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.

DIY Ghost Halloween Decorations Made Out of 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.

Photo by: Jennie Andrews

Jennie Andrews

Related To:

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.

Materials Needed

  • wire cutters
  • work gloves
  • foam mannequin head
  • 4' roll of chicken wire
  • color-changing outdoor spotlights
  • landscape pins
  • thin wire
  • wire hanger
  • scissors
  • 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.

Chicken Wire is Staked to the Ground

Stakes are Pressed Into the Ground to Hold Chicken Wire Figures

These landscape stakes are used to hold down Halloween figures made out of chicken wire.

Photo by: Jennie Andrews

Jennie Andrews

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.

Bending and Shaping Chicken Wire for a Halloween Decoration

Shaping Chicken Wire to Resemble a Ghost for Halloween

Chicken wire is bent and shaped to resemble a ghost for a DIY Halloween decoration.

Photo by: Jennie Andrews

Jennie Andrews

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.

Shaping Chicken Wire for a DIY Halloween Ghost

Making a DIY Ghost out of Chicken Wire

This chicken wire is bent and shaped to resemble a ghost for a DIY Halloween decoration.

Photo by: Jennie Andrews

Jennie Andrews

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.

Cover Wire Structure with Cheesecloth

Cover Figure with Cheesecloth

Cover 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.

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!

Halloween Ghost Decorations Made out of Chicken Wire

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.

Photo by: Jennie Andrews

Jennie Andrews

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.

Build Life-Size Ghost Halloween Decorations

How to Make Human-Size Ghosts

Fabric-covered ghosts designed by Lynne and Shawn Mitchell of How to Haunt Your House.

Fabric-covered ghosts designed by Lynne and Shawn Mitchell of How to Haunt Your House.

Watch Our Quick Video

DIY Chicken Wire Ghosts
Loading Video...

Next Up

Make These DIY Specimen Jars to Liven Up Your Creepy Halloween Decor

Be your own Frankenstein and create this spine-tingling decor with water, calcium chloride, sodium-alginate powder and food coloring.

How To Use Tea and Cinnamon to Age Artwork for Halloween

Brew some tea, snag this free, printable Halloween art and make your own aged wall art in minutes.

Make More Than One of These Creepy Clay Eyeball Planters

If these eerie air-dry clay and espresso-dyed eyeball planters don't cast the perfect Halloween spell, we don't know what will.

40+ Adorable Halloween Costume Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

You're never too young to get in on the Halloween fun (or to have your parents do it for you). We've found darling ideas for our little ones of all ages, from newborns to toddlers.

15 Too-Cute Halloween Costume Ideas for Dogs

Your fur baby shouldn't be left out of the Halloween fun! We tracked down some seriously adorable costumes that'll be perfect for your pup.

11 Trick-or-Treat Bags From Amazon Your Kids Will Love

Gear up your kiddos for trick-or-treating with these festive and fun candy bags, totes and baskets.

The 40+ Best Kids' Halloween Costumes for 2023

Trick or treat! We've got the cutest and coolest costumes lined up for your kids this Halloween.

From Cute to Creepy, These Are the Best Halloween Inflatables for 2023

It's that time of year again — carving pumpkins, wearing costumes and, most fun of all, shopping for the perfect Halloween decorations and inflatables.

42 Outdoor Halloween Decorations to Create the Creepiest Yard on the Block

Get in the spirit and give your neighbors something to talk about with these thrilling Halloween outdoor decorations.

15 Best Pumpkin Carving Kits and Tools

Get in the Halloween spirit with these top-rated pumpkin carving kits for kids, adults and aspiring artists.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.