Yo. Ho. Ho. Tis the season to be jolly. String lights from the mast. Hang a wreath on the bow. And, sail into a Pirates’ Christmas. Aye, join in 12 days of Christmas fun. Give no quarter to the landlubbers. Show them what a Pirate already knows…Santa comes in on a sloop, not a sleigh!
Day 1: Fold a pirate hat from paper
Pirates, or Gentlemen of Fortune, wore various kinds of hats. While the typical pirate sailor wore knitted hats known as “Monmouth Caps” or bandanas wrapped over their heads, the pirate captain’s hat was the Tricorn. The Tricorn was a brimmed hat with three sides turned up. It was also sometimes referred to as a “Cocked” hat when the sides were cocked up to give the hat its popularized shape. A Captain’s hat was often edged with gold or silver braid and trimmed with plumes. For the First Day of Christmas, your young pirates can make a hat from paper.
Newspaper – 1 full sheet
Black Spray Paint (optional)
Paint brush (optional)
Metallic ric-rac trim, and ostrich plumes (optional)
Fold the full sheet of newspaper in half along its normal crease (the first page should be visible). Rotate the sheet so that the long folded edge is horizontal. Place the ruler across the fold and measure half-way. Draw a line.
Take the top left hand corner of the newspaper and fold it down to that middle center line and press flat the crease.
Do the same taking the top right corner and pressing to the middle.
This works for newspapers that are traditional in size. Many of today’s newspapers have been re-sized to be much longer than wide. Their face size can be 20” x 10”. If this is the case, folding the two edges to the center won’t work well. You will need to adjust for this proportion by folding the two corner edges to within 2” of the loose edge of the paper.
Take the top edge of paper and fold it upward to lay over the two corner folds.
Turn the newspaper over. Fold this side of the flap up toward that side of the hat.
Fold the entire hat in the middle on a line going from the point of the triangle down to the bottom of the hat. Re-open the fold. Your hat should have what appears to be two sections, one of which can hang downward when placed on the head.
Place the hat on your head, one side of the triangle facing forward. Mold the crown a little with your hands so that it partially takes the shape of your head. Push the other part of the hat — the part beyond the fold — downward slightly so that it covers part of the back of your neck.
Open out the hat and set it on newsprint or plastic trash bag to protect your work surface from overspray. Spray the hat black.
Draw a skull and crossbones or other design on the hat.
Glue metallic trim along the band of the hat and attach plumes if desired.
Day 2: Make Marshmallow Pirate Pops
Arr! Even the most curmudgeonly of pirates smile at these clever pirate pops. Shiver me timbers, there isn’t a young pirate who won’t get a kick out of these.
Cardboard box, shoe box or piece of polystyrene
1 packet white marshmallows
2 cups confectioner sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 tsp red food color (depending on the brand, may need less)
1 packet lollipop sticks
1 edible black marker (if you don’t find one in your local stores, these can be purchased at Amazon.com)
Prepare a drying stand ahead. Add some weight to the inside of a cardboard box. Close the lid and poke holes in the lid. If you are using polystyrene, tape it secure to a surface.
Using the edible black marker, draw pirate faces on to the white marshmallows. Be sure to allow a small bit of room above the faces for the pirates’ red icing hats. Insert lollipop sticks into the base of the marshmallows. Insert them fully through the marshmallow but guard against breaking the surface at the top of each marshmallow.
Place the confectioner sugar in a bowl and mix in a small amount of boiling water. You want the icing to be quite thick, but still able to run a little. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the icing. Mix in to distribute the color. Keep adding more drops of the food color until the icing becomes bright red.
Dip the top of the marshmallow into the icing mixture, making sure that the top of the marshmallow is well covered but doesn’t go beyond the pirate face painted on the marshmallow. If there is excess icing, remove it by twirling the marshmallow on the side of the bowl.
As each marshmallow is iced with red, insert the lollipop stick into your “drying rack” – either the cardboard box or the polystyrene. Leave the pirate pops to dry.
Day 3: No Fuss Pirate Shirt
Day 4: DIY Cardboard Swords
Day 5: Pirate Christmas Caroling
Day 6: Treasure Map Ornament
Day 7: Pirate Cookies
Day 8: DIY Pirate Hook
Day 10: Treasure Chest
Day 11: DIY Eye Patch
Day 12: Treasure Map