Sunday, 7 October 2012

October DIY Challenge: Spooky Ghosts

halloween ghosts diy

When Skye challenged me to create some spooky ghosts I thought it was a great idea as they're not necessarily the easiest of things to represent. I first thought about making some ghost bunting using felt until I realised I didn't have any white felt! So after a little thinking and searching I came up with these little guys which were inspired by this picture.

halloween ghosts diy

To create your own spooky ghost decorations you will need: Muslin or Cheesecloth fabric, balloons, PVA glue, water, plastic cups, clear thread, scissors, small beads, newspaper/scrap paper, a few stones, a needle and a pin
Optional items: black paint & a brush, a sharpie or some black fabric scraps

Tip! If you don't have any muslin or other thin fabric to hand and you're a fan of hot cloth cleanser you can always recycle old muslin cloths!
halloween ghost diy

The first step is to decide how many ghosts you want to make and blow up the balloons. Stand them in the top of plastic cups so theyre not touching the surface of the desk. Its a good idea to pop a few stones in the bottom of the cup first as well to make sure they don't fall over once you start to add the fabric pieces.

Tip! First I tried creating ghost shapes using normal round balloons (as shown above) but found that for a smaller sized decoration the longer ones worked best for getting the right ghostly shape. However if you want to make a giant ghost decoration using a lot of fabric I think the round balloons would work well.
halloween ghost diy

The next step is to cut your pieces of fabric and you can use your balloon to get a rough idea of what size to cut. I found that rectangle shapes worked best for the longer balloons. Remember it doesn't need to be neat at all as you want each of your ghosts to look different.

Tip! To get the best final effect I would recommend cutting at least 2 sheets of fabric per ghost.


Once your fabric is cut its ready to be soaked in a mixture of PVA glue and water. Take a plastic cup and measure out approximately equal parts of each and mix them together thoroughly.

halloween ghosts diy

Take one piece of fabric at a time and submerge it into the glue mixture, making sure the whole piece is covered. You can then ring it out a little bit before you start placing it onto the balloons. Remember the glue mixture won't dry straight away so you have some time to play around with it and get your ghost shape looking perfect.

Tip! This part gets very messy so its a good idea to put down some scrap paper now if you haven't already!
halloween ghosts diy

Repeat this process with as many pieces of fabric as you like for each ghost (I used two per ghost) and you should end up with something that looks like the photograph above. You'll then need to leave them to dry, preferably overnight but if you can leave them out somewhere in the sunshine or heat they will dry faster.
halloween ghosts diy

Once you're sure the glue mixture has completely dried you can take a pin and pop the balloon so you're left with a ghostly shaped shell that will look something like this one. Do this for each of your ghosts and they're now ready to hang!
The best thread to use is a clear one as it will be invisible and adds to the spooky effect! Use a needle to attach the thread to the top of the ghost and then tie a knot leaving a loop for hanging.

Tip! Because the fabric has quite large holes in it I tied a small bead to the end of my thread to make sure it would stay in place. This won't be visible once your decoration is finished but it's best to use light coloured ones if you have them.

halloween ghosts diy

You can leave your ghosts like this if you want to, or even make some dementor-esque ones using a black fabric. I think these would be great for a Harry Potter themed party!
halloween ghosts diy

If you want to add on a face like I did just take some paint, a marker or cut some fabric scraps. I used a basic black fabric paint and just roughly created the classic ghost face of two eyes and a mouth. Again, you don't have to be precise at all as each one will be slightly different.
halloween ghosts diy

So thats how I made my spooky ghost decorations, I hope you liked the first tutorial in this mini series. For Skye's challenge I asked her to create her own Halloween themed wreath, to see what she came up with take a look at her post here.

For week two our theme is Halloween Papercrafts so I'm challenging Skye to create her own trick or treat sweet bags inspired by all things spooky. Find out what we've made next Sunday!
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