Pirates have fascinating stories. They are both heroes and villains, fighting for treasures and loyalty. It is natural for kids to like them and want to take part in their stories. If you have been looking for easy costume ideas for kids for Halloween or for a Pirate themed birthday party, then here are some ideas for DIY Halloween Pirate Costumes for the Whole Family:
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Last Halloween we were planning a Pirates of the Caribbean movie-watching weekend, so I figured I would turn it into a themed event. We decided to dress up the kids and ourselves as pirates and eat pirate-themed food!
Here’s what we made costume-wise, each one is easy to make, and the great thing is you can involve your kids in making these fun Halloween pirate costumes too.
Gathering What You Need
The plan was to create an easy to make pirate costume for each member of the family: a girl, a boy, mom and dad. Here are some tips:
- Mostly I used clothes the family no longer wears, it didn’t matter even if they had already been altered as I was often cutting them.
- Prepare a tool kit: scissors, needles and thread, glue, white fabric paint, blue fabric paint if you need for the boy’s costume.
- I made each costume separately and only switched to the next one when the previous costume is completed as it was easier to keep track.
- I picked up little accessories at discount stores to theme our weekend.
#1. Girl Pirate Captain
My daughter wanted to be the captain, so captain she was! Here are the steps for making a girl pirate costume:
- Take an old black or dark top and cut off the sleeves.
- Take a white plain or light coloured long sleeve shirt, and layer the darker top over it as a vest.
- For the skirt I used an old princess costume that she had and cut the skirt shorter.
- For her captain’s hat, I used a black beanie and stencilled a white skull onto the front. If you don’t have a dark beanie then you could create a pirate hat by using a piece of dark material. Cut two semi circular pieces shaped as half of the hat and sew them together. Then add the white skull design to the front side of the hat.
How my child helped: She helped with the skull design painting.
How long does this costume take: This girl pirate costume took around an hour to complete.
#2. Boy Pirate Sailor
My son wanted to be a boy pirate sailor, so I just went for the typical nautical pirate look. This costume is also super easy to make.
- Find an old white-and-blue striped T-shirt. If you don’t have a striped t-shirt you could use a ruler and textile paint to draw blue stripes on a white T-shirt.
- Draw scallops along the bottom of the T-shirt and cut them out so the ends look nice and raggedy.
- I made a bandana out of a square from the back of an old black adult T-shirt and added small white skulls stencilled on it with fabric paint.
- I made a belt out of the rest of material from the adult T-shirt
- To complete the costume, you add a pair of red trousers or even jeans.
How my child helped: My son loved helping draw the scallop shapes (I did the cutting) and stencilling the skulls on the bandana.
How long: This is an easy costume that takes about one hour. Just allow extra time for the fabric paint to dry if using.
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#3. Mom Pirate Costume
- You can either use an old, long black dress or use a tank top and a long skirt. I had the latter. I first designed the corset by making small holes up each side of the tank top I then braided thin white cord from top to bottom through the holes, criss-crossing as I went. You’ll need to tie a knot behind the first hole then do your criss cross threading and finish up with another knot tied at the back of the last hole.
- For the top of the costume, I needed to do a bit of sewing. First I took an old gold party dress I had and cut my pirate costume sleeves from it – I cut rectangles the length of my arm that I folded in half and sewed up the seam. Then I gathered the cuff by just loosely sewing around the cuff in and out with thread and then pulled the thread tighter so it gave a ruffled effect.
- I then cut a panel from the old dress and sewed it to the top of my tank top with again a ruffled effect by pulling thread tight so that it became the bodice on the top with matching gold sleeves.
- Finally I used a square of the gold dress to make a gold bandana to wear under my hat.
- I did cheat and buy a tricorn hat from the discount store, as they are a bit tricky to make.
How my child helped: I got my daughter to help thread the cord for the bodice.
How long: This Mom pirate costume took me about 1 and a half hours by the time I did all the cutting and sewing.
#4. Treasure-Hunting Dad
For our Dad pirate costume, we went for the classic pirate look with a DIY sword accessory.
- A long sleeved white shirt was the start of the costume.
- I then took a red long sleeved shirt and cut the sleeves off to make it a red vest.
- An old pair of black trousers were cut off at the knee to make long pantaloons and he tucked the ends into long white wool socks so I didn’t even need to hem the edges, and in any case raggedy ends are fine for a pirate costume.
- We turned a piece of plywood into a sword and painted it, we had to use a jigsaw to cut out the sword shape so this bit is adults-only. When he wore the costume, he just tucked the top of the sword under his belt.
- To complete the costume you’ll need a red bandana and a black eye patch.
How my child helped: My kids enjoyed painting and decorating the sword.
How long: This didn’t take too long, it was less than an hour total, the longest bit is making the sword, and you have to allow time for the paint to dry.
I hope these pirate costume ideas have inspired you to have a go. We had a fantastic weekend and everyone enjoyed talking pirate and eating and drinking “grog”, and of course binge-watching all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies!
Over to you now. Have you made any DIY Halloween pirate costumes before? Share any tips with us in the comments below.