Introduction: How to Put Together an Awesome Pirate Costume for Halloween!

Avast there Mateys, so you want to be a Pirate!? Or rather you want to dress as a pirate for Halloween. Don't be tempted by those trashy looking ready made pirate outfits that cost a fortune and fall to pieces at a drop of the hat! It is fairly cheap and easy to put together an awsome costume yourself, with a little bit of effort, using things already in your closet and strategic visits to your local thrift and party stores for additional items!

However, to be ready for the big day itself, you will have to start your searching and gathering several weeks in advance to find those really special items of clothing suitable for transforming yourself into a fiercesome or dashing swashbuckler.

Step 1: Pirate Weapons Are Easy to Come By!

Basic pirate gear consists of

hat
trousers
vest
cloak
shirt
boots
earrings
eye patch
and pirate weapons, including hook!

parrot - optional!

Getting the pirate weapons is the easiest but probably the most expensive part of your search, as you will very likely have to buy them new from a local party or costume store. You can get a variety of good looking plastic swords, cutlasses and the like from these stores. My most expensive sword cost me around $8 and the other smaller knives, dirks, pistols, eye patch, etc. cost far less - some were even found in the local dollar store - for a dollar each! I also bought my "hook" for $2 in the 75% off sale last year! My eye patch was part of a set which also included a pistol and some gold coins - all for a dollar!

Step 2: The All Important Hat!

Unless you are extremely lucky, you will probably have to buy a new pirate hat. If you have planned really well in advance - you can usually get a decent looking hat AFTER Halloween at a 75% or more discount, making this very cheap to acquire. If you haven't planned well in advance - ah well! Don't forget to embellish your hat with old pins and brooches - and even add some feathers from the beach, etc. to make it completely your own.

Step 3: The Pants

Go to your local thrift store (or stores) and seek out a cheap pair of black pants - preferrably calf length with flared bottoms. These can either hang loose over your boots - or be tucked in at will. They can be baggy if you choose! I bought a couple of pairs because I wanted to have a choice!

Step 4: The Shirt

The best pirate shirts are those loose white cotton garments with a draw string neck, balloon sleeves with a frill found the cuff. You can find them, trust me - and they don't have to be a good fit - in fact the looser the better. You can also use other colours that are not over-bright that are similar in style. Over this you can wear a vest or waist coat of choice.

You can also layer your pirate shirts and jackets, one over the other (pirates are not particularly tidy creatures)

I actually bought four different shirts so I could put together that perfect outfit! Each shirt cost me about $3 per shirt.

Step 5: Possible Vest

I thought this was a possible vest or waistcoat for my costume, I will see how it works with my other items of clothing. It has nice sparkly sequins and may look good over the white or brown shirt!

Step 6: The Cloak

I found an old brown crushed velvet skirt at my local Goodwill and I converted it into a wonderful cloak by cutting down one of the side seams, gathering the waist up by the already inserted waist strings and finishing off by sewing a cheap belt round the top so that I could tie it in a debonair fashion around my shoulders.

Step 7: Belts and Scarves

Old belts, scarves and cumerbands are wonderful! They can not only go around your waist but around your neck, or over your shoulder like a cartridge belt. Most of the items shown in the photos were already owned by me, but you can find numerous interesting belts, etc. at the thrift store that have that 'hint' of pirate! See the picture below for inspiration.

Step 8: The Boots Have It!

Pirates always wear snazzy boots! I embelished my own black leather boots with a pair of gold tone buckles in the shape of a pair of frogs, gleaned from the local Salvation Army store!

Step 9: Add Wig or Face Mask of Choice!

Lastly you can add final touches to your costume by wearing a wig or face mask if you choose. You can get wigs at party stores and would probably want to buy these new. You may already have a suitable wig from another costume!

Step 10: A Fabulous Find!

I found a wonderful sheer looking gold threaded stole on one of my expeditions to Goodwill. It is semi transparent and full of sparkling threads and I thought it was really great. Goodness knows what it was supposed to be when it was new! I decided to wear this instead of my brown velvet cloak, which I will save for another day! I think I cut a dash

Step 11: The Grand Finale

Cutlass and sword at the ready - all ready for those Trick or Treaters!

I went with the brown hat, plain black pants, brown silk camisole with the black cotton vest with sequins. These were all covered with my shimmery golden stole. I also festooned myself with a variety of scarves and belts for added effect.

