How to Make a DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) with Dollar Store Items

How to Make a DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) with Dollar Store Items

Whenever I see a really cool makeup with an awesome prop or a bit of costume thrown in I’m just like, “That’s it, I’m a cosplayer now, that is all I want to do forever”.  And then I settle down and I say to myself “Ok let’s just start slow and learn some SFX makeup for now, you crazy girl”. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try SOME of my random ideas here and there.

I’m not even sure why I decided to make a few headdresses but I think I saw one somewhere, watched some YouTube headdress tutorials after that, and then it just stuck in my head for awhile.  I made a Forest Fairy headdress and then went a little darker and did a Raven Witch headdress. I obviously had to try a mermaid one as well so off I went for sea shell supplies and hot glue gun refills.

The Supplies

DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Materials

I really had no idea what I wanted my end product to look like or how I was going to make this happen but I did have an idea of the supplies I might need.  Literally every single item but one came from the dollar store and that was the chain which I had to break down and go to Michaels for. And oh yes, you know I used that 50% coupon they always have.

My pleasantly cheap dollar store items consisted of blue tulle, garden wire (luckily I did this in the summer while all their gardening supplies were in season), seashells, gems and pearls, and electricians tape.  Even my glue gun and refills came from the dollar store because I’m thrifty like that.

Creating a Frame

For the first headdress I did I used wire and for the second headdress I just used a thick headband from the dollar store.  I knew I wanted this one to have a really sturdy base that would fit snugly on my head so I decided to try creating a frame with wire again because I thought a headband might shift around too much from the weight off all the shells I would be adding.

DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Wire Frame
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Wire Frame
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Wire Frame

I started by snipping three sections of garden wire that would fit around my head like a cap.  I taped the three ends together to get a tentatively study base but I had to try it on and resize it a few times until it was just right.  Once the frame sat comfortably on my head I secured the tips where the wires met with even more electricians tape until I felt it was secure enough to start adding some decoration to.

Hiding the Wire (and Making it Pretty)

DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Tinfoil

To cover the wire, I tried wrapping tinfoil around each section, creating some tinfoil spikes at the front, and then covered that with tulle.  It ended up being way too thick and slipping off my head so I undid everything, and decided against the conspiracy-theorist tinfoil look. 

Instead, I rewrapped the wire in just tulle.

DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Blue Tulle Wrapped
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Blue Tulle Wrapped
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Blue Tulle Wrapped

I chose three spike shaped shells and hot glued them to the front of the headdress to give the whole thing a crown kind of look.  I snipped some short lengths of chain and glued those between each spike. I also glued a piece of chain across the front with the intent that it would hang down across the forehead.

Gluing the Shells and Gems

DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) - Gluing Shells
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) - Gluing Shells

I fired up the mini hot glue gun and started randomly glueing shells, pearls, and gems here and there.  I covered the entire front of the headdress then starting working down the sides and all the way across the back and top support sections.  I tried to cover as much blue tulle as possible but quite a bit still peeked through.

The Results

DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Results
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Results
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Results

And here it is with it on my own head little bit of makeup added. 😉 

DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Results with Makeup
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Results with Makeup
DIY Mermaid Headdress (Crown) Results with Makeup

What I Learned

I liked the end product of this headdress but there were a lot of parts I really didn’t love.  I would have preferred to see no tulle through the shells and I think a good solution would have been to put hot glue in the open sections and then fill in with tiny beads. This would have given the headdress a much fuller look.

I also may have changed the shape of the headdress altogether.  This may have looked better if it was done as a circular crown or if the foundation was a thick headband that held tight on the head.  I had decided not to use a headband thinking it wouldn’t have been sturdy enough but in retrospect I think the whole headdress may have turned out a little nicer if I had.  The design I used was definitely very sturdy and stayed on well but I didn’t love having the extra shell-laden bands at the middle and back.

As usual, the things I want to change came from a lack of planning.  I do repeat myself a lot, saying next time I’m going to plan it out more fully, but then I get an idea in my head and I’m just like “Let’s do this!!”.  I have to say, I really do like to just spring into action and see how things go.