Learn how to make these beautiful mermaid shells for less than $15! Perfect for a Little Mermaid Halloween costume.
What you’ll need:
- Bra or bathing suit top (preferably in nude or purple)
- One 11×17″ piece of craft foam
- Hot Glue Gun
- E6000 Glue
- 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.
See the fully cut out and scalloped pieces below.
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!
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.
Home stretch! Now you want to add TONS of sparkle! These AB rhinestones from Walmart are cheap and have so much sparkle. I also purchased some flat backed pearls from Hobby Lobby. Try 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…
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. Using hot glue, I also added more pearls and rhinestones to the center of the bra top to give it a seamless look.
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!