How to Make Pirate Flag

Written by ryn gargulinski
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Whether for your yard, your workplace or hanging from your bedroom ceiling, nothing is more striking than a pirate flag. Lovingly called the Jolly Roger, you don’t have to heist a pirate ship to get one. You can make your own with a few simple supplies and a little talent. Some simple steps will help you make a pirate flag quicker than you can say, “Ahoy, Matey.”

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Black material
  • Fabric paint or
  • Fabric glue and felt
  • Flag pole (optional)
  • Rivets and cord or chain

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  1. 1

    Gather your materials. Get a piece of black material made out of cotton, a polyester blend or another smooth material that will hold fabric paint well. Make it as big as you want your flag to be. Use an old fence post or even a broom handle for a flag pole. Get rivets and a strong cord or thin chain from a hardware or fabric store so you can hang your flag once it is complete. Wash the material so the fabric paint sets properly.

  2. 2

    Hook up your rivets. Snip two small holes along the edge of the fabric where you will hang your flag. Attach your rivets with pliers so they stay in place.

  3. 3

    Draw your design. A skull and crossbones is the most common design for pirate flags. You can adapt the theme by using crossed swords instead of crossbones or writing “We take no prisoners” or an equally catchy pirate saying above or below your drawing. Fabric paint markers work well for drawing designs. Sketch your design on paper before going for the flag material.

  4. 4

    Sew on your design if you hate to draw. Cut a skull and crossbones or other design out of white felt and either use fabric glue or a few stitches to attach it on the flag.

  5. 5

    Put it all together. Once your design is firmly in place, thread thin chain or thick cord through the rivets and hang your pirate flag where desired. If you are hooking it to a makeshift flag pole, hammer two thick nails on the pole where you can attach the flag cord.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are making a pirate flag for temporary use, such as a prop in a play or for Halloween, you can use black poster board, foam core or paper instead of material. Use regular paint on those materials, not fabric paint.
  • Have fun with shapes. Your pirate flag can be a traditional rectangle or you can make it triangular or oblong.
  • For an authentic flair, snip fringe and random jagged edges around the border of the flag so it looks weather-beaten.

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