Floating {Cheesecloth} Ghost

I got to share this project earlier this month over at eighteen25. Just in case you missed it, here ya go!

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

When I was a little girl, my mom 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 kids to experience.  I called my mom to get the how-to.  She said she 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:

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

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
Any kind of “make-shift” 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.

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in-between, until it gets thick. Mine took about 2 minutes total. This is kind of what you’re going for:

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

Set that aside and let it cool off a little bit. You don’t want it to get cold, though.

Meanwhile, set up your “make-shift” 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 had, so here’s what I used:

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

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.

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

Drape the pieces of cheesecloth one at a time over your make-shift stand and make sure you arrange it how you want it. Once it’s dry, you can’t really change anything.

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

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.

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

It’s really hard to capture on camera, but the ghost is completely see-through and looks like it’s just floating!

Floating Cheesecloth Ghost by www.loveandlaundry.com

 I’m linking this post up to these parties.

There’s more to this post! Click to keep reading.


  1. says

    These are awesome! I remember making very small ones in Girl Scouts YEARS ago but forgot all about them until I saw yours. These would be a fun addition to our decorations, so I’m going to make them with my kids. Also, thanks for joining in on the booing game. Your blog is adorable.

    Bonny @ thedomesticatedprincess.blogspot.com

  2. says

    I was seriously thinking about these just the other day! I have a very similar memory, I totally remember my mom making them. I was thinking of calling her and asking how, now I don’t need to…Thanks!

  3. says

    I just wanted to say this ghost is super adorable! I really wanted to make one, so I bought the supplies last night. I’m wondering about the cheesecloth I bought. It’s 2sq. yards and very long and narrow, only about 12 inches wide. It doesn’t seem like it would work for this project. Do you mind me asking what kind you used? I feel like I would have to make a very tiny ghost with the stuff that I bought.

    • says

      I just went to email you and realized that you are a no-reply blogger, so hopefully you’ll come back and see my answer. I bought cheesecloth that is 2 square yards also. I actually thought the same thing. But, it unfolded to 3 feet wide. If it does say 2 square yards on the package, it should open up to be 3 feet x 6 feet. The mesh is so fine, it’s sometimes hard to tell that there are or 3 layers of cheesecloth there. Hope that helps! Feel free to email me at shatziweb(at)gmail(dot)com if you need more help. ;)

    • says

      I just checked my cheesecloth and it does indeed unfold one more time. I’m so glad! I can now get to making some of these adorable ghosts! Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

  4. says

    My mom had one of those ghosts when we were little too. Yours is so cute! Pinned! My kids will love it. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

    • says

      I don’t know why you two had difficulty. It was really easy for me. I just wadded up the cheesecloth and worked the starch into it then unfolded it enough to put it on my stand (which was a turned over pumpkin in a vase) then used the stand to hold it while I undid the edges. It got my hands messy but that was about it. It does take alittle more time to dry than I was expecting but that is because I didn’t read her “overnight” part.

      Anyway, for anyone trying it don’t be discouraged! It is really as easy as it looks. Pretty fun too!

  5. says

    I tried something like this a number of years ago and it didn’t turn out so well. That was before my blogging years. :D Seeing yours and how to’s makes me think I need to try it again. Thanks for sharing.

  6. says

    Fantastic! My weekly linky party–One Creative Weekend–has gone spooky this week in honor of my thirteenth party. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll visit “One Creative Weekend” on OneCreativeMommy.com (open every Fri-Wed) and link up this idea and anything else you’d like to share. (You can include non-Halloween posts as well, but feel free to link up as many Halloween-themed posts as you like.) There are two categories—one for Halloween and one for everything else.

  7. says

    Oh, and one more thing…I picked your ghost as one of my two favorites from the party! So, I’ll be featuring it again tomorrow, as well as sharing it on Facebook and Pinterest. Thanks again for sharing at ‘Or so she says…’! (www.oneshetwoshe.com)

  8. says

    I have a special Halloween spotlight running today and I’ve featured your project.
    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful creation at homework.

  9. says

    Great idea, but do you get “chunks” on the cheese cloth when you coat it? If so, how do you get rid of the without destroying the ghost? Thanks!

  10. Anonymous says

    I did this project today, and the cornstarch mixture did not turn out what so ever. I microwaved 2 cups of water and one cup of corn starch for 30 seconds at a time for more than 2 minutes and it never got thick. I have 3 very unhappy kids.

  11. says

    I made this today too. The “cooking” times vary by microwave. Mine took a few seconds more than 2 minutes. I had no problems. Just praying they stand once I remove the support.

  12. says

    I have made these as well. Here’s a twist though. If you want to make “arms” like they are flying, you can use a plastic or wire coat hanger and push it up into the ball on the bottom side and just drape the cheesecloth over it. I have also built a simple frame–made a “cross” out of scrap trim pieces and added the ball to that and just pushed it into a flower pot with sand in it or gravel until it dries. I also have used clear spray paint and year water repellant for them to be placed outside in the trees. They did survive the season since we had very little rain.

  13. says

    Helllp! Had no balloons or Styrofoam ball but I used my sons ball and went to remove it this a.m but its stuck! Guna do this project over again n buy balloons jus wana kno would I somehow be able to reuse these clothes ir should I jus buy a new one?

  14. says

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I made mine last night and love them! I used small plastic grocery bags bunched up into a ball and taped it onto a 2 litter bottle for the shape of the head. I placed the bottle into a vase for height. It takes a little gentle prying to get the cheesecloth away from any part of the vase it should touch while drying, but a little patience is all it took and they look great! If your paste does not setup in 2 minutes,keep stirring and microwaving in 45 sec. intervals and it will get pasty. My friend is going to make large size ghosts for the yard, cannot wait to see them! Thanks again:)

  15. Anonymous says

    Hi there :) Just wanted to mention that if you find the starch a bit hard to work with you can also make these by using a mix of Elmer’s White Glue and water instead of the starch. (it will dry clear) I believe it is about a cup of water and a cup of Elmer’s Glue. Just google “Elmer’s glue and cheesecloth ghost” you will find many instruction and videos to show you how. Have Fun :)

  16. Anonymous says

    Try stirring some glow in the dark paint into the cornstarch mix and set it in the sun during the day and it glows at night! We used 1 cup of glue we bought at the dollar tree and a cup of water and just squeezed in some paint, about 1/4 of one of those little bottles.

  17. Anonymous says

    Going to give this a try with the grandkids today, along with the witches brooms. Then there front door way will be ready for Halloween.

  18. says

    I am confused when you put the liquid corn starch on your cheese cloth and then on the stand it doesnt stick on the stand? how does that work?
    Thank you
    Kelly :)

  19. says

    This is a wonderful tutorial! I cannot wait to try out these floating ghosts myself for a Halloween Birthday Party decorations. Thanks for sharing!


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