitch around shell edge. (Or zig zag / serge to bind raw edges. Cotton backed velvet does not fray as much as unbacked velvet). Top stitch on 4 grosgrain ribbon straps.
Thanks Suzanne!

Turtle

aka: Lorelai (1)
location: Salt Lake City, UT
age group: infant
difficulty level: super easy

materials: Old bike helmet from a thrift store, green clothes that we owned and a Hannah Andersson pilot hat.

description: I found the green bike helmet (for the shell) at a thrift store and used paint markers to put playful dots on it. I dyed the light yellow pilot hat a green that would match the green clothes that we already had. This costume was perfect for the age of my daughter. She was crawling, so she really looked like a little turtle scooting all over.
Thanks Kelly!

Mermaid

aka: Haylei (6)
location: Canyon Country, CA
age group: child
difficulty level: semi-easy

materials: dancers leotard body suit, glitter paint, green satin fabric, green and blue tulle, green sequence trim

description: Haylei wanted to be a mermaid, but didn't want her feet to be seen when she was walking. I used a dancers leotard bodysuit and painted a starfish bra in blue glitter paint. The tail was made from green satin with an elastic waist. I attached sections and sections of tulle in blue in green to make the "fin." Buy using the tulle I was able to make the fin look solid by layering it thick, but it kept the tail light, and away from her feet so she could walk.
Thanks Sarah!

Ariel, the Little Mermaid

aka: Auralee (5)
location: Arlington, TX
age group: child
difficulty level: semi easy

materials: Various fabrics, yarn, tights, glitter glue, elastic, a flower for the hair.

description: I made the wig by cutting the legs off a pair of heavy red tights and sewing closed the leg openings to make a cap then threading through red yarn in several layers to cover up unsightly places. The bangs were made by taking the front, which was hanging straight down, and looping it up to one side and sewing it into place, then covering up the sewing with a flower with a sea shell hot glued into it. The shirt was made with some streatchy skin toned fabric. I roughly copied a shirt pattern and improvised the sleeves. Then, I used glittered puff paint to paint on the sea shells. The skirt , made from fabric that I felt looked best for a mermaid tail, was made by measuring the length and size of the waist of my daughter and cutting it to a point starting the taper just below the knees. I then put elastic in the waist and added green tule for the fins, gathering it together with thread to hold it in place, then sewing through it. The gather was attached at the point just below the knees and then the hanging tulle
was tacked down to the fabric down to the point.
Thanks Carla!

Mermaid

aka: Riley (6 months)
location: Bristol, CT
age group: infant
difficulty level: super easy

materials: Fabric, tulle, seashells. ric rac, elastic band, metal wire, cotton stuffing, fabric glue

description: To make her costume I just took a pair of pants and used them as a guide for the tail. I drew out a pattern of a mermaid tail, cut the fabric, sewed the front and back together, flipped them inside out and added an elastic to the top. The elastic part was tricky for me. I would love to take a sewing class someday to learn those basics. Then I just added some ric rac with some fabric glue for decoration. I also filled the bottom of her tail with some stuffing and sewed that closed. The top was a bib I made with cut-out sea shells and ric rac. Her crown was just a piece of floral wire I made into a halo shape and twisted it together, wrapped it in cut fabric strips. Added some knots of loose fabric strips and ric rac. For the front of the crown I knotted tulle to make a poof and added some real sea shells with a hot glue gun. My last minute idea was the seaweed which was was a perfect accessory for any mermaid! I had some green fabric lying around and I just cut it freestyle in squiggly shapes and ta-da, seaweed! See more photos at Hey Peanut.
Thanks Michelle!

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