Step 2: Make the Pirate

Much like with my Headless Bride, we started by making a duct tape dummy.

Have your male volunteer put on one of the turtlenecks and wrap his torso and arms in duct tape. Cut through the duct tape and shirt to remove it. You'll need to cut up the spine and cut down each arm.

Once it's off, tape the torso back together. Attach the Styrofoam head with more duct tape. Stick two bamboo poles into the bottom of the head. Cut the poles a little longer than the torso. The poles will help give the pirate some rigidity and give you something to help attach him to the backpack.

Attach the fake hand and pirate hook with more duct tape. You might also want to help secure it with a glue gun.

Stuff the torso with batting. Don't make it too full or he won't sit close enough to the mermaid. When it's well stuffed, tape up the bottom.
<p>Well done . I did Ursula&quot;s capture Ariel a few yrs ago . I took it a bit further and had her wear an aquarium with water bubbles and fish. it is on the vid on my instructable check it out. </p>
<p>Such a great tutorial. I used a lot of the basics and tweaked them so they worked for my costume. I couldn't find a rigid foam cooler for instance, so had to settle for dressing up a cardboard box. I pieced it together, paper mache'd it and than covered the outside with foam shelf liner with a wood appearance, so it was still very light. I also kept a back on the box, so it slid up and stayed on my hips without a belt. The only other thing I really changed was that I chose to use zip ties instead of rope to secure the backpack to 'Manfred' (my pirate). Thank you so much for posting this. (P.s. I won 'Best Costume' at a 400+ person party...so totally worth the time and energy!)</p>
Thank you so much for posting this. I've always wanted to be a mermaid.So far, everything looks awesome but the tail is confusing me. I need help figuring out how to attach the tail.
<p>Costumes like this are so cool! Does this kind of thing have a certain name so I can look up more of them? Like illusion costume or something similar? I'm shocked and amazed at how many people made this and posted pictures! I think an excellent modification to this would be to add some sort of pull string mechanism to allow you to move the mermaid legs and REALLY confuse people when they saw the legs kicking every so often.</p>
I made the Kidnapped Mermaid a few years ago and had so much fun with it that I had to try it again! This year's Key West Fantasy Fest's theme was &quot;Superheros and Villians&quot; so my fiance and I went as Snidley Whiplash, Nell and Dudley Do Right!! Once again I had a fantastic time keeping people guessing! Thanks for your inspiration!!!
Wow. that's great. Thanks!
that is such a cool costume!
Thank you for the great idea!!! I made this a few weeks ago for Fantasy Fest here in Key West, FL. It was a HUGE hit!!! I must have had my picture taken 1000 times! Had so many guessing about the costume and how it was done. Your instructions were very detailed and made it easy to construct. A few alterations worked well for me...I used a cooler with handles and ran a swim noodle through the arms and across the neck. I secured the head into the noodle with wooden dowel pins which made the head very stable. I also cut a bungie cord in half and attached each half to the ends of the swim noodle. I could then hook the bungies into the handles of the cooler. This made carrying the 'treasure chest' a breeze and made it easier to remove for sitting or bathroom breaks! I stiched gloves to the costume sleeves and secured the bungie hooks to the palm of the gloves so the 'hands' stayed on the handles. This costume was a BLAST!!!!
Thanks for posting the pictures! In the first one it's hard to tell which pirate is the real one!
Thanks so much for all your great idea. Everyone was so amazed with my costume. I reused the torso of my headless bride and added a Pirate Mask and dress him up....Now..the she become He...lol...it was so funny because the older people thought it was my husband carrying me...lol...I had so much fun making it...and again...I didn't want to spend money on shell bra since my wig was kind a expensive from Ebay...so I covered my old strapless bra with satin purple color and put beads around it to make it looked like a shell...and used my husband's gloves as his hands... <br>thanks for all your ideas...Here is my Kidnapped Mermaid
It's awesome that you were able to reuse the headless bride for the pirate! Thanks for sharing the photos!
