No-Sew Pirate Costume

[ 2 ] October 1, 2008 |

Many children seem to go through a “pirate phase” at some point. Thanks to Elyse Major, one of our Kidoinfo readers for sharing this easy DIY pirate costume your child can now dress the part.

DIY Pirate Costume on kid o infoMy five-year-old son loves to wear costumes. In our playroom we have an overflowing bin of them thanks in part to post-Halloween 90-percent-off clearance sales at Target and also due to some boredom-busting moments of inspiration. Whenever my youngest son has outgrown his clothes, they generally get thrown into “the Zach bag,” for my best friend’s son. But some clothes are just too worn-out to pass along. These garments find a second life as pirate wear.

Optional: Adhesive felt, felt, fabric scraps, needle and thread


Jig Jag Pants
Making pirate pants is a cinch. Cut the pants about ¾ down their length (below the knees) in a jagged line. My son calls this “making them jig-jag.” Imagine Charlie Brown’s shirt design as you are cutting.

Pirate Vestvest detail on kid o info
Making a pirate vest is also easy. Lay any shirt out flat. Cut off the arms along the seams. Leave the back as is but cut the front fabric all the way down the middle, creating a vest. We also like to jig-jag the bottom. With remnants of fabric or felt, sew a patch onto the front of the vest using colored thread and make sure to let your oversized stitches show. Cut a skull-and-crossbones from adhesive felt and stick on to the patch. The more jig-jags and patches, the scrappier your scurvy dog.

Add a bandanna here, a pirate hat there (usually available at party stores), and your little corsair is ready to set sail! This costume is especially fun to wear at Antonio Coelho’s big ship on the second floor of the Providence Children’s Museum (re-opening the end of October).

To help set the pirate mood, check the Kidoinfo list of pirate books for Kids.

Elyse Major lives in northern Rhode Island with her husband and 2 sons (almost 6 and almost 8 years old). A “mostly” stay-at-home mom, Elyse works as a communications consultant for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island. Hobbies include doing crafts with her boys; eating popcorn with her husband; writing; creating home dècor; and most recently blogging (visit Elyse’s blog at

Photo credit: Elyse Major

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Category: crafts

Elyse Major

about the author ()

Writer and self-proclaimed “tinkerer” ELYSE MAJOR, is the author TINKERED TREASURES (CICO Books). She also contributes to publications such as Romantic Homes and Romantic Country and is currently at work on a second book due for publication in spring 2014. Elyse lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two boys. Visit her at

Comments (2)

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  1. calendar katy says:

    i need one of the crafty kidoinfo people to give me instructions for an easy papa smurf costume for a seven year old boy who is averse to wearing blue tights with a red loin cloth.

  2. elyse says:

    that is the funniest! maybe bright blue sweats with the red loin cloth on top? the hat and beard are key!

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