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One Costume, Three Ways: DIY Renaissance Ariel

Here in sunny Los Angeles, our local Irwindale Renaissance Pleasure Faire is now open for ye old timey entertainment on Saturdays and Sundays through May 19th. We at Pure Costumes decided to take a little field trip to the Pleasure Faire to participate in this year’s festivities, and you really can’t go to a Renaissance Faire and not dress up in a timely costume. Well, I mean, you can, but why would you when it’s so much more fun to dress up? Anyway, this year because visited opening weekend, the Faire did not have a specific theme, so we decided on our own! We decided to have a Disney Princess theme, but in the style of the Renaissance Era. We added one other twist, the 3 of us were all different princesses, but we used the same costume as our base to DIY off of. We decided we would call this project, “One Costume, Three Ways”. Our choice for our base costume?

DIY Renaissance Ariel Costume Disney princess

Renaissance Peasant Dress Adult Costume (Ivory)

Inspired by my already red-colored hair as well as my love for The Little Mermaid, I chose Ariel as my Disney Princess that I would be trying to re-imagine as a maiden of the Renaissance Era, but I was specifically inspired by Ariel’s blue dress that she wears in the boat during the “Kiss The Girl” song.


Here’s my DIY Renaissance Ariel Costume!

DIY Renaissance Ariel Costume
To achieve this look, but with some renaissance flair, my plan was to dye our base costume blue and add a black corset. Her look is pretty simple here, so I didn’t add many accessories. On to the fun part– dying a costume!

I used Rit All Purpose Powder Dye in Royal Blue. This dye is versatile and can be used for both natural fabrics (cotton, wool, etc) and manufactured fabrics (polyester, rayon, etc). Please be sure to check fabric content of the item you’re dying as well as your dye instructions before starting any project for best results. The dye packing has sets of different instructions depending on the content of your fabric, as well as different methods you can use depending on what tools are available to you. This costume is 100% cotton, and I elected to use their “stove top method” for dying.

DIY Renaissance Ariel Costume

For this method you will need a LARGE stainless steel pot, 1 cup of iodized salt, detergent (I used 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap), and I highly recommend gloves as I did not want to walk away from this project looking like a Smurf. I filled my pot with water and got to work! As instructed, I heated the water to just below boiling and added my dye powder, salt, and soap. Once the water was at temperature, and all powder was dissolved, I added my costume to the mix. The directions recommended constantly stirring for 30 minutes for rich color. Being that Ariel’s costume is a lighter blue on the bodice I decided I would submerge my entire costume, but take the top out sooner.

DIY Renaissance Ariel Costume

I was pleasantly surprised that just after just 5 minutes my costume was already this dark. I let the skirt of the dress stay in the dye for the remaining 25 minutes while constantly stirring my pot. Once my timer went off to let me know I was done, I took the costume to my bathtub to rinse out the fabric until the water ran clear (or mostly clear). I then threw the costume in my washing machine with an old towel, and when it was done I hung it out to dry.

My finished project came out exactly as I hoped.

DIY Renaissance Ariel Costume

My only accessories that I added to this costume were a scarf that I had tied into a bow to pin in my hair, and a small necklace that is a snail shell like Ursula’s.

DIY Renaissance Ariel Costume

This costume was simple and easy to put together, and our group got so many compliments! I would also recommend this costume if you live in a hotter climate, or you know you’ll be outside in the heat for the day as this breathes really well especially when compared to a lot of the renaissance costumes that are constructed from much heavier fabrics. We all had a fabulous time and look forward to next year, we better start planning out our costumes now!

DIY Renaissance Ariel Costume

Mulan, Tiana, and Ariel at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire!





Part time Disney princess, but I love the Disney villains. I enjoy things that are spooky such as zombies, skeletons, and bad witches. I enjoy sewing projects and making delicious food and treats. My favorite superhero is Batman, because I am the night.

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