ModMischief! You rock! I followed your instructions and my costume won 2 contests (so far, one more left to attempt!) <br>To add my own touch, i cut clear, blank compact disks into small circles and glues them in groups to the tail to represent scales... it turned out great! <br>Thank you for sharing your creativity and talent! <br>
Congrats on winning the contests! I love the idea of using CDs for scales.
Thank you so much for the instructions! My 8 year old daughter fell in love with your costume and wanted me to make one for her this year. (By the way, she's already thinking about another illusion costume for next year!) I ended up using a leotard for her top with some flair from an old prom dress as the sea shell bra was a tad inappropriate for an 8 year old and cold for Colorado :) Best part is we had a blast making it together and she really enjoyed getting to duct tape Grandma for the pirate torso too!!! And I did use an old seat belt instead of a dress belt as that was easier for her to get on and off. <br> <br>She won the 1st place in the school's costume contest and if there was one for the city's Trick or Trunk and community event, she would have won those too. <br> <br>The first picture was waiting in line for the city's event and she was starting to blush at all the attention her costume was creating. I think we all had a smile from ear to ear everytime she wore it! Second picture was out trick or treating last night with baby brother, who had to have some flair of his own so we transformed his shopping cart into a pirate ship! Never really was able to get a great picture of both ;) <br> <br>Thanks again!!!
I love the blue mermaid hair! Thanks for posting the pictures!
Thank you for posting this wonderful costume! I wanted to top last years costume for my 11yr old daughter and came across this. I made some modifications of course but it turned out beautifully. She had a little trouble with trick or treating just because she couldn't move to fast and we were in a little bit of a time crunch. She also couldn't maneuver the porch stairs all that well either. Trunk or treating would have been an easier option. She was a huge hit though at our local costume contest. She won a prize for Most Outstanding and Homemade. I loved watching people trying to figure it out.
Your daughter 's costume really is &quot;most outstanding&quot; - thanks for sharing the pictures!
What dimensions were the cooler?
I'm not sure exactly what size we used, but you'll want to measure your mermaids hips and find a cooler large enough to fit her.
I did your headless bride last year....and got so many compliments...I cannot walk 2 ft. without someone asking me taking a picture. I also won a netbook and $200 gc for a Halloween contest. This year, I am doing your kidnapped Mermaid version. I cannot seem to figure out how did you get the treasure chest carried by the Pirate....Did you attached a belt into it that will go around your waist? Pls. let me know. <br>Thanks
Thanks for the great tutorial!<br>I live in The Netherlands and they had never seen something like this before.<br>I made the costume for a &quot;fox-hunt&quot; for a local boyscout-group. For a fox I was a bit easy to find, but they all loved it.<br>During the hunt I had to walk through the village and most people smiled and the reactions they gave were all super positive!<br><br>I could not get a box like yours where I live, so I constructed the treasure chest from styrofoam boards, wooden picks and glue. It came out a little bigger then expected, but it still worked and came out pretty good. :)<br>I even have a few rental applications in already ;)<br><br>But first I want to wear it myself to a few other fantasy festivals. <br><br>
Everyone loved it. Thanks!
Fantastic! Your pirate looks very convincing.
Thanks! The only thing is that I didn't have my hair covering the straps for this picture.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this. <br>Here's how mine turned out ... I won the costume contest at my neighborhood pub. If you were anywhere near Phoenix, I'd buy you a drink! :)<br><br>
Congrats! Great job on the costume!
This was the best ever! It took a little bit of doing to get it all worked out well but in the end we won the costume contest at the annual Columbia Gorge Hotel Halloween party in Hood River Oregon. It was awesome how people on the dance floor would sneak up and touch the pirate to see if it was real. A tip on the top: We used a nude bandeau bra from Target and sewed a set of cheap foam seashells on that we dressed up with some sequins.
Well done! I love the green mermaid hair!
I'm looking for the pic's of how you cut out the shirt to the backpack, do you have any that you could submit? or give more step by step instructions of how you did this part? I'm to this step of making the costume but, I'm not for sure how to do this.
