Piratey Sails for our Ship

A great looking pirate ship needs great looking sails. And by great looking sails, I mean worn, torn and a little haggard… proof that they have, indeed, sailed the seven seas!


I don’t know about you, but while we have a king size bed, we do not have king size pillows on it. And yet, there are about six king size pillow cases in the linen closet. Well, now, we have four! Reminds me of the time I cut up a couple of my husband’s shirts for the tiniest piece of applique for one of Crowley’s JonJon’s!


  1. A couple of pillow cases (king or queen, stained and yucky or just out of the package, doesn’t matter)
  2. Black paint
  3. Paint brush on sponge
  4. Jolly Roger stencil (plenty avail around Internet) or a pencil if you are going to free hand it.


Cut open one of the long seams on your pillow case.


Now, turn the corner and cut the short end open!


Open up you case! You have a flag. Now you can trim the pillow case down to fit your ship, Remember the more unfinished the edges, the better. This is a pirate ship after all.


Decorate it. (note: I am using the hemmed bottom of the case as the top of our sail. The double thickness will be better for attaching it to the ship) For our Jolly Rogers, I took a look at different images on-line and drew it. There are plenty of stencils out there as well. But this was not hard to draw. We used acrylic paint for our Jolly Roger. We applied the paint using a sponge and brush. Now if you want a solid black, crisp looking image, simply apply more point and mind the lines. We chose to sponge our paint on for a more sea-faring weathered look!

For the second sail, I decided we needed a record of the hands that made the ship. So we painted my husband’s hands and planted them right on the flag, then did the same for Crowley’s just below. I painted their initials and the date and called it a day! I love this. Not only do we have the date, but the size of those little hands that worked so hard on the ship!


Hang your sails. There are many ways to do this. We used zip ties. Poke a hole on the far upper right side of your sail and again on the left. Run your zip ties through the sail and attach to the dowel rods coming out of the masts. That’s it!

You are done! Time to gather your hook, eye patch, spyglass and hat and have a piratey adventure!


Anna Crowley Redding is a mom and stepmom to FIVE kids and the author of six books for young readers with four more on the way! You can check out more information on her books and support her writing by clicking here.