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Project

No-Sew Tulle Ghost Costume

Seven layers of white nylon netting gathered at the neck with seam binding make an apparition as light as air.

Materials

  • Scissors
  • White tulle
  • Yarn needle
  • White yarn, ribbon, or seam binding
  • Glow-in-the-dark paint

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Measure the wearer's height, double it, and cut about 7 lengths (depending on desired degree of transparency) of white tulle to that measurement. Tulle comes in 54-inch and 72-inch standard widths; we used 108-inch width from a specialty store.

  2. Step 2

    Stack lengths of tulle; mark center point of one long edge to indicate top of hood. Measure from shoulder to shoulder over head of wearer, add 3 inches, and divide by 2.

  3. Step 3

    Measure that distance from center point on tulle to make an arc. Mark arc with pins at 3- to 4-inch intervals.

  4. Step 4

    a98318_hal00_tulle_ghost_ht.jpg

    For the tie, thread a yarn needle with 3 yards of white yarn, ribbon, or seam binding. Weave through all layers along arc, leaving ends for ties.

  5. Step 5

    To finish, shred top 2 layers of cape, tumble briefly in a hot dryer, or apply glow-in-the-dark paint.

Source
Halloween 2000, Fall 2000

Reviews (35)

  • 1 Nov, 2013

    Made a great childrens costume for a 4 year old! I modified the directions to make it a little more child friendly. I created a deeper larger hood by offsetting 5 inches to the calculated measurements in a more half oval shape. I also trimmed it a few inches above the shoes to lessen the trip hazard. Finally, I also cut arm holes in the tulle as my daughter didn't prefer the cape, I ribboned the openings when not in use so it was easy to find the holes. Viola! Still looked diaphanous.

  • 13 Oct, 2013

    These are awful directions can understand them at all. It's a really cool costume and I would love to try it but I don't understand the directions. and for someone like me who doesn't sew they are really confusing. So please add some detailed pictures or drawings and do better instructions because I would like to wear this. Thank you.
    Also if anyone else has done this and can give better directions could you please help me out. Thanks

  • 25 Sep, 2012

    ~I bought (on sale) some white cotton blend fabric as the bottom layer, I get cold easily, plus you can use less tulle and have it still white, but wear whatever you want underneath.
    ~DO NOT CUT YOUR FABRIC AROUND CATS ;)
    ~This costume WILL BE HEAVY. If you use much tulle. And things will snag the bottom, and could choke where it's tied, so be careful.
    ~Stand on a chair when you have someone trim your train, it'll be a smooth cut.
    TADA!

  • 25 Sep, 2012

    and it'll be lighter on bottom to make you more "floaty"
    ~DO NOT bother with a dryer. Tulle is a crazy fabric, so the night before you plan to wear it, crumple in a ball and place something heavy on it (I used books) and you'll get the same result without worrying about melting it. Don't crumple the hood, it won't lay right, do just have that sticking out from the ball.
    ~Put on your costume, and have someone trim your train, this can be tacked under the bottom layers to make it more "full" NEXT

  • 25 Sep, 2012

    OK, I'm in the middle of making this costume right now, so as I come across problems (and/or solutions) I'll post them!
    ~So far, when you make your hood, make an oval hood not round, your head will barely fit.
    ~If you're short, you only need the 58 or 72 inch tulle, I used 108, I'm 5'5" and I have about 2.5 feet of fabric trailing behind me.
    ~To save on fabric (I bought a bolt but want to make a child version) shorten your top few layers (about the last 4 or so) SEE NEXT COMMENT

  • 25 Sep, 2012

    OK, I'm in the middle of making this costume right now, so as I come across problems (and/or solutions) I'll post them!
    ~So far, when you make your hood, make an oval hood not round, your head will barely fit.
    ~If you're short, you only need the 58 or 72 inch tulle, I used 108, I'm 5'5" and I have about 2.5 feet of fabric trailing behind me.
    ~To save on fabric (I bought a bolt but want to make a child version) shorten your top few layers (about the last 4 or so) SEE NEXT COMMENT

  • 17 Aug, 2012

    Still wondering... On which side of the tulle do you sew the arc? The 54"/72" side or the side that is double the wearer's height?

