When I was little, my mom and I made these cheesecloth ghosts at Halloween. Several years ago I saw some cheesecloth for 5 cents at a thrift store, so I picked it up thinking the girls and I could make these ghosts.
Well. We never actually did.
Five years later, during my decluttering rampage this month, I came across the cheesecloth. Since I'm making myself get rid of any project/project supplies that I haven't actually completed I decided it was time to make the darn ghosts already.
Heavy liquid starch
Random objects around the house to serve as a form for your ghosts
You need to find starch that is not in an aerosol spray bottle, because that won't work. I used this Purex brand because it is super concentrated and perfect for this particular project. I also tried to use some lighter starch I had, and the results were not so good. The heavier the starch, the better.
1. Get your form ready
I used a bottle, a small apple, and a wire hanger. I bent the hanger to serve as the arms and taped it to the bottle with packing tape. Then I set the apple on top. (At first I tried to use my dog's little tennis ball, but she had her eye on that thing and I knew she would figure out a way to get it and destroy my ghost in the process, so an apple was my next choice.)
2. Starch your cheesecloth
I filled a small bowl with the heavy starch and soaked the cheesecloth in it.
3. Drape the cloth on the form
Once the cheesecloth is sufficiently soaked through with starch, you can start draping it over the form. Make sure the surface you are working with is protected somehow--I just used a plastic cutting board that was easily washed. I'm not sure what the starch would do to wood surfaces, but I definitely don't recommend using newspaper or anything like that.
4. Make the ghost sturdy enough to stand on its own
Make sure you create enough pooling of the fabric at the bottom, so that the ghost will have a sturdy base on which to stand when it is finished and off of the form.
5. Let dry
I found that the main part of the ghost was usually dry in a day, but the bottom took two days, maybe a bit longer (I made my two ghosts a few days apart from each other).
6. Remove from form
Once the ghost is dry, carefully remove it from the form. You will find you have to peel it off in some places. This is normal and fine, just be careful while doing it.
I like my ghosts without any sort of eyes, but I have seen people add googly eyes or make eyes with a Sharpie.
At night, I put a battery-powered LED tealight under the ghost for a super spooky effect.
I think they turned out so great, and I am kicking myself that I didn't do it five years ago!
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