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How to Make Halloween Ghost Decorations for Outdoors

Maren, a Baby Boomer, has taught pre-school through college. She loves holidays, and playing in the snow.

A Ghost Decoration Hangs From a Tree

Easy DIY ghost decoration that kids can make to hang outside for Halloween.

Easy DIY ghost decoration that kids can make to hang outside for Halloween.

Make Decorations With Your Children

Making holiday decorations with children always delights me. Traditionally, in the USA, Halloween is a holiday that belongs to children. Although scary characters are part of the package, these make-at-home ghosts can be as gruesome or as gentle as one likes.

In fact, I have saved three of the ghosts that my precious sons made "way back when." See the photos for their unique ghost faces.

Weather-Tough Halloween Ghost Decoration Supplies

Collect these supplies to make the decorations:

  • White sheet or plastic bag
  • Newspaper, foil, or packing peanuts for stuffing
  • Permanent marker, preferably black
  • Pen or pencil to poke a tiny hole
  • About 6 inches of string, twine, or twist ties forming a 6-inch chain
  • More string or twine for the neck, about 12 inches
  • Small piece of cardboard, about 1 inch by 3 inches
  • Masking tape

Video Tour of Most of the Supplies

Step One: Draw the Face

  1. If you are using a plastic bag, position it on a flat surface so that one of the closed corners of the bag points up. In other words, it looks like a pointy mountain top.
  2. If you are using a white sheet, whether it is a square or a circle, pick it up in the center of the fabric and gently shake it to hang down from your hand. Then, position the sheet on a flat surface so that the part in your hand is at the top, also like a mountain top.
  3. Estimate how much about one-fifth of the area is in the center top of the "mountain" and draw the face there. The face needs to be that small because the head will be small in relation to the ghost's flowing body.
This simple face works well on the Halloween ghost decoration.

This simple face works well on the Halloween ghost decoration.

Drawing the Ghost Face

Step Two: Make the Hanging Attachment

  1. Make a small hole with a pen or pencil point at the very top of the ghost's head—this is where you will thread the string or twist ties for attaching the ghost to a tree branch or other outside location.
  2. Tape the string or chain of twist-ties securely to it. The cardboard goes inside the bag and the ties come out through the opening.
Make a small hole at the top of the ghost's head.

Make a small hole at the top of the ghost's head.

This cardboard stays inside the head - preventing the twist-tie from being pulled out.

This cardboard stays inside the head - preventing the twist-tie from being pulled out.

Twist ties emerge: ready to be connected to a longer string positioning your ghost decoration in the perfect outside spot.

Twist ties emerge: ready to be connected to a longer string positioning your ghost decoration in the perfect outside spot.

Some extra masking tape outside the hole helps prevent the bag from tearing.

Some extra masking tape outside the hole helps prevent the bag from tearing.

Step Three: Make the Ghost's Head and Neck

  1. Open your ghost sheet or bag and fill the head area with crumpled stuffing.
  2. Use twine or string to tightly tie the neck closed. Make the neck as SMALL and tie the twine as TIGHTLY as possible. Otherwise, your ghostie will slowly leak its brains all over the ground.
This ghost decoration is being filled with old newspaper.

This ghost decoration is being filled with old newspaper.

Gulp - this neck fastener is a little tight, doncha think?  NO- it is just right!

Gulp - this neck fastener is a little tight, doncha think? NO- it is just right!

Step Four: Hang Your Ghost Outside

All that is left to do is to attach the ghost to a tree, porch, or garden gate outside. If you wish, you may attach a longer string to the ghost hanger.

Putting a loop of string on a twist tie.

Putting a loop of string on a twist tie.

Twist the ties around the string.

Twist the ties around the string.

I live in a part of the world which can receive rain (and occasionally snow) around Halloween. These wind- and water-proof ghosts work well for me. I hope they also do well for you.

These ghost decorations stay good for many years.

This ghost is ready to greet all the trick-or-treaters coming its way.

This ghost is ready to greet all the trick-or-treaters coming its way.

Comments

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on October 03, 2012:

Crystal, sure you can!

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on September 26, 2012:

Cute and simple. I think I could do this!

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