Pirate Birthday Party Inspiration: Pirate-themed Gifts & Free Printable

Pirate Birthday Party Inspiration: Pirate-themed Gifts & Free Printable

Last updated July 2020

Stop endlessly browsing Pinterest for party ideas for your child! Instead, recreate my pirate birthday party projects for an easy, adorable & picture-perfect birthday party.

Are you browsing Pinterest searching for pirate birthday party ideas only to questions what you can actually pull off without a team of designers making sure your party is picture-perfect? I feel ya, girl!

I was right there with you a few short weeks ago.

pirate birthday party inspiration

While I browsed Pinterest for birthday party ideas leading up to my son’s 5th birthday, I was inundated with so many staged birthday party photos. The perfectionist in me started to hyperventilate.

After sifting through all those photos, I made a shortlist of what was actually achievable in a relatively short period of time. And I’m here to share those pirate-themed party projects with you today to make your life just a little bit easier.

So do me a favor: Slow your scroll and crawl out of that rabbit hole.

boy in a pirate birthday shirt opening birthday present

Running short on time?

Today’s post has all the direction you will need to pull off a pirate birthday party that will have your kiddo smiling from ear-to-ear on their special day. All of these pirate birthday party projects come together in minutes!

Stop worrying if you’ll end up with an epic Pinterest fail

Today’s pirate birthday party post includes all of my tried and true pirate birthday party decorations, gifts, treat bags, menus and so much more from my kid’s actual 5th birthday party. Stop worrying if you’ll end up with a Pinterest fail and get to work! I promise, these projects are totally doable!

Read on for all the details!

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I may receive a small commission from a third party at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own and I only share links to products I personally use, love and trust.

pirate birthday party decorations and pirate ship balloon

Pirate Birthday Party Shortcuts

It all started with a simple request.

My son asked for a pirate themed party for his 5th birthday. It sounded easy enough, but then I went down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest.

I got a ton of ideas – but knowing that I was running short on time – only pulled the trigger on a few of them.

If you are like me – check out the details of the actual birthday party I threw for my son below.

Scroll through and select what appeals most

From the off-the-shelf Amazon decorations to the super easy (but ohhhh so delicious) lemon bundt cake to the easily recreated Cricut projects, I have all your bases covered.

Let me know if you have any questions on anything! I want to make sure your pirate birthday party is the best it can be! Now let’s get to it, shall we?

pirate birthday party food ideas

Tried & True Pirate Birthday Party Gifts for 4 or 5-year olds

So if you are reading this blog, you are probably aware that I post mainly about gift ideas alongside these party round-ups. That said, I can’t help but start out with all of my son’s favorite pirate-themed gifts he received.

I’m willing to bet if your kid is asking for a pirate birthday party, he or she would most definitely enjoy a gift (or two) of the pirate variety!

Without further delay, here are our favorite pirate-themed gifts:

pirate themed birthday gift inspiration


  1. How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
  2. Pirates Magnified by David Long
  3. Pirate Boy by Eve Bunting
  4. The Berenstain Bears Pirate Adventure by Mike Berenstain
  5. Pirates vs. Ninja (a LEGO Ninjago Reader) by Tracey West
  6. Scooby-Doo and the Pirate Treasure Little Golden Book
  7. Treasure Island Little Golden Book

pirate themed birthday gift inspiration


  1. Melissa & Doug 48-piece Pirate Ship Jigsaw Puzzle
  2. Pirate Ship Building Kit (compatible with LEGOS)
  3. Pop-Up Pirate
  4. Inflatable Pirate Sword
  5. Jungle Gym Toy Binoculars or Pirate Ship Wheel or Telescope
  6. Hot Wheels Shark Playset

Pirate Birthday Party Favors

Right alongside a pirate-themed party and pirate-themed gifts are pirate-themed party favors for all of yaaaar guests. (Don’t hate me, I had to squeeze that in somewhere).

pirate themed party favors

Again, easy execution was the driving force behind this pirate project. But I also wanted a party favor that could keep the party going long after the candles were blown out and the cake was demolished.