<br> I don't have any photos of this step other than what is already posted.<br> <br> Basically you want to make sure that you can glue the backpack to the dummy's body and not just the shirt because the shirt could stretch and not hold the weight.<br> <br> When you know where you're placing the backpack, just cut out a hole in the shirt, glue the cut edges down so the hole doesn't get any bigger or shift and then load up the backpack with glue and stick it down.<br> <br> Even with the backpack glued to the dummy, we still tied it together to make sure it didn't come apart or sag.<br>
does the back pack need to be full size? i forgot to ask. i was just wondering because it seems very heavy without the dummy being attached.
As long as the backpack fits comfortably it shouldn't really matter. We used a fairly small backpack, there's no need for a really big camping pack.
okay thank you
just seen this on the daily instructable and I must say it looks amazing, well done!
THATS AMAZING! WOW. seriously well done!
Fantastic, makes me wish a was a women so i could try it out!<br />
&nbsp;&quot;Mer-man, Dad, Mer-man!&quot;
Zoolander! :0D
you could apply this to many costume combos like gorrila holding man in a cage
i was gonna ask about that!
You know, they have mermen, and female pirates...
So be a homely mermaid ... :-)<br />
JAJA! It's Sooo COOOL! Great Instructable!
loved making the costume, got much of it at a thrift store for a few bucks. Spray paint was the most costly item, and the coin candy. The rest I had in house...For the tail I used a fan of pool cover ( hard blue bubble wrap-like) and attached it to a necklace, so I could move it around for extra fun. I used knitted chains for effect too, one of which sent through the loops on the raincoat of the pirate, I pulled on them to keep him upright and also did a few little humping sessions for entertainment LOLOLOL by pulling on it a bit..<br><br>. Loved having such fun making and wearing.., wowed em! THANKS MODMISCHIEF, for giving me the base instructable to take off from!<br>
Great job! It looks fantastic!<br>I'm sure the humping pirate was hilarious
I have to say, this is one of the more original and creative ideas for a costume I have seen...<br>well done!
Great instructions! Thanks for sharing.<br><br>I made this costume for Halloween this year, and of course it was a huge hit. I have a few tips for anyone who's thinking of trying it themselves:<br>1.) This should go without saying, but don't wait until the last minute on this one. From start to finish, it took up every spare minute I had for 10 straight days, plus I pulled an all-nighter the night before Halloween to get it done.<br>2.) I didn't know how to do the faux bois effect for the chest and wasn't able to find very detailed directions anywhere. I ended up painting the whole chest dark brown and after it dried, using a dish scrubber from the grocery store (not sure what to call it -- it was like a stiff, wiry sponge) to drag lighter brown paint along the sides, always working in the same direction. It took some effort to get it to look right, but I was surprised at how nicely it turned out.<br>3.) I tried to make two belt loops from duct tape and cardboard and stick them to the side where the styrofoam was cut away, like it shows in the picture. Within about 5 minutes, the duct tape had ripped away from the cooler. To fix it, I made belt loops out of twine that were long enough to reach my belt from various points inside the chest and duct taped them down really well. It worked great. They were all taped below the shelf, so they weren't visible when I was wearing the costume. I made about 6 of the twine belt loops in all.<br>4.) About 90 minutes before showtime, I discovered that the Velcro was worthless for keeping the pirate's hand on the chest. I guess I didn't get strong enough Velcro. I didn't want to glue the hand directly to the chest because it was easier to transport if I could completely separate the pirate from the chest, so I glued one of the bead necklaces down in just the right position so that I could slip the pirate's hand through the necklace and hold it up that way. The hand didn't sit flush against the side of the chest like I would have liked, but nobody commented on it.

About This Instructable


523 favorites


Bio: For more about my costumes, crafts and general craziness, check out my blog: http://modmischief.blogspot.com/
More by ModMischief: Fitted Crib Sheets Leaky Boot Repair Custom Contour Changing Pad
Add instructable to: