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Easy DIY Halloween costumes: Be a Pirate, matey…

crazedparent: DIY pirate costume

If your kid wants to be a pirate this Halloween, know that this is a really, really simple costume to make, even for the non-crafty folk.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Black sweats (You can find a cheap pair of Hanes sweats at Target for $6)
  • Black or red long-sleeve shirt
  • White oversized t-shirt
  • Black or red solid-colored bandana
  • Red and white stripped satin fabric, 1/4 yard
  • 1 roll red satin ribbon, 1/4" wide
  • 1 roll black satin ribbon, 1/4" wide
  • Black fabric paint ($3)
  • Black fabric pen 
  • Small piece of red or black felt  (for eye patch)
  • Rhinestone skull & crossbone iron-on patch or something similar (I picked this one up at Michael's Arts & Crafts for $3)


Easy stuff first. Iron the skull & crossbones patch to the bandana. I made the mistake of ironing it on to the middle of the bandana, width side. Don't do this! Fold the bandana over so you form a triangle. Place the iron-on in the middle along the flat edge of the bandana (not the point). Makes for an easier do-rag.

crazedparent: DIY kid's pirate Hallowe costume 

The t-shirt: It's all about pirate chic, so you'll be roughing up this shirt up a bit. Let's get the scissor work out of the way. Cut a slit up each side of the shirt; stop about an inch before the armpit.

crazedparent: DIY kid's halloween pirate costume

Next up, cut about an inch from the each sleeve and then shred them. To make them look rough, I made 4-5 slits, 1/4" inch each and then let my kid rip the rest of the fabric a bit. Do the same to the bottom of the shirt (along the waist edge). Lastly, cut the collar off the neck of the shirt.

crazedparent: DIY kid's pirate halloween costume

Next up, dressing up the sides. User your scissors to gently poke five holes along the edge of the shirt. The holes should be created about 1/4" from the side of the slits, and through both pieces of fabric. Then, take your black and red ribbon and thread it through the holes like so…(you'll use about two-feet of ribbon.) Tie a loose knot at the bottom and let the remainder of the ribbon hang.

crazedparent: DIY kid's pirate halloween costume

Next, put a piece of cardboard or thick newspaper in between the front and back of the shirt. Then, use a fabric marker or black marker to lightly sketch a rough skull and crossbones design on the front of the shirt. Then, fill in the outline with your fabric paint. Use a light layer — this stuff gets heavy. (Alternatively, you can just use a fabric marker and color it in versus using fabric paint. Will save you some money and mess).

crazedparent: DIY kid's pirate halloween costume

Okay, here's how it looks all put together. Layer the white tee over the black long-sleeve shirt to keep your kidling warm on Halloween night. Tie the red/white satin sash around your kid's waist.

crazedparent: DIY kid's pirate halloween costume

Side view of the cool ribbon.

crazedparent: DIY kid's pirate halloween costume

Finally, the face! Arrr, shiver me timbers matey. Tie the bandana around your lil' pirate's head, iron-on patch face forward. Use some eye make up to draw a mustache and goatee.

At the last minute, we decided to make an eye patch using red fabric and leftover black ribbon. If you choose do this, please use good-quality felt, NOT craft felt. Craft felt will make your kid's eye ITCH LIKE CRAZY. Good felt is sold on a ream at a fabric store. Craft felt is the stuff you find in stacks on shelves, sold as individual sheets.

crazedparent: DIY kid's pirate halloween costume

All told, this costume cost about $25. Granted, you could pick up a costume at Target for 10 bucks, but they are not great quality and often rip after one wear. One of the reasons I like these home made costumes is that your kids will end up wearing them again, either for imaginary play or just wearing the sweats in the winter. Plus, my kids enjoy the process of making the costume as much as I do!

Related Halloween goodness on crazedparent:

Easy DIY Halloween costumes: Scary Skeleton…

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4 thoughts on “Easy DIY Halloween costumes: Be a Pirate, matey…

  1. Oh this was great and tearing the sleeves was great – made a huge wow for me. And loved the sides of the white shirt too. This really was great. When I think of how much money I spent on garbage costumes for my son when he was small….man oh man….

  2. Krisell Mae says:

    Awesome! just in time i ordered some Iron on Rhinestones Designs Skulls at CrystalsRus online shop for $1.99 and i think i already have some of those other materials too. I would definitely try this one for my nephew. He will surely like it. Thank you for sharing.

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