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Cheesecloth Ghost is Cute for Halloween

Learn how to make a cheesecloth ghost for Halloween the easy way, with fabric stiffener! You can make these in any size you like with this method.

Skills Required: Beginner. If you’ve never worked with fabric stiffener before, it isn’t hard but it can be a little bit messy. You might want to try a smaller ghost first with a small piece of cheesecloth before making something larger.

Cheesecloth ghost

I’m REALLY excited about today’s Halloween craft. If you’ve never made a cheesecloth ghost (also known as a Stiffy ghost) before, you need to stop whatever you’re doing right now.

Do not “pass Go,” do not collect $200 – it’s time to head to the craft store! You’re going to need only a few supplies to make this awesome Halloween decor.

For those new to fabric stiffener, it’s a pretty simple premise. Whatever you dip into the stiffener becomes “stiff” when dry. That includes cheesecloth, fabric, and other lightweight materials.

That doesn’t mean your finished item is totally rock hard, but it’s pretty solid and can support itself. Just like this Halloween ghost.

Glowing cheesecloth ghost

The key to any project with fabric stiffener is creating a solid mold (otherwise known as an armature) that you can drape the fabric or cloth over.

You’re going to wet the fabric with the stiffener, then hang it over the mold. The mold needs to be able to retain its shape until the stiffener is dry.

In this case once the ghost is dry, you can remove the mold. Then your ghost stands on its own! And that’s the basic premise.

I will walk you through it, but understand that you can use this idea to make cheesecloth ghosts any size you like. Ideally you could make one as large as a person if you could make the mold big enough (please don’t use a real human).

There are four basic steps to this Stiffy ghost project. You’re going to make your mold, cut and wet the cheesecloth, drape it over the form (let dry), and then remove the mold to finish.

You can add glow in the dark paint or eyes and mouth when all is said and done if you like. I find it makes the ghost more kid friendly somehow. However you want to decorate it, I’ll leave that up to you!

Wax paper bowl scissors Mod Podge stiffy and cheesecloth

Gather These Supplies

  • Cheesecloth – I bought a pack from Hobby Lobby that was 6 yards x 36″ wide
  • Mod Podge Stiffy
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wax paper
  • Styrofoam ball (or other round object for the head)
  • Old coffee creamer bottle (or something similar for the body)
  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Glow in the dark paint (optional)
  • Black Sharpie or cardstock (optional)
  • Dropcloth (optional)

Tips and Thoughts for This Project

There are two things you should know before you get started. First of all, it’s a good idea to have a plastic drop cloth to cover your work surface so that you don’t get Stiffy everywhere. Note that you can reuse the drop cloth for other projects. Just let everything dry and fold it up.

Secondly, you’re welcome to get creative with the body of your cheesecloth ghost. I used a coffee creamer bottle with the top cut off. Both the arms and head fit nicely and make it easy.

But you can use a variety of items. You could even use a dowel rod with a base. You just need something to support the head and arms – something stable so that the mold holds while the ghost is drying.

Make cheesecloth ghosts with Mod Podge Stiffy

If you choose to paint, you can use acrylic paint and go right over the top of the fabric stiffener. You can use paint pens to draw on eyes and a mouth. I chose to leave mine plain. I don’t know – it seems more spooky that way!

Yield: 1 ghost

Cheesecloth Ghost

Cheesecloth ghost

Making a ghost out of cheesecloth is really easy with fabric stiffener! Learn how to do it in any size you like.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 45 minutes
Dry Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5


  • Cheesecloth
  • Mod Podge Stiffy (or other fabric stiffener)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wax paper
  • Styrofoam ball
  • Old coffee creamer bottle - with top removed
  • Glow in the dark paint (optional)
  • Black Sharpie or cardstock (optional)
  • Dropcloth (optional)


  • Scissors
  • Bowl


  1. Tear a piece of wax paper off of the roll and place over the ball. Twist the end and set aside.Styrofoam ball covered in wax paper
  2. Tear off two feet of foil and wrap into a tube. Cover the tube with wax paper so that the stiffener doesn't stick to it. These will be the arms (you can add more foil to make the arms longer).Covering the aluminum foil roll with wax paper
  3. Twist the ends of the arms so they don't come unraveled. Bend in the middle and stick into the coffee container. Shape so the arms don't come out and they stay straight.Mold to make a ghost
  4. Place the head on top of the container with the twisted portion down inside.Hand placing a ball on top of the ghost mold
  5. Cut three lengths of cheesecloth (about 18", or to cover your mold) using the scissors. Before cutting, check to make sure the pieces will be long enough to cover the mold.Cutting cheesecloth with a pair of scissors
  6. Place in a bowl and squeeze fabric stiffener on top to cover. Coat the cheesecloth thoroughly with stiffener. You want enough to get it pretty wet without making it "stiffener soup."Two hands pressing cheesecloth into the fabric stiffener in a bowl
  7. Pick out one piece of cloth at a time and squeeze out excess stiffener. Drape over the top of the mold. You'll see that the ends curl naturally quite nicely. It's pretty lightweight so your mold should hold it easily.First layer of cheesecloth draped over the mold
  8. Repeat with the second and third pieces of cheesecloth, arranging them slightly differently as you place to cover areas that you didn't get before. Let dry overnight.Second layer of cheesecloth draped over the mold
  9. Remove the mold from the bottom of the ghost. You can help assist with the process using a hair dryer if needed. Make sure all parts are completely dry before displaying.Third layer of cheesecloth draped over the mold
  10. Paint with glow in the dark paint and add eyes and a mouth if desired!Glowing cheesecloth ghost


If you find there is a lot of excess Stiffy in the cheesecloth, squeeze some of it out into the bowl. You want it pretty soaked, but it doesn't need to be dripping. That will just take longer to dry.

If you find it's not drying in some areas, let the top dry more and then move it as soon as you can to help (because sometimes the fabric stiffener pools as it dries and the base stays especially wet).

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!

I hope you enjoyed this Stiffy ghost! Let me know what you think about this Halloween craft for adults in the comments! I hope you’ll also check out the following projects:


Thursday 12th of October 2023

Love the crafts. You broke the directions down nicely. Love reading you letter.


Monday 9th of October 2023

Can you use the regular matte or satin mod podge with this project?


Tuesday 10th of October 2023

You can try but it will not be as stiff! Stiffy is made to be just a fabric stiffener, not a decoupage medium, so it's harder when dry.


Sunday 1st of October 2023

do you spray it with sealer afterwards? love the idea!!!!


Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

Hi Joann! I didn't spray mine with sealer . . . I wonder if that would dissolve the Stiffy? That would be my concern. I haven't done it!


Thursday 14th of September 2023

Ghost is adorable

Christena Kaufman

Saturday 9th of October 2021

Made these several years ago with our granddaughter. Sit them over a battery tealight on our picnic table when camping every fall. Looks great and have lasted better than I expected. Get stored in a boxing the camper year round so no special treatment.


Sunday 10th of October 2021

Oh that's fun! I love the tealight idea underneath!

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