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Quick and easy pirate costumes take kids to Neverland, Caribbean

Updated on January 26, 2015
A pirate costume is easy to make.
A pirate costume is easy to make. | Source

Between Peter Pan (and the cartoon spin-off, Jake and the Neverland Pirates) and The Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, children have plenty of inspiration for role-play or for Halloween costumes.

Fortunately, because pirates are known for being a little rough around the edges, parents can easily make a basic, washable costume for their little buccaneer in about an hour.

Supplies needed are two t-shirts (one for the shirt, one for the vest), twine or yarn, two colors of duct tape, stick-on Velcro squares and 1/2 a yard of fabric with a pattern suitable for a pirate. T-shirts regularly cost less than $5 at craft stores like AC Moore, Jo-Ann and Michael's, but can be found on sale for as little as 5 for $10. The other items can be found for under $4.

Cut small slits beside the center line of the t-shirt.
Cut small slits beside the center line of the t-shirt. | Source
Weave twine through the slits to "fasten" the neck opening.
Weave twine through the slits to "fasten" the neck opening. | Source
Create notches in the sleeves to make the shirt look rougher.
Create notches in the sleeves to make the shirt look rougher. | Source

First, create a center line on both shirts by folding in half length-wise and ironing.

To make the vest, cut on the center line only through the front of the shirt. Then, turn the shirt inside out and cut both sleeves off along the seam. Turn the shirt right-side out and it is a completed vest. The vest can be decorated with t-shirt paint, if buttons, special collars or other items are desired.

For the shirt, first pull out the back, keeping the front in its centerfold. (This prevents you from cutting through the back of shirt.) Then, make two notches by folding the neck down a little and making a small cut, then folding again, a little lower, making another small cut. When you completely unfold, you should have four slits in all, two on each side of the centerfold.

To complete the neck hole, cut on the center line, down to just below the bottom slits. Weave twine or yarn through the slits (like a shoelace) to "hold" the front together. (FYI- The twine or yarn must be removed before washing the shirt.)

Make the shirt a little rougher by cutting a triangle slit out of one of the sleeves.

For the head wear, make a bandanna by cutting the fabric into an 18x18 inch square. Fold into a triangle to tie on the child's head.

The belt buckle is just a piece of yellow duct tape with a small brown square of duct tape placed on the center.
The belt buckle is just a piece of yellow duct tape with a small brown square of duct tape placed on the center. | Source

For the belt, unroll a waist-length amount of black or brown duct tape onto a table, then roll another layer on top, sticky side to sticky side. Make the buckle with an amount of yellow, gold or silver about a centimeter longer the width of the tape, and cover the back with the same length. cut a small piece of the first color of duct tape and put in the center of the buckle part. To attach the belt to the child use stick-on Velcro squares.

To complete the look for a Halloween costume, the child can wear jeans (as it appears Jake and his friends wear in the the cartoon) or sweat pants in a matching color to the rest of the costume. Other accessories, like an eye patch, hook, hat or even a parrot, can be found at a costume store or Party City.

To make a Peter Pan costume, use one green shirt and follow the directions for the shirt, using a shirt a size too big. Instead of making one triangle in the sleeve, make triangle slits all around, and even put them in the bottom hem. The child can wear green leggings, tights, pants or even just a pair of jeans, depending on their comfort level, to complete the look.

© 2015 Samantha Sinclair

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