• For your party think traditional pirate colors-- Red & Black!

  • Place a few wood whiskey barrels in the party area.

  • Make a tavern sign for your SALTY SEA DOG INN (How to and templates included in mystery-pictured below left).

  • Create an actual plank out of wood for your guests to walk over (pictured below).

  • Print and make these EASY directional signs (included in mystery - pictured below).
    pirate signs

  • In the entrance, hang a poster that says "Hope Abandon All Ye Who Enter Here" (design included with mystery purchase).

  • Hang signs around interior of your venu (designs included with mystery purchase + more).
    pirate signs

  • Decorate your venue with a nautical motif. Fishing nets, nautical maps, crabs, lobsters, fish, and ships will all fit the mood.

  • Hang some rope lines and rigging.

  • Hoist a Jolly Roger flag in a strategic place, such as your entryway or in the buffet area.
    Buy one online or see this how-to video and complete directions here:
    Jolly Roger Flag
    Click here for directions to make this Jolly Roger!

  • Decorate with a life-size skeleton, or some platic skulls, scattered around your party area.

  • Think skulls, skulls, SKULLS! You can find them inexpensively in this bag and/or at your local party/halloween store. They make great decorating devices as centerpieces, in treasure chests, planters, you name it.

  • Create an awesome backdrop of gunpowder-stained sails (directions included in mystery).

  • Make some pirate cannons for your ship or tavern. Link here.

  • Order small “booty bags” for each of your guests to carry their coins and their objectives for the night. (Inexpensive, useful and serve as a great rememberance for the night.)
    pirate decoration1

  • Use bricks or brick-size blocks of wood for bars of gold. Spray paint the brick or wood blocks with gold spray paint, and place them around the pirate party room in small stacks. The more you have, the better the effect will be.

  • Draw and cut swords from pieces of cardboard. Paint the blades with silver spray paint and the handles black. Hang some of the swords on the wall, and make sure to set aside one for each party guest.

  • Create your own treasure maps (directions included in the mystery packet.)

  • Make or buy your own banner of pirate flags. Included in mystery are designs to make your own (pictured left below).
    pirate banner

  • Don’t forget the fish netting! It’s cheap and it can go anywhere – hang on the wall, drape on the table, the possiblities are endless!

  • Show Pirates on the Big Screen! In one of your party rooms play pirate movies, such as The Pirates of Penzance or Pirates of the Caribbean.

  • Have a small pool with a "Plank to Walk" in your party area. Add an inflatable alligator or shark to the water.

  • A pirate party isn't complete without a treasure chest! You can make them easily enough out or styrofoam coolers... and they can be for decoration or to keep ye ale cold! (How to instructions included with mystery.)


Make your own pirate ship parked outside the Salty Sea Dog Inn. Think we’re kidding? Many customers have. Check out these pictures. Click here for more description.
pirate ship

Follow this link for directions for this setting!



There are many ways to really "dress-up" your table(s) for your party.

Cover your table with a black tablecloth and scatter gold chocolate (or plastic) coins and plastic jewels.

Create a treasure chest centerpiece and fill it with whatever you wish!

Adding a few pirate accessories can go a long way!

  • Skulls
  • Candles
  • Candelabras
  • Strings of beads/pearls wrapped around glassware, centerpieces, napkin holders, etc.
  • Treasure chest
  • Coins or jewels scattered about
  • Red & white napkins
  • A spyglass (or two)
  • Empty bottles

Using bottles instead of glasses can add to the effect. If the bottles are clear, consider serving a red, blood-like beverage or utilizing the "shark's blood cocktail" idea on our food page.

Think about table runners or table clothes made out of materials such as:

  • Red fabric
  • Black fabric
  • Fish netting
  • Cheesecloth (pictured below right)
  • Cobwebs
  • Burlap
  • Brown Craft paper
  • Carribean inspired fabrics or designs
  • Jolly Roger flags
  • Striped fabric
  • Skull-themed fabric

Creating a Backdrop

Give your guests an unforgettable souvenier by setting up a photo area where they can capture a picture of themselves in character.

A few suggestions:

    • Pick a place where there will be good lighting.

    • You can make it as elaborate or simple as you want.

    • Accessories and decorations can make the difference. Have some extra props on hand that your guests can pose with.

    • An easy way to create a background is to use a "scene setter". These affordable rolls of images transform your room instantly and make for a good backdrop to your picture.

    • Make sure there is enough room to fit everyone in to the frame.

    • For individual shots of guests, designate someone to be in charge of pictures as your guests arrive.
    -- Consider your character list and which character would fit the role of taking the picture. Ie, if you want mug shots, perhaps ask the investigator to be in charge of taking the pictures.

    • For a group picture, take one just before the introduction is read or right after the solution is read (before people may start heading out).
    -- These are two times when you can count on everyone being around and attentive.
BACKDROP IDEAS for Murder Among the Mateys!
  • Build a ship in your back yard to pose in front of.

  • Create a the ship's sails for a backdrop using directions in mystery.

  • Hang a Jolly Roger flag to pose in front of.

  • Decorate a corner with old crates, barrels, skeletons, treasure chests, etc.

  • Have additional props for posing in pictures (pirate swords, pistols, eye patches, hats, bandanas, etc.).

Pirate backdrop





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