You can easily throw together a DIY pirate costume for one (or more!) kids in under 10 minutes! For under $10!
There are 10 things that I love about a DIY Halloween costume:
- You can use items that you already have!
- You can re-use these items for a dress-up trunk or switch it up for another use.
- They’re a throwback to ‘old’ Halloween costumes!
- There’s a feeling of satisfaction when you get it done and can say “Yes, I DIY’d it!”
- You can make them car-seat friendly!
- Adjust to your child’s age or comfort level.
- Add in your child’s favorite colors, a tutu, an accessory to customize!
- Originality. Not a carbon copy of your neighbor!
- Kids are more invested because they help put it together.
- Keep it simple and keep the cost DOWN!
Borrow/Buy/DIY these items for a great costume!
- Bandana- $1 or FREE from your house–this is a great way to gain attention, you can use it to start a theme, bring in color, or just hide the fact your kid needs a haircut! If tied correctly it won’t fall off or blow off in the wind like a costume hat would. Use it later for a cloth napkin, or hankie.
- Shirt– FREE–think blue and white stripes, solid black, dad’s button down, etc.
- Decal– $0.97–this particular one is supposed to be glued on, but you can also pin, stitch, tape, find an iron-on decal (great way to pull in glitter/shine) or opt out of this and go for the good old eye patch (‘arr matey)!
- Sash– FREE–use a tie, infinity scarf, ribbon, or belt. This is a good place to bring in color, texture and pattern.
- Tutu– $4.97 from Halloween section, less DIY or free from your dress-up trunk.
- Pants or tights– Free. Leggings or tights will work well to tuck inside boots. If you’re wearing flat shoes, anything goes!
- Shoes– Free. Whatever you have. You can certainly snazz them up with buckles, for shine. Just make sure that they’re comfortable if you’ll be walking any distance.
- Treat bag– We got pirate buckets from the take out place the other day (kids meals inside!) I consider this ‘free’. You could also turn a re-usable shopping bag inside out or use an old plastic pumpkin. Check the end of the post for a way to make your treat container ‘glow’!
Putting it together
Most things you probably already have in your house, or could beg/borrow/thrift for practically nothing. Use a simple internet search of ‘pirate’ to get some ideas. This will help you pick out your base clothing items from what you currently have. You can DIY some stripes on a blue shirt with washi tape, blacken a tooth, draw on a mustache, or whatever, but just be sure that you (and your kids) are comfortable in whatever you use. You don’t want to be carrying a sword, a treat bucket, and a jacket for each child as you walk along! Go with the weather where you live to figure out what you’ll use for your costume, as well. While you could be a particular pirate, I think being just a plain ‘character’ without tying it to a TV show, movie, or book is more fun!
It’s all in the details!!
For any good outfit, you want 4 things: COLOR, PATTERN, TEXTURE, AND SHINE!–Both of my pirates happen to be girls, so we added the tutu just for fun, but you can use a men’s button down shirt, use a tie as a sash at the waist over a pair of pants, add some shoes and done, even faster and less expensive than this! You could also fray an old men’s tee shirt to give it a ‘seafaring’ look. You could put a parrot on your shoulder, etc. if you’re going to a party or want something to ‘jazz’ it up. We opted to stay away from eye patches for them, simply because they need both eyes to see, but if you’d rather do that than the shirt decal, it’s all about the same. Check out the party department of your local megamart– I found 10 patches for $2 in the goodie bag section– whereas a costume one was $2+ at a similar store (and out of stock!) You can easily make each costume for less than the ones at the store, and then of course you have all the materials back again for later use!
DIY CAT COSTUME (based off of a sweatshirt- pin for later!)
EASY DIY GLOW IN THE DARK TREAT BAGS (PIN FOR LATER)