September 19, 2013

DIY Mermaid Leggings No Sew Tutorial - Perfect for a costume or dress up

This week I got creative and decided to make these DIY Mermaid Leggings for our Little Mermaid craft party. They are a perfect Halloween costume or dress up outfit.  I love that unlike most mermaid dresses they give your child full flexibility to run, jump and be a kid without the constant worry of tripping, falling and underwear flashing which can be traumatic for mermaids over age 5.  

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Making them is easier than you might imagine, especially because I won't torture you with a sewing machine or complicated pattern.  Just grab a pair of leggings you know will fit your child and a few felt sheets which you can find at most craft stores and even some big box stores.

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I made a quick template for scales by drawing a scale on the flap of a cardboard box that was waiting to go out for recycling...the rest of the box is still probably waiting.  I should get on that!  Using the template I cut out a bunch of different colored scales.  If you want to get extra fancy, you may be able to find some special sheets of felt that have sparkles.  They cost about 3 times as much as the plain felt does, but they certainly enhance the look.  All in, I would say I used about 6 standard paper sized sheets of felt to make these leggings for a 4 year old.

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Next you'll just lay out your pattern on the leggings.  Do it however you feel it works best.  This is not something to obsess about or bring out the perfectionist genes for.  Your child will not care if you misplace a scale.  I chose to rotate dark and light purple and mix in some of the pink sparkle scales.

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Next you just hot glue the scales in place.  It's easy as can be, goes quickly and they really stay put.  I had tried using fabric glue and OMG I nearly threw the whole thing in the trash, that was so frustrating!  Stick to hot glue or if you're incredibly talented with a sewing machine use that.  I was able to glue the whole thing together in about 15 minutes.

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Last but not least I added a couple of pieces of tulle at the bottom to give a fin-like effect that wouldn't impact Kayla's ability to walk or play.  I literally used some leftover tulle from an old party decoration.  This was maybe a 12" round of tulle cut in half and then folded a bit to fit under the bottom row of scales.  I hot glued that in and we were done.

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Kayla loved the way the scales felt and immediately needed to put them on and show them off to a neighbor.  And I said I couldn't possibly make a cute Halloween costume.  I'll take that one back!

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