Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Haunted Bird House

Halloween is twenty-two days away!
But the ghosts have come already,
They could not wait another day!

They come in all shapes and sizes,
Some small, some tall,
All gossamer and ghastly
In their cheese cloth disguises!

Writhes, phantoms, apparitions,
In legends and in literature,
In our vivid imaginations,

The specters we have conjured
Are of a friendly nature!

They are as light as feathers, but stand easily, freely. We may hang some with thread. They cannot get wet though, or they'll suffer the same melting fate as that Wicked Witch!

Would you like to scare up a pair of ghosts for your haunted house? They are really easy to make, and a lot of fun to decorate with. I learned how to make these a long time ago... when I was just a scary little kid. Gather your supplies, and give this a try!

Cheesecloth: by the yard at some craft and fabric stores, or at the market in the baking aisle

White glue, and a dish to pour it in to. It's just the regular old stuff you used in school

Some bottles, varying sizes

Wax paper, for easier clean up

A bit of aluminum foil, or any thing that can add shapes to the bottles

A pair of scissors

Once I have all of my supplies on hand, I tear off a few sheets of wax paper and lay them on the work surface. This will protect my counter from spills, and give the ghosts a place to dry.

Then I pour some glue into a dish, and add just enough water to make it a bit runny. If it's diluted too much, then the ghost will be less rigid, so only add enough water to make it slightly more fluid-y.

William measured enough cheesecloth over a tall bottle to cover the bottle, and leave some cloth draping. The part that drapes will create the base, so the ghost can stand. If you want to suspend your ghost, then you don't have to be as concerned about creating this base. William cut the portion he needed, and moved over to the glue dish.

Next, William balled up the cheesecloth and gave it a gentle dunk into the glue, then squeezed out the excess solution. Once the cloth had absorbed the glue and water, he spread it apart and prepared to drape it over his form.

Here we go! William is making sure the cloth is spread all around. You don't want to be too rough with the delicate cheesecloth, but any tears or pulls really only enhance the tattered shroud of your ghost, so don't be too fussy about it, either.

With smaller bottle and props, we add extended arms. A round dome of foil on the top of narrow necked bottles will create better proportions for heads.

This is the fun part... when you drape the damp cloth around the base, and get the arms to float and reach out. The next part is to let them dry. We did this right before tooth-brushing and story time, so the ghosts were dry and ready to greet us in the morning!

Speaking of dry and ready to greet us...
We found this little imp haunting the dryer!



Miriam said...

VERY spooky! And very clever. I am very tempted to try making a human-sized one to scare the bejeesus out of my sweetheart. (What a loving thing to do...)

Kara said...

I love those ghosts! I cant believe they are that simple to make.... they look so impressive!

Dianna said...

I love Halloween too! I'm living vicariously this year through all your fabulous decorations, since all of mine are in storage in Cali.

Kim said...

Very cool! I would never have thought of this craft; you're so clever. We are going very light on the Halloween decorations this year (I blew my holiday decorations budget on re-buying (after leaving ours behind in the move) LED Christmas lights. $100! Oy!) so I am enjoying living vicariously through all of your awesome decorating adventures!

Alison said...

Ooo, I like! What better decorations for a chef than cheesecloth!

Jenny said...

This post is soooo timely for me! I just found a thing of cheesecloth in my closet the other day and had this exact thought . . . "Hmm, I wonder if you can use glue in a paper-mache-fashion to create stiff 'ghosts' out of this stuff?" And here is the proof in your post! Can't wait to do this with my kids!
Thanks Natalie!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Love is complicated, and sometimes _scary_!
Do it! Do it!
Suki made a life model of Grant... full size!
Using cellophane wrap.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Seriously easy.
Seriously fun.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

You cannot go much _lighter_ than cheesecloth.
I think if I could have only one decoration... lights would be a first choice.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Hahahahah... right!
And we are going to have ours crossing the island in our kitchen...

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Awesome! Oh, yay. I look forward to seeing what you make... what spirits arise!