How to Make a Mermaid Costume From Soda Bottles

See how we made this pretty sea-sational outfit using plastic bottles, tulle fabric and some craft-store beads.

Get the Instructions

Soda Bottle Mermaid Costume 01:57

To make the mermaid’s scales, upcycled plastic bottles are cut into ovals then attached to a princess skirt. A little extra tulle was used to create a tail, and a standard tank top was embellished with faux pearls, trinkets and ribbons. 

Tools and Materials:
tank top and princess skirt
toy necklaces and costume jewelry
2-liter soda bottles
oval hole punch
utility knife
fabric glue
tulle
ribbon
stapler
rubber band
scissors

Rinse and remove labels from the bottles. 

Use a utility knife to cut off the top and bottom of the bottle so you’re left with a cylinder. 

Slit the cylinder down the middle and lay the plastic out as flat as possible.

Use an oval-shaped hole punch to cut the scales from the plastic. We used clear and green bottles to add color and help the scales shimmer. 

Starting at the top of the skirt, staple the scales in rows.  Tuck the following row under the preceding row to hide the staples. 

Our skirt is nylon with a layer of tulle on top. We split the front of the skirt to make it easier for our little mermaid to be able to walk. Where the skirt was cut, the fabric was folded over and fabric glue was applied along the seam to prevent fraying. 

On the back of skirt, we gathered the tulle layer about 2/3 of the way down the skirt and secured it with a rubber band. This is where we're going to attach the tail. To make the tail, several strips of tulle were tied to a ribbon. Then the ribbon was tied around the rubber band that was used to gather up the back of the skirt. 

Ribbon is glued onto the tank top to add some frilly accents. Faux pearls and light-weight costume jewelry are adhered to the tank top with hot glue. 

Add the same ribbon used for the tail to a headband or crown to complete the ensemble. 

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