This time around we made a ghost for our front lawn. It's made out of a plastic tablecloth, two thin pieces of wood in a cross shape (basically a vampire stake right out of Buffy), a few staples, a couple of screws, and some black paint. It's a little shorter and fatter than I imagined, but maybe next year I'll make it a tall, skinny friend. Just like the bad guys in the classic Halloween film Casper!
Click Read More below to learn how to create your own chubby ghost lawn ornament.
You will need the following items:
- Large white plastic-backed tablecloth (I think a shower curtain would also work well)
- Black paint and paintbrush
- 2 long and thin pieces of wood, as shown in image to the left (each about 1/2" to 1" wide and 12-18" long, thickness doesn't matter much but ours were about 1/2" thick)
- Screw gun and screws
- Staple gun and staples
- Wire clothing hanger
- Rock or wire stake (for securing to the lawn)
- Bandsaw (or handsaw to cut the wood into a point for staking it into the ground, as seen below)
Cut off about 1/2" at a slant on either side of the bottom of your first piece of wood. This creates a stake so it's easier to secure the ghost into the ground once it's complete. If you have two different size pieces of wood use the longer of the two here.
Also useful for vampire attacks.
Creating a cross formation screw the shorter piece to the longer piece at their meeting point (halfway on the short piece and about 5-6" down the long piece). We put in two screws.
You probably don't want to screw them together holding them in the air like Nico is in the photo on the left. He totally hurt himself.
Bending and twisting a simple wire hanger create a ghost head and ghost shoulders. Twist the wire around each arm of the wood frame and twist the top of the hanger around the bottom of the frame so it doesn't stick out weirdly.
Bonus points if you do this while wearing bunny slipper like I did.
Using my best friend, the staple gun, staple the wire to the wood. I stapled down the top and bottom of the wire frame and each of the arms.
More staples = better.
Lay out your tablecloth (plastic side face down if it's cloth backed like mine) out. Lay your frame down on the tablecloth, leaving ample room on the bottom and the sides.
Fold the tablecloth over the frame and make sure it covers the entire structure.
Trim the cloth so that it touches the ground on all sides when standing, as seen in the photo on the left. Stand it up once you're done and trim again if necessary. Remember to leave more than you think you need - you'll want to trim again once it's staked into the ground anyways (because it'll be shorter).
Once you have it looking pretty good, staple gun the cloth to the frame on one side (this will be the back).
Using your black paint (I used normal acrylic paint) and a medium width paint brush, paint on the two eyes.
I aimed to make them each about 2-3" long and 1" wide. I placed them about 4" down from the top of the structure. I left about 2.5" between each eye (plenty of room for the mouth to be centered below them).
You can use your artistic freedom here and make the face however you want! For instance, if your ghost is not short and fat you could obviously paint your face on a little lower.
I painted the mouth on about 1" below the eyes and right in the center of the structure (and also eyes). I also made it a bit skinnier and longer to differentiate it from the eye shapes. Plus, saying "boo" makes a really oval mouth.
Let the paint dry overnight.
Stake the ghost into the ground. You'll have an extra skirt of fabric, that's fine.
Arrange the body and face of the ghost so it doesn't look as goofy as mind did at first (see photo not the left). Pull the fabric forward and flat in the front and drape it out nicely.
Cut the extra fabric in the front off (not too short!). Don't cut the back, you'll need that if you want to secure it with a rock.
Using a rock (or something similar) weigh the back of the ghost down by placing the rock on the extra fabric in the back This should help it stay in place even when it's windy.
Not pictured: I added a smaller rock to the front of the ghost as well. It's not as aesthetically pleasing but it's much more durable in the windy Boston fall.