Have you ever seen a ghost? I have, it’s a Halloween ghost. In fact, there’s one lurking on my front porch right now. No, I’m not a psychic or a medium. I’m just someone who loves Halloween and all the scary decorations that go along with it.
When I suggested to Matt that I’d like to add a Halloween ghost to my outdoor decorations, my idea was a Casper type ghost – small, friendly, not too intimidating. Matt volunteered to make a wooden frame for the ghost, and boy, did he ever! I may have been thinking of a little Halloween ghost, but Matt was thinking of a BIG HALLOWEEN GHOST – in fact, a six-foot tall ghost!
Fortunately, although our finished Halloween ghost was very tall, it’s only a little scary, and I think the trick-or-treaters will love it. If you’d like to make a Halloween ghost to help you hand out treats to the little witches and goblins that come to your door on Halloween, here’s what you’ll need:
- Plywood base measuring 12” x 12”
- 2”x 2” x 6’ boards
- Large Styrofoam ball
- 24 – 40 yards of white gauze
- Liquid fabric starch
- Plastic drop cloth
- Old white socks, rags
- Hot glue gun
- Serrated knife
- The first step is to make a frame for your ghost. Drill a pilot hole into the center of the plywood base. Attach one of the 2 x 2 boards to the base with a couple long wood screws.
- Cut the Styrofoam ball in half using a knife with a serrated edge. With your hot glue gun, attach one half of the Styrofoam ball to the top of the board. This creates the head shape. OR, you can cut out a square in the Styrofoam ball , the size of the 2 x 2 and hot glue AND push the ball onto the 2 x 2. This is a little more secure.
- Angle cut two shorter 2 by 2’s and screw them into the main 2 x 2 for arms. Take an old sock and stuff it lightly with rags. Slide the sock up over the ends of the 2 x 2 arms to form the shape of hands. To secure them, tape the ends of the socks in place.
- The rest of this project can get messy, so make sure to spread a tarp on the floor and set the frame in the center. Cut the white gauze into 6 foot strips. Pour the liquid starch into the pail and dip the strips one at a time into a pail of fabric starch. Pull the gauze out slowly, wringing it out as you go.
- Begin draping lengths of gauze over the ghost frame until you have created the thickness and shape you desire. Each of our ghosts took about 12 to 20 lengths of gauze.
Depending on how you put your frame and your gauze together, you can create a variety of looks for your ghosts – high arms, low arms, hoods, or capes – you can even make them short or tall!
- A tall ghost frame tends to be a bit unsteady, in order to anchor it, be sure to lay the gauze as flat as possible on the floor at the bottom of the ghost. The flattened gauze creates an area to set bricks or rocks to hold your ghosts down in case of a windy Halloween.
- Allow the ghost to dry, and the gauze to harden up. After it is completely dry, you can add a couple of strips of dry gauze, and hot glue them into place. This loose gauze will create movement, making your ghost come “alive” on a breezy night!
The ghost can be removed from the form, but since they are fairly fragile, I recommend that you keep them on the form, if possible.
Your finished Halloween ghost can be placed outside on a covered porch, or for short lengths of time, can be out in the open, as long as it is a dry evening, but be aware, rain will soften up the dried starch, and leave you with a puddle of gauze instead of a ghost!
So, still not sure you believe in ghosts? Well, add this specter to your Halloween decorations, and your house will become a favorite haunt of all the little goblins in your neighborhood. What more proof do you need?