Joan Dickhaut * seejoansew

...Dress Like a Pirate

How to Dress Like a Pirate


Here are some ideas on how to dress like a pirate.



 Mia's costume is made from paper and tape and stuff you probably have around the house.

To make the hat, cut a piece of newspaper about the size of a piece of printer paper (8.5x11) and follow these folding instructions.

Here is some free clip art for the skull and crossbones on her hat and the treasure map (shrink the map 1/4).

Here are some printable flags (I used a chop stick for the flag pole) and a printable treasure chest. 

 Her cutlass is cut out of cardboard and the blade is covered with aluminum foil. The handle is colored with a marker.

Her spy glass is a piece of paper rolled into a cone and secured with a piece of tape.


Her hoop earring is a bangle bracelet  that is clipped to her hair.


Julie is wearing the top from her summer skirt set (if your bow detracts from the piratical look, wear it backwards) and a pair of jeans with the legs cuffed up. Her parrot, cutlass and spyglass came from the party supply store.

I used a people sized bandana to make her bandana and sash. One people sized bandana (about 22" square) makes 2 doll sized bandanas and 2 sashes. Cut the bandana in half, so you have 2 rectangles. Cut 1 rectangle in half the short way, so you have 2 squares. Cut the other rectangle in half the long way so you have 2 long rectangles. No need to finish the edges, fraying fabric is good since pirates should look a bit ratty. Fold the square into a triangle and tie it around her head. Tie the sash around her waist or around another dolls head.

To make an eye patch, draw a rectangle 1 1/4" wide by 1" long. Round off the top corners a little bit and round off the bottom corners a lot. Cut the eye patch out of felt, fabric or paper. Cut a piece of ribbon, yarn or twine about 22" long, glue or tape the middle of the ribbon across the eye patch. (If your worried about black eye stains, cut another eye patch out of white and glue it over the back.) I glued a jewel in the middle of her eye patch, just like One-Eyed Willie!

 The treasure chest is made from an AG shoe box that I glued some ribbon around. You could also paint it or cover it with paper.


The hair tie is made from a strip of leather lacing but yarn, ribbon, twine also work. Add some pony beads and glue shells on the ends. Tie it to a small braid or ponytail.

To make the hair jewels, tie beading wire or string (dental floss works well) to a hair clip and add whatever beads you have. Cheap costume jewelry is a great source for beads.


Jess is wearing Felicity's shift and school skirt. You can substitute a camisa and pantalettes for the shift and use any long skirt that you have. 

 I used 2 pieces of ribbon (18" long) to hike up the front of her skirt so she can tend to her pirate duties without tripping over it. Wrap the ribbon around the waistband and under the hem of the skirt and tie a bow. Her sash is made from a strip of ripped fabric.

Jess is also wearing the necklace from Molly's bathing suit and wool felted dreadlocks and a tricorn hat. 

This flag is made from felt. I cut out and glued on a vague resemblance of a skull and crossbones and used a dowel for a flag pole. The treasure chest is an unpainted wood box that I found at the craft store (a couple years ago) and painted.

These are the painting instructions that came with the box. You need Burnt Sienna and Dark Chocolate paint (It says to use DecoArt Americana Acrylics but I used whatever brand and similar colors I had on hand.)

1. Thin Burnt Sienna slightly with water. Brush surface of trunk with water, then paint with thinned burnt sienna. Work small areas at a time, allowing paint to gather slightly around the edges and grooves. Let dry.
2. Dry brush trunk with Dark Chocolate focusing on edges and grooves.
3. Paint trim strips with dark chocolate.


Libby is wearing a blouse from Carpatina and home made pants, the very first piece of doll clothes I made as an adult! 

Pirate clothes is a good place to start sewing because imperfect is OK and hemming isn't required! I cut some slits and notches in the pant legs and threw it in the washer and dryer to rough them up a bit. She's wearing the same kind of sash that Jess is wearing, a strip of ripped fabric.

 My sister made the hat, hook and sword. The hat is kind of like a crown and it has no top. This is what the top of her head looks like. (Please ignore all the junk on my sewing table.)

 Cut a circle out of felt or paper, about 7 1/2" across (I traced around a serving bowl.)

 Imagine a triangle on the circle and mark the 3 points. (I know there's some mathematical way to do this with a circle making compass thingy but you don't have to be that precise.)

Cut an oval-ish hole in the center, about 4" across x 4.5" long.

Decorate the outside edges, if you want. (My sister whip-stitched some feathered marabou around the 2 front sides of the hat.)

Now it's time to shape the hat. Start with one of the triangle points and fold the hat in half, directly on the mark you made. Use a needle and thread to tack it in place, about 1/2" from the point. (If your hat is paper, tape will work.) Repeat for the other 2 points.

And your done. Squish the hat on your dolls head, making sure one of the points is to the front.

Note!  The hook and sword are not child friendly and I don't recommend making them for children.  Consider yourself warned and if anyone puts out an eye, don't come crying to me! 

Craft at your own risk!

The sword is made from a thin dowel and painted. The guard is a cheap plastic button with a hole drilled in the middle.


My sister's hook is pretty fancy shmancy, with the seams turned to the inside. These instructions are modified a little, so it's easier to explain and make.

Cut a piece of wire about 6" long and bend it into an "S" shape.

Cut 3 pieces of felt, kind of like a mitten but without a thumb. Trace a doll's hand, making the mitten a little bit bigger. (Don't make the wrist too small or you won't be able to get it over the doll's thumb.)

Lay the wire on one of the felt pieces so only half of the S is on the felt. Whip-stitch the wire to the felt. This will hold your hook in place.

Lay the second piece of felt over the first piece of felt (with the wire sandwiched in the middle) and stitch them together, around all the edges. (You could probably glue them together.) This will cover the wire so it doesn't scratch your doll's hand.

Lay the third piece of felt on top of the first piece of felt (on top of the whip-stitched S) and stitch the edges of all 3 layers together, leaving the bottom open. Squish the mitten on a doll's hand and try not to put an eye out!


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