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How to Make a Life-Size Halloween Ghost

Create a life-size ghost for Halloween using inexpensive items. Hang it from a tree or place it on your front porch so passers-by will shake in their boots.

Layla Palmer, The Lettered Cottage
Gauze Ghost Decoration

Materials Needed:

  • 6-8 packages of cheesecloth
  • large foam ball
  • 2 small foam balls
  • paint roller extension pole
  • 2 yardsticks
  • hammer
  • 2 short large-headed nails
  • jug of Sta-Flo liquid starch
  • empty spray bottle
  • sheet of black felt
  • scissors
  • fabric glue
  • large sewing needle
  • spool of fishing line

Create Ghost's Framework

Layer a paint roller extension pole and two yardsticks to create a "skeleton" for your ghost (Image 1). Use a short large-headed nail to attach both yardsticks to the paint roller extension pole, one on top of the other (Image 2).

  • Laying Out Your Wood
  • Constructing Your Ghost's Body

Secure Extension Pole

Find a non-windy outdoor spot to temporarily drive the paint roller extension pole into the ground to make draping the ghost easier.

Preparing Your Ghost's Body

Attach Ghost's Head

Push a large foam ball onto the top of the paint roller extension pole to create the ghost's head.

Twisting the Foam Ball

Attach Ghost's Hands

Attach a small foam ball to the end of each yardstick to act as the ghost's hands.

Attaching the Foam Ball

Drape Cheesecloth

Begin draping large sheets of cheesecloth over the ghost framework (Image 1). Continue draping sheets of cheesecloth back and forth over the ghost until you've achieved the desired effect (Image 2).

  • Gauze Ghost Body
  • Draped Gauze

Spray Starch

Use a spray bottle filled with liquid starch to saturate the ghost's head, hands and arms, leaving the body starch-free so trailing layers of gauze will blow in the breeze. Allow starch to dry (harden) completely before moving on.

Spraying Your Ghost

Create Eyes and Mouth

Cut two eyes and a mouth out of black felt (Image 1). Use fabric glue to attach felt eyes and mouth to the ghost's head (Image 2).

  • Cutting Out the Fabric
  • Adding the Eyes

Remove Small Foam Balls

Gently remove the two small foam balls from under cheesecloth.

Covering the Foam Ball

Attach Fishing Line to Arms

Use a large sewing needle to thread a long length of fishing line through the fabric of each hand. Triple-knot the fishing line so the ghost can move freely in the breeze without the threat of blowing away.

Wiring Your Ghost

Attach Fishing Line to Head

Use a large sewing needle to thread a long length of fishing line through the top of the ghost's head. It's a good idea to drive the needle straight through the foam ball if possible. Triple knot this length of fishing line (Image 1). Finally, tie the ghost to hooks on a porch ceiling or sturdy tree branches in the yard for a spooky Halloween-themed display (Image 2).

  • Tying Wire to the Ghost
  • Affixing the Wire
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