How to Make a Pirate Bandana

by Chelsea Fitzgerald

A bandana is an inexpensive head covering for a pirate costume.

Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Making a pirate bandana is an effective way to enhance a pirate costume for a masquerade party. It is also a wise way to cover your scalp if you are having a "bad hair day" or to keep sweat out of your eyes while working outdoors. Bandanas are relatively inexpensive and come in a wide range of colors and prints. To make your own bandanna, use a lightweight fabric, particularly 100 percent cotton if you are using it as a sweat band.

Items you will need

  • 1/2 yard lightweight fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Colored marker or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Fabric glue (optional)
Step 1

Lay your lightweight fabric out on a work surface and smooth it out.

Step 2

Measure a square that is 24 by 24 inches -- the standard size of a bandana.

Step 3

Mark the square with a pencil or colored marker depending on the color of your fabric.

Step 4

Cut out the bandana square.

Step 5

Lay the bandana on your work surface at a diagonal -- with one of the corners facing toward you. Smooth it out with your hands. Position it so the wrong side -- the dull side -- of the fabric is facing up. This allows the right side to be showing once the pirate bandana is complete.

Step 6

Fold over the top corner -- the one facing away from you -- so the tip is near the center of the fabric. Smooth the fold with your fingers.

Step 7

Bend your head forward and place the folded section of the bandana on your forehead approximately 1 or 2 inches above your eyebrows.

Step 8

Tip your head back to allow the bandana fabric to cover your scalp.

Step 9

Tie the corners that are at the side of your head together at the back of your head in a half knot. This leaves you with one corner hanging down the back of your head.

Step 10

Secure the corner that is pointing down by tying the knot over it again.

Step 11

Adjust the bandana so the knotted section is to one side of your head if you want to resemble a particularly jaunty pirate.


  • Finish the edges of your bandana with a sewing machine or fabric glue if you like, but typically the unfinished edge is more appropriate to a mischievous pirate look. Many pirate costumes are red and black; therefore, a print containing these colors works well.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.