Ghoulish Ghosts Take Shape

Create a flowing ghostly shape to scare trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

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Create a flowing ghostly shape to scare passers-by using leftover wood scraps, gauze and fabric starch.

Materials and Tools:

2 x 2 scraps
plywood or MDF
plastic foam ball
screws
rags
duct tape
drop cloth
white gauze
fabric starch
scissors
pail
straight pins
bricks or rocks

Steps:

1. Cut the 2 x 2s into three pieces (one long with square ends and two short with one end angled on each) and cut the plywood or MDF into a circle (about 24 inches in diameter) for the base. Screw the pieces together to create a life-size stick figure. Tape rags over the arm ends to simulate hands and screw half of the plastic foam ball to the top of the middle piece for the head. Place the figure over a drop cloth.

2. Cut about 12 to 20 six-foot strips of white gauze for each ghost and dip them one at a time into a pail of fabric starch. Pull the gauze out slowly, wringing it out as you go. Unfold each piece and drape the lengths of gauze over the ghost frame until you have created the desired thickness and shape.

Note: You can create hoods, capes and high or low arms, depending on how you put the frame and gauze together. Be sure to lay the gauze as flat as possible at the bottom, which will allow for bricks or rocks to hold the ghosts down so they don't fly away in the wind.

3. The gauze will eventually dry and harden. If desired, add a couple strips of dry gauze and pin them in place to the hands and head. These will look spooky on a windy night. Place the ghosts on a covered porch or out in the open for short lengths of time on a dry evening (rain will soften the dried starch and leave you with a puddle of gauze instead of a frightening ghost!).

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