Ready for more Pirate Birthday Party ideas? Well, thanks for being patient because this info is worth it's weight in gold!
Every pirate needs at least a good hat and a sparkly sash. Oh, and a tattoo or two too. These felt hats were fairly inexpensive and easy to customize with some metallic silver dimensional fabric paint from Michael's. I wrote every child's name in under 10 minutes, me, Mrs. Print-it-out-on-the-computer-and-trace-it-so-it-is-perfect, freehanded all 23 names.
The black and gold sashes were cut from 4 yards of fabric purchased with a coupon (thanks Aunt Janet) from our local chain store.
And to help those pirates feel more, well, like pirates, temporary tattoos work every time.
Pirate Ship Battle
While doing some Pirate-y research one day, I happened upon one fabulous idea over at Party Planning Mom. She made two large cardboard pirate ships and had a game involving paper canon balls.
So, putting my own spin this super idea, I had access to giant 4ft. by 6ft. ultra heavy duty cardboard server boxes from my husband's work (every time he sees a new one, he brings it home - so we've made; a house, a market, a cafe and a pirate ship). Using a sawzall, he cut two of them down into ship-shaped shapes. After some failed experimenting with (notches and slits) we decided on a roll of duct tape to hold them together.
The night before the party, my friend Julia came by (as she always does, bless her, to help with all the last minute ridiculousness) and helped me paint them, using leftover cans of brown, blue and red that I found on the "old paint shelf".
To round out this "game" (if you've ever been here before, you know I am a fan of the non competitive games - everyone is a winner!), I made canon balls out of wadded up paper covered in aluminum foil. Not wanting to be wasteful, I used the ripped out pages of outdated catalogues and covered them in the smallest piece of foil possible. There were probably a hundred of the balls, and grown-ups and kids alike threw these almost constantly throughout the 3 hour party.
What would you do with a couple hundred necklaces and 300 plastic coins? Well hide them of course! We draped and sprinkled pirate treasure from stem to stern, I mean all over the house, inside and out - just randomly. Using their decorated tresure loot bags, the kids picked up what they could find as part of their "goody bag" to bring home with them. We didn't set any rules for this one, in fact tresure hunting went on throughout the party (and yes, I am still finding necklaces... especially outside).
Make your own treasure map! Again, I took it a little further by formatting the little icons to fit on a sheet of clear Avery address labels. I wanted the children to create their treasure map and immediately be able to use it - without having to wait for glue to dry.
Also at the craft table, I set out brown paper lunch sacks (for treasure collecting) with name tags for them, along with crayons, markers and self-adhesive jewels for decorating till your heart's content.
I LOVED making this ridiculous cake! It was very easy... well... comparatively. I used plain old box of cake mix (it works just fine and tastes good too) and splurged by frosting with a chocolate mousse buttercream.
1} Bake 2 9x12 cakes, cool them completely. Using the template below and a long serrated knife, cut your cake into 4 sections.
2} cut one of the long rectangles into triangles that will form the bow (front end of the ship).
3} Take a piece of cardboard, and cut it into the shape of the finished size/shape, to use on the bottom of the cake. That is, one rectangle plus one triangle.
4} Place your first rectangular layer on the cardboard and frost (or use any filling of your choice). Place second rectangular layer and frost. Repeat with third layer.
5} Next, stack and frost two small rectangles overhanging at the back. Use wooden skewers to hold cake in place. Trim skewers to height by first inserting all the way into the cake, mark the height with a pen, pull them back out and cut at your mark, then reinsert.
6} Stack and frost in between each of the 5 triangular layers that make up the bow of the ship. Again, use wooden skewers to hold in place. Your final side-view should look like this diagram below.
7} Frost entire ship until covered, and refrigerate.
8} Place cake on a larger cake board to decorate according to the photo below. The water is strips of "Blue Raspberry Sour Belt", I used red and white m&m's, black licorice for the anchor (this was difficult, to get it to stay in the shape my friend Julia used twist ties to hold it in place overnight), and made sails on my computer - again held in place with wooden skewers.
As if a cake wasn't enough, I made a few cupcakes as well. I used the same box of cake mix, same frosting, and designed a coordinating cupcake "wrapper" to round out the look.
want your own cupcake wrappers? you can find them now in my Etsy Shop
I tried extra hard to save money by using what I already had around the house. A pirate theme is simple to accessorize and easy to plan. Use some creative thinking to make it your own, spend as little as possible and make it look homemade - even if it isn't!