Halloween Pirate Ship - "Yee Must Walk the Plank!" [PG]




Introduction: Halloween Pirate Ship - "Yee Must Walk the Plank!" [PG]

We took Halloween 2007 to the next level by building not only a cool display, but we made the kids walk up into a pirate ship and walk the plank where the treasure chest full of candy lie waiting. Fog, Lights, Strobe, Sounds and a Parrot! I have include the sound track loop in step 8.
This was approximately a 3-4 day medium level build.

Step 1: Oh No! Sharks! Skulls & Swords!

This build started a few days in advance. Building the extra parts and pieces.

- Pink Insulation Foam (2 x 8 ft )
- Grey, White, Black, Gold Paint

- Utility knife
- Small paint brush

Steps: Sharks!
1. Cut out the shapes of shark fins, with a little notch for standing up in base with utility knife.
2. Cut out bases in the shape of a football (us), with notch hole to receive shark fin.
3. After assembling them together, use utility knife to round the edges, and use sand
paper to smooth.
4. Paint Gray with your choice of most the accessible.

Steps: Skulls & Swords!
1. Have a great sister who will cut out and paint skulls, swords, and anchors for you!
2. If you don't have a sister, recruit someone to join your adventure!

Step 2: Arrg! There Be Treasure!

The Treasure Chest
This was actually built by my wife for my sons 4th birthday, which was a treasure hunt. So all the credit goes to her for this one.

- Wooden Chest - ( Craft Store)
- Shell Noodles
- Hot Glue Gun
- Gold Spray Paint

1. Hot Glue all the little shell noodles to the Wooden Chest without burning yourself.
2. Spray paint. TaDA! Treasure Chest!

Step 3: Hard to Port!

The Wheel Helm
This was a highlight of the ship. The kids loved pretending to steer the ship as they adventured for their candy.

- Pink Insulation Foam
- Lattice Wood Strips - 1'1/2" x 1/2" x 8'

- Hot Glue
- Router / or Dremel ( If you have one)
- Utility Knife
- Saw

1. Depending of the height of your ship, determine the circumference of your wheel helm.
2. Cut outside ring X2, Cut inside disc X2 out of pink insulation foam.
3. Layout lattice strip, Cut 1 to the entire width of the of Wheel ( 36" for mine)
4. The other 4 posts need to be calculated manually.
5. Hot glue wood pieces to one side, and then the other.
6. Paint to desired brown ship like color.

Step 4: Every Pirate Ship Needs a Sail!

I started the pirate sail about a week early so I didn't have to rush.

- Black Sheet
- White Acrylic Paint

- White Chalk
- Computer LCD Project
- Paint brushes

1. Project the image below onto the sheet and trace with white chalk.
2. Put some kind of plastic under the sheet before painting.
3. 1st Coat : Water down the acrylic paint a bit, so that the first coat goes down easily.
4. 2nd Coat : Paint with only a little water downed.
5. Note: Don't fray the sides until you mount the sail.

Step 5: Hoist the Sail!

Building the Ship
First we need to build the mast for the main sail.

- Lattice Strips
- Gardening Stakes
- #6 wood screws - 3/4", 1", 1-1/2"
- 1 Roll of 5-1/2" Pink Insulation Foam
- 1/2" staples
- Brown Outdoor house paint (from the pre-colored shelf @ Home Depot - less $$$)

- 1/16" Drill bit
- Drill with Phillips screwdriver attachment
- Saber saw
- Staple gun
- scissors

1. Frame out the base with thicker lattice wood.
2. Drill a pilot hole for all screws, or they will blow out.
3. Fill in the gaps with the garden stakes.
4. Attach Mast - 2" x 2" x 8" pressurize wood.
5. Use lattice wood on top and bottom and sides of mast.
6. Wrap shell with Roll of 5-1/2" Pink Insulation Foam, and staple - starting at the bottom and over lapping each level going upward.
7. Attach the sail, by stapling it to the top & bottom.
8. Using scissors, fray both left & right sides. Hint, use a 45 degree upward cut to give it a more of a hanging look.
9. Paint brown with outdoor house paint, watering it down a little bit, help it spread much better,

Step 6: The Ship!

Using the same Materials and Tools from Step 5 - Hoist the Sail!, build the remaining part of the Ship.

1. Frame out main sides with lattice wood strips.
2. Fill in the holes with garden stakes to support the foam insulation strips.
3. Staple the insulation foam from the bottom up, overlapping a 1/2 inch to inch.
4. Staple extra layers of insulation foam on all edges to hide the strips of foam.
5. Paint with the same paint from Step 5.

See the photos below to see the details of the shape.

Step 7: Water, Water Everywhere!

- aluminum foil
- hot glue
- 2 shade of blue spray paint
- Garden stakes

- Hot Glue Gun

1. Measure your space for the water.
2. Roll out the aluminum foil to length, roll out another, and Hot glue together.
3. Repeat 2 until wide enough.
4. Attach garden stakes to each end with hot glue, to help keep from blowing in the wind.
5. Spray paint with 2 shades of blue ( helps give the water depth )
Note: Don't over spray, by being spotty the foil can come through for depth )
6. Layout water (foil), pull and push foil to create a cool water effect!
7. Add paver's for steps.
8. Add a piece of 2" x 4" wood as the floor of the ship, and paint brown.
9. Place the "plank" under the wood and screw together for safety and paint brown.
10. Dress your set with all the extra!

Step 8: Special Effects!

There are many ways to add the best part of the show. Here is what we did.

Lights and Fog
1. Added red gel florescent bulbs behind the sail and mast.
2. 4 random blue and black lights
3. 1 bright blue light on the stairs up into the ship
4. Fog machine with Fog Chiller behind the sail and mast.

Sound Effects
Attached below the 14 minute loop of sounds, which include water lapping, and creaking of a ship, howling and a woman's scream and a parrot saying "walk the plank", sound file attached below.

Arrg! Thanks for all the Halloween fun!

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Wow!! This is a great project. The sound clip and lights pull it all together.


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! I LOVE the pirate ship! Gave me heaps of ideas for this Hallowe'en!


    Reply 15 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done! Do you have anymore pictures?


    15 years ago on Introduction

    Surprisingly no ... The Acrylic and Outdoor House paint when down very easily and stayed on very well. The only problem I would see is the wearing time. After a week, and kids still play on it, the paint is getting wear-and-tear. But it is foam after all. lol.


    15 years ago on Introduction

    Fabulous! Your kids must be the envy of the neighborhood. Was it hard to get the paint to adhere to the foam board?