I could not be any more obsessed with how these Outdoor Lighted Ghosts turned out, y’all! EEEEEK! A set of three from Grandin Road cost $129, but I made two adorable ghosts for just $27.50! And the best part about these guys is you can fully disassemble them to store, AND you can wash the sheets (because white outdoor decor = DIRTY very quickly!)
So how did I make these cuties? Let’s get started!
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Outdoor Lighted Ghosts – What You’ll Need:
- 12″ balloons (Dollar Tree y’all!)
- 2 small tomato cages
- paper towels
- computer paper
- Elmer’s Glue
- 2 large white sheets (snagged mine at Goodwill!)
- Black fabric paint
- 2 sets of white lights (70-100 count) (I got mine 75% off at Big Lots, but you can also raid your Christmas decor!)
- zip ties
- safety pins
- fabric scissors
- spray polyurethance
Outdoor Lighted Ghosts – How To:
Step 1: Blow up two 12″ balloons to capacity (you want them to be nice and full, as these will be the heads of your ghosts). You can lay them in a box or tape them down to some cardboard to help them stay in place.
Step 2: Tear up strips of paper towels and computer paper for your paper mache. Mix up 1 part Elmer’s Glue to 1 part water in a large bowl. Then go to town paper mache-ing your balloon! I did a full layer of paper towels, followed by a full layer of computer paper, and then another layer mixing the two together. I let each layer fully dry before applying the next (about 24 hours).
A few tips – 1) be sure to fully saturate each piece of paper towel or computer paper in your paper mache mixture, but then remove any excess liquid by running your fingers over each piece before applying it to the balloon. This keeps your project less messy and will significantly reduce the dry time.
2) Dollar store balloons aren’t the most robust. My balloons popped a couple of times during the drying process. But not to worry, just grab another balloon and blow it up inside your paper mache bubble! Voila – all better!
Step 3: Once your paper mache ghost heads are complete, it’s time to assemble your outdoor lighted ghosts. I wanted my ghosts to be different heights, so I cut off the bottom rung of one of my tomato cages with a hack saw. Totally optional!
Use zip ties to secure your white lights along the frame of your tomato cages. You’ll want your lights to go all the way up the top of the cage so some shine through your ghost heads/paper mache as well!
Step 3.5. I almost forgot – I sprayed my paper mache with several coats of spar polyurethane (inside and out) to help protect them from moisture! Mine are under a covered porch so I’m not too worried about rain. I’d recommend keeping these under a cover of some kind, or you could wrap them in aluminum foil or another waterproof material prior to layering over your sheet – just keep in mind that your lights won’t shine through as well, if at all.
Step 4: Once this is complete, place your ghost head on top of the tomato cage and over the lights at the top.
Step 5: Place your sheet over the entire apparatus – it already looks like a ghost, yay! Next, use your fabric scissors to cut off any excess sheet at the bottom. I left my sheet a bit longer than floor length so the ghosts have that more billowing effect similar to the Grandin Road ones, but you also don’t want to be tripping over them either. Use your best judgment here, and remember, you can always cut more, but you can’t cut LESS!
Step 6: Use 2-3 safety pins and secure your sheet to the tomato cage underneath. This will help ensure your sheet doesn’t blog away in the wind when you place your ghosts outside!
Step 7: Using black fabric paint and a small paint brush, paint on your ghost eyes and mouth. Allow to dry.
Step 8: Take outside & plug in! I placed some heavy objects on the bottom of each tomato cage so the ghosts wouldn’t blow over! Now it’s time to enjoy your adorable ghost friends! 🙂
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What do you think? I think they turned out SO cute and are nearly a perfect match to the Grandin Road version! If you plan to place these in the grass rather than on concrete, you could also cut out the circular portion of your tomato cage so the bottom turns into metal stakes that go into your grass! The possibilities are endless, and for so little money, you can make a bunch!
Happy Spooky Season, friends!
Until next time…