Halloween or not, ghost craft ideas are great fun, and you don’t have to wait for October to roll around to enjoy these with your kids. You can make ghosts at any time of year, and just use them as extra decoration when trick or treat night does begin.
If you want a craft that even a very little child can help you with, sponge ghosts are a great one to do. They do use acrylic paint, so make sure you both wear some old painting clothes and you cover any surfaces with newspaper before you get started.
To make sponge ghosts, you’re going to need:
- White acrylic paint
- 1 round sponge
- Black card
- Black paper
- White chalk
Step 1: Draw A Ghost Outline
To help guide your little one, draw a ghostly outline on the black card using your white chalk. This will give them a guide on where to dab their sponge and will make the overall craft neater. You don’t need to make it very neat; just give them a curved outline with a wavy bottom edge to follow.
Step 2: Make Some Sponge Prints
Pour out some white acrylic paint and show your child how to dip the sponge in and then print it onto the card to leave a print. It may take a few practice tries for them to understand how much paint to load onto the sponge to get a good print, but it doesn’t matter; the craft doesn’t need to be perfect.
Get a sponge yourself, and help them to cover the whole ghost outline in little white sponge prints. When it is finished, set it aside to dry for a while. Use this time to clean up the paint and any sticky fingers.
Step 3: Add Eyes And A Mouth
Next, cut two ovals from the black paper, and a happy mouth. When the paint is dry, get your child to help you glue these onto the ghost’s face, and then you can cut the ghost out if your child wants to – or leave it on the card as a finished piece.
Add a name and date, and the ghost craft is done!
Simple Fabric Ghosts
Another lovely simple craft, this is great if you’re teaching your child how to sew – and it’s still a quick and easy project. It’ll look fantastic come Halloween, and can be used year on year without being annoying to store.
To make a fabric ghost, you’re going to the source:
- White fabric (handkerchiefs are a good option if you want to make this a no-sew craft)
- White cotton reel
- 1 needle
- Elastic bands (preferably white)
- Styrofoam balls
- Pinking shears
- Black marker
- Ribbon (optional)
- Clear fishing wire
Step 1: Cut The Fabric
First, you’re going to cut a square of white fabric. If you don’t want to sew for this craft, you can use pinking shears to reduce the chance of the fabric fraying.
Your fabric should be large enough to wrap around the ball and then leave a good skirt for the ghost’s body beneath the ball. Check you are happy with the size before you proceed with the craft.
Step 2: Hem The Fabric
Help your child thread the needle and then carefully hem the fabric. If this is too slow, you can either use a sewing machine or pinking shears or choose a fabric that won’t fray much. Another option is to use handkerchiefs, which will already be edged.
Step 3: Make The Ghost’s Head
Open your fabric square out and place the Styrofoam ball in the center. Next, gather the four corners in and pinch the fabric beneath the ball. This is the ghost’s head. Wind an elastic band around it to hold the fabric in place.
Next, you can tie some clear fishing wire around and remove the elastic band if it’s spoiling the look of the ghost, or you can cover the band up with some festive ribbon. The ribbon can look very cute on the ghost, and this is a fun way to add a bit of color to the craft.
If you do choose to use the ribbon, you could also consider adding a little bow at the top of the ghost’s head to give it a little more individuality.
Step 4: Draw The Face
Before you draw anything on your ghost, test the black marker on a scrap of your fabric to see if it bleeds. You want to use a marker with a controllable flow, or you risk ruining the ghost.
Once you are satisfied, draw a face on the ghost. Get your child to choose different expressions for different ghosts, and try to make them all look, individual. You can draw just eyes, or include a mouth as well.
Step 5: Hang Up The Ghost
Add a dot of glue to the top of the ghost’s head and glue the clear fishing line in there. Alternatively, you can tie a loop of the fishing line around the ghost’s neck. You can then hang the ghost up anywhere to sway in the breeze and spook your guests!
Paper Cup Ghost
If you want another simple craft your children can enjoy, a paper cup ghost is a good option. If you’ve got white paper cups, this is even easier; if not, you’ll need to paint them so that they are completely white, and no hint of another color shows through.
You will need:
- 1 paper cup
- Black pen
- White tissue
- Clear fishing line
Step 1: Draw A Face On The Cup
Help your child draw a face on the cup. You can make it appear friendly or wail depending on the effect you want to achieve. If you are making several of these ghosts, try to vary it between the cups so that you get lots of different ghosts.
Step 2: Glue Ghostly Tendrils
Get your child to help you tear (or cut, if you want a neat ghost) lots of strips of tissue paper, and then glue these to the insides of the cup. You can do as many or as few tendrils as you like. Try to vary the lengths to get a nice, natural effect.
Step 3: Hang The Cup Up
Once the glue has dried, use the scissors to punch a small hole in the top of the cup, and then thread the fishing line through and glue the inside to secure it. Tie a loop in the top of the fishing line, and your ghost is ready to hang up!
A whole cluster of these will look very effective for a Halloween decoration, but don’t hang them out in the rain, as the tissue paper will just disintegrate if it gets wet.
Glow In The Dark Ghost Prints
Ghost handprints are an obvious fun and easy craft, but what about making glow-in-the-dark versions? You can easily buy glow-in-the-dark paint, and this is a great way to make the craft more interesting for your little one.
(I adapted this idea)
You will need:
- Black paper or card
- White paint
- Glow in the dark paint
- Googly eyes
- Black pen
- Clear fishing line (optional)
Step 1: Mix The Paint
Mix some glow-in-the-dark paint with your white paint, and then help your child to get a good amount on their hand. You may need to use a paintbrush to spread it across their palm, especially if you are helping a little child.
Help them to make several prints on the piece of paper, replenishing the paint on their hand each time. You may want to add some of your own handprints to get ghosts of different sizes, too.
For a fun twist on this idea, what about letting your child make some ghostly glowing footprints too? This will produce a very different-looking ghost, and most kids will love the idea of using their feet as well as their hands.
Step 2: Stick On The Eyes
Get your child to glue the googly eyes onto the ghost, and then help them to draw a black mouth underneath. Again, varying the expression between ghosts is good fun. If you don’t have googly eyes, you can just use the black pen to draw the eyes on instead.
Step 3: Cut Out And Hang Up (Optional)
Cut loosely around the ghosts (leaving some of the black cards so they are on a background still) and then glue a little fishing line to the tops and hang them up. Put them somewhere that they will catch plenty of sunlight so they can charge up ready for dark! The result should be a cluster of ghostly, glowing shapes.
Ghost crafts can be very inventive and will help your child to think about the different craft mediums and why they are effective – for example, using tissue paper to create trailing tendrils. Many ghost crafts can be hung up and will double as a decoration at Halloween, so these are great to do with kids.