Pirate Party Ideas and Pirate Theme Party

Pirate Picture Flag for Pirate Birthday Party
One of the most popular themes for birthday parties, graduation parties, halloween parties and adult parties, is no doubt the Pirate Theme Party.  The theme is fun, versatile and can suit kids and adults alike.  Recent movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, have created a huge impact and influenced the popularity of the pirate theme even more.  Birthday Party Ideas arrow Pirate Party Supplies

Pirate Costumes for the whole family - dress up for a pirate theme party

Pirate Birthday Party Plan

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Pirate Party Invitations

Pirate Invitation - Custom printed
Pirate Invitation - Scroll with coins
Pirate Invitation - Message in a bottle
Pirate Invitation - Skull invitation

Photo credits: Treasure Chest Invitation, Torn Scroll Invitation, Message In A Bottle Invitation, and Skull Invitation.

  • Pirate Invitation Cards. There is no shortage of fun, swashbuckling pirate invitations on the market since this party theme is one of the most popular ones for kids and adults.  Just pick a fun one and print out your party details yourself or you can have them custom printed for you.  Some merchants also print envelopes as well.  Don’t forget the thank you notes!
  • Aged Scroll Invitation. Get 8.5″x11″ paper with a scroll background and print out your own invitations using a printer. Another inexpensive way is to get a paper bag and tear it open so you have a larger piece of paper.  Crumple it up and then unfold.  Write you party details on the scroll and roll up. Write “Ahoy Matey! Yer Invited!” on a tag and punch a hole on one side.  Attach with the rag or ribbon and tie around the scroll.
  • Message in a Bottle. Send out invitations in a bottle.  Add an eye patch and a pirate ring as extra fun pirate trinkets.  Put the bottle in a box and mail or hand deliver them to your guests.
  • Skull Invitation. Make your own pirate skull invitation.  Just get a black blank card and use skull clip art, stickers or draw your own skull to decorate the front.  Decorate the skull with a bandana made out of cardstock or fabric, glue on earrings, and plastic coins. Simple, easy and affordable.  Write your party details inside using a printer on white paper.
  • Treasure Map. Make a simplified treasure map of your house and neighborhood using the computer or by hand.  Put pirate symbols like skeletons, pirate skulls, palm trees, pirate ship, anchors, shells, etc. all over the map.  Change the street address a bit, so instead of “Main Street” you could creatively tack on “…of Pirate Island” to the name and change “Street” to “Strait”.  So it becomes “Main Strait of Pirate Island”, etc.  Make the ‘X” destination to be your home or party location, and your house to be an island on the map.  Make sure you do print out the correct final address just in case there are indeed lost guest pirates at sea…
  • Printed Pirate Invitations. For more pirate invitation ideas and writing samples.

Pirate Talk and Invitation Write Up Ideas:

  • “Ahoy Matey! Yer Invited! Arrrr! Come if you dare! We need shipmates to swab the deck, walk the plank & hunt fer pirate treasure.  Ship sets sail on (date & time).  Meet us at  _____’s island (address).”
  • “Yo-Ho-Ho, A pirate’s Life For ME!  Ahoy, you buccaneer! Join us for a treasure hunt as we celebrate ______’s Birthday!”
  • “Ahoy Matey! Captain _____ needs a crew to discover a bounty of hidden treasure!  It is a scavenger hunt and sleepover on the pirate ship for his ____th birthday!”
  • “Arrrrr, Mateys! _____ is turning ____!  Join him if you dare for a Pirate Adventure on Treasure island and help find the buried treasure!”
  • “Ahoy Mateys! I am turning 3 and would like you to set sail with me!  Please board my ship at 2 o’clock, that is when we leave the dock.  We’re heading out to find a treasure to take, and then we will come back for cake!”  RSVP to Captain ____ at 875-973-3465.

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Pirate Party Decorations

Watch the Pirate ship Video.

The Look:

