Pirate Party Ideas (Perfect for Gasparilla!)

This image contains a pirate themed wreath, a message in a bottle invitation, a paper bag party favor, a colorful felt flag banner, and candy.

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.


This image contains a wreath wrapped in red and white striped ribbon with burlap across the center, a pirate hat, beads, and gold coins.

wreath form
wide red & white striped ribbon (mine was 2 1/2″)
hot glue gun and glue sticks
plastic beads
felt pirate hat
plastic coins

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.

This image is a collage of the steps involved in creating a pirate theme wreath.


This image contains a jute and burlap wrapped bottle with red and white ribbon, a name tag, and gold wrapped candies.

glass 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.

This image is a collage of the steps involved in creating a message in a bottle party invitation.


This image contains a brown paper bag with a map drawn on the front, tied with a red ribbon, and gold wrapped candies and coins.

paper lunch bag
black and red markers
hole punch
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.

This image is a collage showing the steps for making a treasure map favor bag.


This image contains three strings of a felt flag 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.

This image contains felt rectangles in a variety of colors on a white background with gold wrapped candies, plastic gems, and plastic beads.

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?

This image is a collage of pirate themed party ideas.

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