How to decorate your own pirate chest

Written by janece bass
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How to decorate your own pirate chest
Turn a plain chest into a mystical pirate's treasure chest. (treasure chest image by sumos from

Pirate treasure chests are a must for any pirate-themed room or party. The chest should look the part and be functional to hide little personal treasures or an entire chest full of toys. Decorate your own pirate treasure chest for a pirate-themed bedroom or play room. Or decorate small pirate chests to give away as party favours after a pirate-themed baby shower or birthday party.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Treasure chest (chest, shoebox or craft box)
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Pens/markers
  • Stencils
  • Gold ribbon
  • Decorations (faux gems, stickers, gold coins)

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  1. 1

    Paint the chest brown or glue brown paper to the container serving as your treasure chest. Use a thin paintbrush or marker to draw vertical black lines or holes over the brown to look like real, weathered wood.

  2. 2

    Use gold foil, ribbon or paint to create a latch and hardware on the corners. This isn't necessary for simple favour projects or projects by younger children, although the gold-coloured corners and latch make the treasure chest appear more authentic. Older children can get creative with their designs and make the faux hardware appear etched or embossed.

  3. 3

    Glue gold ribbon across the lid of the pirate's chest for more decoration. A few gold stripes can adorn the trunk's lid without compromising the wood look.

  4. 4

    Fasten faux gemstones, gold coins or other booty to the chest with glue if your decorations don't have adhesive on them. Use stickers or stencils and paint to add gemstone designs, a string of pearls or a skull and crossbones to the chest.

  5. 5

    Stencil in the word "beware" or write the child's name on the chest with pirate-like letters in black paint or marker.

  6. 6

    Draw on the chest with a gold glitter pen to give the illusion of treasure spilling out or use the glitter pen to write the pirate's name or add extra sparkle to the treasure chest.

Tips and warnings

  • Any hinged box or shoebox can become a pirate's treasure chest favour box.
  • Allow children to decorate their chests however they want.
  • Use child-friendly paint and craft supplies.
  • Supervise children when using glue, markers, glitter or other craft supplies.

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