Pirate Theme Party Ideas for a 50th Birthday Party

These pirate theme party ideas are intended for grown ups who want to throw a really fun party they'll remember forever.  Wonder if this theme will work for you?  Well, a pirate theme party is perfect for times when the birthday guy is irrepressible, a bit mischeivous and hasn't quite "grown up." Is your guest of honor a rascal like this?  If so, read on!

Pirate Ship ImageCourtesy of dimitrisvetsikas1969, Pixabay

Wait a second.  Aren't pirate-themed parties for little boys?  Well, yes they are...but! You can make this work for older "kids" and have quite a lot of fun with it.  It's a great party to decorate and so much fun for guests and you!  Real pirates came in all ages, shapes and sizes, so it can be that way now.

By the way, I've geared this page towards a male birthday because the vast majority of pirates were men.  In fact, women weren't even allow aboard ship. It was a crime!  However, if you wish to use this theme for a female birthday, more power to ya!  We don't discriminate around here.  It's completely up to you!

Now, let's take a look, shall we?


The Premise Behind My Pirate Theme Party Ideas

Pirate ImageCourtesy PublicDomainPictures.net

Pirates were looters and pillagers. They made their living harvesting booty from the high seas by overtaking vessels that sailed through perilous waters.  They used as much force as necessary to conquer a ship so they could plunder it. They frequently took prisoners, and capitalized on their human bounty in various ways, including selling those prisoners as slaves. If they couldn't profit from them, they abandoned their hostages on deserted islands or disposed of them in other, more gruesome ways.

Why am I tell you all this, you ask?   So you can appreciate the pirate theme scenarios I've put together for you, which are coming up next.   Scroll down a wee bit and you'll see. :-) 

Ah yes, there they are!

Kick It Up With These Pirate Theme Scenarios

Scenario 1 - Captain of a Happy Pirate Ship

Your birthday person could be the captain of a happy crew.  His job (and his life) is secure, because all the pirates like him and aren't devising an evil pirate-plot to mutiny or worse.  In this scenario, you and your party guests will treat the Cap'n kindly and show him the time of his life.  You and your mates will wait on him hand and foot, give him lots of hugs ... and a treasure chest full of birthday gifts!

Scenario 2 - Captain of an Unhappy Pirate Ship

In this scenario, you and your guests are not at all pleased with your captain, the birthday boy, which means you can do all kinds of low-down stuff to him.  (Heh, heh.  Wink-wink!) 

I'm thinking you could prank him lavishly.  For example, one very piratey thing you could do, is make him walk the plank.  In other words, you would blindfold him and make him go from person to person seeking out his birthday gifts.  However, not everyone will have a gift to give...well, not pleasant a one, anyway.  Have them hand him a fistful of Silly Slime or Poo-Dough instead, put vinegar in his drink, hide the stereo or TV remote--anything harmless, but wickedly fun!

If you manage to make your party activities coordinate with this idea, you could give your friend or husband or father a hard time and get away with it c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y! What a gas, and besides, think of the pictures you could get!  For a boatload of ideas on pranks and gags, try Retroplanet here.  They're kind of like Spencer's with tons of ideas for trick products and gag gifts, but they're more family-friendly, in my opinion.

Anyway, this scenario would be an interactive "roast" (more roasting ideas here).  You should definitely tease him with toasts and jokes, put whoopie cushions on his seat, put plastic bugs in his food, give him gag gifts, etc.  What a laugh it would be! 

Remember though, eventually you'll want to wind down and tell him the truth - how much you all really love him!

Scenario 3 - Prisoner from a Hijacked Ship

In this scenario, your guest of honor is not a pirate, you are.  Instead, the birthday person is a prisoner from a comandeered vessel whose fate has not yet been decided by the pirate crew. 

It would kind of work like scenario #2, but in this situation, they would be a captive servant.  Of course, the birthday guy would have to cooperate and do things voluntarily, like fetch drinks (bartending) or cook (grillmaster), but I'm sure you can find ways to make him do your bidding. If not, there's always the whoopie cushion trick as in #2 above!

If you choose to wear costumes, remember that he's not the pirate in this scenario. So his costume would be the customary attire of the day.

Have fun with these role-playing scenarios and thing of ways to add a spark of fun to your pirate theme party idea!

