Look! Captain Ryder's Pirate Party

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We love a good party. We especially love a party like Ryder's pirate-themed birthday bash which included many personal touches and embodied a DIY spirit.

Ryder's love of pirates was inspired by his fondness for Captain Feathersword, a friend of the Wiggles . When he requested a pirate-themed party for his third birthday his family swung into action to make it happen. For starters, his grandparents helped mom, Christie, make his Captain Feathersword costume while she devised an enticing invitation.

To set the mood for a pirate themed party we sent out 'treasure map' invitations. I traced a map to our house (X marks the spot!) and embellished it with drawings of pirate ships and treasure chests before photocopying it. To make it look old, I tea-dyed the invitations and burnt the edges.

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To make the party food a bit more pirate-y we put small jolly roger flags in it and we ordered some fantastic pirate-themed cupcakes from a local caterer called Class Cupcake. The birthday cake was a chocolate mud cake in the shape of a pirate from an amazing local cake shop called Let Them Eat Cake. For decorations, we put a couple of big pirate flags on the front of the house and we strung up lots of pirate balloons everywhere.

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To keep the kids amused we had a pirate jumping castle and in the backyard my husband had made a trail of flour to a spot where treasure was buried. The kids ran around the yard following the trail until they found the spot and then 'Captain Daddy' dug it up. What they found was a vintage chest that my husband had sourced from a secondhand store and inside we had filled it with pirate booty which included plastic gold coins and lots of faux jewelry all courtesy of our local party shop. The kids loved digging into the chest and they all managed to pillage some booty for themselves.

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As the goody bags for the kids to take home I made small linen drawstring bags and Gocco printed a scull and crossbones onto the front. Inside the kids got some chocolate gold coins, a small plastic telescope from a local kids shop called Parenthood & some pirate bubbles.

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Looks like a fantastic party, Christie! The only downside is - how do you follow it up next year?

You can visit Christie at her blog Pigeon Pair for sewing and crafts inspiration and to follow along on her parenting adventures with her children, Ryder and Willow.

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Family, Entertaining at Home

As Apartment Therapy's Managing Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.