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Project

Floating Ghosts

Materials

  • Empty jars
  • Wheat paste, Talas
  • White tissue paper
  • Paintbrush
  • Clothespins and clothesline
  • Utility knife
  • Manicure or sewing scissors
  • Pencil
  • Needle
  • Thirty-gauge wire
  • Protective gloves
  • Large balloon

Steps

  1. Step 1

    a98930_1001_ghostht.jpg

    Tear sheets of white tissue paper in half lengthwise and paste them -- also lengthwise -- onto a large balloon resting on an empty jar. (This prevents the tissue from discoloring the work surface or sticking to it.) Dab wheat paste on a small section at the crown of the balloon, and drape a strip of tissue paper vertically from the balloon's crown to its knot. Using a paintbrush, apply paste over the strip. Add another strip so that it slightly overlaps the first, and brush on more paste. Continue around the balloon, and stop pasting at the widest part of the balloon.

  2. Step 2

    Using clothespins, hang balloon from the clothesline by their knot; let it dry. When dry, pop  balloon with a snip of a scissors as you hold the knot. Remove the balloon through the hole around the knot. 

  3. Step 3

    When the tissue dries, the balloons are popped and the results "carved." Begin by penciling in any guidelines. Next, use a utility knife to start cutting out the features and then switch to small manicure or sewing scissors, which work well within the tight curves of the rounded forms. On the inside, cover the eyes, nose, and mouth holes with a single layer of tissue paper (apply wheat paste to the edges of the tissue before positioning it).

  4. Step 4

    To display, cut a small circle in the top; poke a hole on either side of it with a needle. Thread a 30-gauge wire through holes. Twist the wire together halfway; push one end inside to hold a battery-powered light, which can be inserted from the hole at the base. Use the other end to hang the ghost.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 2001

Reviews (10)

  • sinferret 14 Sep, 2010

    when the paper mache is dry you remove the balloon and then cut the face. as far as lighting you could use a battery operated tea light but i think i will use a glow stick in mine it is easy to hang and comes in a lot of colors :)

  • nugsy 10 Jul, 2010

    I am also confused, but I am wondering how to get the faces cut into the balloon. Any help would be appreciated.

  • barkingdog 26 Oct, 2009

    I would love to make these ghosts but am SO confused as to where the light goes! I wish the directions were more clear, or at least had better pictures. Does the light go inside the balloon? On top of it, beneath it? Help!

  • CelticCowgirl 14 Oct, 2008

    I used a small LED light attached to a battery. (Called "Throwies"? Because College students stick them in a ball of clay and chuck them at the sides of buildings) They're small, light-weight, come in a range of colors and are super easy to make. Check out --> http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Throwies/

  • CelticCowgirl 14 Oct, 2008

    I'm going to use a small LED light attached to a battery. (Called "Throwies"? Because College students stick them in a ball of clay and chuck them at the sides of buildings) They're small, light-weight, come in a range of colors and are super easy to make. Check out --> http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Throwies/

  • CelticCowgirl 14 Oct, 2008

    I'm going to use a small LED light attached to a battery. (Called "Throwies"? Because College students stick them in a ball of clay and chuck them at the sides of buildings) They're small, light-weight, come in a range of colors and are super easy to make. Check out --> http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Throwies/

  • slnlittlebit 1 Oct, 2008

    Amandakay
    are you putting the lights inside the balloon?
    I'm confused on how the picture has the balloons lit?

  • Amandakay 29 Sep, 2008

    When i make mine, i am going to use minature, battery operated lights that look like a tea light that has an on/off swich. And it actualy flickers like a real candle. I bought them in the halloween section at Walmart. I got a pack of 3 for $3.00.

  • Dinkums 20 Aug, 2008

    I would suggest hanging them on outdoor holiday lights, Placing ghosts on every 5th or 6th light.

  • mum26 16 Aug, 2008

    I'm not sure how you are supposed to hang the wire on. Also, what kind of lighting would you use?