How to Make Cheesecloth Ghosts

How to make some really cute ghosts for Halloween!

You will need:

  • 1 package cheesecloth (found in your local sewing department or sometimes in the cooking section).
  • Liquid starch
  • Empty spray bottle
  • scissors
  • Empty soda bottle, or water bottle
  • Wire coat hanger
  • Wire cutters
  • Plastic bags (recycle your store bags)
  • Foil
  • Wax paper
  • Black paint (or you can use black felt)

Okay, first you will need to line your counter or table with wax paper since this project gets fairly messy.



With your empty soda or water bottle, you will prepare to make a form for your ghost.  Make sure your bottle is clean, rinsed and dried.  With 2-3 plastic shopping bags, scrunch them together to make a ball shape for the head.  Put your ‘ball shaped head’ in the center of a sheet of foil, and scrunch foil around ball shape to secure.  Use tape to secure foil ball to top of bottle.

Next snip your wire coat hanger to make arms.  You can either make one long piece and wrap it around the center of the bottle neck, or you can snip two individual pieces and poke them through the sides of the bottle.  Put foil around any rough or pointed areas so your cheesecloth doesn’t get caught later.  Your bottle will look something like this.


Put your ghost forms on top of your wax paper.  I used some tape on the sides of the bottles to secure them to the wax paper.  I also taped the corners of the wax paper to the count top.  Now you can pour some starch into your spray bottle. Keep your bottle on ‘spray’ and not ‘stream.’  I have seen some other tutorials where people put the starch in a bowl and dipped their cheesecloth and rung it out.  I found that method more difficult, however, it is an option if you don’t have a spray bottle handy.

Next, you want to cut your cheesecloth into strips.  How long will depend on how big or small your ghost form is.  You want them long enough to drape along the edges.  It seems that 2-3 foot long strips worked well for me.  Width-wise I used a few 4″ wide strips, but I liked my pieces roughly 12″ wide.  As you are draping them over your ghost form, you can judge if you need or want different sizes.  Make sure to tuck (push down) into arms a bit for better shaping.



It is important to have a skirt base at the bottom, because once the starch dries and hardens, the ghost skirt becomes its own stand.  Once you have the cheesecloth draped where you like the way it looks, you can begin spraying your starch on your ghost(s).


Use 2-3 layers, or until you get the desired effect that you prefer.  Once you like the way it looks begin spraying your ghost from the top to the bottom.  It does not have to be completely soaked…But it does need to be thoroughly damp.


Once your ghosts are done being thoroughly sprayed…they will need at least 24 hours to dry.  It took mine more like 48 hours to dry completely.  During the drying process you can expect the run-off from the starch to puddle.  I ‘mopped’ up the excess starch gently with paper towels to help with drying process.  Once they are dry, carefully remove the skirt from the wax paper.  You will have  to carefully peel it off.  Next carefully remove the form (bottle, wire arms, and foil head).  You may need to pinch the foil  to help it out.  Once removed, your ghost will stand freely on their stiff skirts!  All you need to do now, is paint some eyes on, or cut out eyes in black felt and glue them on.

No doubt about it!…these little guys are so cute!



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