How to Make a Kids' Pirate Costume From Things at Home

by Rebekah Martin

So your child wants to dress up as a pirate for Halloween, or maybe he just wants to go sailing the Seven Seas in a cardboard box in the living room. Whatever the occasion, there's no need to go purchase an expensive costume. Instead, make a believable pirate costume out of everyday items you can likely find at home.

Find a white shirt, preferably with long sleeves. Have you seen the Seinfeld episode where Jerry wears the puffy white shirt? That's what you're looking for; if you can't find one just like that, any white shirt will do.

Find some black pants — the older, the better. You want to cut up the bottom of the legs a bit so they look old and scraggly. If they are too big in the waist, no problems. Tie a scarf around your child's waist. A red scarf will work great for a pirate costume, but you can use any scarf to keep the pirate pants in place.

Cut an eye patch shape out of black fabric. Paint a skull-and-crossbones on the front. Glue a long ribbon onto it; the ribbon should be long enough to tie around the child's head.

Tie a bandanna around your child's head. If you happen to have a tricorn pirate hat lying around, that works too. Most people don't, though, so a bandanna works just fine.

Now it is time to accessorize your pirate. Stuffed animal parrots or monkeys are great animals to have along on a pirate ship. A toy chest filled with parade beads makes a great buried treasure or pirate booty.

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Items you will need

  • White shirt
  • Black pants
  • Scarf
  • Black felt or fabric
  • Black ribbon
  • Fabric glue or hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Bandanna
  • Stuffed animals
  • Toy chest
  • Beads


  • No need to find shoes or boots for your little pirate. Walking the deck of a pirate ship is more comfortable in bare feet.


  • Be sure your little pirate has no problems walking around with one eye covered with a patch as his depth perception may be a little off.

About the Author

Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images