Thursday, October 24, 2013

Homemade Halloween Ghosts

These two ghost crafts are easy, kid-friendly, and may be able to be made without a trip to the store! Three qualities of a perfect craft, in my opinion.

When I was a kid, I loved putting up holiday decorations. They helped build the anticipation of the holiday, which is the best part of any holiday anyway (or the food). I cannot only recall specific decorations from my childhood but the boxes in which they were stored.

For the last few years, while I have been working part-time and mothering, I have been too exhausted to think about putting up decorations, but this year I was ready to go. Here are two Halloween decorations we've made and put up in the last week or so.

Ghost Garland

All credit for this inspiration goes to Flax & Twine. Anne's ghosts were made of patterned fabric with a black background, but I didn't have any of that. I immediately considered old Tshirts and settled on a white one instead, and hand-me-down of my Aunt Nita's, that just keeps on giving. I cut it into 5x5 inch squares,

and then instead of batting (since I had none), I used snipped up pieces of the Tshirt to stuff the heads of the ghosts.

Then, back to my hairband stash for clear plastic bands, and voila! little ghosts!

I felt they were lacking something so I embroidered on eyes with black thread. Don't look too closely at my embroidery skills, please. The handy thing about embroidering the eyes, though, is you have an easy thread to hang the ghosts with: just send the needle up through the top.

This Halloween craft can be simplified or gussied up to your heart's desire. You can make the ghosts without eyes in half an hour (tops) and simply hang them from a string or piece of yarn. Or you can go whole hog with faces and ribbon and whatnot. If you're considering making the finger-knit garland as I did, let me tell you it took me less than one episode of Modern Family to complete. The instructions on Flax & Twine are very clear and easy to follow. The only thing I'd add is that I was more comfortable tying off the ends so they wouldn't unravel. I have small children who like to tug.

And I recommend looping the ghosts onto the finger-knitting as Anne suggests. Easy to adjust that way.

Floating Ghosts

I was a bit worried at one point that these looked more like jellyfish than ghosts, but I've come around to them. I did buy the cheesecloth, but otherwise all you need is liquid starch, a black marker, and some thread.  This craft is even more kid-friendly than the last.

Cut your cheesecloth into squares (mine were about 15x15). Rig up some sort of support with a round top and a narrow base. I chose balloons taped to stacked cups. Get creative!

Soak the cheesecloth in the starch, wring it out and drape it over the supports. Dry overnight.

In the morning, pop the balloons and adjust the ghosts as you see fit. I stretched out the draped ends a bit. Draw on eyes (or glue on felt eyes), run thread through the top and affix them to the ceiling.

What I love about these crafts is that they're not at all scary. At most, they seem rather friendly. If you have a preschooler who frightens easily, most Halloween decorations are too scary. These two have been perfect for our household.


  1. OMG I love the starch ghosts. I'm so anti-crafty (because I fail them all) but my son would LOVE these. Can you use a ball or something or do they end up sticking so you really need a balloon? Also, how much starch do you put in the water? These are AWESOME. I love them. We've also made a version of the first ghosts you show using kleenex ('cause that's how we roll).

    1. OK, I'll be completely honest here in this comment: I made these ghosts twice, and I used balls for support the first time. The ghosts did stick, but you can reshape the ghosts after you detach the two. The second time I used balloons, but the balloons still stuck when I popped them so I still did that reshaping. And I didn't dilute the starch at all. That's just pure starch. You should definitely try it. The whole project took about 15 minutes (before drying).
      Oh, and we made of tissue ghosts too and glued them on a Halloween card. I'm all about using the materials you have on hand!

    2. Awesome! I'm going to try! Thanks :)

  2. Also, where is your Super Sarah costume please :D

    1. You found it on the One Halloween... post, I hope. I didn't have a full length photo, unfortunately.

  3. I am continued to be impressed with your creativity! Love the cheesecloth ghosts!


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