How to Spar(row On) a Shilling (or Less Than $50)

Introduction: How to Spar(row On) a Shilling (or Less Than $50)

First I be wantin to say thanks fer this site and the contributorrrs, and also even though I didn't use almost anything from this site, , it be a treasure chest of information and ideas.
This be me first tutorial and I hope that it be comin out okay. I be very inspired by the things I be seein and learnin here on this site and I hope this be a good return in kind. I wanted to get this in fer the Halloween costume contest but time and lack of internet prowess made it to be now, not earlier.

Aye, that being said, lets get starrrrted!

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Step 1: Workshop in Order

With yar workshop in orderrr, make a list of the needed items to become a real swashbuckler!

Bottom up!
Breeches (Pants)
Poet Shirt
Hair, items in hair, and bandanna
Tricon (Hat)
Baldric (Sword)
Palm glove, wrist adornments and jewelery
Tattoo and makeup
A real fine first mate-photographer-kitty
All of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and hours and hours (and hours and hours) of devotion to study all the costumes from all the movies. :D
A fine and dandy vocabularrrrrry
Rum, lots of rum!

Step 2: Boots

The boots be straight forward stitching for the tops. Measure the length of yer leg from ankle to knee. Inside out, stitch em up for the shaft of the boot. Sew the cuff to the top, right side out, to make the boot cuffs. Then stitch a little piece of elastic to the bottom to hold em to yer shoes (about $4 worth of material or free from yer wifes or wenches old purse). I be using an old pair of dress shoes and this fake leather material be matchin great. Also I feel I should mention a fantastic boot how-to from while I didn't use it for this, I might still in the future and it will be my go-to for real, leather boots. Also this instructable;
just modified, could make these out of duck tape.

Step 3: Breeches ( Pants )

The breeches be havin a lot of range to still be great. I used this old pair of leather pants I've had for years but you can use anything from black to light tan, from full length to ladies capris as seen in On Stranger Tides at 8:45 minute mark. Since I not be in the Caribbean now and it be cold during the Hallows Eve here, I do prefer a little more cozy than the traditional breeches so I be using leather.

Step 4: Poet Shirt

This be an over-shirt that I commandeered from me wife. It was for over a bathing suit for the beach or stuff like that. It be really short and absent cuffs so to work we went. I bought about $1 worth of fancy material and stitched them into a 2 ply piece and then stitched to the sleeves, instant fancy cuffs. I cut the hood off, and cut the front open, then I stitched the front back up to make the right sized chest opening. After all the cutting and stitching we gave it a tea-bath. It be boiled it in a huge pot with several tea bags to get that old, worn look, like any salty-dog should have!

Step 5: Sash

This be quite easy and free also. It be an old sheet, ripped in ten inch thick strips. I sewed the ends together to get one strip that was 10 inches by 16 feet. Then I took to it, a fabric marker and made the stripes that go down the length of the sash. After all this be done, bathin in tea it went.

Step 6: Belts

This be the step that cost the most. Mostly because I not be havin any belts here that would work and the buckles were all tiny. I explored all over for cheap belts and big buckles but to no avail. I ended up bartering the material for the belts themselves (about $15 for the big one and close to $12 for the thin one) and made the buckles from an old dresser drawer bottom. I drew the patterns on paper, then I copied them to the drawer bottom. I used a box-knife or hobby knife or boot knife to cut out the patterns. Then I sprayed them with rustoleum brass spray paint. For the baldric belt, I just stitched the buckle into the material. The "Sun Belt" be made it into a near-real, adjustable belt. For the sword holder on the baldric belt I just stitched two loops into a piece of old leather (from an old purse/bomber helmet previously made) and then stitched that piece to the belt.

