When I was a little girl, my dad had a couple of these cute ghosts on our piano during Halloween. I remember thinking they really floated not knowing that it was starch that held them up. This year, I decided it was time to make some for my friends to experience. I used liquid starch, which is kind of hard to come by. Plus, it’s a lot of money to spend on a ghost or two. So, I found a better and cheaper way to make these. Here’s what you need:
Cheesecloth (I just found mine in the baking section of the grocery store and it was about $3. I used the whole package for one ghost. I cut it in half and used 2 layers to make it sturdier) Black felt Cornstarch Water Any kind of “makeshift” stand to support the cheesecloth while it dries out.
First, you start by making homemade liquid starch. Pour 2 cups of water into a microwave safe container. Then, add one cup of cornstarch and mix it really well. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring inbetween, until it gets thick. Mine took about 2 minutes total. This is kind of what you’re going for: Set that aside and let it cool off a little bit. You don’t want it to get cold, though.
Meanwhile, set up your “makeshift” stand. You can use cups, balloons, Styrofoam balls. Whatever you can find to make the right shape and size. You just want to make sure you can pull it out from under the cheesecloth once it’s dry. Balloons are nice because you can pop them. I didn’t have any balloons on hand, so here’s what I used:
I put some freezer paper on the table so that the ghost would have something to sit on (besides the table) while it dried. Next, I cut the cheesecloth in half. I wanted to make my ghost a little sturdier. Coat each piece of cheesecloth with the cornstarch. It took a little bit of working it in. You want to make sure it is completely coated.
Drape the pieces of cheesecloth one at a time over your makeshift stand and make sure you arrange it how you want it. Once it’s dry, you can’t really change anything.
Once you’ve got it perfect, allow it to completely dry. Mine took overnight. When it’s stiff, carefully remove the cheesecloth from the mold and glue on two felt eyes.
It’s really hard to capture on camera, but the ghost is completely seethrough and looks like it’s just floating!
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