Sunday, October 3, 2010

How to Make a Homemade Pirate Costume

Ahoy, Matey! Halloween will soon be upon us, and if ye want to live the real scalleywag life of a pirate, you had better look like one. Here's how you can make your own homemade pirate costume instead of having to buy one. You might have most of what you need already.
Adult Pirate Costume for MenHalloween adult pirate costume for men


To make a passable pirate outfit, think about what pirates like, and what they do. Then adapt them to what you can find or make.


Adult Sexy Pirate Costume for WomenHalloween adult sexy female pirate costume for women


Use the following ideas and pictures for inspiration. Add your own creative touches, to make an original outfit all your own.

Rogue Pirate Toddler costume

Rogue Pirate toddler costume



Start with a shirt


A white or off white, large, dress shirt or peasant shirt will do. If it has a big collar, big cuffs, or big ruffles around the neck, all the better. You can add lace around the neck or collars.


Pirate shirt for adult costumePirate Shirt for adult costume

Add a topcoat


You can do a vest only, or a vest and coat or jacket, or just a jacket. For a vest, anything plain will work just fine. If you can find something like a corset style, with drawstrings, that will work too.


For a jacket, use something with large lapels, and longer is better. You can add gold trim to the lapels and cuffs. You can cut coat tails into the back. You can just draw it in close to the body at the waist, either by sewing, or with a belt or scarf.


Buccaneer Adult Jacket


Buccaneer Adult Jacket




Get some pants or a skirt



Ideally, the pants color will match your vest color, but it's not necessary. Long pants will work, and if they are loose and baggy, made of cotton, you will be able to pouf them out above your boots.


If you want to be a female pirate, you can use a full skirt or cut a sheet into a skirt, and use some of the matching fabric for a head covering or scarf around your waist.


You could also use leggings or a dress, and add a vest over the top. You can cut the hem of the pants or skirt to look raggedy, since pirates are on a ship for years, so their clothes get all beat up.


Swashbuckler Plus Adult female costume

Swashbuckler Plus Adult Female costume

Pirate Maiden Adult female costume


Maiden Adult Female costume





Cover your head


Use some fabric (pirates like stripes and red) or a large bandanna or scarf to cover your head. Tie it in the back, and let the excess hang down.


Alternately, you can use a pirate hat. There are all sorts to choose from. Manufacturers sell three-cornered hats, hats with skulls and crossbones, or huge hats with feathers, like the kind Captain Hook wears.


Pirate captain hat


Pirate Captain Hat


You can add a long-haired wig, for that scraggly, unkempt look. You can also do a bandanna under your pirate hat.

Buccaneer Girl Toddler costume

Buccaneer Girl Toddler costume




Get some boots


Brown or black leather or leather-looking boots work best. Tuck your pants legs into them. If you have some scrap leather or vinyl, you can make fake cuffs to tuck in as well.

Pirate Boots for kids costumePirate Boots for kids costume


You can also use rubber boots if you are making a kid into a pirate. Or use the legs cut from black pants over black boots, to make it look like you are wearing boots that come up almost to the knees, like in this photo.

Pirate mate child costume

Pirate mate child costume




Barefoot works well, especially if you use pants that are cut shin high, with raggedy hems. Or use fancy, shiny shoes, since the pirate could have pillaged it from some rich, fancy dude in old London, then taken it for himself.


Toddler Pirate Costume for KidsHalloween Toddler pirate costume for kids





Add accessories


Pirates are always looting and stealing, so they like to flaunt off their treasure. Add some jewels around your neck, or a gaudy pin to your head cover.


Big buckles and straps are always part of a pirate's garb. You can make a fake buckle with a square of cardboard painted silver. Add that to a normal belt, or just pin it to the front of your pants, to look like a belt.


You can strap a belt across your body sideways, or attach a sword to it. You can make a pouch and fill it with coins, and attach that to your belt.


Pirate costume accessory kit

Pirate Accessory Kit: hat, hook, eye patch, earring, sword


Maybe you've been in a few sword fights and got unlucky. Better add an eye patch, if that's the case. Make one out of some black-painted cardboard with elastic tied to it.


Don't forget that grungy, nasty look. Use some tooth blackening compound and stick it to one of your front teeth. Use some black makeup on your cheeks and chin to look like you haven't shaved in a while. Put on the nastiest, meanest scowl you can muster, and you're all set.


Don't forget a sword, and maybe even a musket. And if you can find or make a fake parrot, you can sew that onto your shoulder, too. If you are making a kids pirate costume, make sure the parrot doesn't poke the child's face or hamper their visibility when trick or treating.

Pirate SwordPirate Sword
Pirate PistolPirate Pistol
Fake ParrotFake Parrot

You can also make ahomemade dog superhero Halloween costume with a few scraps.


You'll be the most original pirate on the block, with your own homemade Halloween costume. "Arrgh, Matey! Step aside, or get ready to walk the plank!"

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