Frolicking Ghost Family

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Scare the pants off those little trick-or-treaters this year with this frolicking ghost family. You may have seen this project on Pinterest. I’ve been looking at it for a couple of years but never had the right spot for it. I just moved into a fixer-upper with a small front yard featuring a generous size tree. Finally having a space for this project, I went looking for a tutorial but had no luck. So I decided to create one of my own.

In most Pinterest photos it looks like the ghosts might be propped up with something like dowels stuck into the lawn. I went another way and hung my ghosts from the tree branches. Because their “hands” are connected, when a breeze comes along they all move but not away from each other. And the stretchy cord connecting them to branches causes them to sometimes also bounce. See them in action in the above video. At night they are even more effective with the help of a string of orange lights. This is a super easy and fun Halloween project you can save and use year after year.

Directions

step 1 - Curl a piece of 18-gauge wire around a marker or other round object to create a ring. Cut off excess leaving a 1.50” stem.

step 1 - Curl a piece of 18-gauge wire around a marker or other round object to create a ring. Cut off excess leaving a 1.50” stem.

step 2 - With your fingers, bend the stem so that it sticks straight out from the ring.

step 2 - With your fingers, bend the stem so that it sticks straight out from the ring.

step 3 - Cut a stretchy cord strand for each ghost. The stretchy cord becomes almost invisible and allows the ghosts to bounce when a breeze hits them. The length of the cord will depend on the size of your ghosts and how low your tree branches hang to the ground. Strands for my baby ghosts were about 36” while the adult ghost strands were about 24”.

step 4 - Slip the end of the stretchy cord into a crimp bead. Slip the cord through the wired ring and bring the cord end back through the crimp bead.

step 4 - Slip the end of the stretchy cord into a crimp bead. Slip the cord through the wired ring and bring the cord end back through the crimp bead.

step 5 - Flatten the bead with a crimping tool or pair of pliers. Don’t be too aggressive with the tool or the bead edge may cut through the cord.

step 5 - Flatten the bead with a crimping tool or pair of pliers. Don’t be too aggressive with the tool or the bead edge may cut through the cord.

step 6 - Cut small and large squares from white plastic tablecloths and tulle fabric. The squares for my small ghosts are 24” while the large ones are 48”. You can make them any size you want.

step 7 - Use a glue gun on low heat to attach the center of the plastic squares to the center of the small Styrofoam balls. Attach the large squares to the large balls. Again, you can choose how many ghosts to make and what their sizes should be.  

step 8 - Hot glue the tulle squares on top of the plastic ones.

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step 9 - Apply hot glue to the end of a wire tail. Immediately push it through the tulle and plastic, into the Styrofoam ball. Repeat this with all the ghosts. 

step 10 - Tie your cord ends to branches using triple knots, and distributing the ghosts evenly around the tree. Alternate baby ghosts with adult ones.

step 11 - Tie the corners (plastic and tulle layers) of each ghost to the neighboring ghost until they are all connected in a circle.

step 11 - Tie the corners (plastic and tulle layers) of each ghost to the neighboring ghost until they are all connected in a circle.

Optional - Wrap the tree with a string of orange lights.


Supplies

At Craft Store

  • small (4”) and large (6”) Styrofoam balls

  • 18 gauge wire

  • wire cutters

  • marker

  • stretchy cord 1mm

  • crimp beads

  • crimp tool or pliers

  • glue gun with a low heat setting

Miscellaneous

  • white plastic Dollar Store rectangular tablecloths

  • white tulle fabric


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