Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reusing, Recycling, and Re-purposing Your Way to an Over-the-top Pirate Party

With the heightened popularity of pirates, pirate parties are all the rage; whether for kids birthday parties, Halloween fests, or as a get together for family and friends. The good news is that you don't have to spend a bundle on disposable decorations to create an amazing party scene. By reusing, recycling and re-purposing stuff you already have, and adding in a generous amount of creativity, you can have a green Pirate Party that won't leave you feeling raided.

This is What We Did:

Below, a narrow deck off to the side of the house became the infamous pirate ship, the Robber's Revenge, piloted by Captain Billy Bones. A market street umbrella forms the ships mast while broom sticks, an old white sheet, and Halloween rags create her spooky sails.

On the ship deck, an old table base forms the stand for the ships wheel. A barrel, hammock, crate, bushel baskets, metal bucket, and telescope case compose the ships cargo. Captain Billy Bones, a Halloween skeleton, is dressed up in a hand-me-down puff vest, thrift store velvet jacket, 20 year old scarf, and one of my necklaces. Some Halloween rats, old chains, lanterns, and pirate maps from previous parties finish the scene.

Off of the ship deck, pirate guests row into Pirate Cove where a treasure chest (cedar chest still half full of pillows) is laden with treasure comprised of old costume jewelry, Christmas tree garlands, colorful cookie tins, various brass home decor items, colored glass bottles, and much more.

Pirate guests also found a table laden with treasure for Captain Billy Bones' guests of honor (adult table). Halloween skeletons and skulls, old crystal bowls, mismatched fine china, candles and lots of treasure complete the scene.

More candles, skeletons, and a fish net complete the scene.

Old metal hanging baskets and paper Halloween skeletons strike fear into pirate guests while old brocade and beaded pillows offer lavish comfort while lounging in the cove. House and outdoor plants lend a tropical island feel to the cove.

After waking the plank off of the back of the Robbers Revenge, the crew (kids) found themselves in Kids Cove where a table was set up for the crew. The table was dressed with a piece of old burlap and a square of red fabric. The crew dined off of reused pie tins for a rustic feel. Prior to dinner, the crew found pirate coloring pages (printed from here on the backs of previously used paper) as well as crayons, colored pencils, glitter glue, and jewel stickers for their use.

Putting Together Your Party:

1. Look online and in pirate books (from the library) for inspiration - there are endless ideas for your party.

2. Look around and see what you have - pirates stole cargo from ships the world round. So, bright colored and glitter items you have that would work in a pirate scene.
- Moroccan, Indian, and Asian home decor items work particularly well.
- Pull out silver and silver plate bowls, trays, and silverware to use as serve ware or treasure. If they are a bit tarnished, it only adds to the appeal.
- Look around for a treasure chest. Any size wooden chest will do from a cedar chest to an old jewelry box. Drape the inside with brightly colored fabric and fill with costume jewelry and anything that looks rich or sparkly.
- Raid the Halloween decorations - Pull out the skeletons, skulls, chains, anything pirate, as well as spooky warning signs.
- Look through Christmas decorations. Many garlands and ornaments also work for pirate treasure.
- Be sure to pull out lots of candles and candle holders. Candelabras and candlesticks in black, silver, gold, or bronze, pewter, or with wood accents work well. Colored glass or crystal also work. Look for beads, bobbles or metallic fringe.
- Make your own decorations using items you have around the house.
- Look for more decorations at thrift stores.

3. See what you can barrow from family and friends - what you don't have, they probably will.

Happy Pirate Partying!


  1. Yarrrrr!

    Thanks for the idearrrrrrr!

    My almost-five son would love this, and we're just in the stages of planning his birthday.

  2. What great ideas for a party. I bet the kids and the adults had a blast!