Diy Pirate Costume - How to Make a Last-Minute Pirate Costume

Here it is, a last minute diy pirate costume! Here's a quick but complete guide to diy a homemade pirate costume really quickly, using three things: a few items from your closet, my free pirate accessories template and the best: free pattern for pirate vest! Scroll down and get it now.
diy pirate costume
If your kid hasn't got a Halloween outfit yet and you're looking for pirate costume ideas, this tutorial will give you an idea for an easy diy pirate costume.

The idea for this diy pirate costume came from our toddler, half an hour before a visit from a friend of his. He suddenly asked to be a pirate for this year's Mardi Gras carneval. We actually do not go out and celebrate on the streets, but kids, friends, families visit each other the weekend before, all kids dressed up in costumes. At first, I intended to take the easy way out and talk our kid into using the baby frog costume from last year. To be honest, I was happy to get a last-minute chance to avoid it. It wouldn't be quite fair, would it? :)
homemade pirate costume

Ever since the day I sewed it, it's become a really popular piece of clothing for our kid's pretend play throughout the year. So I figured, why not post the idea and help my readers to an easy diy pirate outfit. Why not!  Now, let's get to the HOW-TO:

Diy Pirate Costume

homemade pirate costume

1) Grab an old shirt

The first thing that I pulled out was an old white-red long-sleeve shirt from my 'recycle'-pile (actually any color would do). It is not useful for every-day life, but it will surely do for a pirate costume for kids.

2) Make a SIMPLE VEST (using my free pattern)

I used some warm, soft felt to cut out something close to a simple vest, with a snap fastener attached to the front. (You could also use some velcro, or even two small pieces of thin rope.) I added another white skull I cut out from craft-foam to one side of the pirate vest. It's easy, especially if you use materials like fleece that do not need any hemming work. You may use your toddler's t-shirt as a guide for size -  but it's even better if you make the vest a bit wider than you would usually. It's easier to put on, the pirate won't mind the comfort and he just might want to reuse it next year ;)

UPDATE: Free Sewing Pattern - Pirate Vest

homemade pirate costume

Check out this totally new PIRATE VEST TUTORIAL - and get your FREE PIRATE VEST PATTERN!


This is the template for the kids pirate vest in size 2-3 years to help you along the way. If you subscribe to Applegreen Cottage newsletter at THIS link, you'll get the Pirate Vest (size 2-3Yrs) Template for FREE. Here:

free pirate costume pattern - vest
Plus, you get access to the entire subscriber-exclusive FREEBIES library!
free files library for subscribers

If you’re already a subscriber, you can access the pattern with the password in each newsletter, in the resource library:
protected subscriber resource library

For anyone who'd prefer not to subscribe for the free newsletter, you can still purchase the pirate vest pattern at this link in my shop.

pirate costume ideas

2) Accessories: Cut an Eyepatch and Skull - FREE TEMPLATE HERE

To complete the pirate costume, I used black foam for my pirate's eye patch. It's simple: cut out a round-ish piece of craft foam and add the thinnest piece of elastics you find at home. Really, the thinner the better. As for the pirate pants - well, regular black pants will do just fine. The simpler the better, right?
homemade pirate costume with eyepatch

3) ... make a PIRATE HAT
Use my free PDF template for pirate skull! I haven't got to publishing the free hat pattern, but it's coming soon! For now, I'll just describe how I made it, hopefully this will do for the time being: 
See the hat in the photo below? It's that simple form  - resembling a toy car chassis (at least how I see it) Just cut out two of them and sew the top and the sides together. Make sure the bottom is wide enough - when sewn, the bottom part of the hat needs to be several inches wider than the circumference of a child's head. What keeps it on the head is not the tight fit, it's the bumpy (central) part you see on the top of the hat. The sides will be loose, and that's how it's supposed to be.

diy pirate costume

To make the hat, I began by cutting two random pieces from black fabric and kept sewing and cutting until a pirate hat came out of the machine. It did not look like a pirate hat at all, until I added that white skull I cut out from craft-foam. (Craft foam, I love you!) The home-made pirate hat went straight onto the pirate's head because the doorbell was ringing at the moment it was finished. Another (pirate) boy was at the door, and a play-date could begin. The day was saved. (And both the mom and the kid were happy!) What I did was trace the hat, added some seam allowance and saved the template for later. It's still waiting for me to scan it and save somewhere you could all download it from!
pirate pouch and diy pirate hat
So,. this is the hat. If you feel like - and if you have a spare half-an hour, make a pirate pouch to store some gold foiled chocolate coins - perfect for little pirates! I used this coin purse pattern from my pattern shop.

And if you remove the white skulls after Halloween is over, the vest and the cap might even be reused for another costume next year :)

Not much time was needed (half an hour for the hat and half an hour for the vest - including trial and error!), so I think it's a good solution for you too. Now you've seen the photos, I bet you can make this even much faster than I did!

Make sure to save the project for later when you need a last-minute pirate costume:
diy pirate costume

If you need more, there are two of my DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES:

diy knight costume   diy cape costume

Want This Pattern For Free?

Join the newsletter and never miss out on new free printables, patterns and tutorials. If you subscribe at THIS link, you'll get the Pirate Vest (size 2-3Yrs) Template for FREE. Here:

diy pirate costume and a free sewing pattern


  1. Easy and very effective. Love it!

  2. What a great looking costume!

  3. Fabulous pirate costume, Damjana and looks easy to make, too.

    1. Pam,
      thanks, it sure is simple and easy, that's how things go with last-minute projects - no time to make it complicated :) Have a great day, Damjana

  4. This is awesome! Such a great idea!

  5. Thank you!!! We were just notified that playgroup is pirate themed tomorrow. I'm so glad I found this! You have saved the day (and my sanity) :)

    1. Oh, that's great, glad to help! (Not really an awesome thing, being notified on the playgroup theme that late, I can relate) Have a great day, Damjana

  6. Tommorow my sis has a pirate play that shes performing in at school. We were really struggling to come up with things that we could make but this sure helped us come up with some ideas. Cheers for sharing your creativity