January is for snowflakes, warm drinks, and…pirates?! For those who live in the Tampa Bay area, this is a special time of year as they celebrate Gasparilla, a festival in honor of legendary pirate Jose Gaspar. Complete with a pirate ship, parades, outdoor entertainment, and more, Gasparilla is quite the major event. Whether you live in Tampa or far away, why not join in the fun with some decorations and treats, or even your own pirate party! Here are a few easy ideas to get you started, matey.
wide red & white striped ribbon (mine was 2 1/2″)
hot glue gun and glue sticks
felt pirate hat
Wrap your wreath form with ribbon. Secure the ribbon with glue or pins. Wrap burlap around the center of the wreath and glue in place. Add pirate hat, beads, and coins to decorate.
INVITATION IN A BOTTLE
paper and markers
optional: glitter or sand
Write the details of your party on a piece of paper, roll it up, and insert it into your empty bottle. Decorate the bottle by wrapping the base with burlap and ribbon, and wrapping the top with jute. I recommend using a popsicle stick to push the burlap into the hot glue so you don’t burn your fingers when the glue comes through the holes in the cloth. Add any other decorations you like, including a tag with the recipient’s name, a felt crossbones, beads, or anything else you have on hand. If you want to be extra sneaky, you can also add a bit of sand or glitter to the bottle, which will come out with the message.
TREASURE MAP PARTY FAVOR
paper lunch bag
black and red markers
assorted “treasures”: gold coins, chocolate coins, plastic beads and gems, gold wrapped candies, etc.
Sketch an imaginary treasure map on the front of the bag. Try adding things like trees, houses, mountains, rivers, etc. This doesn’t have to be an amazing work of art, just try to draw basic symbols. Make a dashed line for the path and end with a red “x” to mark the spot. Fill the bag with ‘treasure,’ then fold the top over. Punch a hole and thread ribbon and/or twine through it and tie to close.
PIRATE SHIP FLAGS BANNER
felt in assorted colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, white, black)
optional: striped ribbon
hot glue gun and glue sticks
Cut your felt into rectangles. They can be any size you like; mine are 2 1/2″ wide by 4″ high) I used the Cricut to cut mine so they’re all exactly the same and it saved me some work, but you can of course cut them by hand too. If you are using ribbon, cut that into 4″ pieces as well. Use hot glue to attach the top of each rectangle to a piece of jute. You can make your banner as long or as short as you like. I modeled my banner after the flags on the Jose Gasparilla ship, which don’t follow any particular color pattern, but you can do a repeating pattern if you like.
For sweets and treats, you can serve simple snacks like donut hole “cannonballs,” pretzel rod “peg legs,” swedish fish, and anything with a nautical theme. I hope you enjoy these fun party ideas; which ones aaaarrrrrrrrr your favorite?