The Pirate Party  -  Decorations


Back to the Pirate Party PageCardboard Pirate Ship

I used a mixture of old fridge boxes and washing machine boxes to create a pirate boat shape then covered it on the outside in heavy duty black plastic glued on with hot gun glue. I kept part of the flaps on the sides of the boxes so they could be glued together on the base with hot gun glue to give the ship more stability. I cut a lower edge for the prow of the boat and a few rectangles into the back edges to make it look a little like a deck edge.

I drew cannonballs, a galley, a pirate cabin with treasure chests and a storage area for cutlasses, ropes etc onto the brown cardboard inside. I made a door, sprayed gold, out of a grid shaped piece of packing polystyrene and made hinges out of the cardboard to hang it. The ship measured about 3 1/2 metres in length. Inside I covered an old door with the same black plastic and placed it on polystyrene boxes to make a table.

Cardboard cutouts, sprayed gold and green, were used to make palm trees to decorate cupboard doors in the party room and I found a couple of large balloons with skeletons on them to complete the effect. We made a pirate flag from black fabric with a white skull and crossbones outlined with laundry marker and stuck on with double sided iron on material. This was placed on a broom handle width dowel in the centre of the table.

I spraypainted on old rams skull gold, and its horns black. This together with some old cow rib bones, sprayed gold, were tied onto a plank, anchored with bricks, to make a figurehead for the "Ramskullion" boat. I used bits of cow backbones, sprayed gold, to make crayon holders for the children's first activity, making a parrot. (Incidentally all the use of bones may sound awful but they looked wonderful, like sculptural pieces -- they were well washed and bleached beforehand!)

Back to the Pirate Party PagePirate Flair

Our tree on the front porch was decorated with black and red balloons and crepe paper and small plastic skeletons (also purchased from Dollar store).  I had a blow up parrot (recycled from a previous luau party) tied to the porch swing.  I also inserted small pirate flags (from party store) into the chains holding the swing up. 

I hung a skeleton I made from gallon plastic jugs (directions from Family Fun Craft book) from one of the lights by the front door.  I glued a paper pirate hat on him and tied a bunch of helium filled balloons to his hand (the balloons had my daughters name and Happy Birthday printed on them -- bought these at the Party Store). 

I also had a couple of gold and silver round Mylar helium filled balloons tied to the light fixtures by the front steps (these represented pirate treasure).  Our front door has a big glass panel and I put a poster I made with a purchased cardboard pirate flag in the center and various stuff I put on it on the outside.  On the inside(living room side), I hung the poster of a treasure island map that would become the "Pin the X on the Map" game. 

On one wall of the living room we have built in shelves for books, stereo and t.v.  I got on a ladder and hung red and black crepe paper streamers from the very top (practically at the ceiling) all the way down to the floor.  This covered the face of the whole built-in.  Then I attached paper pirate hats and the small pirate flags at various intervals.  It looked pretty neat!  I had two more folding tables set up in the living room (couch etc. pushed back) which I covered with red plastic Dollar store tablecloths.  These tables had the folding chairs around them.  I put the pirate cake (purchased) on the dining room table which was covered with more red plastic tablecloths. 

The luau party's palm tree piñata centerpiece, that was purchased from Oriental Trading company, [it's always helpful to have compatible parties for the kids so I can recycle decorations etc.] and some of my daughters' tropical Beanie Babies formed the island centerpiece.  I hung cardboard fish that my middle daughter and I had made for her September luau party from the brass chandelier over the table to give it a nautical flair.  In the back yard, I taped some black and red balloons to the swing set and the fence.  I also draped the left over crepe paper streamers in one of our smaller trees.