Step 7: Waistcoat

The waistcoat I think be the most laborious. I traded a smaller, ladies overcoat ( $1 from the veterans resale store )that was really brown ,to be seen in the picture. The sleeves be cut to make it more of a vest. Then I pulled the stitches from the back straps and hemmed the edges and that was the basic pattern as I could tell. I left the pockets on the breast but in the movie the pockets are on the bottom front, not top. After the basic shape was done me and me first mate dyed it in navy color from rit and then washed the color out that would come out. Then since it be real dark, we washed it in a light bleach solution in the washing machine (then of course a tea bath) to get the color that we have in the pictures. Super-awesome first-mate I be havin!

Step 8: Hair and Hair Bandanna

Meet Linda.
A struggling beautician owed me money so I took her head!

She has helped me in another costume that didn't make it to the instructables, also which is why the spray paint is still on her face.
The wig be an old wig I had from a different costume. I used parts of that old costume for the roman soldier before so I be havin a wig and nigh else. I cut an old sheet about 18 inches by 36 inches and that be me bandanna. I put the wig on, adjusted the tufts of old matted hair, and then tied it on. I bartered a box of beads for about $8 and a roll of braided fancy twine for $1. Credit to me wife for the braids and the dreadlocks as I needed the help and with her skill it was whipped into shape. I carved the net hook out of a plant stock from my garden and she tied it in there also. Any good pirate needs a sail/net needle and some various braids and dreadlocks and a Pirate Lord needs his Piece-of-Eight.

Step 9: Tricon (hat)

This be easy and ye can see its not the old brown leather hat he uses. I bartered this from the salvation army. It be a ladies round, wide brimmed hat for $4. The first picture is with the back pinned so ye can still kinda see the ladies style hat. The next picture be showin the front almost done and then onto the hair. Cheap and easy.

Step 10: Sword

"And I half expected it to be made of wood" - James Norrington

Every good pirate needs a sword so this is how I be havin a hand in making mine. I be startin with an old, foam ninja training sword. I striped it of the foam and other attachments down to the handle.Then me father-in-law hand made the guard with braided copper and the handle topper, bless him! I then sprayed it with rustoleum silver then dusted it with the cheapest flat black I could buy. Altogether it was $6 in paint and then some time.

Step 11: Palm Glove

Fer ye Captains out there that get yer hands dirty setting yer own sails, ye be needin to keep those hands protected. Fer that ye need yer palm glove. Trace yer hands to paper and then cut them out of the left over material, whether it be from the boot, belt or purse material, ye just be looking to keep yer hands soft fer the wifes or wenches. I cut two pieces and sewed them together to make mine and made a strap on the back to tie. It not be the biggest detail as it be covered by a wrist-wrap of some silk I acquired outside of Singapore.

Step 12: Wrist Adornments and Jewelry

Or, the wrist-wrap be an infinity scarf relinquished from me wife and it was just wrapped and tucked and that was that. The ring be hers and did not fit but I be liking it so I cut it and stretched it to fit. The tattoo be drawn onto me by me wife and she is fantastic. Here be the pattern if ye be interested.

Step 13: Beard

Be a man, grow a beard. I did. For about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. Then braid beads into two small strips on yer wig and cut them off and tie them up like me wife did. By now yer beard should be long enough to tie into two little nubs. Then ye be havin yer wife or wench sew the two braids into yer two nubs for a full on pirate beard. Or ye can use the spirit gum to attach them or just brush some black makeup in a beard pattern.

Step 14: At Costumes End

In the end, it be one fantastic costume for just a few shillings. If ye be followin the path I've lain out before ye, treasure ye be findin At Costumes End. All the pretty girls be wantin to touch yer sword!

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    4 Discussions

    Great looking pirate costume. Shows what a little ingenuity, time and a few pence will do!! Instructable has great step-by-step information... and your first mate is a doll!! Tricorn's off to you, my friend :D


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your comment. Thats what I was going for was a decent look on a bootstrap budget.

    Amazing job! I like that you were able to use a lot of what you already have! I sometimes realize that I am dressed like a pirate when I get dressed in the morning, just by accident, haha.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    All comments be welcome but keep it simple, after all we be but simple pirates.