Jo and I are just about ready to head on our yearly family vacation to Sanibel, Florida, and while we are busy planning the packing and driving, dear Little Jo is busy coming up with activities for all the kids. Her best idea for the trip is to have a treasure hunt with a big X marking the spot of the buried treasure. Jo and I thought it was a great idea, and were on board right away.
My first task was to create some pirate-themed party favors for the kids to have during the hunt. We needed some pirate eye patches for them to wear, some “booty bags” for them to haul all their treasures, and some Jolly Roger flags to mark the locations of the various clues for the hunt.
We happen to be using these items for a treasure hunt, but they would be great DIY favors for a pirate-themed birthday party as well!
I started with the booty bags. I used my drawstring bag tutorial to make bags out of shiny black satin. Make sure your fabric is iron-safe. (Some of the shiny fabrics will melt if you iron them!)
To decorate the bags, I created a skull and crossbones design.
I printed the template onto iron-on transfer sheets made for dark shirts. Make sure you buy the kind for DARK shirts or else they won’t show up on the black bags! Then I used my fine-point Cutter Bee scissors cut out all the skull and crossbones, one for each booty bag. I can’t help but think that these are awfully cute for skulls, wouldn’t you say?
Then I followed the directions on the iron-on transfers to iron them onto the bags.
The kids are gonna love these!
Note that if you don’t want to mess with iron-on transfers, you could also use the template I provided as a stencil. Just cut out the design and leave the background intact. Then use the stencil and some white fabric paint to paint the design onto the bag.
Next up were the eye patches. I made this super easy by designing a downloadable template that’s ready to print. I used the same cute skull and crossbones design that I used on the bags.
I cut a piece of round elastic cord to a good length for fitting around a kid’s head. I can’t give you an exact measurement to use because it will vary depending on the stretchiness of your elastic. I slipped the end through one of the holes on the patch.
I carefully tied a double-knot and then trimmed off the excess.
After tying the other end of the cord in a knot on the other hole in the patch, it was good to go.
I really have a hard time looking at these and not saying “Arrrrr!”
Finally it was time to make the Jolly Roger flags. That charming skull and crossbones design is here again, and I have another template for you to download, too!
I printed the template onto regular paper and then used my paper trimmer to trim them down to size. I also cut some wooden dowel rods to 12″ in length, one for each flag.
To attach the flag to the stick, I started with a long piece of packing tape, which I placed so that it covered about 1/2″ of the front of the flag. I then trimmed the sides with scissors.
I put the tape over the dowel rod, making sure to line up the top of the flag with the end of the dowel. I used my hand to press the tape in place.
I flipped the flag over and pulled the tape tight, rolling the paper around the dowel just a bit as I went. I pressed hard to make sure the tape had good contact with the dowel and the paper.
The flag is ready to stick anywhere you need an extra pop of decoration. If it bothers you that the back is white, you can always cut another flag design and stick it to the back with some spray adhesive.
We plan to put one of these flags at each clue location in our treasure hunt. I just love them to pieces!
Here are the pieces all together. I just know the kids are going to love this, and we haven’t even gotten to the treasure hunt part yet!
There’s plenty more pirate stuff coming from us as we work on the rest of the supplies for the treasure hunt, so stay tuned!