DIY Pirate Themed Party

Posted by Anne Yorks on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I can't stop reflecting on yesterday. It was seriously the best day I've had in a really long time. This past week was rough. Busy schedules, family health issues, and lots of commitments and responsibility - plus a ton of orders on top of it all. But yesterday more than made up for the very, very early mornings and late nights. Yesterday was my little girl's birthday AND her first day of preschool! Talk about a special day for my little 3-year-old! I will be cleaning off the camera and sharing a few pictures soon! 

In the meantime, I have some great do-it-yourself ideas for a PIRATE themed party. These ideas are from the past few weeks. I helped with our church fundraiser - a pirate dinner theater. And, recently, I received an order for a Pirate themed birthday party. 

The client wanted treasure chests! How fun! She was very specific that she wanted the chest to be open with treasure spilling out. I searched high and low for the perfect cookie cutter and finally found something that would work.  

Here it is, a sturdy copper cookie cutter that will last years and years....

And here is the decorated cookie...

I'm not sure how many dots are on each cookie, but it took a little time to get the treasure on the cookie.

I tried to make them as consistent as possible, but of course since it's done by hand it's not exact.

If you're planning a Pirate party, you might be interested in the following easy, AFFORDABLE tablescape ideas.

A dinner theater fundraiser seems like a normal thing for a church to do, right? But of course, there was a little twist. Our pastor and a friend co-wrote a hilarious pirate themed mini-musical comedy called Pirates of Progresso.

Before the show, our guests enjoyed a fantastic dinner catered by Kelly's Steak and Seafood. I was responsible for coordinating the table centerpieces. Since this was a church event, I totally avoided the skull and bones motif. It just didn't fit.Too creepy. I went with a treasure theme! 

Since it was a fundraiser, I wanted to create the tables with little or no cost. DIY baby!

We decided to cover each table with kraft paper in lieu of a table linens. A friend had an extra roll, but this sized paper can be found at copy shops or at Walmart. We used brown and white and alternated the colors.

I decided to turn each table into a treasure map.


To create the treasure map on the table, I used sea-worthy images (a compass, ship, island, chest, rough waves, seagulls) to tape to the table cover. I soaked (3 minutes) and antiqued pirate clipart in coffee and baked the paper for 3 minutes at 350 degrees. It made the paper a nice crispy brown and looked very treasure mapish. It took about 3 hours to make enough images for the 14 tables. Not too bad, but it was a little messy. I had coffee splatters all over my stovetop!

Then I taped the images onto the paper and sketched a dotted line around the different images on the table cover. I actually precut all the table covers and made the maps before the evening of the fundraiser. It saved a lot of time during set-up.

The table centerpiece was a ship flag with a big red 'X' to mark the spot. These were easy and for the most part free to make. 

First, I cut sticks from our front tree. They were about 2' long. Then I poked the stick into a square piece of flower foam (left over from our wedding centerpiecies - talk about up-cycling) and covered the foam with an 18" piece of burlap - tied with a string. I got the burlap from a friend who was getting ready to pitch it - yeah, more free elements!!


The flag was made from poster board. This I did have to buy - I think 3 sheets. I wanted something stiff that would hold it's shape. My friends from church helped make these centerpieces. We had a fun girls night putting everything together. Poor Valerie, she got the job of cutting all fourteen flags. She had bad scissorhand in the end. The flag was folded in half and then the 'X' and the table number was glued on. I used rubber cement so that the paper wouldn't get bumpy. The font I used is called 'Blackadder ITC'.


I think they looked cool. Each table almost looked like it's own ship. Next to each flag, I put a 'message in a bottle'.

This is when Toph helped out. We needed 14 brown bottles (one for each table.) I found 8 in our recycling bin, but we needed 6 more. Toph volunteered to drink 6 beers that week for the cause of making the message bottles. We ran them through the dishwasher and most of the labels peeled right off. Then I stuffed a pen into each bottle with a blank note paper.

Each bottle had a tag. Again - I soaked the paper in coffee and baked at 350 for 3 minutes.

The message papers were left BLANK on purpose. This was so much fun. Each table took turns sending a message to a neighboring table. The papers were made from brown grocery bags. Each bag made three message papers. We ripped them with kind of craggie edges and tied them with a piece of string.


Each table had buried treasure: gold and silver chocolates, candy necklaces, and ring pops!! This was the most expensive part of the project.

I made a seating chart for the event using the coffee/baked paper. 

Plus I added some fun signs in the restrooms. This was on the mirror. I also put a signs over the restroom signs. So instead of the men's room it was the 'Buccaneer's' room. And instead of women's room, it was the 'Lassies' room.

Each table had an event sponsor - and Flour Box Bakery was a sponsor! So cool!

Here are a few pictures from the show - Pirates of Progesso.

I'll be honest, I didn't have high expectations. I mean, I expected it to be good, but I never expected it to be as great as it was! So entertaining! Each character was well crafted with a few quirks. The storyline was a pirate love triangle on the high seas. I loved it and so did the rest of the audience!

Topher played One-eyed Bobby. He had one eye, one hand, and one leg. Instead of a hook, he had a whisk. One-eyed Bobby came from a long line of gold sniffers and could smell gold from miles around. 

Most of the actors were from our church, but a few friends and neighbors with acting experience also helped out. I really enjoyed the music, especially the Mutiny song. 

Here's a better photo of the cast. 

There has been talk of a repeat performance coming soon. I'll be sure to post an update if this happens. I would highly recommend it!

I hope you enjoyed the Pirate blog post. I'll leave you with one final suggestion. Change the language on your facebook page to English 'pirate'. I laughed out loud for days with this version. It's so much fun, especially if you're planning a pirate party! It will totally get you in the mood.

Have a sweet day, arrrrrr!