Back to the Pirate Party PagePirate Banner, Chest & Music

For the decorations for the party area I started out with a long pirate banner (it was a long string with black triangels hanging from it with skulls and crossbones)I beleive it was called pirate pennant flags.  I cut this in half and hung them going across the patio making a large X along the ceiling.  I then added red, black, and white balloons and curly ribbon.  I added bunches of the ballons to each corner of our covered patio, curled the ribbon that was hanging and added a parrot hanging from each bunch of balloons.  In the center of the patio I hung more ballons and a bigger parrot hanging from the center.  I had a few left over parrots that I hung throughout the party area. 

We had a snack table.  I used a pirate themed table cloth on this table.  I had a red plate and napkin caddy that I used to hold pirate themed plates and napkins, along with red and black forks.  I used a black bowl to hold chips and dip, another black bowl to hold goldfish snacks, and a red bowl to hold Pirates of the Carribbean fruit snacks (individually wrapped).  I cut out the picture on the box of fruit snacks and used double tape to tape it to the back of the red bowl.  It made a cute display for the snacks.  I then made a center piece for the table.  I used a cardboard pirate treasure chest (matched the table cloth, plates, and napkins), a large skull (halloween decoration), a map(came with party supplies).  I set up these three pieces, added a pirate eye patch to the skull and then added gold, pearl, and colored beaded necklaces (left over from Mardi Gras) around the area.  I also added lots of gold coins, and all different color gems (bought at craft stores near the floral department). 

I hung a pirate themed banner above the table and then anchored two bunches of helium balloons the each side of the table with smaller versions of the big cardboard treasure chest.  I put a balloon wieght in each treasure chest and then tied the ballons to the lid of the chest and closed it.......   I also had a portable CD player on this table playing pirate song.  Most of the songs were either from the wiggles or pirates of the carribbean, but I was also able to find some really cute unique kids pirate songs.  Other items on this table were the pinata stick, pinata bags (brown paper bags with foam pirate stickers and the words "pirate loot"), and all game pieces. 

I added a center piece to this table as well.  I used a brown cardboard treasure chest half way open and filled it with necklaces, gems, gold coins, and leftover maps, composses and telescopes from the goody bags.  Under the table, and covered by the table cloth, I had a large wooden trunk I use in my living room to keep blankets and pillows. The trunk held the pirate ship pinata and would later hold the treasure chests the kids would make filled with their pirate loot.  I made a red X out of red poster board and taped it to the trunk.  I also had two beach pails filled with small cannon balls made out of newspaper and black electrical tape.  This would be used druing the party for one of the games.

Back to the Pirate Party PageEnter at Yer Own Risk

As the kids arrived, they saw a wooden sign on a post which had black and red balloons tied to it. This was at the end of our walkway.  The sign said "Beware.  Enter at yer own risk" and had a skull and crossbones on it. 

Scattered just outside the front door on the porch were shined pennies (soak pennies in vinegar and salt) and gold chocolate covered coins.  On the door was a skeleton from Hallowe'en and another sign saying "Pirates only beyond this Point". 

I wore loose pants that were ripped at the bottom, blue & white striped t-shirt, bandana on my head, sash on my waist and an eye-patch.  I'd also pinned a toy parrot to my shoulder.  When I opened the door I asked each child if they were a pirate. 

Once they said yes they were let in!  The room was decorated with black and red streamers and balloons and a large black cloth with white skull and crossbones was hung on the wall. I also strung up alternating cutouts of black anchors and yellow swords (made out of bristol board) along one wall and in the doorways.

Back to the Pirate Party PagePirate Team Tables

For tables, we used two sets of two 8-person rectangle tables, arranged end to end on opposite sides of the room (one for each pirate crew). These were draped with pirate tableclothes purchased from a party store.

For centerpieces we wrapped 8 small flower pots in black foil paper, secured by lengths of black wire tinsel, filled each with a chunk of styrofoam, and then added a small (10") skull & crossbones flag on a dowel (black felt stamped with white fabric paint).

On one wall we posted copies of real pirate flags downloaded from the internet, another wall we used for the "Treasure Island" game, and on the third wall we hung with a full sized fabric skull & crossbowns flag ordered off the internet. On a separate red-draped table rested a treasure chest (decorated shoebox) overflowing with foil-wrapped bubble-gum "dubloons," ready for awarding.

