How to Make DIY Halloween Pirate Costumes for the Whole Family (2024)

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.

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DIY Halloween Pirate Costumes

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 wantedto 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.

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#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

I went for a classic woman pirate look with cut off sleeves and corset as part of the 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!

How to Make DIY Halloween Pirate Costumes for the Whole Family (2024)


How to make an easy pirate costume? ›

Easy DIY Pirate Costume

If you want to keep it super simple this Halloween, reach into your closet for a basic striped T-shirt and some dark jeans, then pirate things up with a sash belt, bandana, and eye patch.

How to dress like a pirate without a costume? ›

A leather belt with a large buckle, a bandana or headscarf, and a pair of boots are all great options. Don't forget to add some jewelry, such as a necklace or a pair of earrings, to complete your look. Another way to add some pirate flair to your outfit is to play with different textures and fabrics.

What would a female pirate wear? ›

There were two infamous female pirates: Anne Bonny and Mary Read (d. 1721), and both wore the trousers and shirts typical of male mariners when in battle. Alternatively, short billowing trousers known as 'petticoat breeches' were worn which could be tied at the knee. Leather pockets were often stitched onto trousers.

How to tie a pirate bandana? ›

Drape the triangle over your head with the tip facing backward, and tie the other 2 corners at the base of your neck. Roll the bandana into a headband for a thinner style. Wrap the bandana around your forehead and tie the ends at the back of your head.

What do pirates wear on their legs? ›

Like other 17th-century seamen, Caribbean pirates wore loose pants cut off just below the knee, woolen stockings, and a thigh-length blouse or coat. Many wore “petticoat trousers.” Very full and open at the bottom, these resembled a divided knee-length skirt or the garment called culottes.

What clothes do pirates wear? ›

Typically, they wore short, loose jackets, different trouser styles, shoes (not boots) and various headgear, like bandannas and tricorns. Bad weather necessitated waterproofed gear. Accessories included neck cloths and sometimes sashes, while onshore, they carried canes or cudgels.

What are pirate clothes called? ›

Pirate & Privateer Clothing - Breeches / Slops

One of the more distinct garments of sailor's dress has become commonly known as "slops".

What is dress like a pirate day? ›

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is a parody holiday annually held on September 19. Celebrated for the first time in 1995, the fun holiday encourages people to talk and dress like the sea plunderers of yesteryears.


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