  • Pirate Colors. The pirate colors are typically red, black, white and gold.  Use the colors in the balloons, table settings, party products and invitations.
  • Balloons. Hang balloons in aforementioned colors with streamers and ribbon.
  • Stone Walls. Put up gossamer stone walls to make the party room feel authentic.  You can use double stick tape to tape the gossamer to the wall or use a tension wire fastened from one end of the wall to the other.  Hang the gossamer on the wire instead.  This system was used to create the stone wall effect in our garage for our pirate theme party during Halloween.
  • Treasures and Gold. Use lots of gold coins and scatter them everywhere.  Other great “treasures” are sparkle beads, rings, and large diamond gems.
  • Fish Nets. Use lots of fishnets in neutral, black or gold colors to decorate the party table, walls and use them to play pirate games.
  • Pirate Pennant Banner. Decorate the front of the house with a pirate banner or use it to decorate the ceiling in the birthday party room.
  • Pirate Table Settings. Use pirate themed party plates and napkins for the table.  Use a black table cloth as the first layer and drape a net over it.  Use pirate theme plastic cups and serve drinks from pirate flasks.
  • Pirate Jail. Create a cell by stapling strips of black fabric one a thin wooden strip.  Hang the strip from the ceiling.  Attach the end of the long strips of fabric to a bottom piece of wood and have it sitting on the floor. No need to staple or secure to the ground.
  • Large Vintage Keys. Find a pair of large vintage keys.  If you have a dog nearby, hang it around the dog’s neck as a prop.
  • Pirate Balloons. Decorate with Pirate balloons all over the party room and outside.
  • Flying Dutchman Pirate Ship. Create your own pirate ship in front of your home and welcome the guests to step aboard for an adventure!  Pirate ship instructions and Video.

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Pirate Guest Arrival and Introduction

Pirate Costume -
Pirate Costume - Lady Pirate Outfit
Pirate Costume - Parrot Decoration
Pirate Costume - Male

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  • Pirate Ship Entrance. To create the illusion of a pirate ship, a boat was created out of pvc piping, paper bags, nets, and cloth.
  • Parrot Wanna Cracker. Greet your guests with a parrot on your shoulder or on your arm.  Use a puppet or a decorative pirate parrot that can be fastened to your shoulder with hidden pins or strings.
  • Pirate Greetings. Talk like a pirate when your guests arrive and greet them with a friendly “Ahoy Mateys!” You can also play the part and be fully dressed as a pirate when guests arrive.
  • Pirate Costumes and Accessories. Ask guests to arrive dressed as pirates.  If they don’t have costumes, give out pirate hats, bandanas or eye patches.  Paint a moustache on little boys.  For the ladies, give them a clip-on earring, necklaces and/or pirate bandanas.  If you can find pirate themed fabric at a discount store or fabric store, just cut up squares of fabrics as bandana.  You don’t even have to sew the edges and this way it may save you if you had to purchase them separately.  Get extra fabric too for the table and room decor.
  • Pirate music. Have the theme songs of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies playing while guests arrive.
  • Pirate Pictures. Make sure you take pictures of all guests with the “Guest of Honor” to be used during the craft portion of the party, where they will be decorating picture frames.  Add in picture props like swords, skull necklaces, large pirate ships, gold coins, and pirate flags, etc. to make the photo session more fun and authentic.

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Pirate Party Crafts

  • Pirate Treasure chest. This treasure chest craft is a favorite for boys and girls.  Easy craft and materials come included without having to run to different stores to purchase the items.  Glue is not included, so tacky glue is suggested so the gems will stick on.  Use the treasure chests during the scavenger hunt to collect the small trinkets kids will be collecting along the way or fill them later when they are ready to leave with a bag of favors.
  • Pirate Frame. Decorate a frame with pirate stickers and decorations.  Include a picture taken with the “Guest of Honor” and the guest as favor.  Decorate the frame with gems, coins, pirate stickers, pirate flags, or let kids use a black marker to draw in dotted lines of a treasure map.  Use a red marker to mark the “X” for the treasure.
  • Pirate Pillowcase Flags. Make pirate flags using old pillow cases and long branches.  Let kids decorate their own flags with their own skull and cross bones, pirate names, pirate symbols, etc.  Have lots of pirate books, pictures of the various pirate flags on hand so kids can copy or get ideas.  Use scissors to cut in holes and to make the flags look worn and tattered.  Attach to the branches by tying the ends to the branches or using staplers.
  • Build a Boat. Get a few large cardboard boxes from a local appliance, grocery or hardware stores and let kids make their own ship and decorate.  Large dryer or refrigerator boxes are the best for this.  Divide the guests into teams so that each team can work on their ship and decorate their pirate ship.  If kids are younger, have an adult help out.  Give each team acrylic paints, ropes, tape, painter’s tape, newspaper, etc.  to make and decorate their pirate ship.

