Make Cheesecloth Ghosts, Mummies & Spider Webs This Halloween

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Cheesecloth is a loosely woven, cotton fabric originally designed for use in cheese making. Its light, breathable weave makes it perfect for holding in just enough moisture for freshly made cheese without encouraging the growth of mold. Made of undyed cotton, it does not transfer color or taste.

Outside its many useful kitchen purposes, cheesecloth is ideal for a variety of crafts. It’s light, gauzy texture is perfect for several creepy Halloween crafts, particularly ghosts, spider webs and mummies. You can find cheesecloth at many fabric stores, supermarkets, Wal-Mart or other discount stores, hardware shops or craft supply stores.

How To Make Cheesecloth Ghosts

You can make little ghosts to hang from trees, doorways, or wherever you want a touch of “Boo!” around the house. Cheesecloth ghosts are one of the easiest ways to create stunning DIY Halloween décor on any scale. Simply adjust the amount of cheesecloth used to create ghosts small enough to fit in your hand, or large enough to look you in the eye.

You will need:

  • Cheesecloth cut into 8 to 12-inch squares
  • Small balloons
  • Paper cups
  • Tape
  • Small wiggly eyes
  • Glue
  • Fabric Stiffener (purchase at a craft store, or make your own by mixing equal parts water and white glue)
  • Small bowl
  • Pin
  • Fishing line or thread
  1. Tape the bottoms of the cups together to create a stand.
  2. Inflate a balloon, set it inside the upper cup so part of the balloon extends above the cup’s rim.
  3. Pour fabric stiffener into a small bowl.
  4. Dip a square of cheesecloth into the fabric stiffener, then immediately drape over the balloon, letting the edges hang down around the paper cup stand.
  5. Let dry for ten minutes, or until dry to the touch.
  6. Pop the balloon with the pin.
  7. Glue the wiggly eyes onto the ghost’s face.
  8. Remove the ghost from the paper cup stand.
  9. Crinkle and roughen the bottom edges of the cheesecloth for a floating look.
  10. Use fishing line or thread to create a loop at the top of the ghost for hanging.

Cheesecloth Ghost Centerpiece

Craft a standing ghost for use on your Halloween table, to guard the candy or to decorate your mantel.

You will need:

  • Package of cheesecloth
  • Empty plastic water bottle
  • 2 inch Styrofoam ball
  • Spray starch or fabric stiffener
  • Crafting wire
  • Wire snippers or heavy scissors
  • Wiggle eyes or small scraps of black felt
  • Glue
  1. Lay down newspaper to protect your work area, or do the craft outdoors.
  2. Throw away the lid to the plastic bottle, and jam the Styrofoam ball down onto the bottle’s neck to create a mold for your ghost.
  3. Measure out enough craft wire for two arms. Use snippers to cut the wire.
  4. Loop the wire around the bottle’s neck to hold it in place, adding a bit of tape if necessary.
  5. Extend the arms out from the body, bending them into gentle upward curves.
  6. Lay your cheesecloth over the form. Arrange the cloth to your liking, letting it drape over the arms, and puddle a bit around the base.
  7. If you have excess fabric, cut it away and discard.
  8. When you are satisfied with your ghost, spray with the starch, wetting all of the cheesecloth thoroughly. The more you spray, the stiffer the finished ghost will be.
  9. Let the ghost dry completely, then carefully remove it from the mold, being gentle as you remove the cheesecloth from the head and bottle.
  10. Use glue to attach wiggle eyes or black felt eyes to the ghost’s face.
  11. Stand your finished ghost wherever you want a spooky presence.

How To Make Cheesecloth Mummies

This is a fun craft for the kids, and easy enough for early elementary age children.

You will need:

  • Cheesecloth cut into ½-inch strips
  • Plain white muslin dolls, found at most craft stores
  • White glue
  • Marking pens
  1. Starting at one of the muslin doll’s feet, spread small drops of glue around the leg. Don’t be heavy handed with the glue, just small dabs will be enough.
  2. Wrap the cheesecloth strips around the doll’s feet, and up the leg. Layer the cheesecloth a few times to completely cover the doll form.
  3. Continue on the doll’s other leg, then up the body.
  4. Glue and wrap cheesecloth strips around the doll’s arms, neck and head.
  5. If there are any loose areas of cheesecloth, simply apply a small drop of glue, and press into place.
  6. Let the glue dry, then use markers to give the mummy eyes, a mouth, a nose, and any other decorations you would like. Your mummy can be as cute or as gruesome as you desire.

How To Make Cheesecloth Cobwebs

It’s just not Halloween without some creepy cobwebs stretched along the windows, doorways, light fixtures and furniture. Cheesecloth is excellent for creating a spooky vibe.

You will need:

  • Large package of cheesecloth
  • Scissors
  • Tape, pushpins or tacks
  • Glue
  • Plastic spiders
  1. Use tape, pins or tacks to attach cheesecloth over windows or doors. If you’re spreading cobwebs over furniture or other horizontal objects, you can just lay the cheesecloth in place.
  2. With scissors, cut varying sizes and directions of slits in the cheesecloth, working from the bottom edge upwards.
  3. Rough up each strip between your hands to make it fringy and stringy. Use the scissors to cut further small snips and tatters in the fabric until you achieve the perfect cobweb look.
  4. Glue spiders into place on the web.

Halloween is a great excuse to bring out the craft supplies and spend a fun afternoon creating decorations with your kids. Whether you like your Halloween décor spooky or whimsical, by making it yourself, you can always have just what you want.

Last Updated: September 5, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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