Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cheesecloth Ghosts

I finally finished a project! At the moment, this is quite the accomplishment as I mentioned life is nuts right now. Anyway, I present to you; cheesecloth ghosts!

I followed Martha's tutorial but deviated slightly. I couldn't find liquid starch so I went with Stiffy fabric stiffener and water. I also gave them a coat of clear spray paint for added durability, a sprinkle of glitter for added effect and I strung them so they could be hung from my magnolia tree.

Here is a photo tutorial of my process-

What you'll need-
*1 package (3 yards) of cheesecloth ($5.99 at my craft store, I used a coupon so mine was only $3.60)
*Stiffy fabric stiffener (also $5.99 at my craft store, again used a coupon so it was only $3.60)
*Paper towel/toilet paper tubes
*Craft wire (I think I used 22 gauge, just what I had on hand)
*Aluminum foil
*Clear spray paint (optional)
*Iridescent glitter (optional)

To start I made the forms by following Martha's tute-
"Build a mold for the body first. Cut several 1/2-inch-deep slits into one end of a cardboard cylinder, such as paper-towel tube; fan flaps out and tape to work surface so tube stands upright.
Near top of tube, make a small hole on each side; push a wire (of about the same length as the cylinder) through holes. Bend wire into outstretched arms. Top cylinder with a crumpled aluminum-foil ball, for the head."

 Next I cut the cheesecloth into strips. No special dimensions, just strips.

Mix 1 cup of the fabric stiffener with 1 cup of water in a large bowl or dish. Then dip each strip in the mixture and squeeze out the excess. I found that the cheesecloth went into strings when wet and the best way to open it back up was to lay it flat on my work surface and starting at one end, spread it back open.

Then lay your moistened strip onto the form in a random way to create your ghost.

 Repeat the above steps until your ghost is as covered as you like. I went with a very airy look personally. 

I was able to get 3 small ghosts and 1 large ghosts out of my one package of cheesecloth. I still have lots of fabric stiffener though, so if I can find some cheap muslin or other sheer fabric I may make more.

After they were dry I gave them a few coats with some clear spray paint to help them last since I intend to hang them outside. You can totally skip this step if you're using them inside. In between coats I sprinkled on some iridescent glitter to add a bit of sparkle. Once that coat was dry I used a regular needle and thread to add a loop at the top to hang them by.

Once we get our lights up, I'll be sure to get a picture of them all hanging in the tree out front.

So, there you have it. For $7.20 I made 4 adorable little ghosts that will be in our Halloween decor for years to come! 

The Craftapus


  1. One question: Do you think spray starch would work (instead of fabric stiffener)? I've got an old can around here somewhere, I think... and anytime I don't have to set foot in Joann's is a good thing for my wallet(!).

  2. It's worth a try! What I would do it lay out your strip of cheesecloth or thin fabric and spray it heavily with the starch. Then proceed as normal. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  3. I'm going to shoot for trying this today. I'll let you know! :)