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Pirate Party Recipes and Food Ideas

Pirate Sub Sandwiches
Pirate Tuna Melt Sandwich
Pirate Ice Cubes
Fruit Salad with Marshmellows

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  • Goldfish. Place goldfish crackers in various flavors on the tables as snack.
  • Swedish Fish. Place a few pieces of Swedish fish gummy candy on each plate or attach to a piece of licorice to a straw and dangle into a cup filled with blue sports drink.
  • Caribbean Fruit Salad with Marshmallows. Try this delicious Tropical fruit salad with mango, strawberries, kiwi, mandarin oranges and marshmallows.  Add in yogurt and shredded coconut for creaminess and crunch.  For a fun touch, use sword party picksand let guests “stab their fruits to death”.
  • Pirate Ship Sandwiches. To make pirate ship sandwiches, get sub sandwiches, cheese, salami and turkey.  Add in condiments, lettuce and tomatoes if you wish.  Print out free pirate sails and use skewers to make sails.  Insert into sandwiches.
  • Pirate Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. You will need two pieces of bread, cheese, and a pirate toast stamp.  Push the stamp firmly into the sides of the toast to make a pirate imprint.  Layer cheese on the inside and place in the toaster oven.  Set the temperature of the oven on medium.  Toast will come out light brown with a pirate imprint.
  • Pirate Pizza. Make the dough like the shape of a skull and use pepperoni slices as eyes, mushroom as nose, and roasted red peppers as mouth.  Make Crossbones cheese breadsticks and place below the pizza skull head in a cross. “aRRRR Ye Famished yet?”
  • Cantaloupe Boats. Make cantaloupe boats and add pirate masts on top just like the sandwiches.  Download the pirate sails and simply use a skewer to insert them into the cantaloupe boats.
  • Ocean Blue Parfait. Make pirate parfait with blue jello and gummy fish.  Top with white whipped cream sprinkled with blue sprinkles (for ocean waves) and a pirate flag toothpick.
  • Bone Bread Sticks. Make bone bread sticks out of dough and dip in bloody marinara sauce.  Tell yer guests they taste bad to the bone!
  • Canon Balls. Serve meatballs in Teriyaki sauce as canon balls. Stack them on several mini trays in pyramid style like canon balls ready for battle!

Pirate Theme Party and Pirate Birthday Party Ideas

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Pirate Party Cakes and Desserts

  • Treasure Chest Cake. Make 2 loaf pound cakes and cut one in half lengthwise.  This part will be the lid of the treasure chest.  Place the other half on the bottom cake and ice together.  Place the lid on top and ice.  Decorate with fruit roll ups like leather chest buckles.  Place chocolate coins, and beads inside the treasure chest.  Decorate around the chest with brown sugar to look like sand.  Place gummy fish, star fish, chocolate shells, fondant hibiscus flowers, and anything ocean or pirate related on the sand.
  • Pirate Ship Cake. Make a large sheet cake and cut in half.  One half will be the ship.  Take the other half and cut out two triangles to make the front and back of the ship.  Ice the entire cake in chocolate icing.  Use large pretzel rods as masts and oars.  Pipe in yellow windows and add pirate figurines.  Download paper pirate sails and use skewers to hold in place.

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Pirate Party Games and Activities

Pirate Coins, Loot, Treasures and Jewels
Treasure Pinata filled with candy and treats
Ship Pinata filled with candy and treats
Pin the eye patch on the pirate game