The unused items have been saved for another time!

Comments

author
Drasa made it!(author)2010-11-30

Oh boy oh boy! MUST HAVE! Words cannot describe how aresome this is! Great job!

author
DaveySprocket made it!(author)2010-10-29

I'm so impressed by how you've taken all those pieces and put them all together to make an awesome outfit! I think I need to go searching my local op shops (thrift stores) very soon!!

author
DaveySprocket made it!(author)2010-10-29

What a gorgeous find!

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daelans made it!(author)2010-10-27

thats a pretty nice costume. to shiny for my taste though.

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evilducky_00 made it!(author)2010-04-14

Thanks for the ideas, originally I was just going to buy one but I found great deals at the Goodwill.

author
irishwhistle made it!(author)2008-10-15

I just stopped in here to find out how to make my toddler her own pirate hat (found a great article on resizing a cheap felt model) and found this! I may have to go as her pirate mommy for Halloween, because this article is downright inspiring. What a great looking costume, and so much good information on how to make, really, all sorts of costumes. Now I wish I tried the thrift shop for my son's costume (Indiana Jones) though I can proudly say I didn't go out and buy the franchise-issue costume. I made his out of a fedora, pants and a shirt, of all things. I love the idea of costumes made with REAL things, that you got use from before or can use again.

author
stinkymum made it!(author)2008-10-16

Glad you liked the costume. Those store bought costumes are such a rip off, as they are so flimsy and fall to pieces at the drop of a hat. Glad you were inspired. Best of luck with making your costume. I am sure you will both look great.

author
jk55092 made it!(author)2008-09-24

That's a fabulous costume. I really appreciate instructibles like this -- not because I'm looking to make a pirate costume (although, come to think of it, it *would* be cool to have one....) but because it's inspiring me to go to the thrift store and try really hard to look past the tacky surface of what the items are, and down to the cool interior of what they could be....

Sexy boots, by the way.

author
stinkymum made it!(author)2008-09-24

thrift shop shopping is an art form - you never know what you will find among all the tat and junk!

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pokiespout made it!(author)2008-10-09

You truly are a thrifting queen, and I definitely admire your outfit! Nice work!

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DIYDragon made it!(author)2008-10-08

hehe Reminds me of my pirate costume last year! I wasn't quite as 'flamboyant' with all the bells and whistles you have there cause I was wearing it to work, and already made fun of. haha Can you believe I was the ONLY person dressed up? Not even customers came in with costumes - I was bummed that they were all no fun! : ( Agreed that the thrift store is a nifty place.

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stinkymum made it!(author)2008-10-08

What a wonderful word - flamboyant! That's what it is a flamboyant pirate outfit. Thanks very much..

author
Camisado made it!(author)2008-09-26

Awesome costume! But, seeing as how I'm a weapon Nazi, I'd have to rant on the weapons section a little :P OK, first of all, the swords. Designs aside, the swords shown on the pic is to curved and broad for a cutlass. It is almost like it is a Scimitar with a Machete-like design mounted on a cutlass hilt, so I'd suggest you find a straighter and thinner sword. The daggers are great, but pirates mostly used cheap, basic-looking knives. The dagger in the pic is more like a small Dirk, so..... yeah!

author
stinkymum made it!(author)2008-09-27

I am sure you are right and I bow to your superior knowledge.

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Camisado made it!(author)2008-09-27

*Blushes* LOL but the costume is awesome though!

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threecheersfornick made it!(author)2008-09-25

Awesome costume. How much did it cost all together?

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stinkymum made it!(author)2008-09-25

I think the total cost would be about $40 not including things I already had in the closet like the boots, odd jewelry and belts. I looked on line and saw that ready made pirate costumes (usually without any weapons, hats or boots) were around $65 - 100, so it is a lot cheaper to gather your own.

author
jessyratfink made it!(author)2008-09-25

Yay! You look great! I think this is the best pirate costume I've seen. :D

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bomberman3 made it!(author)2008-09-24

for Halloween... or just Fridays!

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stinkymum made it!(author)2008-09-25

Fridays sounds good to me!

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Bio: Born in England many years ago, moved to California in 1980, moved to New York in 1993, became a US citizen. Favourite place to visit ... More »
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