Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to make a stroller into a pirate ship costume

I had this brilliant idea that I was going to make Carson's first Halloween costume. I contemplated over many costumes and nothing seemed to fit his personality...believe me a 6 month old  has a personality!! My dad aka JIM PA is always tells Carson pirate stories and is getting him geared up for his 1st trip to Mexico this month. So I thought what a better idea than to make him a pirate with his own personal ship!

The costume was super easy, black pants, a white shirt and a red do-rag. Throw in a foam sword and he was ready to sail the seven seas. Now the harder part comes, how do I turn his stroller into a pirate ship??

First I saved a box from his new walker. I thought it would be big enough, but I had to piece together more cardboard for the front end. I drew out the design on paper and started building!

I cut out the side, even with his stroller so he could see out!

Taped the front end to the sides

The flaps will rest on the tray for stability

The top of the front of the ship, also rests on the tray (see notes later about velcroing these)

see how the 3 wheeled stroller fits right in?? Perfectly!

All finished with the building part. Now to cover the entire thing with brown duct tape to look like wood planks. **NOTE** I wanted the inside of the ship to be "clean" of writing, that is why I did it this way!

I made the cannons out of paper towel rolls. I cut the ends into 4's and then slipped the edges under the tape.

I covered the cannons is a lighter duct tape and then slipped the cut edges under the "planks"

This actually held really well, just place the duct tape around the cannon

3 rolls of dark brown duct tape later, I had the ship finished!! Now just onto the finishing touches!!

I hot glued batting into the cannons for the smoke

See the treasure chest on top?? This was the most time consuming, but I was being meticulous

I bought a paper treasure chest from the party store

I glued yellow felt to the inside as a filler, so I wouldn't have to use as many beads or plastic coins.

Finished treasure chest!!

Side views

I cut out a scull from a pirate costume and glued it to the ship. I wanted the treasure chest to be removable for easy transport, so I velcroed it to the ship.

Just when I thought I was finished, I had another idea. The coins need to be spilling out! I hot glued coins to the ship and then set the chest between them. Remember the chest is velcroed for easy removal, so this was a perfect guide as the wear to attach it.

How did I forget the mast??? I rolled 2 wrapping paper rolls in the matching duct tape, and tied them together with some twine. It looked like a cross at Easter draped in material instead of a mast, so I added the guide wires and a parrot.

To attach the ship to the stroller: Remember the flaps from the earlier pics? I attached those flaps to the top of the ship with Velcro and let it sit on the tray. Then in the back, I punched a hole in each side and tied it together with the same twine as the mast.

Finished product:

My happy lil' pirate!!
(see the holes and twine to hold it together??)

Complete with a foam sword!
(I also added another scull to the sail)

3 wheeled stroller turned Pirate ship!!

Carson made a big impression all over town, everywhere he went to trick or treat. Haunt the Zoo, he had hundreds of oohhers and awwers. Celebration Station, he had his picture taken a dozen times. The neighborhoods even loved him. He even made the news!! He was on Channel 4 three different times! And YES, I had them send me a video of it! ;)

I'm not sure if I can outdo myself for his future Halloweens, but he was the best dressed pirate this year.

PS- This folds up flat and is currently in his closet. I'm not willing to sell it (I've been asked), I'm saving it for him to enjoy when he is older!



  1. OMG, you are so crafty. That is amazing. I would not be able to do that (as well, mine would be lopsided) nor would I have even thought to do something like that. good job!

  2. Thank you! I was looking all over the internet trying to figure out how to do just this! our ship looks a little different because of the type of box we used, but is just as functional :) how did you attach the mast?

  3. I've seen plenty of pirate costumes costumes around but never did it occur to me that you can make an actual pirate ship out of a box! I'll definitely try this DIY costume this Halloween!