The gauzy fabric of this ghostly figure will put family and friends in a Halloween mood.
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Unfold the cheesecloth along its length but not width. From the folded cheesecloth, cut two pieces about 12 inches long. Cut the remaining length of cheesecloth in half.
Inflate the balloon to about 8 inches in diameter or roughly the size you want to make the “head” of this ghost. Duct-tape the balloon to a small can or 4-inch PVC coupler to hold it upright and stable.
Mix 1 cup of dry plaster of Paris with water according to the label directions. While wearing a pair of disposable gloves, dip a folded 12-inch piece of cheesecloth in the mixture. Squeeze out the excess without unfolding the fabric along its width.
Work quickly once you mix the plaster. You have only about 10 minutes before it starts to set.
Lay the dipped cheesecloth along the curve at the top of the balloon. Repeat to add a second 12-inch square on top of the first one with the fabric at a 45-degree angle. The goal is to form a dome-shaped piece of plaster on top of the balloon.
From one of the two leftover pieces of cheesecloth, lay one unfolded piece centered on top of the balloon and use your hands to dab plaster on just the top portion to bond it to the cap from the previous step. Repeat for a second strip of cheesecloth set 90 degrees to the first one and centered along its length, and allow the plaster to dry.
From the second package of cheesecloth, unfold the fabric along its length and cut the strip in half for two pieces of slightly unequal length. Unfold each half-strip and drape it around the top of the plaster on the balloon.
Pop the balloon and remove it. Use a nail, awl, or drill to make a small hole at the top of the figure just large enough to accept the end of the string or twine. Tie the end of the string around a scrap of cloth, wood, a nail, or a screw to serve as a stop, and pull the stop tight against the inside of the plaster shape.
Use plaster of Paris and cheesecloth to build an indoor tabletop ghost decoration.
Tie the loose end of the string to a nail or hook to hang the ghost. Bring the ghost inside when it looks like rain to avoid dissolving the plaster.