Why not treat your guests to a little pirate dress-up after they head home? And chocolate. Because chocolate is always a good idea.

free gift tag download for pirate birthday party favors

This year I sent everyone home with these adorable pirate party favor bags. Each cellophane bag included an eye patch, a fake mustache (which were part of the pirate theme decorations I purchased from Amazon), and plenty of gold and silver wrapped chocolates, like Hershey’s Nuggets, Rolos, and foil-wrapped coins.

If you’d like to avoid the hassle of finding free pirate-themed party favor tags, just do yourself a favor and download mine!

Pirate birthday party favor supplies with free party favor gift tag download

The Supplies you’ll need:


*I used Hershey Nuggets, gold chocolate coins, and Rolos, but you could also include Hershey Kisses, Werther’s Caramels, and/or gummy sharks.

DIY Pirate Birthday Party Treasure Hunt

FULL DISCLOSURE: I did NOT make this amazing treasure chest, or the pirate map or the treasure hunt clues. My super talents sister did.

DIY pirate birthday party treasure hunt with pirate themed gifts in treasure chest

She is for real the most creative person I know. Not only did she make the treasure chest, hand-draw the pirate map and create the treasure hunt clues, but she also filled the chest with pirate-themed gifts AND THEN shipped it from California.

Yes, she wins auntie of the year!

DIY pirate birthday party treasure hunt clues

After picking her brain, here’s how I pieced together her process for making this pirate treasure chest and treasure hunt gift. If you have any questions, let me know! And if I don’t have the answer, I’ll ask my sis and get back to you ASAP!

You’ll need these supplies:

DIY pirate birthday party treasure chest

The gifts she included:

Pirate Birthday Party Decorations

Since I made the party favor gift tags, pirate-themed shirts, and the birthday cake and cake topper myself, I was all about finding some shortcuts in other areas.

So I have to say: Thank you, Amazon!!!

I found this super cute pirate party pack, and I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.

pirate themed Happy Birthday banner

The pirate party pack includes:

  • a felt ‘Happy Birthday’ banner (actual banner pictured above)
  • a felt skull & crossbones banner
  • 2 foil pirate ship balloons
  • 12 stick-on mustaches (which I added to the party favor bags)
  • 30 latex balloons
  • and 8 cupcake toppers (though I didn’t use them because I made a cake and not cupcakes…)

PRO TIP: Take the foil balloons that come in the pirate party pack from Amazon to the Dollar Store and have them inflated with helium. It’s so much cheaper to do it this way! (note: they will only inflate the foil balloons, not the latex ones).

pirate birthday party treasure with gold wrapped chocolates

In addition to the pirate decorations I purchased from Amazon, I added:

DIY Pirate Birthday Party Food Ideas

This may be one of my favorite parts of planning a party: the food! I took my son’s favorite foods and incorporated a little pirate flare.

pirate ship bowls for a pirate birthday party menu

The menu included:

  • Brats (aka pirate boats)
  • Pirate’s Booty
  • Goldfish crackers (aka the catch of the day)
  • Cantaloupe and watermelon cut with a melon baller (aka cannon balls)
  • Carrot sticks (aka peg legs) and dip
  • Walkers shortbread cookie fingers (aka wooden planks)
  • Gold & silver wrapped chocolates (aka pirate’s gold)
  • And of course…the CAKE!

pirate birthday party pirate ships made from brats

‘High Seas’ Pirate Birthday Cake

My son definitely threw me for a loop when he requested a lemon cake and blueberry ice cream for his pirate birthday party. Nevermind that he had never tasted a single piece of lemon cake or scoop of blueberry ice cream in his entire life…he was dead-set on this combination.

So off to Pinterest I went yet again.

Well technically I sent a panicked text to my book club asking for lemon cake recipes first and THEN turned to Pinterest. (Details, details)

pirate birthday party 'high seas' birthday cake

The Lemon Cake

Anyway, after being pointed in the right direction by my lovely friend Emily I spotted the details of this lemon bundt cake recipe by Love from the Oven and knew this was it!

