Lamp Post Ghosts

Looking for outdoor decorating ideas for Halloween?  If you have lamp posts outside your home, cover them with custom ghosts.  Use a marker to draw funny or scary faces on them.  Why not make hanging baby ghosts to keep the lamp posts company?  Your trick-or-treaters will enjoy your creativity!  There are many lamp post styles.  This project is ideal for a round globe style. My lamps have a point sticking up in the center so I wound cheese cloth around the top.

Directions

step 1 - Cover the floor with a plastic tarp to protect it.  In the center of the tarp place a small wastebasket to create a stand.  Place a tube in the center of it.  I used a 5’ cardboard tube and stuffed the basket with odd pieces of foam to hold the tube upright.  

step 1 - Cover the floor with a plastic tarp to protect it.  In the center of the tarp place a small wastebasket to create a stand.  Place a tube in the center of it.  I used a 5’ cardboard tube and stuffed the basket with odd pieces of foam to hold the tube upright.

 

step 2 - Inflate a round balloon to the size of your lamp. step 3 - Hot glue a disposable plastic container to the top of the tube.  My bowl came from a fast food meal.  The bowl should allow the balloon to rest inside comfortably.

step 2 - Inflate a round balloon to the size of your lamp.

step 3 - Hot glue a disposable plastic container to the top of the tube.  My bowl came from a fast food meal.  The bowl should allow the balloon to rest inside comfortably.

step 4 - Pour enough starch into a small container so that it just covers the cheese cloth.  Let it soak for about five minutes moving it around occasionally so that all the cloth gets saturated.  

step 4 - Pour enough starch into a small container so that it just covers the cheese cloth.  Let it soak for about five minutes moving it around occasionally so that all the cloth gets saturated.

 

step 5 - Squeeze out the cheese cloth.  Carefully shake the clumped cloth apart until you have smoothed out one sheet of the cloth with no folds.  

step 5 - Squeeze out the cheese cloth.  Carefully shake the clumped cloth apart until you have smoothed out one sheet of the cloth with no folds.

 

step 6 - Drape the cloth over the balloon.  Unfold the second sheet and cover the first sheet.  Don’t align them perfectly.  The ghost will be more interesting with the cloth hanging at different lengths. 

step 6 - Drape the cloth over the balloon.  Unfold the second sheet and cover the first sheet.  Don’t align them perfectly.  The ghost will be more interesting with the cloth hanging at different lengths. 

step 7 - Tie a piece of string or yarn to eight corners of the cloth.  The string/yarn should be long enough to reach the floor or a nearby stationary object.  Using painters tape, secure the string/yarn with the cloth stretched out in different directions.  

step 7 - Tie a piece of string or yarn to eight corners of the cloth.  The string/yarn should be long enough to reach the floor or a nearby stationary object.  Using painters tape, secure the string/yarn with the cloth stretched out in different directions.

 

step 8 - When the cloth is completely dry and stiff pop the balloon.  If it sticks to the cloth, peel it off carefully without stretching the cloth.  Remove all the tape but leave the string/yarn attached.

step 9 - Using a marker or paint draw a scary or happy face on your ghost.

step 10 -  If you have a lamp with a round globe, you have the ideal situation.  You can just drop the ghost over the globe and skip to step 12.  If you have an odd shaped lamp post like mine, skip the previous balloon steps completely and just drape starched sheets of cheese cloth on the lamp, gluing them together where they overlap on the light fixture and draping more cloth around the top.  Attach string/yarn to some of the ends.

 

step 11 - Place the ghost over your lamp post.  

step 12 -  Attach a couple of string/yarn ends to shrubs or put sticks in the ground below the ghost and attach the string/yarn ends to them.  Remove unwanted string/yarn, leaving other cloth ends free to blow in the breeze. Securing at least two ends will prevent a gust of wind from pulling the ghost off the lamp post. Substitute fishing line for the string/yarn for invisible ties.

Hanging Baby Ghost

Hanging Baby Ghost

step 1 - Cut a piece of cheese cloth 2’ long.  

 

step 2 - Partially inflate a balloon so that it is about the size of the top of a water bottle.  Make a tiny hole in the center of wet, starched cloth and push the balloon knot through it.  Attach a string for hanging.    

step 2 - Partially inflate a balloon so that it is about the size of the top of a water bottle.  Make a tiny hole in the center of wet, starched cloth and push the balloon knot through it.  Attach a string for hanging.  

 

 
step 3 - Stretch out and tape corners of the cloth as with the large ghost and secure them with tape while they dry.  

step 3 - Stretch out and tape corners of the cloth as with the large ghost and secure them with tape while they dry.  

step 4 - When dry, pop the balloon, remove tape and attach a hanger to the top.  

TIP

If attaching a hanger causes the ghost’s head to loose it’s shape, use a water bottle to keep it in place.  Remove the cap from an empty water bottle and make a hole in the center by pounding a nail through it.  Cut the bottom of the bottle off so the remaining piece is about 3” long.  Push the screw part of the bottle through the hole left by the balloon knot then screw the top back on the bottle.  Thread fishing line or cord through the hole in the cap to hang the ghost.

I glued on black felt eyes and mouth because the marker did not show up well on one layer of cloth.

Different weights of cheesecloth will produce different results when starched.

 


Supplies

Craft Store                  

  • string or yarn
  • painters tape
  • cardboard tube
  • round balloon
  • plastic drop cloth
  • marker or paint

Miscellaneous

  • Stay Flo Fabric Starch
  • 2 pieces of 6' long cheese cloth     

 


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