Deep sea mermaid – version 2

This is an upgrade of my deep sea mermaid costume which I put together for a victoriana-inspired costumed club night a few years ago.
This version takes the original concept, but instead of the boiling hot corset, floor-length fishtail skirt with petticoat, and knee-high New Rock boots combo, I put together a matching outfit that was a bit more comfortable and cool.
I also went for a scarier tone, combining the anglerfish style glowing lure with thin thermoplastic teeth and boldly creepy face-paint – more suitable for a dark and noisy environment, and way more fun to wear. This is definitely a costume I’ll continue to develop, as my prop-making skills evolve. I will probably remake the glowing jellyfish umbrella some time too, because that was beyond awesome and I really miss it.

Pen-and-inking

Working on improving my use of dip-pen and ink. Very much enjoying the expressiveness of my new favourite nib, and india ink is a dream to use…

Quick and easy costume animal ears

It’s the last minute, and you need a costume, fast! This method lets you make a pair of comfy animal ears with a realistic shape in about half an hour. It’s pretty flexible – whether short dainty cat ears or giant swaying bunny ears, they’ll come together in a jiffy! Mine are pretty bright, but switch out the fabrics with fun fur and vinyl for a more realistic look. Tools and Materials

Materials:

  • Wide, strong plastic hairband (to be nice and stable on your head)
  • 8 Cable or Zip ties (these provide the structure)
  • Fabric scraps

Tools:

  • Hot glue gun (and glue sticks)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Strong snips (I used metal snips, but you could also use wire-cutters or really strong scissors)

Design your ears & build the structure

Decide where on your hairband you want your ears to be – standing straight up, or wide spread to the side. Mark the middle of the hairband, and add the cable ties symmetrically.  I’ve only shown making one ear here, but it’s a good idea to make both at once, so they match. The innermost cable tie should stand up at the front, and the others at the back to add depth to the shape of your ears.  Place the last one a little further apart from the others. Shaping

Where you gather your ears will determine their size – use a rubber band to gather them together. Twist the innermost tie to lay flat on top of the other ones – this will help make a little pocket at the front. Push and pull the individual ties to settle the shape of your ear.  When you’re happy with it, add hot glue to the cable ties below the rubber band. When it’s set, trim the ends off, and add more glue to reinforce the join. Add outer fabric

Take an oversized bit of your outer fabric, and glue it to the back of the ear.  Start with the base, then the tip, then either edge, making sure it’s securely anchored.  If you’re using hot glue, try and make sure it stays neat and tidy, so it doesn’t leave hard splodges to alter the shape of your ear. Once it’s fixed to the outside, trim the fabric down to leave a nice wide hem around the structure, then glue that down.  Trim the fabric around the base of the ears. Lining

Nearly there…  Cut your lining fabric slightly larger than your ear, then glue to the two innermost struts first.  Once it’s firmly in place, trim it more precisely to fit, and glue it around the edges. You’re done!