Instructables
Picture of Make a mermaid costume from old junk
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I'm staying near the beach at the moment and was inspired by the junk there and some plastic bag material instructables.  My friend and I made this costume for a video shoot. It's a bit makeshift so while it's possible to move around in, it only covers the front making it best for posing on the rocks or in the sea.

You will need
- about 5 different colour plastic bags (sea themed is best so blue, green, purple, gold, silver)
- 5 white or whatever colour bags
- tissue paper/baking paper (not waxed)
- an iron
- scissors or other cutting implements
- an old bra or bikini top
- a pair of old leggings or other stretch material
- needle and thread
- pins
- ghost nets or other sea junk to use for hair
- copper tape or another decorative tape or ribbon (optional)
- leggings to wear with the costume


Step 1: Making the tail pt1

Picture of Making the tail pt1
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The tail is in two pieces so that the mermaid can bend easily at the knees.  the top part extends from the hips to below the knees, and the bottom part from the knees to beyond the feet.

We will use the plastic bags to create the tail.  Keep all your coloured bag offcuts - we will use them later.

First, flatten the plastic bags, cutting off the handles and the bottom that seals them all together. 
This will give you sheets of flat plastic. Put the white/whatever colour bags aside as they will be the back of the costume.

Cut scale shapes out of the colours - you will need about 150 of these (for a shortish adult) You can take a shortcut by folding and layering the plastic bags before you cut them - then you can create loads of scales with just a few snips.

Measure the mermaid! Measure the distance from the hips to the knees, add another 30 cm to that measurement - this is how long the top part of the tail needs to be.  Hold the white/whatever plastic bags against the mermaid-to-be and measure the size required to cover their front and sides.  It may take two or more bags for this.  Cut the plastic to the required size.

Lay out one piece of tissue paper, on this lay flat the white/whatever colour bags, this will be the base for the scales. 

Starting at the bottom of the tail, place one line of scales on the background plastic.

Cover with tissue paper and iron on a low heat until the plastic is fused together.  Keep the iron moving - you may wish to experiment with this beforehand.

Add the next layer of scales, cover and iron.  Keep repeating this until the background plastic is covered with the scales.  If you needed more than one piece of background plastic then fuse it to the other piece using the iron.




 
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