Cheap Homemade Shipwrecked Pirate Costume

by Sandra Phaneuf

Creating a shipwrecked pirate costume is a quick, easy trick for Halloween revelers young and old who are short on time and money. This creative costume can be put together with items found in almost any closet and a few props stolen from the toy box, or handmade from basic materials.

Gather Materials

The most important tools for creating the shipwrecked look are simply some old clothes and a good pair of scissors. For women's and girls' costumes, find a basic skirt of any length that you will not mind parting with, and a tank top or billowy blouse that can be altered. For men's and boys' costumes, a dress shirt, black vest, and pants may need little or no alterations with the proper accessories.

Create the Look

Women and girls should cut several frays lengthwise into the skirt. An off the shoulder, midriff-baring shirt is ideal, but if nothing from your closet seems to work, simply shorten and fray any blouse. You may want to layer multiple shirts for warmth and to create a bold color combination. Tank tops can be worn below frayed half shirts, ideally in reds and blacks. Women can wear chunky heeled shoes or boots.
For men and boys, a white dress shirt should be worn unbuttoned at the top and partially tucked into a pair of dress slacks. The slacks should be tucked into large black or brown boots. If you do not have appropriate boots, shorten and fray a pair of unwanted dress slacks just below the knee, and go barefoot or wear sandals. A well fitted and buttoned black vest or long jacket can be worn on top. For men and women, a proper belt or sash completes this look. Use either a thick belt with a large buckle or cut any bright fabric into a 4-inch by 3-foot rectangle, to wrap around your waist.

Finish Your Look, Accessorize

In place of a traditional pirate hat, a kerchief can be folded and tied around the head. If you do not have a kerchief, a scarf may work, or simply cut any brightly colored fabric into a neat rectangle of desired length, which can be easily folded and tied at the side. Other optional accessories include a sword, an eye-patch and a stuffed parrot. Women can add fishnet stockings or colorful tights and large, bright jewelry.

About the Author

Sandra Phaneuf is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience. She has been a contributing writer for "Voice of America," the "Informed Constituent" and the "Albany Student Press." Her focus is energy policy and Eastern European studies. Phaneuf has a B.A. in political science from the State University of New York and is pursuing a graduate degree in journalism.