make your own: simple cheesecloth ghosts.

October 12, 2021
cheesecloth ghosts | simple halloween decorations | reading my tea leaves

My children love gory halloween decorations. Give them a tree of decapitated heads, as one neighbor has, and they’ll be squealing in delight. Give them an animatronic ghoul rising from the trash can as has another neighbor, and you’ll be biking the long way home every night to catch a glimpse. 

Around our apartment, I tend to encourage a slightly less gruesome approach to Halloween decorating. This year the biggest hit has been tiny cheesecloth ghosties. We made a larger one last year with old hankies and a dryer ball for a head, but this year little squares of cheesecloth and a small fistful of wool stuffing plus string means we can make many, quickly with very little effort and next to no mess. And just like that, we’ve quickly upped the spook factor of our apartment pre-Halloween without overwhelming things. 

The how-to is very straightforward, but in case any details aren’t clear, here they are:

cheesecloth ghosts | simple halloween decorations | reading my tea leaves

Materials

+ Cheesecloth cut into rough squares (I tend to like tiny ghosts made from 6″x6″ squares, but any size will work)

+ Wool stuffing (or cotton or whatever else you have on hand, including balled up fabric scraps or tissue)

+ Cotton string

Instructions

cheesecloth ghosts | simple halloween decorations | reading my tea leaves

+ Ball up a small fistful of wool or cotton stuffing and place it in the center of the cheesecloth square

cheesecloth ghosts | simple halloween decorations | reading my tea leaves

+ Cinch the fabric around the ball of stuffing in the center, twisting the fabric slightly to make a tight neck

cheesecloth ghosts | simple halloween decorations | reading my tea leaves

+ Secure the fabric with cotton butchers twine or other string, leaving a ~12-inch tail you can secure to chandeliers, bedposts, fence posts, doorframes, or anywhere else the spirit moves you. The more your cheesecloth frays, the better!

Boo!

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7 Comments

  • Reply Vania October 12, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Hi,
    I know this is unrelated to the topic of the post, but it would be really helpful if you could write on where to get sustainable clothes for children, especially underwear. Thanks for your consideration!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 12, 2021 at 8:45 pm

      I’ve gotten pretty hooked on Arq undies for my kids! They’re totally unisex for little ones and they wear so well and last through at least two kids!

      2
  • Reply Lauren October 12, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    These are so cute and easy! And the perfect use for leftover fabric scraps to use as stuffing. I used pretty thin string and threaded it through an embroidery needle at the end, to bring the end of the string through the tops of the ghosts’ heads, so they hang straight. I liked them so much I ran out of cheesecloth making these!

    1
    • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 12, 2021 at 8:45 pm

      Yes! Perfect!

  • Reply Jamie October 12, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    Another unrelated comment here.
    I’m not very crafty but I somehow wind up with scrap fabric. I offer them to my local tailor. She gladly accepts cut offs and clothing that has seen its better days. She can use it for patching or making dolls for her granddaughters.

    1
    • Reply ERIN BOYLE October 12, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      Excellent!

  • Reply Katharine October 16, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for this idea! It was inexpensive and easy to put together; my kids age 2-12 all enjoyed helping out and now we have a ghost chandelier over our dining table!

    1
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