Trading tips for dark displays and prop production.
Here are the final shots of the props and the whole display. If you'd like to read about how everything was made, please take a look at the posts below.

the photo spot:

the stage:


............................... the original thread ...............................

I gotta work on my pirate lingo ...

We're going with a pirate theme this year. We need something a little simple to do since my wife has gone back to work this year. I also want to take the whole Halloween party back a notch, but keep it fun and entertaining. The big issue is the stage. We're not going to do the haunted house this year, and I'd like to decorate the stage in full if possible. I'm also going to make a photo spot like I do every year. Here are my ideas but please let me know if you have any other ideas.

stage: I want to make a beach and have a pirate ship silhouette in the background. I originally was going to try to build a full on pirate ship but logistically it just seemed outside the realm of possible. Something like this

I'll use light blue cloth for the background and put some LED spot lights on behind the blue sheets to give a bit of color change for the sky and up the contrast on the pirate ship silhouette. I haven't really decided on the sign or wording. I might go with more of a ghost pirate theme. I also don't know how I'm going to make the stage flooring look like sand.

The photo spot: something pirate-y. I was thinking some crates, a fishing net, dead skeleton pirate in a cage, toy mice if I can get some, empty bottles, and a sign. I haven't decided on a backdrop but maybe just a solid color, khaki is the way I'm leaning. Through previous years, I've come to learn that a lighter color is better since most people's costumes are dark colors. Anyway, here's the first mock up.

Again, I welcome all ideas and input.
Last edited by mesmark on Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:45 am, edited 4 times in total.
Sounds good to me. When you said photo spot I instantly thought of those things that they would lock your hands and head into, and humiliate you publicly.
User avatar
By Dadja
Pirates hey? I may have some stuff that might inspire you. My bar is pirate themed and I did a pirate bbq once. I made a post about it.

You know, a whole boat might be too much, but the back of one is certainly doable. I did this, had a window in it, with candles behind it. And two cannons. Looked pretty cool :)
User avatar
By Dadja
Oh, definitely do a treasure chest, you can get plastic jewelry like rings and tiara's etc, plastic pearls, of just spray paint some stuff gold.

As for the words on the signs, I love the Pirates of the Caribbean ones:

'Pirates, ye be warned'

Or 'You're of the edge of the map matey, there be ghosts here'

You can put up ropes, and wooden beams, and torn up dirty sheets as sail, to make it look like a ship wreck. A stroboscope can be used to create lightning...

Oh, and this:
Brilliant theme, ive always loved pirates. My mum thinks she's got some Portuguese pirate ancestors but I don't know what truth there is in that. Maybe, who knows, she does like rum...

Anyway, prop ideas. I'd look to the Pirates of the Carribean films for inspiration.
Chests brimming with cursed gold.
Bits of a ship wreck, perhaps a whole ship would look out of place as it would obviously have to be scaled down.
You could always paint some full ships on the horizon if your doing backdrops. The Spanish Armada or a British fleet searching for pirates.
Maybe a torn, burnt and tattered east india trading company flag and few sacks with the EITC logo on them (stolen booty).
Pirate skeletons.
Old sea worn rum bottles.
Various maps, scrolls, compasses.
Maybe a tentacle or two from the Kraken. Maybe wrapped round a bit of a ship wreck.
Things like old keys and goblets laying on top of crates.
Rope, net, barrels, cannons.

Im sure more will spring to mind.
I can't wait to see how this one will turn out! I like Dadja's suggestion of "ye be Warned" from Pirates of the Carribean. As I'm typing this I'm also listening to the theme! :)

Pirates are always a theme that can be used in so many different ways. I like your thinking :)
User avatar
By nosferatu
Pinterest has lots of craft ideas for pirate parties. I also found this a while back, a cardboard pirate ship. You could make something along those lines as a centrepiece but something sturdier and knowing you, greater detail and a far more refined design. I love the blue balloons for the sea though. Such a great idea, cheap, quick to assemble and offer a soft landing when made to walk the plank.

http://www.southerngurlcrafting.blogspo ... -ship.html
User avatar
By mesmark
Thanks for all of the interest and the great ideas! I've been a little afraid of doing a pirate theme, because people have such clear images of what it should have and look like (for the same reason we can't do a ninja theme here in Japan.)

I'm definitely going to make a treasure chest. I'll probably do it in foam. I'll have lots of loot (many old kids toys spray painted with some cool stuff on top :D

The stage area has hard wood floors, so I'm thinking I could make it look like a pier by decorating the two sides. That would also give people a place to stand in the set without TOUCHING MY STUFF :x . I'm just joking ... but not really :)

Cardboard! such a great and abundant resource that's often over looked. We've used it to make a playhouse for our kids. If you glued 5-6 layers together it's really sturdy and you can build with it like wood. or more like linking-logs. For some reason, the idea has inspired me to make cardboard boulders to place on the edges of the stage beach scene. But, I think there is more to this idea ....

The shipwreck ideas, ropes, and signs wording have got the wheels a turning. Hopefully, I can put together something ... and quickly
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 8