Make a pirate flag

Make a pirate flag

Arrrrr, me hearties! Paint this colourful Jolly Roger flag to adorn your child’s make-believe pirate ship, or hang it from his bedroom door to let everyone know that a pirate dwells within. Use it for a themed pirate party in place of balloons on the front gate or hoist it proudly over your little pirate’s bed. Make it as simple or as detailed as you like and let your child join in with the painting, the sewing and the hoisting!

What you need:

  • A piece of light-coloured fabric, eg calico 65cm x 50cm
  • Sewing machine (or a needle and thread will do)
  • Soft lead pencil
  • Paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Straight stick, piece of bamboo or a long wooden ruler

Number of players:


Lay your fabric flat with the longer sides at the top and bottom. Fold the left side under 5cm. Using needle and thread, sew the side down creating a channel. Sew across the top of the channel to close in one end.

Using the pencil, trace a rough outline of your chosen skull and crossbones design. You can decorate it further if you like, with flowers, stars or a rainbow (especially if your little pirate is a girl).

Paint your flag. Be as colourful as you like. Hang it on the clothesline to dry.

Once dry, your flag is ready to be threaded onto the stick or ruler and hung up for all to see.


  • Use whatever paints you have to hand. Even leftover finger paints will work. Specialised fabric paints aren’t necessary unless you think you will need to wash the flag.
  • If you don’t have a sewing machine, simply hand stitch with a needle and thread.
  • If you would prefer to hang the flag flat on a piece of rope, leave the top of the channel open rather than stitching it closed.
  • To minimise fraying, cut around the raw edges of the flag with pinking shears. Alternatively, you can hem it for a really finished appearance.
  • This craft was created by Greer Worsley. Greer blogs at Typically Red.

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