Every pirate captain worth his salt flies a Jolly Roger: a flag designed to identify a ship's crew as pirates. Generally black and bearing some variation of the classic white skull and crossbones emblem, a Jolly Roger was often raised only once the ship's target was within firing range. Of all the pirate flags hoisted in the Caribbean, the one Jack Sparrow flew on the Black Pearl is arguably the most recognizable. Not only does the skull sport a bandana and beaded braid, it also looks face to face with a bright red sparrow in flight. You and your child can create a Jolly Roger just like it by simply cutting out shapes from sticky-back felt and pressing them onto a black background.
- Jolly Roger Template
- Straight pins
- Sticky-back felt (white and red)
- Stiff black belt, 12- by 18-inch sheet
1. Print out the template and cut out the pieces.
2. Pin the skull and bone pieces onto the white felt and the sparrow onto the red felt. Cut out the felt pieces. Don't worry if you stray a bit from the lines, or if portions of the cut turn out a little rough -- the outlines are meant to be slightly jagged.
3. Arrange the cutouts, as pictured, atop the stiff black felt. Working with one piece at a time, peel the backing from the cutouts and stick them in place.
4. When all the pieces are well adhered, your child can pin the Jolly Roger to his bedroom wall pennant-style. Or, you can fashion a hanger by snipping small holes in the upper corners of the felt, and then threading through a long piece of thin black cord or yarn and knotting the ends. You can even create a handheld flag by hot-gluing the upper portion of a wooden dowel to the side of the felt and then covering the dowel with an additional strip of black felt.