To tie everything together, we tied red, white & black helium-filled balloons to just about everything in the room. The effect was definitely piratical!

Back to the Pirate Party PageCardboard Box Pirate Ship

We planned to hold the party outside but were faced with a day that called for floods!  If you look at the maps of Neverland you'll see rainbows everywhere.  I made rainbows out of streamers on the walls in the family room (main parents area) and put rainbow streamers on the door coming into the party, and the doors leading to the different rooms.  In the hallway I suspended glow in the dark stars and Christmas lights on gold ribbon that I pinned into the ceiling with push pins. 

I constructed a pirate ship out of boxes and packing tape.  It sounds - and actually - looked elaborate but was really simple to do.  I scrounged a large wardrobe-sized box from a friend and cut it open.  The box had four sides, so it had three folds in the card board.  I left three of the sides of the box on the ground to be the base or main area of the ship.  I cut the top and bottom flaps off the fourth side of the box and used them as supports; I taped the supports to the fourth side of the box to make it perpendicular to the bottom.  This was the ship's prow. 

Next my husband and I collected six printer paper box tops from school and work.  I taped three to each side of the ship from the prow the rear.  I then got two pieces of poster board and taped them to the prow to make it larger.  I cut them to mirror the curved design of Hook's ship, but it actually looked fine squared off too.  Three cans of spray paint turned the ship brown.  I happened to have some gold paint lying around and spent about fifteen minutes painting windows on the prow and along the sides and some simple curlicues at the top of the prow.  Easy, easy.  The final touch was the ship's mast. 

We used a fitted red and white striped sheet that belongs to my son and simply fitted it around a large dowel.  We had an old broken vertical lamp in the garbage pile and quickly salvaged it.  My husband cut off the cord and used more packing tape to secure the dowel across the top of the lamp, where the light used to sit.  I was worried that the ship wouldn't survive the party, but it was sturdier than it looked and is sitting in the garage now.  The biggest challenge was getting it into and through the house. The final touch to the pirate area was about a dozen black and purple balloons floating over the ship. 

Back to the Pirate Party PageShip Centerpiece

I made a poster that said Beware of pirates and I traced a skull and crossbone symbol next to it. I used the same lettering that I had used on the invite. I chalked it brown and burned the edges.I hung that on the gate that the kids came through, next to the sign I had a skeleton hanging. I found some pirate heads cutout at a party store and hung them around. My center piece for my table was a ship I had a four foot piece of wood that was about 5 inches wide and about 4 inches deep. I drilled 3 holes for dowels and I took 3 full size white poster boards and made sails. The middle sail I attached a plastic jolly roger flag to the top. On the two other sails I put a 8 1/2 by 11 piece of cardstock for some small sails. I placed my ship on a blue plastic table cloth. It looked fantastic.

I was going to leave my cake next to the ship during the party, but it was too hot outside and my cake would of melted. My eating tables had plastic red table cloths and I had red and black balloons everywhere. I had black plastic utensils and blue paper plates. I bought some paper cups and napkins with a jolly roger symbol at a party store.

Throughout the party I had music from Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride playing. The cd is called Haunted Disney. It has a few versions of "Yo Ho A pirates life for me" the music is a little more light hearted than the actual movie soundtrack.I then made my own cd of just the pirate music so it would play over and over. It was great when you could here the pirates talking and shooting the cannonballs at the ships.  I gave each child a red sash to tie around their waist when they arrived then they went to make the craft. My mom came to help dressed in black capris and white top with a red sash tied around her waist.

Back to the Pirate Party PagePirate Town Basement

1.  I held the party in my downstairs room, which is about 700 sq feet. I bought rolls of Black tarp plastic at Wal-Mart for about $5 a roll. I used this to cover the walls. We use this as a work out/ playroom so I moved all the equipment outside and pushed as much as I could against the wall, and then covered it all. I initially bought 6 rolls but only used about 4. So then at the bottom of the stairs as the kids enter I had 1 piece of tarp and cut strips in it (like a beaded doorway) and hung this. 

