Woodland Ghost DIY (With a Twist)

DSCF5163Once again, it’s that time of year where we celebrate cavities, death, and forcing small children to walk past gruesome scenes of carnage in exchange for “Sad Sized” candy bars. Or, it could be my absolute favorite holiday: Halloween.

If you want to get even with someone for a good scare last year, or you’re just looking to add last minute décor before the trick-or-treaters arrive, here is an easy, cheap, and moderately evil twist on the traditional bed sheet ghost.

You will need:

  • Fabric: It can be sheets, old curtains, or spare costuming fabric. Whatever you have on hand. I used a short piece of black fabric and a long white curtain obtained at a local thrift shop.
  • Large round recycling item: It helps if it’s plastic.
  • Twigs and branches from your yard (or someone else’s – ‘tis the season).
  • A mask.
  • Masking tape and/or duct tape.
  • A wire hanger.
  • Safety pins.
  • Optional but awesome: Two LED flameless candles and a set of walkie-talkies.

DSCF5146First, cut a slit in the top of your recycling container. Add a hole in the bottom, and two smaller holes on the sides for the ghost’s future arms. You will need to put things inside the canister later, so make a final hole large enough for your hand to pass through at the “front” of your container.

Straighten the hanger, put it through the lid, and secure with tape. Find branches for your ghost’s spine and arms. Add the spine in the hole at the bottom of your container, securing with tape, and then add the arms in the corresponding slots on the sides.

Wrap and pin your fabric around the container like a cloak. You’ll probably have to play around with the arrangement for a while before you find the best look. Remember that you will need to put things in the container later, so don’t secure with tape.

If you are going the “Optional But Awesome” route, go ahead and put one walkie-talkie and two LED lights in the recycling container. Make sure they are all on, because you don’t want to fuss with the arrangement again until it’s time to take down your ghost.

DSCF5166Put your mask over the front of your container (where you cut out the hole to add the walkie-talkie and LEDs). You’ll probably have to mess with the fabric again, figuring out how to keep any dark layers from blocking the LEDs (which should now be behind your ghost’s eyes). I chose to add another twig coming out of the mask’s eye to tie the theme together, but it isn’t strictly necessary.

Bells, wind chimes, or even other lights tacked onto the branches and/or fabric will make for great extra ambience. You can also age, stain, and alter the fabric to make your ghost look like it just rolled out of a leafy grave, but I live with small children, so I must temper my evil.

Now it’s time to scare your soon-to-be-former friends. Find a good vantage point, turn on the second walkie-talkie, and plan something appropriately ominous to shriek at passers-by.

Remember that everything in the ghost’s guts runs on batteries, so when you aren’t preparing to startle guests and dissuade repeat trick-or-treaters make sure to lift up the mask, reach in, and turn everything off.

Have fun, be safe, and remember: you can make up for all of this with a really nice Christmas card later.

M. Leigh Hood is a rare beast of the Cincinnati wilderness typically preoccupied with writing, nerding, and filming The Spittoon List. For more articles and stories by M. Leigh Hood, look HERE.

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