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Lagoon Lady Halloween Costume

Our siren has come a long way from the scary swamp creatures of old, with stenciled scales, a webbed frill (made from rubber gloves), and artfully scalloped gills.

Photography: Henry Leutwyler

Source: Martha Stewart


Stencils make it easy to paint a pattern of scales onto both face and clothing; use a pair of fishnet stockings to stencil the face and a paint-can grid (available at hardware stores) for the clothes.


  • Makeup brush

  • Iridescent green cream makeup

  • Pair of fishnets

  • Hair clip

  • Scissors

  • Dark-green cream makeup

  • Makeup sponge

  • Black eyeliner

  • Green false eyelashes

  • Eyelash glue

  • Yellow contact lenses (optional)

  • Green hairspray

  • Rit dye in taupe, kelly green, and lemon yellow

  • White tank dress

  • White leggings

  • Green fishnets

  • Stencil brush

  • Paint-can grid

  • Green fabric paint

  • 8 yellow rubber gloves

  • Needle and thread

  • 10 inches of ribbon

  • 2 6-inch paper plates

  • Light-green spray paint

  • Hot-glue gun

  • Hole punch

  • Bobby pins

  • Press-on nails

  • Green nail polish

  • Light-green rubber gloves

  • Dark-green spray paint

  • Pair of flippers


  1. Use a makeup brush to apply iridescent green cream makeup (we used a creamy eye shadow) to face, lips, and neck.

  2. Cut a section from a pair of fishnets and pull tautly over face; secure with a hair clip.

  3. Using fishnet as a stencil, blot dark-green cream makeup (or creamy eye shadow) onto face with a makeup sponge to create "scales." Line top and bottom lids with black eyeliner, emphasizing the outer corners of eyes. Apply green false eyelashes.

  4. Apply yellow contact lenses, if desired. Spray hair with green hairspray.

  5. For the clothes, make a murky green mixture of fabric dye (here, 2 parts taupe, 2 parts kelly green, and 1 part lemon yellow). Dye a plain white tank dress, leggings, and a pair of green fishnets; let dry. Using a stencil brush and a paint-can grid as a stencil, paint scales onto tank dress and leggings with fabric paint. Cut a hole between fishnet legs (for your head) and cut toes off feet (for your arms). Slip head and arms through holes so that you are wearing fishnets like a shirt. Cut thumbholes and insert thumbs. Wear leggings and tank dress over fishnets.

  6. For the collar, fold 8 rubber gloves lengthwise in half and then in half again. Trim wrist edges to a point to make jagged edges; unfold. Using a doubled length of thread and large running stitches, sew gloves together side by side about 2 1/2 inches from top; gather gloves. At each end, knot thread to a 10-inch length of ribbon. Tie collar around neck.

  7. For the gills, cut a 6-inch paper plate in half, then cut one half into quarters and the other into a large wedge; round corners. Repeat with a second plate. Spray-paint light green; let dry. Hot-glue 2 smaller pieces of each plate to larger piece, overlapping and staggering slightly to resemble gills. Punch hole in each larger piece, insert bobby pins, and pin into hair, covering ears.

  8. For the gloves, paint a set of press-on nails with green polish; let dry. Cut edges of light-green rubber gloves into jagged edges. With a hot-glue gun on the low-heat setting, glue nails to fingertips of gloves.

  9. Spray a pair of flippers with dark-green paint; let dry.

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