How to make a PIRATE costume for kids - last minute DIY

Homemade pirate costume - Here it is, a last minute diy pirate costume for your toddler. 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. I'm adding a free pattern for pirate vest (in this tutorial) Take a look!

 homemade pirate costume for kids'

The idea for this diy pirate costume came from our toddler, yesterday. 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? :)

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.

 Now, let's get to the HOW-TO:

1) ... make a PIRATE HAT

It took me a few creative minutes, pulling out my sewing machine and torturing a piece of cotton fabric 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 some craft-foam. (Craft foam, I love you!) The home-made pirate hat went straight onto the pirate's head because the door bell 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!)

See the hat in the photo? 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.

pirate costume ideas

It was only today that I pulled out 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) Use a shirt and make a SIMPLE VEST
 Then 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

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

3) Accessories: EYE PATCH

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?

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 :)

DIY Pirate Halloween Costume for your toddler. If your kid still hasn't got a Halloween outfit, this tutorial might give you an easy idea for a last minute DIY PIRATE costume.

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!

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


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