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  • Pirate Party Game: Captain Hook Game. Hang fish nets on the walls and from ceilings.  Get plastic captain hooks and hang them from the ceiling as well. This can also be done outside, by hanging the nets and hooks from a swing set or tree.  Give guests 3 rings and have them try to get them on the hook.  For more game instruction and pictures – Captain Hook Game.
  • Pirate Party Game: Ring Toss Game. Get some bamboo sticks or broom sticks and push them into floral foam in a pot.  Get a few rings and let guests take turns playing ring toss.  Set up prizes for the one who gets in the most rings and the least rings.  More instructions and game pictures -  Pirate Ring Toss Game.
  • Pirate Party Game: Bowling Game. Get bowling pins and set up on the lawn or table and let guests knock down as many pins as possible. For older kids, mark off a line further than one for younger kids.  The key is they have to be “One-eyed Jack” and wear their pirate patch while bowling. More details: Pirate Party Bowling Game.
  • Pirate Game: Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate. Get a “Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate” and blindfold guests.  Have them stick on the eye patch on the pirate.  Whoever gets the closest, gets a prize.  These games are fun and a classic at parties.  Even adults have fun with them!
  • Balloon Surfing. This is more of an activity and science project, yet can be easily done and is lots of fun.  Let guests test their balance by surfing the waves.  Not on a pool but on balloons!  Attach 4 balloons onto a lid or piece of wood.  Make two surfboards and have 2 kids take turns surfing on them.  Ask them, what do pirates do when they meet each other at sea?  They fight each other!  Give each one an inflatable blow up sword and see if they can balance and duel each other off their surfboard.  More balloon surfing directions here – Balloon Surfing.
  • Treasure Hunt for the Loot. Make up a simple map of your surroundings and lead the kids to the treasure.  The loot can be either in the pinata, so if they find the pinata they get to do that activity next.
  • Pirate Ship Pinata or Pirate Treasure Pinata. Fill the pinata ahead of time and hide it for the treasure hunt.  Once they find it, give them a plastic bat and take turns being blindfolded and hitting it.
  • Swab The Deck Relay. Divide the guests into 2 teams and give the first person in each group a mop, a bucket and 5 ping pong balls.  Each person has to use the broom to sweep the balls from one side of “the deck” and back, then tag the next person and that person has to do the same.  The last person has to make it back with all the 5 balls and put them into the bucket.  Whichever team accomplishes this task first, wins.
  • Pirate Face Painting. Get some face paints and draw mustaches, or pirate tattoos on guests’ arms.  Some kids can be highly sensitive to dyes, chemicals so only use paints that are meant for faces.  If you will be dividing the teams up for games later on, perhaps each team can have their special pirate tattoo drawn on their arm to let others know which team they belong to.
  • Walk the Plank. The required pirate punishment for all guests!  Blindfold each guest and challenge the teams to see which one scores the highest points.  Full pirate Walk The Plank instructions.
  • Sifting for Treasures. If you have a sandbox, hide gems, rings, coins, small trinkets, colored shells and give a group of kids a sifter and scoop.  Let them dig and fill their treasure boxes that they made during the craft portion of the party, with treasures.
  • Canon Ball Dunk. If you made a pirate ship during the party craft time, play canon ball dunk.  Have each group stand in their ship or if their boat is too small, just one captain with their crew outside the boat.  Give each team a bucket of canon balls  ping pong balls dyed black), and set the timer.  When the stop watch goes off and the pistol has been fired, have each team try to sink each others ship by throwing canon balls into the other teams’ ship.  If the balls fall in your ship, you can pick them up and throw them back.  At the end of the time limit, count to see who has the most balls in their ship.  The one with the most canon balls in their pirate ship, looses and the pirate team has to walk the plank.
  • Sink the Pirate Ship. At the end of the party when the party is over, have the guests sink the ship.  Make a ship out of cardboard, paper grocery bags and pvc piping in front of the garage as party decor.  When the party is over, give the kids water balloons and let them try to sink the ship by tossing balloons at it.  Fun, and great for a hot, summer day.

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Pirate Party Favors

Pirate Favor - Hook
Pirate Favor - Favor Set
Pirate Favor - eye patch and earring
Pirate Favor - Favor Set with Inflatable sword

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Some pirate party favors suggestions are:

  • Blow up sword. Get inexpensive blow up swords to put into their goody bags.
  • Pirate eye patch. Eye patches are fun and great as party favors.
  • Pirate bandana. Another versatile favor is the pirate bandana.  Let guests wear them during the party and then let them take their pirate bandanas home as favors.  Great for gals and guys alike.
  • Pirate earring. Give pirate clip-on earrings to guests attending the party and let them take home as favor as well.
  • Pirate tattoos or Pirate stickers. Kids like putting tattoos on their arms or pirate stickers for their notebooks, journals, etc.
  • Pirate frame. Take a picture of Guest with the Guest of Honor taken during party arrival.  Another good time for a photo session is during the gift opening session.  Sit the the Guest next to the Guest of Honor (or Birthday Child) and take a picture.  Print out pictures on printer before guests leave or send in the mail as thank you note.  This makes things easier when writing out thank you notes so you will know who gave what!
  • Pirate Favor Sets. Pirate favor sets are an easy option to get theme-related gifts for your guests at a lower price than if you were to purchase items separately.  Consider this option if pressed for time.  Another advantage is if you have odd numbered guests or your guest count is not a multiple of 12, you don’t have to get extras and be stuck with favors you don’t need.
  • Pirate book. What about a book as a favor?  Consider this – Instead of bringing a gift, have each guest bring their favorite Pirate book, wrapped in gift wrap, recyclable paper bags or old newspaper.  At the end of the party, pile up the gifts in one location and let kids take turns to select one book from the pile.  Birthday child will get to go first, though.  This would be their take-home favor.  Generally, older kids are OK with this and understand that you really don’t need all the toys and stuff one gets at a birthday.  This way kids don’t end up taking endless knick-knacks home which turns out will be better for the environment and your budget.

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