2.  My husband cut a large piece of particle board and screwed it into the wall, which cut the room in half. (1 half was the ship and the other for games, cake, etc.) I covered this with some of the black plastic as well.

3.  My husband cut a large 2 x 4 and sturdied a plank coming off the ship. (This I did not cover because the kids would later walk on it and the plastic is so slippery).

4.  I bought a couple of those Styrofoam ice chests and spray painted them to look like treasure chests. I had them sitting there for gifts to be setting in and around, and the other was for the big treasure hunt later on. 

5.  My mom gave be 12 black cloth napkins and I bought some white fabric paint at Wal-Mart and painted skulls on each one. You might be able to find a stencil of a skull, but I couldn't find one.

6.  My kids and I gathered up a bunch of rocks and pebbles and we then spray painted them a metallic gold. I used some of these and wrapped tule material around a few and tied off and used these as ôbags of goldö as gifts for the kids. I had purchased 3 small treasure chests at the Dollar store and filled them up also with gold  

7.  I made signs on large poster paper with permanent markers such as: Captain's Quarters for the Bathroom. Danger Beware Pirates Only Enter at Ye Own Risk Keep Out. I hung these around.

8.   I found this box of state maps at a yard sale for .50 cents and trimmed each one up and burned the edges and hung these around.

9.  Other items I bought at the very affordable and Ebay are 2 dozen mini pirate flags, black balloons, a fishnet and plastic fish, spray spider webs and plastic spiders, a large skeleton.

10. I also bought 2 blow up Parrots to hang and 3 blow up sharks to have sitting under the plank.

11. My mom gave me about 8 old milk crates and I spray painted them black and then used them as chairs for the kiddies.

12. I also downloaded about 10 pirate songs online and transferred these to a CD and played it during the party (we played it especially loud as the kids were first entering the ship).

Back to the Pirate Party PagePirate Entrance

When my son's friends began to arrive, they found a skeleton dressed in a hat and sash, holding a sign that said, "Beware, Pirates Ahead!".  Also, my dad made a CD of Disney's Pirate's of the Carribean theme song, which was looped to play over and over.  Whenever someone arrived, they would hear the music playing, "Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A pirates life for me...". 

Then when they got to my door, they found a treasure box that was filled with Beads, Paper Cups/Bowls spray painted gold and gold plastic coins.  To help limit the amount of beads I needed, I found a box that fit inside the Treasure Chest.  This allowed me to only place beads and stuff on the top of the box to give the chest a full appearance. I then placed the treasure chest on top of some sand to make it look like it was on the beach.  To help with the cleanup, I placed the sand on a tan table cloth.  Finally, I sprinkled a few beads and coins around in the sand and added a few shells and a palm tree for the final touches.

Back to the Pirate Party PageBuccaneer Bash Banner

I got vinyl fabric at Walmart for $1 a yard and used a letter cutting machine at school (I'm a teacher) on contact paper.  The contact paper letters peeled off and I placed on the black, vinyl sign.  (I. E.  Collin's Buccaneer Bash, Loot Goes 'Ere, Enter at Yer Own Risk, etc.)  I superglued 2 dowel rods at each end of the signs and placed all over the yard (just hammered the dowel rods into the ground).  I also got on the internet and printed pirate pictures and made them into overhead transparencies and traced onto the signs and used fabric paint to color them in.

Back to the Pirate Party PageLand Lovers Cove Sign

I made a couple of signs that I added to different areas.  Coming into the house I had a sign that read ENTER AT YE OWN RISK, under the patio LAND LUBBERS COVE, on the shed CAPTNS QUARTERS and X MARKS THE SPOT inside the shed.  I also had signs by each activity.  I made each sign on the computer using the Blackadder font, this looked "piratey", printed out on cardstock and attached to a paint stick for easy display. 

