Learn how to make these beautiful mermaid shells for less than $15! Perfect for a Little Mermaid Halloween costume. image

What you’ll need:

  • Bra or bathing suit top (preferably in nude or purple)
  • One 11×17″ piece of craft foam
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • E6000 Glue
  • Rhinestones
  • Pearls
  • Purple Paint in varying shades
  • Silver Glitter paint (optional)

First trace the shape of your bra or bathing suit top on the craft foam to ensure the foam will cover the top. I added a scalloped edge to the larger side as shown below. I drew two smaller shapes as well, all with the scalloped edge. When we’re done, all three pieces will be stacked together to create the final piece. Also note the lines I drew. These were cut and layered on top of each other to create the curved structure.

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See the fully cut out and scalloped pieces below.

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Next, hot glue the slits, placing one layer over another. It should make a nice curved shape. Once all three have been glued, stack them on top of each other and glue them together. It’s important that each shell faces a different way (as shown below). Otherwise they won’t fit well on your top!

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Now it is time to paint! This is where your creativity will really come in. I painted each shell (front and back) in one shade of purple to give it a great base. I then went in with a darker purple to define the edges and the shell lines to connect the dip in the scallops. I painted a brighter, more vibrant purple on the inner part of each circular piece. Lastly, I painted silver glitter paint on the edges of each shell, the very center corner and the lines. See below.

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Home stretch! Now you want to add TONS of sparkle! I love these AB rhinestones from Walmart because they’re cheap and they have so much sparkle. I also purchased some flat backed pearls from Hobby Lobby. I tried to concentrate the embellishment toward the middle. I prefer using E6000 for rhinestone work, HOWEVER, I will caution you to only use in a well ventilated area! This stuff is STRONG and is known to cause cancer when inhaled…

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Finally, it’s time to attach the mermaid shells to the bra/bathing suit top. E6000 doesn’t dry instantly but has a strong hold. Hot glue dries quickly but can sometimes peel off. I used a mixture of the two to fix the shells to the bra top. I used E6000 toward the center of the shells and then hot glue around the outside to quickly secure the edges. I also went through with hot glue and added more pearls and rhinestones to the center of the bra top to give it a seamless look.

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And tada! You now have your very own, thrifty and beautiful Ariel inspired mermaid top. I’d love to see pictures if you made one yourself!