Make a Ghost for Halloween

Add this ghost to your Halloween decorations and your house will become a favorite haunt of all the little goblins in your neighborhood.

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Have you ever seen a ghost? I have. In fact, there's one lurking on my front porch right now. If you'd like to make a ghost to help you hand out treats to the little witches and goblins who come to your door on Halloween, here's what you'll need:

Materials and Tools:

plywood base measuring 12" x 12"
2" x  2" x 6' boards
large plastic foam ball
24 to 40 yards of white gauze
liquid fabric starch
pail
plastic drop cloth
old white socks, rags
hot glue gun
serrated knife

Steps:

1. 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 long wood screw.

2. Cut the foam ball in half using a knife with a serrated edge. With your hot glue gun, attach one half of the foam ball to the top of the board. This creates the head shape.

3. Angle cut two shorter 2 x 2's and screw them into the main 2 by 2. Take an old sock and stuff it lightly with rags. Slide the sock up over the ends of the 2 x 2's to form the shape of hands. To secure them, tape the ends of the socks in place.

4. Because this project is very messy, you are wise to use a plastic drop cloth to protect your floor. Spread the tarp on the floor and set the frame in the center. Pour the liquid starch into the pail, and you're ready to start giving your ghost a little "body."

5. Cut the white gauze into six-foot strips. 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.

6. 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. The ghost frame tends to be a bit unsteady. To anchor it, be sure to lay the gauze as flat as possible on the bottom of the ghost. The flattened gauze gives you an area to set bricks or rocks to hold your ghosts down. After all your hard work, you don't want them to fly away in the wind!

7. Allow the ghost to dry, and the gauze to harden. 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 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. As you can imagine, rain can 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?

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