I decided to really get into my kids Halloween costumes this year since they are old enough to request and appreciate the costumes. I actually made them as easy as possible, but they look pretty complex. I loved watching their faces as they saw their Halloween costumes come to life. Here’s how to make a DIY ghost costume and a DIY mermaid costume (it’s at the end of the post).

There are affiliate links in this post.

Charles Dickens' Ghost Costume Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com

DIY Ghost Costume


When I planned my son’s ghost costume I didn’t want to just make him a sheet that draped over him. I thought it would be hard to deal with in a seat belt and running around Halloween night.

Instead I decided to make him an artistic, abstract “Charles Dickens” inspired ghost. I made him a white long sleeved tee combined with white mismatched sweater pieces. I also added white tulle pieces all over and hanging off.

Then I made him a pair of skinny white pants with more tulle pieces on them. I didn’t want people to be able to tell if he was an old ghost or a young ghost or what time period he came from. I got him white shoes and a fake plastic chain to wrap around his neck and waist.

I painted his face white and his eyes black. Luckily, his hair is so pale I don’t have to do anything to it.

Handmade Halloween Costumes - feathersflights.com

He’s going to have to wear layers underneath and maybe a white jacket to stay warm since Halloween is often pretty chilly. He might even have to wear white gloves. 

Handmade Halloween Costumes - feathersflights.com

Ghost Costume Tutorial

1. Make or buy a white sweatshirt. Add strips of white tulle hanging off of different parts of the sweatshirt.

2. Make or buy white pants*. Add strips of white tulle hanging off of different parts of the pants.

3. Cut out a large rectangle from the tulle. It should be as tall as your child’s shoulders and slightly wider than your child. 

4. Sew a white ribbon onto the top to tie around your child’s neck like a cap. 

5. Cut the bottom half of the white cape into strips.

6. Add white shoes*, a fake chain*, and some ghost makeup.


DIY Mermaid Costume Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com

DIY Mermaid Costume

My daughter went through 50 ideas of what she wanted to be for Halloween before I made her choose just one. But once she saw the fish scale fabric and the coordinating sequin fabric she was able to decide. She sounds like me, letting the fabric guide my decision. 

She wanted to be just like Ariel, but I knew it’d be cold so she needed coverage. I made a sequin tee with a tiny tulle edge on the hem, and a fish scale skirt with a puffy, tulle mermaid tail. The top of the skirt is a fitted pencil skirt and the tail poofs out at the bottom. The front of the skirt is long to mimic the tale, but the back of the skirt is cut up above her knees so she can still run. 

Handmade Halloween Costumes - feathersflights.com

She’ll have to wear layers underneath to stay warm and maybe even a jacket over top. I love that the skirt hides her shoes and she can wear any warm shoes underneath. I hot glued shells to clips for her hair, and I glued shells around a battery tea light with a ribbon attached so it looks like her voice is glowing inside.

Handmade Halloween Costumes - feathersflights.com

Mermaid Costume Tutorial

1. Make or buy a sequin tee shirt*. Add a piece of tulle to the hem.

2. Sew a some stretchy scale fabric* into a tube the circumference of your child’s hips. Add elastic to the top.

3. Cut the hem into a slight “V” shape with the point going down at the center front and the point going up at the center back.

4. Gather a bunch of tulle and sew it onto the bottom of the skirt. Trim the hem so it hits the floor in the same place. The back will be longer than the front.

5. Glue some shells onto clips for a hair piece. Do simple mermaid makeup.

Related Posts

Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “DIY Ghost Costume and DIY Mermaid Costume