Skull and Crossbones Stencil

A good skull and crossbones stencil can be used for all sorts of pirate crafts. Easy for kids of all ages to try; it will give quick satisfying results on a variety of projects.

skull and crossbones stencil

The stencil I have used on my crafts is available to download in two sizes; click here to go straight to the links (lower down on this page), or scroll down to have a little look through my ideas first.

Skull and Crossbones Flag

skull and crossbones stencil

First of all, you could use the stencil to make a classic skull and crossbones flag.

Just stencil the image onto a rectangle of black card using thick white poster paint.

You could also try making small versions to decorate sand castles.

Or how about skull and crossbones bunting if you need some quick pirate decorations for a birthday party?

If you need to make something a bit bigger how about a really big skull and crossbones stencilled onto black fabric to create a stunning wall hanging?

Pirate Costume Ideas

You could also use my stencils to decorate your very own pirate hat or to embelish a simple pirate costume.

If you already have a pirates hat that you want to decorate, scroll down and click on the links below to download a printable skull and crossbones stencil.

If you need full instructions for an easy pirate hat craft project click here to go to my simple step by step guide.

To complete your pirates costume, why not try stenciling the pirates skull and crossbones onto a stripey t-shirt. I think this would make a really simple and original pirates outfit for a kids fancy dress party.

If you have a bit more time to create your pirate-look maybe you could stencil the design onto a home-made cape? 

Ye Olde Pirate bits and bobs!

skull and crossbones stencil

Another idea which my kids loved was to use the small skull and crossbones stencil to transfer the design onto stained, crumpled paper. This makes brilliant pirate party invitations or very authentic looking clues for a treasure hunt. 

How about using the same technique to make an old pirates treasure map with a skull and crossbones shaped island? My older kids liked the whole process; staining the paper, stencilling the skull and crossbones shape and then designing their island. 

When I try this project out with my littler crafters though, I'll probably print up some skull and crossbones islands in advance so that they can get stuck in with their coloured pens straight away!

How to make your stencil

Making the stencil is probably a job for the adults to do in advance. I find my craft sessions run much more smoothly when I've taken time out to get properly prepared before the kids come stampeding in with aprons and paint brushes!


First you will need to print out the skull and crossbones stencil template. The easiest way to do this is to print it directly onto some thin card suitable for your printer. However, if you want to make a more heavy duty stencil print the template onto paper and then stick it onto some thicker card.


Click here for my large skull and crossbones stencil or here for the small skull and crossbones stencil.


Next you'll need to cut along the black lines of the skull and crossbones to create your stencil. Use scissors or a craft knife, whichever you feel most comfortable with. If you are using quite thick card you will probably need to use a knife, just make sure to follow the guide lines for its safe use.


You'll notice the eyes and mouth on my skull and crossbones are attatched to the egdes of the stencil with little tabs of card. Be carefull to leave these attatched, otherwise the eyes and mouth will drop out of your stencil!

How to use your stencil

skull and crossbones stencil


Place your stencil carefully over where you want the skull and crossbones pattern to be and hold it down firmly.


Using a sponge or a stiff bristled brush dab paint into the open areas of the stencil being carefull not to push any paint under the stencil itself. You might want to have a couple of practice runs before you stencil onto your final craft.


Once you have covered all areas of the skull and crossbones, lift the stencil up and away to reveal your picture underneath.

skull and crossbones stencil


Lastly fill in the areas which were hidden by the tabs of the stencil to finish off the design. Leave it to dry thoroughly and voila....a quick, satisfying craft project for kids of all ages!

Where to now.....

Back to the top of this page? 

skull and crossbones stencil

Explore more pirate crafts?

pirate crafts for kids

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