10-Minute Paper Pirate Costume for Pretend Play

Avast, ye landlubbers!

My daughter wanted to be a pirate. Oh, happy day! You must understand, I come from a long line of pirates (well, my brother and I, see above) and I had been hoping even before she was born that my daughter would continue the family tradition. However, ever since she discovered Sofia the First, all I hear is Sofia this, Sofia that. So when she asked me the other day if she could have a pirate costume, naturally I said yes.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make a real pirate costume. Who knew how long this whim would last? I had to act fast or risk losing her to the princess crew forever.

I did have paper, a printer, some leftover ribbon from Christmas, and 10 minutes to spare while my second cup of coffee brewed and I needed to get back to work. So, while she napped, I hacked this quick and cheap fix. (Please remember that this took less than 10 minutes so it's not meant to be long-wearing or authentic.)

What you need

  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Ribbon
  • Cutter
  • Black paint, marker, or crayon (your choice)

What to do

  1. Cut out an eye patch shape. If you don't have black paper, color a small piece of white paper with any black coloring material. 
  2. Make one slit on each side, wide enough to fit the width of your ribbon. 
  3. Print out a flag illustration from the Internet. I used this one
  4. Fold it in half and eyeball cut out the shape of a pirate's hat. Seriously, don't overthink it. Folding it in half ensures that both sides are symmetrical. There's nothing worse than a pirate captain with an uneven hat.
  5. Make one slit on each side of the lower portion of the hat. Make two slits next to each other in the middle of the hat, about an inch apart. (I didn't do this part and the paper would bend too much. Alternatively, you can use double-sided tape to stick the ribbon to the hat's brim.)
  6. Eyeball the circumference of your child's head (here's a chart of average sizing for different ages) and add about a foot to that for ribbon/knot tying. 
  7. Insert the ribbon through the slits, leaving enough ribbon on each side to be tied around your child's head. 

In the end, it turns out, she wanted to be Princess Sofia dressed up as a pirate, as she'd seen in the episode "Baileywick's Day Off." Drat. Oh well, she has a whole childhood of possible piracy ahead of her (or, if you're my older brother, her whole life). We'll get her next time, mates.

Let me leave you with two wonderful quotes:
As astronauts and space travelers children puzzle over the future; as dinosaurs and princesses they unearth the past. As weather reporters and restaurant workers they make sense of reality; as monsters and gremlins they make sense of the unreal.
Source: Posterrevolution.com
Happy pretending!