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Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

Talk Like A Pirate Day Crafts

By Guest Contributor

Our Guest Contributor is Lindsey Boardman of Filth Wizardry

Yaaarrr me hearties! It be “Talk Like A Pirate Day” again this September 19th! Your mini pirates will be needing some pirate swords made from rolled up newspaper, that they can’t actually hurt each other with! Plus, if you have wee pirate girls like I do then you might like to make them a piratess bandanna skirt to plunder and pillage in. Just because you are the scourge of the open seas, doesn’t mean you have to wear boy clothes.

Rolled Newspaper Pirate Sword.

So, first thing’s first, you’ll need some newspaper, some sticky tape and a little bit of cardboard. Any cardboard really (cereal box/corrugated card/whatever you can get your hands on) If you want to decorate the handle of your sword then you’ll need some markers too.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

These little swords are so quick and easy to make, and they are really popular with the kids because they look so convincing. The totally great thing about them from a parent’s perspective is that they are really hard to hurt anyone with, because they are just made out of rolled up newspaper!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

Grab two sheets of newspaper and lay them down on top of each other. Now fold over one of the corners. From here you can start to roll up the newspaper into a reasonably tight roll along the diagonal. The key here is rolling it on the diagonal, because this means that a) the sword is longer and importantly b) the end of the point is only a couple of layers of paper thick, you can’t poke anyone really hard with it and it will buckle if you hit too hard with it. They still stand up to a good bit of battling, but in two years of making these at home and for parties, I’ve never seen a kid get hurt with one! Once you’ve rolled it all the way up, tape the roll closed.

Now fold over the bottom third like this…
Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

…and tape it back on itself to make the handle of the sword.
Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
Next you need to cut out from your card an oval with a hole in the middle big enough to thread onto the sword blade and a small rectangular bit that will be wrapped around the blade to hold the hilt in place. Then, color these up with markers or paint if you fancy.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
Then thread your hilt on and wrap the cardboard rectangle around and tape it in place. Voila! Your mini pirates are now equipped to board an unsuspecting vessel.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
Now that they are busy laying into each other with the swords and screaming things like “Shiver me timbers!!!” you can have a go at making the pirate girl bandanna skirts.

How to Make a Pirate Girl Bandanna Skirt

All you need for this craft is two bandannas, a long section of scrap material that you can use for the waist band (I used a dollar store t-shirt material scarf), and a little bit of elastic for the waist.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

This skirt is a bit different to the usual bandanna skirt. The first steps you’ll look at and wonder where on earth we’re going with it, but trust me, it works out and it’s really rather nifty! Incidentally, there are a nice range of bandannas at the dollar tree, so this is a super cheap project!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
So, lay out your first bandanna and give it an ironing. Then get a small circular plate or dish (the one I’m using has a diameter of about five inches) and put it right in the center of the bandanna. The bandannas I’m using are cotton ones from Joanne’s and the pattern is really easy to eyeball the middle with on them. Draw around the bowl to mark a circle. You need to do this for both bandannas.

Next cut out those circles from the center, and also cut one straight line from the center of one of the sides up to meet the circular hole you just made on each bandanna. Save these circles that you cut out of the middle if they have a nice pattern on like the ones I have here.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
You can use them to appliqué onto a matching t-shirt!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
OK, you have all your cutting done for the bandannas now. Next you need to place them one on top of each other with their right sides facing together. Pin one side of the straight cut that you made and sew that up. I’m doing all hand sewing here, but if you’re machine sewing then this whole project will be super quick!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
This part is where what we have been doing will start to make sense! Open up your two bandannas that are now joined along one seam and spread them out. You can see that the two circular holes that you cut have been joined to create one larger one with twice the circumference of those smaller ones! Cool huh! You have the beginnings of a nice twirly eight pointed skirt!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
Now you need to make the waist band for it. For this I used a black t-shirt material dollar store scarf, but if you have some old t-shirts handy you can always cut off the bottom five inches or so to use for this (that would actually make this project even faster, because the bottom of the t-shirt hem can have elastic threaded directly into it) working with right sides together again, pin and sew the length of waist band material all around the large circular hole you have made in the bandannas.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
When you open this up you can see how nicely fluted the skirt will be. Trim off the excess waistband material. It’s best to overestimate how much you’re going to need in length, but to estimate, it’s going to need to be roughly 2πd in length (where d is the diameter of the bowl that you used to cut the small circular holes in each bandanna).

The other measurement you need to think about for a moment is the width of the waist band. Mine was about five inches, so the waist band would be about four inches deep when it has the elastic sewn in, this added to the length of the hem you sewed between the two bandannas will give you the shortest length of the skirt (between the pointed edges). If you’re using a small bandanna like those from the Dollar Tree then you’ll want to make a slightly wider waist band, so that no one’s underwear is showing when they wear it, although the shorter ones I’ve made look rather cute over the top of a pair of jeans!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
Last thing before you sew in the elastic is to fold the skirt over right sides together and hem up that last side that runs from the bottom of the bandanna right up to the top of the waist band.

Talk Like a Pirate Craft
Fold over the waist band and hem it all up, leaving a gap to thread in the elastic.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
Finally, pop your elastic into the waist band using a safety pin to thread it through, sew together the two ends of the elastic at the required size for your mini pirate’s midriff and then sew closed the little hole that you threaded it all in through.