Boy ohhhh boy. This is one of those cakes with a permanent home in my recipe box. I just know I’ll be making it every summer from here on out!

It’s lick-the-plate good. I’m telling you: make this! If not for your pirate birthday party, then treat yo’ self to this intensely lemony, moist (sorry, no other word describes it as well) and dense bundt cake ASAP.

***But if chocolate cake is more your style, you MUST try the cake I made for last year’s volcano themed birthday party. This ridiculously delicious (yet totally easy) chocolate cake recipe by Add a Pinch would also work for this pirate themed cake.***

ocean cake with blue icing and crushed graham cracker sand

Cake Frosting

As for the icing, I used the cream cheese icing from the lemon cake recipe at Love from the Oven, but decided to add some blue food coloring.

I was trying to make the cake look like the sea and added crushed graham crackers to the base of the cake to represent sand. Did I pull it off?

Pirate Ship Cake Topper

For the finishing touch to my son’s cake, I made a pirate ship cake topper with the help of my Cricut. If you’d like to recreate my cake topper FOR FREE, follow these steps if you have a Cricut Explore Air 2:

pirate birthday party pirate ship cake topper with blue icing and graham cracker "sand"

To Recreate my Pirate Ship Cake Topper:



For the pirate ship image, I used an image I found on iconspng.com and downloaded and then uploaded it to Cricut Design Space using the directions below.

For the red number 5, I used a number image from the pirate svg bundle I purchased for my son’s pirate themed birthday shirt (See below for details). I uploaded the #5 image the same way as I uploaded the pirate ship image.

Upload directions:

  • Purchase and/or download the svgs to your computer.
  • Open Cricut Design Space and in a New Project, click on the “Upload” button on the left sidebar.
  • Click on the “Upload Image” button and then the “Browse” button to navigate to where you’ve saved your image.
  • Double click on the file
  • Add an image name and tags and click “Save.”
  • Now your image will be saved to Recently Uploaded Images under the Upload tab.
  • Click on your image and hit the “Insert Images” button, which will take you back to your canvas for further manipulation.


The final size of my pirate ship cake topper is 5.5″ wide, and the #5 itself is about 1″ wide. Obviously, you can adjust the size of your ship and number for the size of your cake.


Adhere your cardstock on one of your Cricut cutting mats, and load your Cricut Explore Air 2 like normal. Follow the prompts and watch as the design takes shape!


If you prefer, you can add wooden skewers to the back of the cardstock using double-sided tape if this topper will be added to a tradition layer cake.

But because my topper was going on a bundt cake with lots and lots of thick icing, I stuck the cardstock directly into the icing and it held itself upright.

If you recreate this pirate ship cake topper, I’d love to see how it turns out!

DIY Pirate Birthday Party Shirts

If you know me at all, then you know I wouldn’t dream of throwing a party and not have coordinating pirate-themed t-shirts! I mean, come on! This girl loves to fire up her Cricut any chance I get!

If you’d like to make the same shirts, I purchased these svg files from Fresh Cuts Studio and Doodles Express on Etsy. For a complete Cricut tutorial – from downloading the files to installing them in Cricut Design Space to ironing on the vinyl – check out any one of my t-shirt gift posts!

So There You Have It: My Complete Pirate Birthday Party Round-up

I hope this post saved you tons of time browsing Pinterest and gave you insight into what is actually doable in a minimal amount of time. If nothing else, I hope this post gave you some inspiration to get your own creative juices flowing!

I’d love to hear and see how your party turned out! Leave me a comment or tag me over on Instagram!


Head over to my Pinterest and Instagram accounts and follow me for gift ideas shared daily!


More later! The craft room is calling, and I must go…


Natalie Administrator
Natalie Menke, the self-proclaimed Gift Guru, is always thinking about the next gift she is going to give. Her hope is to provide boundless inspiration for completely customized and personalized gifts. Happy gifting!
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