Make Your Own Pirate Flag

Jack B. Yeats’ sisters Lily and Lolly were artists and sometimes helped their brother Jack print his plays and stories. They had one of Ireland’s very first printing presses and so they set up a company called Cuala Press in Dublin.

They were very famous for their craft work in embroidery and silk.

You can look at an example of their work below.

Lilly & Lolly Yeats Embroidery

How about you make your own fabric craft, like a pirate flag!
All ships fly flags to show who they are and where they are from.

Why do you think this is important?
Did you know that pirates used to fly flags just to scare other sea-farers.
What would you put on your pirate flag if you wanted to scare people off?

What you will need


Stick, long thin branch or piece of bamboo


Craft glue or needle and thread

Pen or Marker



On a piece of paper you are going to design your own pirate flag. Imagine sailing across the seas and picture what flag you would fly. Would it include a skull and crossbones, stars, swords or a telescope?

You could even make a really cheerful and colourful flag to trick your enemies!

Once you have decided on your design, choose a piece of fabric in a colour you like. You could use old t-shirts or even an old tablecloth.

Cut your fabric into a large rectangle and lay it flat with the longer sides at the top and the bottom like the shape below.

Place your stick along the edge of the flag where the dotted line is on the shape above.

Put glue on the fabric to the left and also above the stick. Then fold the fabric over the stick. Hold in place for a few seconds to let the glue set.
Or: If you have a needle and thread at home you could try sewing it instead. That’s what Lilly and Lolly would have done! Just make sure that you have asked an adult first. Maybe they might even help.

Once your flag pole is in place you can now decorate your flag. Using a pencil, trace a rough outline of your pirate flag design onto the fabric.

Now paint the design on your flag. You can also make a collage using more coloured fabric. Make sure you cut out the fabric in the shape of the design. Glue or sew the pieces on.

You can hang your pirate flag in your room as a decoration or maybe even outside on a sunny day to let people know that a pirate lives inside!

Ask a parent or guardian to take a picture of your work and share it with us.
Don’t forget to sign it with your name and age.

We will post your artwork on our website and Instagram account

@modelsligo / #themodelinsideout

All Rights Reserved ¦ Registered Charity No. 20035266