How to Make a Pirate Ship Bed

Updated July 20, 2017

If your child longs to be a pirate and chase adventure on the open seas, you can make her dream come true by turning her bed into a pirate ship. Woodworking skills and tools are not required. Best of all, the decor is temporary. When the child grows older and no longer wants a pirate ship bed, the items can be easily removed.

Place the bed with the headboard against a wall.

Cut 3 strips each measuring 3 inches by 30 inches from brown poster board. Using invisible tape, attach the 3 strips to make one strip 90 inches long. This is the ship's mast.

Center the mast behind the headboard and use poster putty to stick the mast to the wall.

Print a Jolly Roger template onto white card stock (see Resources). Cut out the pieces. Use the original image as a guide, and centre the design on an entire sheet of black poster board and glue it with white glue. Allow to dry. Make a series of cuts 3 to 5 inches long into the right side of the flag to give a tattered appearance, if desired.

Place the left edge of the flag over the mast, approximately 18 inches below the ceiling. Attach the flag to the wall with poster putty.

Print pirate design templates on card stock (see Resources). With sharp scissors or a craft knife, turn the templates into stencils by carefully removing the black or grey sections of the designs.

Insert a piece of cardboard inside the pillow sham so the fabric paint doesn't bleed through to the back. Center the stencil over the sham and tape down.

Using the fabric paint colour of your choice and a stencil brush, paint the open areas of the design. Carefully remove the stencil and allow paint to dry. Before use, follow the paint manufacturer's instructions for washing and drying the sham.

Insert pillow into the sham and arrange all of the bedding.

Drape the fish net over the headboard or footboard. If the netting is too long, fold it in half prior to draping. Netting can be secured with tape on the underside of the bed.

Draw a repeating wave pattern on 3 sheets of white poster board (see Resources). Cut out the waves.

Adhere the waves to the bed frame on the long side of the bed with tape or poster putty. The bottom of the poster board should touch the floor.

Place the accent rug next to the waves to give the appearance of blue water. No accent rug is needed if the bedroom's carpeting is blue.


To complete the theme, decorate the room with a telescope, treasure map, treasure chest and a parrot stuffed animal. If you aren't artistically inclined, you can buy pirate bedding at a department store or mass merchandiser.

Things You'll Need

  • Twin bed
  • Comforter in solid black, solid red, red and black stripes, or red and white stripes
  • White sheets
  • Solid colour pillow shams in white, black or red
  • Pillows
  • White, black, and red fabric paint
  • 6-by-8-foot fish net
  • Blue accent rug
  • 3 sheets white poster board
  • 1 sheet brown poster board
  • 1 sheet black poster board
  • 4 sheets white card stock
  • 12-by-12-inch piece of cardboard
  • Stencil brush
  • Sharp scissors or craft knife
  • Pencil
  • White glue
  • Poster putty
  • Invisible tape
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About the Author

Cindy Orlowski has worked in public relations and publications for more than 24 years. She has a master's degree in public relations from the University of Southern California and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Massachusetts.