As the children arrived they each received a bandana and eye patch.  The boys got black bandanas and the girls got pink ones.  I found these at our local craft store.  The eye patches were ordered from Oriental Trading.  We then gave each child tattoos, either on their arms, cheek or back of the neck and most wanted more than one.  I found pirate themed tattoos on ebay for a very reasonable price. 

Back to the Pirate Party PageThe Pirate Boat

I called Home Depo and asked the manager to save me a refrigerator box. After getting questioned about it, I told him that it was going to be a craft for my son's birthday party. He admired my creativity and determination.  And, for $20 he not only put aside two big boxes, he even delivered them right to my door. Every nite for 3 weeks I worked on transforming these two boxes into one massive pirate ship (for 10 kids). I cut the tops off both, and stuck one end into the other box. I used silver duct tape to connect both boxes together. This gave the boxes strength and kept them from falling apart.

One box became the bow and the other became the aft. The bow was difficult because I had to cut the box into a point to make it look like a real boat.  Once the boxes were together, I noticed a big sag right in the middle. So, I added bulk heads (the cardboard tops of the boxes taped together, inserted inside the two boxes where the sag was).  I cut an opening into the bulk head so the kids could get through.  This was a great idea!

This not only added strength to the boat and got rid of the sag, but the kids loved crawling from one end of the box into the other.  Then I added a plastic PVC pole in the middle to act as the main mast. I fabricated some white packaging material, that came with the box, into a sail.  I painted the box brown, with blue waves at the bottom, added a silver cardboard anchor, and named the boat the "S.S. NATHAN".  I put wheels on the bottom to help to move it around. The kids loved when I pushed them in it!   When the kids arrived, they headed straight for the cardboard boat. I painted mustashes and beards on the kid's faces.  We handed out eye patches, pirate hats, and also put tattoos on the kid's hands and arms

Back to the Pirate Party PagePurple & Black Colors

We decorated the house with black and purple streamers on the stairway and fireplace and 50 black and gold helium balloons tied with gold ribbon. We also had the toy pirate ship decorate the food table and a big pirate ship toy box (today's kids)in the middle of the family room for the kids to play on/with. Signs were posted at the door, "Ahoy there matey- Welcome to Evan's Pirate Birthday Adventure!" I didn't want the children going upstairs during the party so we gated the stairs off and put a sign that read, "Upper deck closed due to storm wreckage. Pirate Adventure fun on lower deck matey!" We had a music Cd on of sailing sounds from the ocean in the beginning.

Back to the Pirate Party PageEnter on the Gang Plank

When each guest arrived at the front door, they were greeted by a pirate saying "Ahoy Matey, Im glad you found your way to MYLASTNAME Cove! Come on Aboard and join in the fun!  They had to  Walk the Gangplank up to the ship....I had two 2 by 8's fastened together and they walked up the planks over my four front porch steps.  I had triangle jolly roger pirate skull flags on both really looked cute! 

I had black paper on the front door and gold and silver and black helium balloons attached to the columns...and a large captains wheel on the door too.  When they came aboard they were given an inflated sword, a pirate hat and an eyepatch, along with a nametag with their pirate name, example Long Tooth Tony,  Peg Leg Pete, Blind Eye Barbara.  The birthday child is of course Captain Frank!  

Back to the Pirate Party PageShip at Sea Basement

I inflated about 200 blue and green balloons and static clung them to the ceiling. I also hung blue and green crepe paper about 6 inches from the ceiling...this made it look like we were underwater.  I drew the outline of a large ship on brown paper on a roll and taped it on the walls of the playroom...complete with circle windows as portholes and then used ziploc baggies half filled with blue water, then taped behind the brown paper.  I had all different size boxes in the corners and plastic battery powered lanterns also.  I recycled fish nets I had from a Luau party and used these as decorations as well.  I had blue rope lights all along the perimeter of the ceiling as well.  This really set the scene and the kids loved it!  


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