Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum!
My love of pirates probably started when I was little with visits to Disney World, where the Pirates of the Caribbean ride has always been a favourite. Somewhere along the way, I naturally found myself beginning to throw pirate parties. This past birthday (in December, summer months in Australia), I themed the pirate dinner party around Treasure Island.
There are lots of aspects of Treasure Island that could have inspired us, but in the end, we did ‘pirate’ with subtle details (like the apple barrel and the Admiral Benbow Inn signage) that were a nod to scenes within the book.
There’s a lot to show you, so I’ve broken this down into a few posts. As I post them, check back and visit the main Treasure Island page on this blog to see the menu, recipes, music and how-to’s. This post covers the decor.
Treasure Island dinner party decor
The tablecloth I had drawn by hand for a previous pirate party a few years ago, on a sheet of canvas. The map has images of an island with the treasure chest, a ship, compass, ‘Headhunters’.
A mixture of painter’s canvas and dyed sheets (so they were off white) were draped around the beams
The Admiral Benbow signage I made (click here for the Admiral Benbow signage tutorial)
A large wine barrel, had apples on top so it seemed filled (a nod to the scene with Jim Hawkins who overhears the pirates talking)
Other wicker baskets were stuffed with plastic bags (so they didn’t need to be filled completely) then topped with hessian sack coffee bags and vegetables like potatoes growing roots and plastic rats hiding (very much what being on a ship might have been like)
The lighting above the table was made by attaching and melting real candles to a large wagon wheel, and using rope to attach it to the beams. Note: on the night, we used flameless candles inside the candles for safety.
Wooden tables held drink and food, and large wooden chests held additional baskets of food
Since we had plenty of food that needed to be kept warm, we used wicker baskets to hold the food warmers (this included a rice cooker and my slow cooker, since both have ‘keep warm’ settings). Other wicker baskets were lined with clean tea towels or baking paper to hold the pots.
A small wooden chest held cutlery
Metal steins held sauces
Food labels were printed on the thinnest balsa wood. From memory I used the font Papyrus.
A pirate flag hung, near skull heads lining the fence, while a mast was made with rope, canvas and a long piece of wood.
Tiki lamps lined a portion of the garden nearest our party
A skeleton sat in the middle of the table with large glass jars that held real candles
A parrot (purchased off ebay) hung near the entrance
And with the props in place, our dinner party began. It was a small dinner with my family, partner and close friends. We filled out bellies and had a good time all round.