This year we went classic for Halloween…as ghosts! We wanted to make a simple DIY ghost costume that would be comfortable to wear and quick to put together. These creepy cheesecloth ghost costumes were scary-easy to make and ended up being one of our favorite DIY Halloween costumes yet.
How to Make a Creepy Cheesecloth Ghost Costume
Both kids and adults will like dressing up in this eerie ghost costume. The costume works well for indoor or outdoor Halloween events. It’s so simple to make, that it makes a great last-minute costume idea. Even better would be a group of ghost costumes.
- cheesecloth (6–12 yards for adults, 3–4 yards for children)
- markers (yellow, gray, brown, tan)
- solid black fabric
- sheer black fabric
- baseball hat or visor
- safety pins
- black clothing
Create the Ghost Costume Hood and Face Mask
Cut enough sheer fabric to cover the whole face from ear to ear, over the forehead, and down to the chest. Using safety pins, attach the sheer black fabric to the hat forehead and on both sides near the ears.
Use the plain black fabric to create a hood over the rest of the head and down over the back of the neck. Safety pin the fabric onto the hat or visor. Pull the sides of the fabric together under the chin together to create a V, and pin together.
Make the Cheesecloth Look Old and Nasty
This step is optional, though we think it makes this ghost costume even better. Plus, it makes the cheesecloth smell nice. :)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add several tea bags and steep for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and squeeze the remaining liquid from tea bags into the pot. Discard tea bags. Submerge the folded cheesecloth into the water and let sit for 20-30 minutes, or until the desired color is achieved (keep in mind that the cheesecloth will lighten some once it dries). Do this in several batches to achieve different tints of color. Remove the cheesecloth and wring out the liquid. Place cheesecloth into the clothes dryer until dry. The dryer will set the tea stain into the fabric.
With the cheesecloth still folded together, tie one end to something sturdy and stretch it out to work with. Using several colors of marker (yellows, browns, grays), make random marks across the fabric. Once colored to your liking, unfold the cheesecloth.
Turn the Cheesecloth into the Ghost Costume
The goal is to randomly layer cheesecloth over the head and shoulders so it fits like a shawl. Ripping and tearing the cheesecloth will not only make it look old, but it will also help it stay in place while wearing.
Start by tearing a neck-hole in the middle of a piece of cheesecloth then drape over the head and body. Repeat. Tear some armholes, so the fabric hangs under the arms at the side of the body.
Continue this same process until you like the way your creepy ghost costume look. Drape a piece or two over the head like a hood and use safety pins to hold in place. Once all of the pieces are hanging from the body, rip more random holes and strips to get that rugged, old look. You can also knot the cheesecloth pieces together if you need it to hold together better.
Dress in all black clothing under the cheesecloth and tuck the sheer face covering fabric into the collar of the costume.
Make your ghost costume unique by adding fake spiders, lights, skeleton hands, or fake chains. See below for some creative ways fans of this ghost costume have made it stand out.
Check out some of our other past handmade costumes here.
DIY Spiderweb Wreath
Got leftover cheesecloth? Make a Halloween wreath wrapped in cheesecloth with a spiderweb and wire spirders.
Cheesecloth Ghost Costume Fans
It gives me goosebumps when I hear that our cheesecloth ghost costumes inspired someone. Here are some photos submitted by fans or found online. Please send me your Scratch and Stitch inspired ghost costumes too!
Six-year-old Layton from Florida wanted to be a ghost for Halloween this year. His mom put together his costume based on my tutorial. I love the creepy spider addition!
This three-year-old from Alaska is looking scary as can be. His mom mentioned that it’s the perfect costume for cold weather trick-or-treating because he could get all bundled up under the cheesecloth. I love it!!
Six-year-old Mikaela from London, Ontario, wanted to be a ghost costume for Halloween 2016. Her mom found the Cheesecloth Ghost Costume tutorial and made her little ghoul a DIY Halloween costume!
This three-year-old was the talk of the town in the DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Costume. I love the addition of spiders and chains!
Four-year-old Wilder from Asheville, North Carolina, is looking good in his DIY Ghost Costume.
Mom and three-year-old son had fun being spooky in their family ghost costumes. They added fairy lights under the cheesecloth for an extra glow.
This toddler is ready to take on Halloween in his handmade ghost costume.
I love the spiders added to this ghost costume.
This ghost costume won first place in a Halloween costume contest. I can see why!
These two are looking good in their cheesecloth ghosts costumes!
Did you make the cheesecloth ghost costume? Send me a pic or tag me on Instagram and Facebook @scratchandstitch. I’d love to see your costume.