How to Make Human-Size Chicken Wire Ghosts for Halloween
Ditch the big box store Halloween inflatables and craft your own creepy creations using chicken wire.
Two Larger-Than-Life Ghost Halloween Decorations
These giant ghost Halloween decorations are made out of chicken wire that's been bent and shaped to resemble ghostly figures, then held to the ground with landscape stakes. The eerie silhouettes of the large figures tower over the passing trick-or-treaters and glow in the light of the streetlamp.
Sure, you could go out and buy oversized Halloween yard decor, but what’s the fun in that? Crafting your own outdoor Halloween decorations is surprisingly simple, far more impressive and gives your yard a handmade touch that the big box store decorations can only dream of. This haunting how-to has everything it takes to create eye-catchingly eerie, oversized outdoor ghosts out of chicken wire.
- wire cutters
- work gloves
- foam mannequin head
- 4' roll of chicken wire
- color-changing outdoor spotlights
- landscape pins
- thin wire
- wire hanger
- optional for a gauzy ghost: cheesecloth
1. Cut and Form Torso, Shoulders and Arms
Donning work gloves, use wire cutters to cut the chicken wire into a 2' x 3' section for the torso. Then, twist the long sides together to form a tube (Images 1, 2 & 3). Repeat with two 2' x 1' sections to form the arms and a single 1' x 1' section for the shoulders (Image 4).
2. Mold Wire to Form Head
Cut out a section of chicken wire that measures roughly 1' x 2'. Wrap the wire around a foam mannequin head, twisting to secure and bending as you go to match the shape of the head (Image 1). Remove the mold and shape any remaining details that were lost during removal (Image 2).
3. Cut and Form Skirt
Cut an 8' section for the skirt (Image 1). On each short end of the section, cut out a tapered “V” to resemble a waist once joined (Image 2). Twist each side of the “V” together (Image 3). Shape and cinch the skirt around the top for a more realistic look.
Pro Tip: Hold the skirt to the ground using landscape pins to make for easier shaping.
4. Insert and Shape Torso
Insert the torso roll into the top of the skirt. Shape the torso tube to resemble a realistic human torso.
5. Insert Shoulders and Arms
Slide the horizontal shoulder tube into the top of the torso (Image 1). Place an arm tube on each end of the shoulder tubes, pushing through the torso and twisting the wires to attach (Image 2).
6. Shape Arms
Bend the arms at the middle to create an elbow, then shape the arms to create a realistic look. Tip: For added support in the shoulders and arms, untwist a wire coat hanger or use strong wire to insert into the back where the shoulders join the arms. This extra support will help the arms stay in position.
7. Attach Head
Place the head on top of the shoulder tube and twist the wires to fasten in place. Tip: If you want to hang your ghosts from a tree or porch, you can make half figures, which are just the torso, arms and head. To make these levitating ghosts even more sinister, cover with cheesecloth, instructions below, so the fabric billows in the breeze.
8. Add Finishing Touches
A few finishing touches will really bring this chicken wire ghost to life. A crumpled ball of wire makes for the perfect bun when attached to the back of the head, while an additional section of wire attached to the skirt and folded in a flowy manner adds movement and depth to the frightening figure (Images 1 & 2).
9. Optional: Cover With Cheescloth
Cover the head, arms, torso and waist with a single layer of cheesecloth. This will conceal the chicken wire slightly. Leave long lengths hanging down from the hands.
Add layers of sheer fabric pieces (we used old sheer curtains). First, create a poncho fabric square with a slit cut for the head. Use scrap fabric for the belt, and tie it around the waist. Add additional pieces draped over arms, hands and head. Add additional skirt sections and tie together where needed.
10. Light It Up
As a final touch, up-light the perched poltergeist with color-changing outdoor spotlights and wait for nightfall to bask in your creepy creations. Bonus points if you add a fog machine!
DIY Chicken Wire Ghost Halloween Decorations
These human-size ghost decorations are made using chicken wire that's been shaped and assembled to resemble ghostly bodies. The large decorations are perfect for yards and home exteriors and take on an eerie vibe when illuminated with color-changing spotlights.
11. But, Illuminate Draped Ghosts Safely
Being lightweight, these grave ghosts can be put just about anywhere. When lit from behind, their transparent forms make these ghosts very spooky. Use additional stakes to keep them from being blown over and be sure not to place hot lights, jack-o'-lanterns or any open flame near the ghost's fabric body.