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Make quick Jake and the Neverland Pirates costumes

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Make quick Jake and the Neverland Pirates costumes

Captain Jack Sparrow gives young pirate apprentices a tutorial in Adventureland, Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. My son is wearing the pirate outfit I made.

Costumes for an event or everyday role play are fun for kids. Here is how I made some fast, simple pirate costumes — and I can show you how to do it with or without sewing a stitch!

My family impulsively decided to take a quick trip to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World last weekend. I had heard you can get made up like Jake from the Disney Junior show Jake and the Neverland Pirates at the Pirates League. My younger son isn’t old enough to go yet (you have to be 3 years old), but my 5-year-old wanted to be Jake in the worst way.

Wouldn’t you know, all the Pirates League appointments for the weekend were booked.

And I couldn’t find any Jake stuff at my local Disney Store, or even the party-supply store.

So I decided to make fast Jake and Cubby outfits for my guys. They are really only costumes from the waist up for the most part, because walking around Disney World in long pants and boots in the June heat and humidity would probably be grounds for child abuse (or at least cause extra whining).

When my sons play Jake and the Neverland Pirates, my older son is Jake and my younger son is Cubby. (They make me an honorary Izzy, but I decided against dressing up.) Both Jake and Cubby wear white shirts and blue vests. So that’s easy — T-shirts to the rescue!

For Jake, take a plain white T-shirt and slice the sleeves a little.

Make cuts in Jake's sleeves for a swashbuckling look

Jake has a black lace-up look on the front of his shirt. First, I cut a small V shape out of the center front of the shirt. Then I took a hole punch to cut two holes on either side of the V. A black shoelace laces up the shirt. But after I saw the effect, I thought some thick embroidery floss sewn into an X or even just short strips of black felt glued on to look like an X would have looked more like Jake’s shirt. Ah well, what’s done is done.

Make a simple lace-up near the neck of the T-shirt

For both Jake’s and Cubby’s vests, I took a blue T-shirt and cut off the sleeves, then up the center front.

To make a vest for Jake or Cubby, cut the sleeves off a blue T-shirt and cut all the way down the middle of the front of the shirt

You can take the sleeves and do something else with them for fun.

Cut-off sleeves make excellent pirate costumes for plush animals like Linny, a Wonder Pet

Sew flashy buttons reminiscent of gold doubloons onto the vests. (Or glue on yellow felt dots.)

Big gold buttons are piratey

Jake’s vest has gold trim, so I found some gold braid at the fabric store and sewed it along the open edge of the vest.

Add gold trim to Jake's vest

You could instead glue on a long strip of yellow felt. I think that would have worked even better because I thought the braid was tricky to work with. The felt would also look more cartoon-like.

Jake wears a red sash tied around his head, so it was easy to get 1/8th of a yard of plain red fabric and finish the edges.

Serging the rough edges

But you can also just fold the fabric into thirds, then tie on.

Cubby wears a plain blue bandana on his head.

While looking for one to buy, I also found another bandana that looks like a map. Just perfect, because Cubby is the one who carries the treasure map.

There be pirates in these waters....

(Jake carries a sword, but my 5-year-old can’t be trusted to not bonk someone with it.)

Cubby carries the treasure map

Cubby wears red shorts, and my little guy has a pair — so that worked out great! My older son just wore jean shorts and his regular shoes for walking around the Magic Kingdom.

Jake and Cubby are ready to set sail for adventure in the Magic Kingdom!

My husband drilled a hole in two Franklin Pierce $1 coins (real money), and with black cording made them into “gold doubloon” necklaces. The necklaces aren’t part of Jake’s or Cubby’s outfits, but the Pirate League gives you a pirate medallion necklace, so I thought it would be a nice touch. But we forgot the necklaces in the luggage.

Most pirates have parrot sidekicks. Mine have penguins.

Later, Cubby lost his blue bandana, so we used the map bandana on his head to take a picture.

Jake and Cubby are right at home on the pirate stage across from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride

The boys’ costumes aren’t fancy, but they were comfortable for walking around the Magic Kingdom, and they will be fun to wear for role play dress-up.

Yo ho ho!

  1. Oh my goodness. I wish I had seen this earlier. I would have asked someone to help me to do this for JSL’s 5th birthday. We’re having a Jake and the Never Land Pirate theme again. Love this and thank you for sharing your talent :)

    • You’re so sweet, Beth! I know your boys love pirates, especially Jake. I saw the pictures you posted of the birthday party — great job on everything!

  2. So cute. What a wonderful idea and definitely perfect for our Florida weather. My little one just saw this and now wants a pirate costume, too!!! Guess, I better get to work. :)

  3. This looks awesome! My best friend’s little girl is having a pirate and princess party and of course my daughter wants to be Jake! Go figure! This will be doable and so fun to keep for dressup too! Thanks for sharing!

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