Easy T-Shirt Pirate Vest


This last week my four year old, Rylan, decided he wanted to be a pirate.  We had a hat, sword, and patch so I wasn’t worried about putting a costume together.  A couple nights before Halloween we decided to go trunk-or-treating at the church where he goes to preschool.  It was then that I realized we didn’t really have actual clothes that looked very pirate-like.

I had to put my thinking cap on and went on a frantic search through his closet.  Luckily he had a black and white striped shirt that I ended up pairing with a pair of striped pajama pants I found at the last minute.  My husband thought he needed a red vest but I didn’t really want to take the time to sew one even though it wouldn’t take too awful long.

That’s when I came up with this quick fix for a pirate vest, or really any costume vest.  I took an old red t-shirt of mine and with a few snips of the scissors I had a perfect oversized pirate vest for Rylan.  This vest requires NO SEWING and it literally only took me one minute to make!

easy t-shirt pirate vest

  • scissors
  • old t-shirt
Game Plan:

1. Lay shirt out and cut off sleeves and neck collar.

2.  Cut off the bottom of the shirt to desired length.

You can use the cut off part as a sash around the waist or head.

how to make a pirate costume

3.  Make a vertical cut down the middle of just the top layer (or frontside) of the shirt.

4.  Turn the vest inside out so the writing is on the inside.

5.  Add buttons or tuck the vest into a belt.

The vest is definitely big on Rylan but we decided to leave it that way because let’s face it, it was easier and looked pretty good just tucked under his belt.  It did slide off of his shoulders enough that tonight I’m going to safety pin the shoulders to his striped shirt.  If you want a vest that is the right size, you could make two quick passes on your sewing machine to bring in the sides or just use one of your kid’s old t-shirts to make the vest out of instead of yours.

easy to make pirate vest from t-shirt

easy to make pirate vest from t-shirt

Me and my minion, pink cheetah, and pirate!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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