Sailing the Seven Seas with Kids’ Pirate Costumes

Ahoy, mateys! Whether your kids are fans of Jack and Angelica from Pirates of the Caribbean or Jake and Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, pirate dress-up is always tons of fun. They’re great for trick or treating, and they’re great for birthday parties and playtime, too.


Here’s a treasure trove of pirate costumes and costume ideas that we’ve dug up, along with a few pirate dress-up activities and games to boot.

Pirate Costumes for Kids

Pirate costume ideas for kids

Our favorite thing about pirate costumes is that they’re a great dress-up theme for boys and girls alike. This pirate dress-up kit is the perfect example, since it includes all sorts of pirate costume pieces and accessories. A pirate bandana, vest, and waist sash are all in the pack, along with a hook, telescope, and cutlass. It’s an easy pirate costume that any child will love.

Of course, pirate captains and crew can get even more detailed costume looks, too. This brave buccaneer and fierce first mate are just two options for authentic pirate costumes. Each one recreates the kind of clothes that real-life pirates wore hundreds of years ago: lots of striped patterns, puffy pirate shirts, and faux-leather features.

Pirate queens were just as ruthless back then, too (and if anyone ever says that girls can’t be pirates, simply reply that Anne Bonny and Mary Read were two of the greatest pirates ever). This girls’ pirate costume, with cute boot covers (they make dress-up with littler kids a lot easier!) and a striped skirt, is great for toddlers. Here’s a posh pirate that takes all the classic elements of a pirate costume, and adds just a little bit of more feminine flair. Trendy tweens and teens may prefer this costume, which is meant for accessorizing with tights and pirate boots.


Pirate Accessories, Costume Jewelry, and Riches Beyond Your Wildest Dreams


Maybe that third part is a bit of an exaggeration, but every pirate needs to look the part – and, naturally, part of that includes gold coins and shining jewels. Once your first mates have chosen which type of pirate to be, they’ll need a couple of extra items to complete their costumes.

First of all, every proper pirate needs to have a pirate hat, a pirate hook, and an eye patch. Pirates can’t be expected to defend their ships (or take over other ones) without weapons, either. A pistol and cutlass ought to do the trick. Finally, pirates simply wouldn’t be pirates without all sorts of pirate booty. Gold coins, gold earrings and other faux jewelry can be worn or locked safely in a treasure chest.


Pirates of the Caribbean Costumes


Since the first Pirates movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl, came out in 2003, Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew have swashed and buckled their way through three more films and created one of the most popular Disney series around. The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales, is currently in the works and set to come out in 2017.

Pirates of the Caribbean costumes are just as popular as the movies are, too. Let your child dress up like Jack or Angelica from On Stranger Tides, and get the perfect accessories to complete the look. Take up your trusty sword and pistol, and set sail to discover the Fountain of Youth.


Jake and the Never Land Pirates Costumes


Based on Peter Pan, Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates is another show that’s really caught on in recent years, especially with younger kids. Jake and his best friend Izzy are the leaders of the Never Land Pirates, and they’re always going up against the evil Captain Hook. Whether they’re reclaiming treasure or seeking out lost islands and cities, the adventures in Never Land are always epic. If your child is a fan of the show, then these costumes are perfect. Each design is taken right from the cartoon, so Jake, Izzy, and Captain Hook all look just like the real thing.


Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy Costumes


They aren’t the only pirates in Never Land, though. Tinker Bell herself, keeper of pixie dust and best friend to Peter Pan, has embarked on the pirate’s life in her movie The Pirate Fairy. Tink and her fellow fairy Zarina still have their sparkly wings and fairy magic, but they’ve exchanged wands for pirate swords. Together, they prove that fairies can have plenty of fight in them. We’ll be talking about Tinker Bell and more fairy costume ideas in a future blog post, too.


DIY Pirate Costume Ideas

The typical landlubber household may not have pirate hats, hooks, and patches at the ready, but we guarantee that there are plenty of items in your child’s closet right now that would make perfect additions to any pirate’s treasure chest of drawers. Here are a couple of quick tips on items to look for:

Stripes. As reflected in a few of our costumes, striped clothing was a common sight on real pirate ships.

Simple colors. Specifically, we’re talking about neutral colors like grays and browns as well as muted tones of basic colors like red and blue. Pirates wore clothes like that centuries ago, because those colors of dyes were the cheapest.

Any old items. Create basic DIY costume items from articles of clothing destined for the trash. For example, an out grown black T-shirt can be turned into an easy pirate vest by removing the sleeves and cutting it open straight down the front.

Torn or ragged items. If your child insists on wearing those pants (the ones with the holes), might as well turn them into a pair of cut off pirate shorts. Plus, now they’ll have to wear their nicer ones to school.

Bandanas and scarves. Turn these into sashes and pirate belts. You can even use swatches cut from old clothes or just plain pieces of fabric from the store.

Shoes. Actually, lots of real pirates went barefoot, so that’s an easy one!


Pirate themed activities and games


Once your motley crew has fully assembled, it’s time to take on the life of a true pirate. Naturally, all of these activity ideas and suggestions can be done without needing to dress up, but that just makes it so much more fun, not to mention totally adorable. These are also all great pirate party game ideas if you’re planning a pirate themed birthday party for your child. (We’ll show you where to find more pirate party ideas at the end of this post.)

Pirate Treasure Hunt

Sketch out a rough map of your home or your backyard, complete with a route for your treasure seekers to follow and X’s to mark various spots along the way. The map itself can be as simple as a Sharpie drawing on a piece of a torn brown paper grocery bag.  To make it look older and more authentic, you can age the paper by staining it with black tea or coffee. Folding deep creases and crinkles into the paper and singeing the map edges will make it look more like a real pirate map, too. Use the map and other hidden clues to help your pirates find all sorts of treats and treasures (that you buried beforehand, of course).

Hook Toss

Create your own DIY take on the classic ring toss carnival game with this pirate-themed version. With some hot glue or strong tape, affix two or three pirate hooks to a piece of cardboard or plywood. Place them at varying heights to account for different point values. Then, hang or lean your target on a wall or a tree. An easy way to make your own ring toss rings is to cut the middles out of a few dollar store Frisbees – add gold spray paint for more of a pirate look. Who can land the most rings on the most hooks?

Walk the Plank

Walking the plank was usually a bad thing for most real-life pirates, but it does make a fun idea for a pirate themed activity. Prop up a long wooden board on a couple of bricks or short stacks of books. Can your pirates make it all the way across blindfolded? For smaller kids, a safer “plank” can be made on the ground with masking tape inside or sidewalk chalk outside.

Capture the Pirate Flag

This is one works the best if you have a large group of pirate party guests, just like the classic playground game. Divide the children into to two teams and establish “home ships” on either side of the backyard. These just can just be a few lines marked on the ground, or a couple of cardboard boxes decorated like pirate ships. The most important piece of equipment are the pirate flags themselves: each team has to try to grab the other’s, and bring it back to their own side. Birthday Express has this great weathered-looking pirate flag, or you can DIY your own with a piece of black cloth.


Pirate Birthday Party Supplies and Party Ideas


If you’re planning a pirate themed birthday party for your child, the Birthday Express Blog is a great place to start. You’ll find all kinds of styling tips and ideas for all of their awesome pirate party themes, so check them out.



What kind of costume ideas should we show off next? If you liked this post and want to see more like it, then share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter @CostumeExpress. Be sure to check out our Pinterest boards for more costume ideas and tips, too.


Click here to shop all Pirate Costumes for kids on Costume Express.



Author: Walter Bloch

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