DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland Tutorial

DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland

So even when I think I’m going for “spooky” it ends up more adorable than spooky so I’ve concluded a dark side is not something I can easily channel. If you saw my Ghostly Tablescape earlier this week, you’ll see these ghosts are kind of my thing this year. A lot of us have memories of making this classic Halloween craft as kids (or with our kids) and hopefully between this DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland as well as the Ghost Topiaries I featured on my tablescape, I’ve shown you a couple creative ways to use them in your modern decor. And they are super easy to make! Of course, you can find a simple tutorial for cheesecloth ghosts on Pinterest or Google, but below I’ve provided some tips and tricks that I found useful in making my ghosts, plus I outline exactly how to make the garland.

DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland via Tonality Designs

Materials for Cheesecloth Ghosts

  • Cheesecloth
  • Fabric stiffener (Fabric stiffener is available at Michaels and Joann Fabrics. You can also use liquid starch, but I had a hard time finding it not in an aerosol can.)
  • 2″ styrofoam ball
  • Wood skewer or lollipop sticks
  • Styrofoam/floral foam rectangle
  • Throwaway tray and spoon (or use items you have and just clean right away)
  • Size 5 embroidery thread, black

Additional Materials for Garland

My garland was a little over a yard long (36.25″ to be exact) and featured 3 ribbons/notions and 4 ghosts, but you can of course make your garland as long as needed.

  • Coordinating ribbons or other fabric notions (I used: white grosgrain, orange pom pons and orange gingham.) Be sure to have more than the final length of your garland because you loop two of the ribbons, plus I think it looks nice to have some ribbon hanging down on both ends – about 14″ on each side.
  • Glue dots or glue gun
  • Size 5 embroidery thread, white (optional, could also glue the ghosts on)

Instructions for Cheesecloth Ghosts

  1. Cover the area you are working on with newspaper, brown paper bags or any other material that you don’t mind getting ruined.
    DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland via Tonality Designs
  2. Cut 10 inch pieces of cheesecloth. Keep the cheesecloth folded up on the roll because having a few layers of the cheesecloth makes for a nicer look. (If making larger ghosts, just cut a couple squares of cheesecloth that are the same size and stack them before applying the fabric stiffener.) Repeat for the number of ghosts you are making.
    DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland via Tonality Designs

    Please ignore the pins, I’ve clearly used these floral foam rectangles for a lot of projects!

  3. Place skewer into a styrofoam ball and then into your “base” foam rectangle. Repeat for the number of ghosts you are making. Note: this is in place of using balloons because frankly I didn’t know if I had enough jars small enough to hold balloons and I thought the sticks would be really easy.
    DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland via Tonality Designs
  4. Pour a small amount of fabric stiffener into your throwaway tray. Mine was very thick so I poured a few tablespoons worth into the tray and then added a touch of water to it just so the consistency was easier to spread over the cheesecloth. I mixed only enough for one ghost at a time, but experiment with what works best for you.
  5. Lay your cheesecloth into the fabric stiffener and fully cover your cheesecloth. You don’t have to lay it straight, you can clump it together and really get the stiffener all over, then squeeze out the excess.
    DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland via Tonality Designs
  6. Drape your wet cheesecloth onto your 2″ styrofoam ball on a stick. Shape your ghost by spreading and stretching the cheesecloth with your fingers. If too wet, you can always allow it to dry a little and just keep coming back and shaping to your hearts desire.
  7. Let dry. As mentioned before, as the ghost’s drying you can come back and make sure it’s forming the way you want. Also, the cheesecloth could stick and dry to the styrofoam ball, but I found that when it was halfway dry I could lightly pull the cheesecloth off and then lay it back down and it was all good. And even when I forgot to do that, if  I pulled hard enough they all ended up coming off (and I made like 10 ghosts).
    DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland via Tonality Designs
  8. Use size 5 embroidery thread and tie french knots for the eyes. If you don’t know how to tie a french knot, there are great tutorials on Pinterest, just click here.

DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland via Tonality Designs

Instructions for Garland

DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Garland via Tonality Designs

  1. Cut Ribbon #1 (white ribbon in the example), this is the ribbon all the other ribbons will attach too. The length should equal the length you want your final garland to be plus 28″ to account for the 14″ of extra ribbon hanging on both sides. So 64.25″ for the example garland that reaches 36.25″.
  2. Measure 14″ on Ribbon #1 and mark it. Now, starting at the 14″ mark, mark your ribbon every 7.25″ until you have 14″ left. It will be 5 times if making your garland like the example. If making your garland longer, you’ll want to continue to mark your ribbon for each loop you want to create.
  3. Now for Ribbon #2 (orange pom pom fringe in the example): you can either measure it all up front or simply measure as you glue. It’s up to you. This time, starting at the 14″ mark you are going to mark your ribbon every 10″ for each loop you want to create (so 5 times if following the example). You’re then going to attach Ribbon #2 to Ribbon #1 by gluing each mark together. I used Glue Dots, but you can also use a hot-glue gun.
  4. Next up, Ribbon #3 (orange gingham in the example): This is similar to what you did for Ribbon #2, but measure every 14″ and then you’ll attach Ribbon #3 at the same point where the other ribbons are already attached.
  5. Now you’re ready to add your ghosts. Attach a ghost in-between each loop. Here I used embroidery thread to sew each ghost on, but you could easily use a hot-glue gun.
  6. Now it’s ready to hang!

Whew, I so hope that made sense. Even though this process is actually very simple, explaining it is a whole other thing.

Blooming Jack-o-Lantern via Tonality Designs

The blooming jack-o-lantern was made by placing a vase inside of the pumpkin burlap gift back I found at HomeGoods last year. I then added 6 stems of white hydrangea and 4 stems of green hydrangea.

I hope you’ve been enjoying my Halloween creations this year. I’ve sure had fun creating them so far. I wonder what will be next.

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