$20 Cosplay · Lifestyle

Under $20 Cosplay : Victorian Inspired Ariel

In my world I get commission requests for so many variations on Disney princesses. Some people want to throw down a grand…some want to keep it under $100. Well,I have a game I play against myself,a challenge if you will,to see what I can accomplish (for my own costumes) for  under $20.00 🙂

I won’t deny…I’m lucky. I know… I DO have lots of material to pull from but believe it or not you probably do as well! Most everything for this costume came directly from my supplies. My total for this costume was right at $18.96 ,which will be broken down later on.

This shoot took place at Castle McCulloch in Jamestown NC. The theme was Steampunk/Victorian based Disney characters. I chose Ariel!

Marie Otero Photography

To make this costume:

  • The first item I found that made me want to make this costume is this bright green (photo doesn’t do it justice colorwise) Kathie Lee dress … obviously 90’s style 🙂 I was drawn to this because it’s an XL so it has loads of great fabric for use. Also…the details are amazing. I immediately knew that I could make some killer spats from this sucker. I found it at Goodwill for $5.00
Material for dayssss
  • I knew I wanted “shoe fins”but I wasn’t too sure how I wanted to make a first version of these. As I was cruising Walmart I walked by the paint aisle and saw paint stirrers. Magical! The perfect thing. Since they go with paint…Walmart can’t charge you for these. I tried to pay for them,I asked two different people…but NO. So yay! FREE. I picked up Brown paint on sale for $2.99 and a lot more white fabric than I would need for this haha. I had other projects to do 🙂 So the cost for that was $2.97


It’s obvious how I made these once you look at them….haha…. Paint stirrers painted brown and hot glued to fabric. This is also a shot of the spats I made from the dress. Literally I just cut these pieces off (it was the embellished sleeves) and tied them around the shoes. The good thing is…with spats you don’t have to use Victorian boots (I am though) you can use any boot and make it look snazzy with this extra fabric piece.

So my total for this is $18.96 (Total amount of items actually purchased for project)

  • Green dress for materials: $5.00 Goodwill
  • Shoe fin materials: $5.96
  • Red wig: $8 from Ebay

Other items used in this are:

  • Black gloves. I sewed some of the green material from the dress onto them to tie it all in. I also added little white buttons. These are not necessary but if you wanted to go that route you can pick these up for as little as $3-$10
  • The corset purchased previously for $9.99 on Ebay
  • Ruffled purple shirt from Goodwill $3.75
  • White ruffled fabric piece bought at a thrift store for .25
  • Striped thigh highs purchased on clearance at Spirit Halloween $1.99
  • Victorian Boots: Ebay $9.99
  • Black top hat from Party City $9.99 which I glued every random piece of crap lying around on my coffee table. I mean that literally. My boyfriend chews on things so there were bottle tops and weird pieces of plastic hanging out. They are forever on this hat now. I also glued seas shells, empty thread spools,some netting and a fork (dinglehopper) on top 🙂
  • The green overskirt was made from the green dress materials. It’s just pieces cut randomly and I sewed them onto the top of a skirt to give the appearance of a green shorter overskirt.
  • I’m wearing a black skirt I already had under the green one for aesthetic and length
  • Fluffy petticoats bought through various trips to Carolina thrift for .99 each
  • The parasol was borrowed.

People have asked me, “How did you keep the shoe fins on?” The answer is…I didn’t. They were just hot glued to my boots. That lasted about 30 mins into the shoot. They popped right off,glue included, so no damage to my shoes. Luckily I had brought a second costume because I knew that was going to happen and I didn’t want to ruin the overall look. The second model of the fins I made for a client uses leather straps and is more of a steampunk look. You’ll see that later though.

Until Next Time…

Singing “I wanna be where the people are…”

~Ariel urrr ummm….



6 thoughts on “Under $20 Cosplay : Victorian Inspired Ariel

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