My six-year-old want’s to be a pirate when he grows up… Yup, a pirate. But not a nasty one who steals, just one who finds treasure on deserted islands. He’s been fascinated by pirates since he was four, so for his 5th birthday, we had a Pirate themed birthday party.
Do yourself a favour and host a pirate birthday party
A pirate birthday party was the best theme we’ve had so far (except maybe the John Deere party). The kids enjoyed it so much and loved dressing up and pretending that they were real pirates. I still hear friends and family talk about how much fun their kids had at the pirate party, and it was more than a year ago! Your kids and their friends will also love a pirate theme!
Ideas and Inspiration for a Pirate-themed birthday party
Now let’s get down to the reason why you are here – tips and inspiration for a Pirate party, together with a free printable set! First, we will look at décor, then activities and stationary. If you need tips and advice on how to plan any party from scratch – head over to this post where I give detailed steps and tips on party planning.
Décor for a Pirate Party
You will use three main colours for this theme, and that is black, red and blue. Feel free to add some other colours to the mix, but make sure the majority of your décor is black, red or blue.
For table décor; use black plastic table cloths and layer them with patterned fabric squares. Use baskets and enamel-ware to serve food and drinks in. Tie bandanas or scarfs around drink dispensers. Stick to your basic colours for the big items, but add other colours with the fabric overlays and bandanas.
You can create a backdrop with tissue-paper pinwheels and strips of fabric that you tear up and tie to a rope. You can also use fish-netting and rope for a backdrop!
As the cake forms part of the décor too, I include it in the décor section. It is relatively easy to build a pirate ship cake. Head over to my Pinterest board on the subject to see a couple of tutorials. Use chocolate icing and various sweets to decorate it with. We also added toothpicks, and added black candles in front, to look like cannons!
Cut dowels to use as masts, and print the patterns in the printable pack to use for the sails. There are also smaller pirate flags in the printable pack that you can use on the cake. Try to bake the cake yourself – it is not too difficult and will save you a lot of money. Birthday cakes do not have to be Pinterest-perfect, but they do have to taste good. So, if you can’t work with fondant icing but can bake a mean chocolate cake, go for it! Just don’t be afraid.
We had a huge ship in the shape of an island-style jumping castle. The pillars on the jumping side look like palm trees, and the slide was their ship!
Pirate Birthday Party Activities
Dress Like a Pirate
Wow – did the kids have fun with the dress-up part! This helps them get into character, and even some of the more reserved kids played along.
You only need one captain – the birthday boy or girl, so only buy or make one captain’s hat. For the rest of your guests, you can make bandanas. Use plain fabric, or whatever you have in stock. I had blue, grey and red fabric on hand and cut large triangles and finished off the edges. You and skip this and just cut the triangles.
I did order enough eye-patches for everyone, but just six or so hooks. Not everyone wants to be Captain Hook, so you can save money on them. You can also add face paint for the kids to add beards or scars if you prefer.
We did not have a treasure hunt as an activity, so I provided a treasure chest with the dress-up station. I made some pretty necklaces for the couple of girls we had at the party. Next, I added a bag full of pirate coins and a couple of faux jewels. I also spray painted some pebbles gold – they sure loved these gold nuggets in the treasure chest. You can add a couple of shells as a finishing touch to your perfect pirate treasure chest.
Lastly, I made cardboard swords, and it is so easy, it does not need a full tutorial. I simply cut out sword shapes from old cardboard boxes. Make the hilt-end the right size and length to slide into an empty toilet paper roll. I spraypainted the blades silver and toilet paper roll-hilts gold. Use hot-glue to attach them to one another and also add knuckle-guards made from craft foam.
I did not give party favour bags for this party and felt that the loot from the dress-up was enough for the kids to take home. The kids also took home a bit of the treasure.
Walk the plank
You can create a beam for the kids to mimic a walk the plank scenario. Put a plank onto half-barrels or cinder-blocks for the kids to walk across. But be sure to make sure the plank is securely attached and safe to use. You do not want accidents at the party – I know pirates are fierce, but safety always comes first.
Plan out a treasure hunt in the garden and leave various clues for the kids to find the treasure in the end.
Captain Hook’s Ring Toss
Attach hooks to a piece of plywood or hardboard for a fun ring-toss game!
You can also add crafts or colouring pages for this pirate birthday party, but in my experience, this is not a party where the kids would want to sit still for too long.
Pirate Birthday Party Free Printable set
As with all my party themes, I include a free printable set! This was so much fun to make, and I know you will like it too! In the collection you will find:
- A blank invitation background – where you can add your own wording.
- Four activity station posters
- A treasure map
- Flags and sails to use for the cake or as food toppers
- Party favour thank-you tags
- A fun pirate ship image. There is also a large format of this image available if you would like to use it as a backdrop
- Three patterns in your main colours
You can gain access to my Free Printable Library by subscribing to my newsletter here. The password to the library will be in the welcome email you receive.
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What do you think of the printable pack – is there anything you would like me to add for this theme. Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do.
Take care, until next time!