Pirate Theme Party Decor

Think about it.  This pirate theme party idea would be a blast to decorate!  You could do a little bit, or you could go all-out.  Get into the pirate spirit and try some of these plans:


Pirate Ship - How impressive would it be to walk into the party and find a colossal pirate ship inside?!  This pirate theme party idea can be done without a large prop, which would save space, time and expense.  How? By hanging a pirate ship mural on your wall.  You can find decals and wallpaper that can be rolled on like the ones I've found for you below. Both are from Amazon, so if you want to go that way, they're from a trusted source. 


This is a decal on Amazon Prime. More info here.



Invitations:  A pirate theme party invitation should convey the motif, foster excitement and generate anticipation. This idea does just that!  Check it out.  Treasure map invitations in a bottle.  Can you believe that?  I found these at InvitationinaBottle.com. 

Click the image or link if you want more information.  They will take you to their page. I know you can mail these little bottles, or have them do it for you.  Just be sure to read their policies so you're aware of any limitations.



Swords:  You can get these novelty toothpicks at most grocery stores.  Use them for hors d'oeuvres and drink garnishes. It's a little touch your guests will appreciate.

Anchors:  Speaking of hors d'oeurves, grab an small anchor-shaped cut-out and use it for your cheese slices.  

Fish Nets:  Drape netting along the tops of walls and use the folds to place photos of the birthday person and family.  Starfish, seashells and plastic fish can be interspersed for interest and balance.  These can be purchased at any party supply store.

Oars:  Check Craigslist or even your own garage for aging oars or canoe paddles that can be laid out as part of the scenery.  Clean them well, then place them on the coffee table, if desired, or hang them among the nets. 

Treasure Chest - Pull out your old chest or foot locker and drape the interior with fish net.  Then use it to hold the gifts.

Jolly Roger Banners -  The black flag with white skull and crossbones is known as a Jolly Roger.  It's the classic pirate symbol.  Use this as your Happy Birthday banner.  You can also use a black flag as it represents anarchy which is completely pirate-friendly.  Tie black flags from the ceiling and/or mount a Jolly Roger on the wall. I've created a Jolly Roger download that you can get here.  You can print this out and use it as a stencil with some white paint on black fabric.  Print, scan and enlarge to suit whatever size you'd like.  

Jolly Roger Signage - Need to post signage to help guests find your pirate theme party?  Use miniture Jolly Roger flags imprinted with directional arrows on street corners to guide your guests through your neighborhood.  If you're consistent with your artwork, words may not even be necessary. Just seeing those ominous pirate flags posted about town with clear directional arrows will give guests the message. 



Jolly Roger ImageCourtesy Pixabay

Encourage Your Guests to Participate

Costumes - If you're planning on any type of role-playing like the examples above, encourage your guests to participate by mentioning it in your invitation.  "Don your favorite pirate suit and join us" or "Costumes encouraged" are two possible ways you can word this.  Costumes are also a great idea if you plan to hire staff for your event.

Bear in mind, pirate costumes are fairly easy to find, and being in character really puts a finishing touch on your party.  However, some costumes are cheap-looking.  I found a place called To-be-a-Pirate.com and they have a wide variety of authentic pirate costumes available for both men and women.  Choose from full pirate outfits, poet blouses, swashbuckling pants, or dresses.

Of course, you can put together a more risque outfit, like something off the shoulder or  something with a corset if you'd like, or you could choose loose-fitting harem pants for comfort and authentic looks.  This company ships worldwide, but be sure to check the size chart because they only do exchanges, they don't give refunds.

Other sources for pirate costumes can be found at all Halloween shops or Party City, if you have one nearby.  Amazon or eBay are also sources of inexpensive piratewear.

Pirate Accessories:  Depending upon your gender, you will need different things to complete your pirate ensemble.  These you can put together yourself, grab at the thrift store, or pick up at a local party supply shop. 

  • Pirate Hats
  • Sword
  • Eye Patch
  • Parrot for shoulder
  • Earring
  • Wide belt with buckle
  • Beard/mustache
  • Hand hook
  • Black boots

Perhaps you could purchase some paper pirate hats and eyepatches and hand them out to any guests who couldn't find a costumes.  Hats and eyepatches are pirate trademarks and small items like this help everyone participate, regardless if they were able to find a costume or not. 

These pirate bandanas from Amazon are Prime eligible and one-size-fits-all!

I hope you enjoyed my pirate theme party ideas and enjoy using them for your 50th birthday party even more. 

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