Halloween Costume Idea: Mermaid Ariel Tutu Dress

So I sat down with my daughter a few weeks ago and asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween. After, some thoughtful ideas, of course mostly girly, she decided that she wanted to dress up as Ariel from the Little Mermaid.

I had two options. I could either buy her a costume (which can sometimes get expensive) or try to make her one myself. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy to sew, but lately I don’t even want to look at the sewing machine.

So after some time searching online, I found this costume on Etsy, which was such a perfect costume idea, easy and inexpensive. As much as I love to buy and support Etsy sellers, there is just no way I could spend over $50 on a Halloween costume.

I went to JoAnns to buy the green tulle and a little bit of green sparkle tulle. I found a 6 inch purple crochet headband for the top online and an Ariel Wig from amazon.com. That’s pretty much it!

The total cost of supplies was less than $20.

First thing I did was gather all my supplies up. I highly recommend buying the 6 inch rolls of tulle over the bulk tulle. It probably would have saved me some time, but I couldn’t find the right color green, so I ended up getting it by the yard instead – which is a little cheaper as well.

A great shortcut I found for cutting up tulle for tutu’s can be found here. I ended up just using the box the tulle came wrapped on.

You want to make sure and cut the tulle into strips that are twice as long as you want the length to be, plus an extra inch for the knot. Using the box (or a piece of cardboard), I put the crochet headband around it to help stretch it out a little to allow me to attach the tulle into the holes.

You basically attach the tulle to the crochet headband like you would making a tutu. Make sure you start from the second to last row of holes, fold the tulle in half and using a slip knot attach it to the headband. I did this for two rows around. Then using the glitter tulle, I added just a few strips around the whole tutu dress.

When all finished with the tutu dress, I simply tied a piece of the tulle around the ankle part of the dress to give it the mermaid tail effect and a piece for around the neck.

What do you think?

Mermaid Ariel ♥

Disclosure: I received compensation to thank me for my participating in the DailyBuzz Mom’s Halloween Costume 9×9, and my opinions are completely my own. Full Disclosure here.


  1. That is so cute! My oldest is being Ariel but since we just got the new Disney store I couldn’t resist. =) But I do love yours!!

  2. Such an awesome idea, this is too cute! I am hoping to start making costumes for my family for next year, just looking for a neat idea for the four of us for a theme so that I can get started before Halloween next year. We finally have a fabric store where I live now too!

    New follower to your blog, please check out mine too.



  3. Hi, I was wondering how many yards of tulle you ended up buying for this costume. I saw this on etsy as well and doing some searching to make it myself I came across this! so helpful since I am not crafty at all!! Thanks for your help.

    • Nicole, I have no idea why I didn’t write that in. I almost positive I bought three yards total, but for two of them. So depending on her little or big your child is, I would say 1 – 1.5 yards total.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial! I’m probably going to follow your directions to make this for my 4 year old. One question: Can the child walk around without problem when the tulle is tied around the ankle?

    • Great question! Yes, only if you don’t tie it super tight. I tied it enough to “show” the effect of a tail, but so she could still walk with it on. Every so often, you do have to kinda pull down on the tulle.

  5. I am trying to determine if I will need a 6in or 10in headband to use as the top. My daughter is 3yo but is 3ft tall and weighs 38lbs. She fits into 4/5T. What would you recommend based off your daughters size?

    • If she fits into a 4/5t, you could probably use a 10in one, it would just not be super stretched out, like ours was. They are pretty cheap, so if anything get both, and decide after you try them on her.

  6. So I’m totally making this for my 4 year olds costume this year….She saw it and just HAD to be Airel. I’ve been busy trying to order the supplies I need (have the headband on it’s way) But i was curious what color green you used. I’ve been looking online at the spools and I was thinking that the apple green looked closest to what I would want but was just curious if you know what color “green” you used.

    • Hi Diana, so happy to hear your daughter loved it! I bought my tulle from Joann’s and looking it up online, I’m almost positive it was the “lime” green here – joann.com/shiny-nylon-tulle-54-many-colors/prd7199/

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