How to build a Pirate ship out of PVC pipe (tutorial)

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You can build this awesome pirate ship that is great for sitting on a table top,How to build a pirate ship from pvc pipe on the ground and it can be modified to be a water feature!  All you need are some PVC pipe, connectors, fabric and a few other items for this project!

For this project you will need:

Fleece Fun’s pirate ship shopping list and construction plans

PVC Pipe cutters ( optional see below)

70 feet of 3/4 PVC pipe – cut to specs

9 cross or “x” fittings

7 elbow fittings

20 “T ” fittings

1 45 degree fitting

21 end caps ( optional)

1 set of sheets (for the sails)

Table cloth to cover the pipe (I used this one here) 

Glue gun




How to build a Pirate ship out of PVC pipe (tutorial)

Step One – Cut the pipe

For this step I confess I took advantage of a trick I’ve learned.  Did you know that most home improvement stores ( like Lowes and Home Depot) will cut items for you if you have the exact measurements and request it?   So for cutting all the pipe section I just went to the plumbing section told them how much  pipe I would need (70 ft or 7 10 ft lengths) and then handed them a list of cuts and sizes I needed.  ( The guy I had it do it took it really well, but this could depend on the mood of the employee you get).  Or you can just buy some PVC cutters and cut it yourself. Tip: Measure and cut one section of pipe and then use that as your measuring stick to cut the rest of the lengths rather than measure each one.

While he cut the pipe I got all the fittings – make sure that they are “slip” ( no threading) and that they are the right size to fit your pipe.  Sometimes the wrong sizes get mixed up in the bins.

Step Two – Assemble and test

how to make s pirat shipBefore the big day assemble the ship at least once to make sure that it will be ready to go.  Refer to the construction plans and put together ( just like tinker toys). Note:  The masts have an extra support so if it got windy they wouldn’t fall.  However if you’re having your party indoors the masts will stand up fine with out the additional support.

Step Three – Trim the Sails

pvc pirate ship with sailsFor the top sails on each of the masts I used pillow cases left over from this tutorial.  Then I used a queen sizes sheet and cut it up for the bottom sections.   I just eyeballed it and tied the sheets on, poking a hole in some places to thread the pipe through.  I then used hot glue to keep the sails taught and stretch to the ends of the pipe.

For the front sail I cut a triangle and ties it on with twine.

Step Four:  How to Present the ship

pirate ship at the pirate partyI put my ship on a  6 foot banquet table.  I just let the front hand  off the  table.  I then poked holes into he table cloth and threaded the pipe through at the base.  In the center mast I put two prorate flags.  It served as a great decoration for our outdoor party.

Alternate ideas:

The way this ship is designed your could make it into a sprinkler/ water play thing.  Just glue the pipes together add a hose and a sprinkler attachments to the top s of the masts.    It’s pretty sturdy so you it might be fun to sit on the ground for photo ops.  As I mentioned before the extra support isn’t needed for indoors so you could use it as a food or gift table.  Enjoy and send me a pict if you make one – I’d love to see it!how to make a pirate ship tutorial


Download the Printable:

Click photo of the ship to download the file. For personal use only, not for sale or mass distribution. This is on “loan” only you have no rights to resell or distribute these free pdf plans for ship

Other Pirate Party Ideas:

 So when we were a week out from the party I realized I had everything done, finished, ready to go.    And then that itch starts. I could do more.  And it grows. I could go bigger.  Until I just have to scratch it.  I’d seen on Pinterest a bunch of  tables with a sail on it for a pirate party.  Cute right?  I even found this tutorial by Cute Bug designs.  But why only do one sail….when you could do a whole ship!  how to make s pirat ship

I told my husband my idea, and he begged me not to do it.  I was kinds of miffed.  But I could do it,  I thought.  So I ignored my husband and made it anyway.  Sorry Honey, crazy is as crazy does.  And this crazy had to do it!    I drafted my plans and headed to my local Home Depot in Riverton, Utah.  I gave my cutting list to Patrick in the plumbing department who was sweet and cut all my pipe ( I don’t think he knew just how many cuts he would have to do).  About halfway through he said:

“What are you making?”

“A pirate ship.”

“Is this project going to be in the paper?”

“No, but it will be on my blog – does that count?”

Silently he continued to cut my 70 ft of PVC pipe into small sections.  The sweet guy even helped me take it all to the front since I had two of my kids with me.pirate ship at the pirate party

Once I was home I just had to assemble it to make sure it worked, and it did!  I’ve decided that PVC pipe is basically adult tinker toys.

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