  • 27 Oct, 2011

    Picture, drawing, diagram would be great for this project!!

  • 26 Oct, 2011

    instructions cont'd see below..2. take that length & add 3"...mark this length from center mark perpendicular to the edge..chalk between the points making a wide semi-oval rather than semi-circle... 3. layer the tulle over the velvet & safety pin at your marks 5.use wide eye needle & black yarn to stitch 2 inch stitches on ark. 6. tie around neck & have friend cut to length so not to trip on it...leave train if desired. 7. shread 2 top layers & put in hot dryer for short time...enjoy!

  • 26 Oct, 2011

    instructions cont'd see below..2. take that length & add 3"...mark this length from center mark perpendicular to the edge..chalk between the points making a wide semi-oval rather than semi-circle... 3. layer the tulle over the velvet & safety pin at your marks 5.use wide eye needle & black yarn to stitch 2 inch stitches on ark. 6. tie around neck & have friend cut to length so not to trip on it...leave train if desired. 7. shread 2 top layers & put in hot dryer for short time...enjoy!

  • 26 Oct, 2011

    Made this today in black...it's awesome! Here's my instructions...I am 5 foot 10 so I bought 12 feet of 58" wide crushed pane (crushed stretch velvet) (4.99 yard with coupon) as the under layer..& 24 yards (6 layers for my height) of black tulle..1.Lay out the velvet & use chalk to mark the center on one edge. Measured from shoulder over my head to other shoulder and added the suggested 3 inches to measurment, divide that number in half to get how far to mark to the rt & left of the center pt.

  • 13 Oct, 2011

    Just made this for my daughter. It took about 30 minutes. The result was good, but I'll be re-doing the hood as it would work better if it went deeper into the panel of fabric. (Think a "U" shape rather than a semicircle.) Even with seven layers of tulle, the cape is very sheer, so she'll wear all white clothes underneath. All in all, an great-looking, easy, quick costume. Thanks!

  • 28 Oct, 2010

    I am baffled
    What side of the Tulle do you do the Arc?? (i am 5'3", so i bought seve layers of 126" tulle) Do i put the ARC on the 126" length? or the 54" length) I realized that this would be translucent, but I can still see ANYTHING i wear underneath?? is that supposed to be how it looks? what if i bought some opaque organza for the bottom layer?) I REALLY wish we could zoom in in the pictures, to get a better idea of how this looks put together.

  • 27 Oct, 2010

    Great costume idea and it was easy to make. I made mine with 8 layers and alternated black and white layers to make a smokey gray. This is the easiest costume I have ever made and the results are fantastic!!! John

  • 25 Oct, 2010

    For pattipoopidoo - once you've cut the main lengths of tulle based on your height there is no more cutting involved. After you've sewn the ribbon/yarn through all the layers, gather the tulle a bit and tie the ends around your neck. The shorter part on top makes the hood. I've made this costume twice and it seemed odd each time until I was actually doing it.

  • 24 Oct, 2010

    Just a little tid bit- for the top layer try using sheer material to add a more flowy look.

  • 24 Oct, 2010

    I work in a fabric store and had two costumers come in and ask how this is made. The cutting instructions may not be clear for someone who does not sew, but I carefully looked at the picture provided, and if you cut exactly the way it says, and after doing the tie, you get your hood at the top. It was a great challenge to figure out but fun at the same time. and I just love the costume-Bravo Martha!!

  • 23 Oct, 2010

    I just read this 10 times and nowhere does it tell you how to cut it? I would expect more from you, Martha....tsk tsk.

  • 23 Oct, 2010

    I wish someone would rewrite these instructions, they are a disgrace!

  • 22 Oct, 2010

    I just made this costume and it turned out great! Only 54 inch tulle was available, but it worked out just fine. The directions were easy to follow and my costume looks just like the photo! Thanks!

