DIY Pirate Costume

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A couple of years ago my daughter decided that she wanted to be a pirate for Halloween. It really wasn’t that surprising because she’s always had a thing for pirates. However, have you checked out the pre-made pirate costumes? They were either too expensive or (shockingly) too sexy for a kid. (Seriously.) So, we just decided to make our own Halloween pirate costume.

Pirate Halloween Costume for Kids

DIY Pirate CostumeYou’ll Need:

  • Adult White Shirt
  • Red Sash or Scarf
  • Black Pants/Tights
  • Black Boots (or Black Socks pulled over shoes)
  • Black Head Scarf
  • Plastic or Cardboard Sword
  • Eyepatch

Creating a Child’s Pirate Costume

1. Visit the local thrift shop.

My daughter already had a black fitted pants and black boots, so all we needed was a white shirt and a sash. However, you can find pants (even larger ones) at the thrift store and cut them down. We actually bought a woman’s dress shirt and I cut it down by making the edges jagged on the bottom and then pinned it in the back. It was “blousy” on her and worked out really well.

If you need pants, look for black pants of any style (they don’t have to be fitted) and chop them off to the length you need. Be sure to crop them so that you can cut them as jagged (think reverse triangles with the point down) on the bottom just like a pirate who has been out to sea!

Don’t forget to buy a red sash–we found a woman’s red scarf, but a plain red tie will work, too. (And, it serves double duty by either helping to hold the pants up or tying around the blouse.)

If you don’t have black boots, buy an adult pair of black socks, cut out the foot and slip the over the shoes. (Think leg warmers.)

Total for our thrift shop spree? Around $4

2. Cut the shirt and pants.

These are used items, so don’t be afraid to cut apart the shirt and pants to make them look more ragged and “piratey.” Again, I shredded the bottom of the white shirt to make it look older. You can do the same with the pants. I just cut reverse triangle patterns randomly over the bottom edge of the shirt.

3. Make a trip to the dollar store.

We rounded out the outfit by adding things from the dollar store–a plastic sword, eyepatch, and a pirate-like coin purse (tied to her sash). We had a pirate head scarf (from my husband’s outfit a few years back), but you can pick up a black bandana at the dollar store (or use one you have!) and create the same effect.

Total for our dollar store spree? Around $3

4. Don’t forget the face!

I used some of my darker eye makeup and rubbed a little on her cheeks. (I mean, pirates are dirty and smelly, right?)

We had comments from almost everyone that passed us about how cool the pirate outfit was. While I watched the $60 princess costumes pass by, I smiled smugly knowing that I made an awesome pirate outfit for under $10. (Who can believe? I KNOW!)


About Author

Jacqueline Wilson is Ella's mom and a homeschooler. She loves cooking and creating with her daughter. She is the co-author of 50 Shades of Frayed: Three Moms Talk About What Happens When "I Do" Becomes "Not Tonight". You can follow her on her personal Twitter account, WritRams and on Facebook as WritRams and Little Cooks Reading Books.

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