'Arrrr me matey so ye be looking for a pirate treasure map be ye? Well, ye be in the right place for we have a number of ideas for ye on how ye can get your guests to help ye find your pirate booty, arrrr that we do. Avast there as we bring ye alongside with our ideas on how ye can incorporate the map into the pirate party invitations ye be planning to send'.
Firstly; let's look at why we are bothering with incorporating a treasure map into our invitations as surely we have better things to do with our time. Well, it's true that we can send standard party invitations bought from our local stationers or party store and hey, there's nothing wrong with that if your short of time or are arranging a last minute party, but, if your time rich and really want your guests to enter the spirit of the party from the outset, then handmade and well thought out invitations are for you.
Let's start with the most basic of principles; we all need to adopt the golden rule from the book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson when he wrote the words "X marks the spot!". From thence forth no self-respecting creator of a pirate treasure map would consider it complete without a large "X" marking the spot of the hidden booty.
So we know we have to a spot and that it's marked with "X" but we don't yet know where to put it, so what do we do with it? Well, now the fun starts. We know we want a pirate map and in order to stop a riot we know we need some treasure there, wherever there may be! The treasure you need will depend on the age of your guests, for little scallywag pirates it could be a bag of gold coloured coins or some sweets or other form of gift. The gifts can form part of any party bag you give when your guests leave and these look great in small treasure box gift boxes.
For old pirates, you know them best and therefore you know what they will expect the treasure to be!
Now let's work on the actual invitations. The first step is to settle on where your party will be as this will greatly influence the detail included in your Treasure Map Invitations.
The best idea would be to draw a stylised desert island and overlay this with a simplified map of the area surrounding the venue for the party. Plenty of pirate symbols should be included, for example palm trees, pirate caves, skeletons and place a pirate's chest and a big cross at the position on the map where the party is to be held. You can include all of the party details on the map in pirate language....plenty of 'ARRRs, avasts, ahoy maties, landlubbers'...hey you'll soon get into the swing of it!
As a cautionary note, take care to ensure that your pirate map has enough real information so that your guests make to the party - perhaps you should include the solution to the map on the back. Make it a pirate fancy dress themed party and keep a weather eye out of a stream of pirate scallywags making there way to the where the treasure be. Oh no, I be back into ye pirate speak.
Now all pirate maps be old, yar even them that be sold on the internet! So how can you make yours look the authentic? One of the easiest ways is to crumple brown paper and give it an aged and torn appearance by baking it in an oven or charring the edges (responsible adults only). A simpler - and safer - alternative is to use white paper and age it by giving it a tea bath which will staining it in washy brown colour. For added realism add some age spots by leaving a few individual coffee granules which will spread with the dampness in the paper. Whilst it is drying crumble and tear as required. Both processes should be completed before you create your masterpieces.
When finished, roll your invitations and tie them with dark brown ribbon, tattered if possible before the final flourish of fixing the ribbon with sealing wax and compete with a seal made using a small unusual or foreign coin or one of your pieces of pirate treasure, again this should be completed by a responsible adult or well supervised child.