  • 7 Oct, 2010

    I believe the shredding and throwing it in the hot dryer might cause the shredded pieces to draw up (ie melt) hence "briefly in a hot dryer" or use glow in the dark paint to accent some of the edges instead - that's my guess.

  • 24 Sep, 2010

    I used to sew for folks and I designed a few costumes in the past and I don't even understand the last sentence of the instructions.
    "To finish, shred top 2 layers of cape, tumble briefly in a hot dryer, or apply glow-in-the-dark paint." I just don't get it either.

  • 19 Sep, 2010

    I was really excited to make this, and while reading the instructions I got so confused that I just said, "Screw it!", ditched the directions, and decided to make a cape/cloak thing instead. But, after I a while I went back, and it wasn't until after I folded/layered that I figured it out. It's a Pancho kind of thing. After you layer/fold it (or whatever) you cut a [filtered word] in the middle, or, uh, half a [filtered word]. That's as far as I've gotten. Just thought I would share my brain fart/Eureka! moment.

  • 24 Oct, 2009

    THIS caught my eye...WOW, I just imagine myself wearing this....floating through the streets and having an ITCH attack! Haha...I'd be this fidgety ghost...but heck I'd look great! Great idea...LOVE IT!

  • 30 Oct, 2008

    I don't quite understand how the hood is made. Will someone please explain? Thanks.

  • 29 Oct, 2008

    I just finished making this and don't know what to do with it...it doesn't look anything like the picture. It's made right but isn't nearly as full. Barely comes over the shoulders so it just drapes in the back. So now I have to come up with something underneath that will definitely show. My tulle was 108" wide also...

  • 23 Sep, 2008

    Gewisse - See you there! I think I'm going to go as a good witch in gold, combining two costumes (the golden goddess and this one!)

  • 18 Sep, 2008

    I really want to make this costume for myself this year but i'm not sure if i'm understanding the directions correctly. I measured my height to be 63 inches so if that is doubled it equals 126inches do i think get 7 pieces of tulle cut to the measurement of 126 inches? If someone could help me with this i would appreciapte it.

  • 16 Sep, 2008

    I made this costume for myself the year it came out in the magazine. It looked pretty cool, but though it seemed like an easy, low-cost idea, it actually cost about $35 for all the tuille (store-bought, not special-order); more than I anticipated. My 8-year-old has decided she wants this costume this year (okay, with a little coaxing from mom)--I can't wait til she sees herself all ghostly and ethereal :)

  • 13 Sep, 2008

    This would also work in black (smoke) and red, with really dramatic makeup, as passion or anger for an adult party.

  • 10 Sep, 2008

    For those of you who are going to make and wear this outside, make it short enough to keep off the ground. Tulle catches on everything from grass to bushes to concrete not to mention it picks up loose debris which can only be effectivly removed by hand. If you still want a train, make the first underlayer out of wide bleached muslin then make your tulle layers a little shorter to help keep them out of the dirt.

  • 10 Sep, 2008

    Be warned. This may seem like an easy project but tulle can be very cantankerous to work with. When I made my wedding gown many years ago, the under skirt was made of about as many layers of tulle using a similar method. I nearly through in the towel and opted for a hoop skirt instead.

  • 10 Sep, 2008

    As soon as my daughter saw this one, she wanted to make it with me for her Halloween costume. I like how easy it seems to get on and off, my husband likes that we'll make it together and that it doesn't cost much, and it will fit the rules for the school parade. A big bonus is that it looks like it isn't too hot to wear (big factor here in the desert). The glow in the dark paint will add a really fun element. Hair-raising!

  • 10 Sep, 2008

    I'm going to make this one up and do my face in platnium white with dark eyes and lips. It's for the Greenfield Village, Dearborn MI Halloween walk. Love it ! It will be easy on and off.

  • 10 Sep, 2008

    This seems pretty easy, even a sewin novice like me could do it!