This is my very favorite Halloween crafty project! I make cheesecloth ghosts just about every year. I love the spooky gauzy texture and the faceless form. For me it is my favorite Halloween decor project because it is simple, clean, and not too cutesy.
This year I made 10 of these ghosts as table decorations for our ward's Trunk or Treat. I had a lot of people ask me how to make them so I thought I would share the details. I devised my own little system and it works well for me!
- cheesecloth - this package gave me enough to make 5 ghosts.
- liquid Starch (Sta-Flo) - you can find it in the laundry detergent aisle
- tin foil
- 2 pipe cleaners
- a paper towel tube
- masking tape
- large cookie sheet or pizza pan
- spray bottle
Start by making your form. Cut several 1/2 - 1 inch slits in one end of your paper towel tube. Fan it out and tape down to your pan.
Next, cut two 2 inch slits on the top of the tube. Take your pipe cleaners and twist them together to make one long pipe cleaner. Push it down through the slits you just cut. Shape the ends into arms.
Make a tin foil head with a point at the bottom. This helps to anchor the head in place.
And your form is all set! It's a funky little contraption, but it works.
Next, cut pieces of cheesecloth and drape over your form. I like to use one large piece of cheesecloth to cover the whole thing first. Then I cut 4 more strips -- one to drape over each arm and two over the head. It gives it just the right amount of texture and translucence. Make sure you have enough of the cheesecloth puddling on the tray because this will be the foundation that makes it stand when you are done.
Fill your spray bottle with liquid starch. Do not dilute the starch. I use it straight from the bottle, fully concentrated. Give your ghost a GOOD spray over. Make sure the cheesecloth is nice and saturated.
Once your ghost looks like a sad, wet cat I like to take my finger and gently gather the "skirt" at the bottom into chunks. Just to help build up that foundation I talked about. And to pull away any cheesecloth that may be clinging to the paper towel tube.
After 7-8 hours my ghosts were finally dry. But we do live in the desert so it may take longer in more humid climates. It comes off of the head and arms very cleanly. You will have to peel the cheesecloth off the pan, but don't worry it will hold it's shape.
See! Here's my little army of ghosts ready to bring Halloween spirit to the masses.