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Halloween Guide and Ideas


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Halloween Guide and Ideas
Halloween Guide and Ideas


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
Poster Board
Plastic Wrap
Tacky Glue
Google Eyes
Black Craft Paint
Small Paint Brush

Cover poster 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 it away!

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 wire arms.
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 bag.

For bowl: 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!

For bag: 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

Drape cheese 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!

When it's 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 google eyes.
Using these 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 ghosts.

  • 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 mold.

  • 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.

  •  Spray 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!


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