Rock the Boat

Transform a buffet table into a raider's vessel by draping it in black cloth and rigging it with a ship's trappings.

What You'll Need

Pirate Buffet Table

Tara Donne

  • Black fabric
  • three cardboard tubes from rolls of wrapping paper (one slightly thinner than the others)
  • skewer
  • craft knife
  • shoe box
  • rocks
  • felt (red, white, and black)
  • safety pins
  • two thin wooden dowels
  • four wooden clothespins
  • black ribbon
  • gold-foil cardstock
  • hole punch
  • cardboard
  • rope

Make It

  1. Drape the table with fabric; pull taut at the base, creating a shiplike shape.
  2. To make mast: Cut a hole in the top of shoe box large enough to accommodate a cardboard tube. Use a skewer to punch a small hole 1" down from end of thinner tube, punching straight through other side of tube. Punch holes through wider tube 4" down from one end. Push a dowel through the holes of wider tube to create cross shape. Repeat with thinner tube and second dowel. Push thinner tube into the wider tube so it rests on dowel with its dowel on top. Stand two-tube mast in shoe box. Fill box with rocks to stabilize.
  3. To make bowsprit, punch a hole through both sides of third tube, 1" down from one end. Cut a slit in black fabric and tape or clip bowsprit to table beneath.
  4. To make flags, cut flag shapes to match the length of dowels. Slice one of the flags in half and reassemble with safety pins. For second flag, download our skull-and-crossbones template below. Use to make white-felt skull and crossbones; add black-felt eye patch. Clip flags to dowels of mast with clothespins.
  5. To make garland, trace circles of various sizes onto gold-foil cardstock and cut out. Use hole punch to make two holes in each circle and thread a long piece of ribbon through holes. String from the top of mast to bowsprit. Add second piece of ribbon from mast to other side, securing with tape.
  6. To make anchor, draw anchor shape onto cardboard and cut out. Tie a length of rope to anchor.

Originally published in the May 2013 issue of Parents magazine.

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