Avast there ye pirate scallywags! Ye need go no further than the Pirate Flag for ideas for your own Pirate themed party. For those of ya that want to add a touch of realism to yer party argh, we’d suggest that ye read on.
In other ships scrolls we’ve given ye ideas on creating yarrgh invitations and on how to make ’em the best around and now we’re goin’ to tell ye how to make the venue for yarrgh party look fantastic and give yarrgh some ideas on how to amuse yarrgh little scallywags until it’s time for ’em to walk that there plank to ‘ome.
Pirate Decoration Themes
Having adopted a pirate theme for your party, you have three options for the decoration theme. The first – and by far the most popular – is the Treasure Island. Next we have the Pirate Boat and lastly – and probably better for adults so not covered here – is the portside Inn. Once you’ve identified which theme your going to follow it’s time to get working on transforming your venue and here are a few tips;
The degree of realism will depend on whether you are indoors or outside. If you are lucky enough to be outside you could create a real island with a pile of sand which can be placed on some sand coloured cardboard to protect the surface. You can extend the cardboard to create the whole island by taping it together using strong tape on both sides and then when you have an area big enough to hold all of your little pirates, it can either be shaped to resemble the island outline or the remainder painted in blue to resemble the sea. You can mix some sand with the paint in-order to get a textured finish. To get enough cardboard you can ask your local supermarket for some cardboard boxes and then cut these open and join them together. This idea also works well for an indoor island.
On the edge of your island you may want to add some inflatable sharks and you could extend the sea up your walls by hanging some blue sheets or crepe paper and then attaching some pirate ship cutouts and fish.
To decorate your island you need some inflatable palm trees, a collection of various sized boxes, paint some as treasure chests others as packing cases – these can be stacked for best effect. To create a packing case, seal the box and then paint it all over with a light brown colour. Using a thin paintbrush create the slat effect horizontally around the case. If you want to you can create the shadow lines about 2″ from the top and bottom for the lid and base covers – alternatively these can be constructed simply from 2″x1″ wood cut to length and then screwed (from the inside) to box. Adding a washer to the inside prevents the batten being ripped off too easily. Double sided tape on the outside also works well. These battens can be painted. To all painted surfaces, using a marker create knotholes and a wood grain effect. Stack the completed packing cases for the best effect.
Add some coils of rope and barrels if you can find any. Add some plastic pirate rum bottles or an assortment of bottles to complete the scene. Bottles can be made from paper mache (a mixture of torn newspaper and paste) which can then be applied to a wine bottle which has been previously smeared with Vaseline. Build up layers of paper mache but keep the shape of the bottle and leave the bottom uncovered – so that the bottle can slid out. Leave to dry. When dry slip the fake bottle from the real bottle and repeat the process as many times as required. Level the base (so they stand) and paint as you wish incorporating skull and crossbones etc into your design. If you want the bottle to lie on their sides or be propped up, add a circle of card as a base attached with tape or more paper mache strips. This is best done before painting. For an authentic look, drip a coloured candle wax over the top of the bottle to represent the seal.
If you are inside and looking for an craft project for your party, make loads of fake bottles in advance and paint them the basic colour. With lots of paper spread out, get your guests to decorate their own bottle – the painted result can also be part of their party bag at the end.
If you have a tree or post available, attach lengths of bunting from this to various points around the edge. If indoors use the bunting across the room. The bunting can either be homemade using colourful rectangles of plain material attached to some binding or can be bought pirate bunting.
The Pirate Ship will require a little more thought and lots of cardboard. The easiest solution is to create just a part of the ship out of cardboard – one of the cabins. Using cardboard taped together, create a large box shape – depending on the size you may want to incorporate some wooden supports, paint the whole structure in brown and the outline the planks and nail heads in black. Create planks of different lengths just like in a real ship. Cut windows in the sides and decorate around the windows as much as you want – it helps to download a picture of a pirate galley as a template.
You can extend to the front of the structure with more cardboard painted like planks and this can for the deck of the boat. Around the edge you could paint a sea blue – see above. Decorate the deck of your pirate boat with treasure chest, packing boxes, barrels, bottles and ropes as outlined for the Treasure Island. If you are outdoors, then you could add a tall pole to the back of the structure to create a mast from which you could attach your bunting to symbolize sails. If you are indoors bring the bunting in from the corners of the room to the centre above the cabin.
Neither of these decoration themes can be achieved in 5 minutes. Each will take some thought and some planning to produce the best results, but there is nothing to prevent you starting to construct decorative items well in advance, the packing cases and pirate bottles can be made at anytime and will store indefinitely proving they are kept dry. In fact they will last for years and many parties and like Halloween, you could add to them as time goes on.
Having created the perfect decorated party venue for your pirate scallywags, don’t forget to include the fact that you expect all of your guests to come to the party in pirate fancy dress.