CHEESE CLOTH GHOSTS
You've seen them around for
years! Those cheese cloth ghosts that look so great in a display.
They do take a little work but let the creative side of
you come out and have some fun with these! There are many
different ways to make them using all kinds of
materials. Here, we'll give you the basic instructions
on making table top sized cheese cloth ghosts but you can make
these as big or as small as you want just by varying the
size Styrofoam balls and dowel that you use.
We've seen them in sizes
varying from a few inches tall and hung on a Halloween
tree to 3 foot tall ones used in groups on a front porch
or yard. A cute display would be six ghosts with their hands
clasping dancing in your front yard! Add a Glo-stick to the inside of each one for an eerie glow.
What You'll Need
(makes one ghost):
Fabric Stiffener (Glow-in-the-Dark or Colorless)
4 Yards Cheese Cloth
15" Styrofoam Cone
3" Styrofoam Ball
2" Wooden Dowel
18" Plastic Covered Wire
Disposable Bowl or Large Zip-Lock Plastic bag
Black Craft Paint
Small Paint Brush
board with plastic wrap and set aside for
later. You'll use this to set the ghost on
while it dries. You'll also need plastic
wrap to cover your ghost form so don't put
Now, get ready,
here comes the fun part! It's a little
messy, you may want to wear latex or vinyl gloves.
Push the 2"
dowel into the top of the Styrofoam cone about an
inch. Place the 3" ball onto the exposed
dowel. If you plan to make more then one
ghost, go ahead and glue these pieces
together as you insert them, using Tacky
glue. Take the wire and stick it through the
upper section of the cone. This will form
the arms. Bend them to suit you. Drape the
entire form with plastic wrap including the
Cut the cheese
cloth into three one yard lengths. Cheese
cloth isn't hard to find. Just check out the
painting section of your local hardware
store. You can find it in packages for use
in painting and finishing. It's cheaper this
way then to try and find it in a fabric
store. It's also a bit thinner than what you
might find in the fabric stores, making it
easier to work with.
Pour the fabric
stiffener into a medium to large sized bowl. Make
sure that it's not a good bowl as you may
want to throw it away when you are done or
keep it just for making these. You can also use a large,
gallon sized plastic zip-top
Fill bowl with fabric stiffener. Take a length of cheese cloth,
submerge it in the bowl until it is saturate
with fabric stiffener. Squeeze excess out
gently, don't wring it out!
Dilute 1 part water to 3 parts stiffener to
make it easier to work with. Place cheese
cloth sheets inside of bag, zip shut and
mush around until saturated. Zip open a
small space and slowly pull cheese cloth
out. This will remove the excess stiffener
cloth over your ghost form, adding one layer
at a time. Arrange the folds and arms the
way you want them. Remember, once dry, you
can't change this so make sure it looks the
way you want it to while it's wet.
When done, set aside
on the plastic covered poster board and let
dry, usually 2 to 3 days. You want it to be
completely dried before you remove it from
the form so don't get anxious and skimp on
the drying time!
completely dry, gently remove the form from
the dried cheese cloth. Now, you can paint
on eyes and a "O" for a mouth or glue on
instruction you can vary the size of cones
and balls and make ghosts in many sizes.
Make two or three for a table display. Make
tiny ones to hang in trees or to use on a
wreath. Make six large ones
and make a ghost ring dancing in your
front yard! Just increase or decrease the
size of the cone and ball, amount of cheese
cloth, thickness of wire and amount of
fabric stiffener. The possibilities are
endless! If you use glow-in-the-dark fabric
stiffener, place a black light on them and
they'll glow like crazy!
If you are going to hang
ghosts you'll want to cut
the cheese cloth so the
edges don't touch the work
surface. You don't want that
draped look for hanging
Instead of a Styrofoam cone,
you can use a glass or plastic
bottle. Tape arm wire to
bottle with Duct tape. Push
the Styrofoam ball onto the
bottle top (remove the cap).
To make the arms thicker,
use some paper towel molded
around the wire. It will
give added structure to your
If you have some old, clean gauze diapers around the house, use them instead of cheese cloth. You'll need three 21" by 40" diapers for one ghost. Check prices to see if those might be more cost efficient.
Use black felt circles for the eyes. Add a small circle of white felt or paint to give them a 3-D look.
Use any flat surface to dry the ghosts on, just remember to cover it in plastic wrap for easy clean up when you are finished.
Use small Halloween decorations or accessories to give your ghost something to hold. For instance, form the arms to circle in the front so you can have it hold a small Jack-O-Lantern or something similar.
Use a glo-stick or battery powered candle inside each ghost to give it a ethereal inner glow.
your ghost with glo-in-the-dark
hair spray found at mass
retailers during Halloween
season and hide a small
battery powered black light
near by for an eerie glow!