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft
Turn right side out and admire! Then call skurvey sea dog kid to try it on.

I’ve made a whole load of these types of skirts for my girls because they LOVE them! Obviously you can make them out of any squares of material, but scarfs and bandannas are ideal, because you don’t have to sew any of the hems around the bottom of the skirt!

Yo ho ho! It’s a pirate’s life for me! Have a hearty Talk Like a Pirate Day mateys!

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

Talk Like a Pirate Day Craft

Lindsey Boardman is a creative genius. You should visit her personal blog, Filth Wizardry, every day like I do.

If you’re looking for Halloween costumes, crafts, decorations and more explore our our archives, located here.

Guest Contributor
About the Author

Guest Contributor

We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.


We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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  • maryanne

    September 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    She is a creative genius! I’ve been a fan of Filth Wizardry for a long time, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! In the meantime, I can’t wait to make my kids some pirate gear =)

  • marywa1234

    September 2, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    These are so perfect! I have 3 daughters who are obsessed with Barbie and the 3 muskateers- they will love these!

  • Kara

    September 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Oh, what fun! the swords are genius (so simple, yet so cool looking) and I really think those skirts are something even a person w/ my limited sewing skills could tackle!

    any day could be pirate day now! 🙂

  • Heather - Dollar Store Crafts

    September 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I love all of Lindsey’s ideas, and these are no exception. Love me some pirates! The skirt is very cute & unique, and the swords are genius.

    I took one of those dollar store pirate hats & stapled it on 3 sides to make a tri-corn hat (covered the inside staple edges with bits of electrical tape so they wouldn’t catch on hair.

  • Allie

    September 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I ADORE this, but I adore Filth Wizadry’s creative ideas for kids – this is SO being bookmarked for when my daughter is a bit older.

    Makes me wish they had bigger bandannas so I could make one of these skirts for myself!

  • Dawn

    September 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    These are wonderful.  I teach Spanish and we read a novel about pirates.  For the last two years we have acted out the battle scene with only one plastic sword and a rolled up piece of poster board.  This year everyone will have a sword – a safe sword! Thanks!!

  • Izzy

    September 4, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I love it how you cut the middle of the bandanna and paste it on a plain shirt. Really makes it match even more. Really creative and refreshing. Thank you!!

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  • Eden

    September 7, 2010 at 2:26 am

    I love it, but I can’t help thinking… what about sewing the bandana directly onto the bottom of a t-shirt to make a dress.  Would that work?  I may try it and let you know!  🙂

  • Jessica P

    September 13, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I love the simple pirate swords! My boys would have so much fun with them. Thanks for showing how to make them- I’ve pinned it for future reference.

  • Jodi

    September 14, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Those are the cutest skirts ever! To bad I only have boys! They would love the swords though.

  • Megan Stremick

    September 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I was chatting with a friend about Talk Like a Pirate Day and she relayed this joke “what is a pirates favorite letter of the alphabet?” I replied “rrrrr” of course, just as a pirate would say it. And she responded “you would think it be rrrr but it’s the C that he loves most”. Thought it was cute. And by the way, why is it that my husband laughed so hard when i said i wanted to sew the skirt for my niece. Could it be that my sewing machine is still in the box since receiving it as a gift at Christmas? Hmmm.

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  • Tiffany E.

    September 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    We made the swords for Talk Like a Priate Day! They were a huge hit! All of the kids loved running around sword fighting. Thanks again. {I linked to you from my blog:}

  • Lori

    January 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I want to use these skirts for my 7 and 8 year old flower girls, but would rather them be sewn directly to the shirt rather than using the elastic band. Any opinions? I need to know what measurements to get from the girls so my friend can sew these for me. Thanks for any help!

  • Claudia

    January 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have made 7 skirts so far and am planning on making many more. The girls I have made them for love them!!

    • Isabel


      January 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Fantastic! So happy to get this feedback.

  • Gabriela

    January 23, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Thank you so much!! No imaginas cuanto tiempo estube rompiendome la cabeza para hacer espadas para el cumpleaños de mi hija con algo con que los chicos no se lastimen. Muchas gracias!!! Gabriela de Argentina.

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  • Crystal

    March 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    This is a great tutorial, I see bandana skirts in my daughter’s future!  Arghhhh!

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  • Nicki Duck

    April 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Would I need to shorten the bandanas for a 19 mo old?

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  • Bridget

    September 20, 2013 at 1:02 am

    We made the paper swords today. They were so easy and lots of fun. Thanks for sharing! I blogged about them today with a link to your post. Check it out at

  • Mary Brock @ Columbia Comics

    October 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing this tutorial! I made these for my children’s Pirates and Princesses birthday party yesterday and they were a hit (no pun intended)!!! My boys are turning 7 & 3 and my daughter turned 1 all within six weeks so there were an assortment of ages from 20mos to 7yo and the swords were loved by all and safe for everyone. I will be making these often!

    • Isabel Kallman

      Isabel Kallman

      October 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      great! so happy to hear that it was useful. 🙂

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    Thanks for the great sword ideas!!! These are fantastic! The only hard part was finding newspapers!!

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    Thanks for this wonderful tutorial on pirate swords. I will surely share it with my family and childrens.

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