little tree ghost

This little fabric ghost tradition began last year, and N has been begging me to revive it for weeks. We haven’t had any white fabric in the house, I didn’t have the energy to make a fabric run, and then low-and-behold I found a quarter yard of fabric in a closet sweep a few days ago! Yay for “free” fabric. It’s more craft than art, but you’ll see in a minute how this can be open-ended and exploratory for curious, creative little minds.

Little Fabric Ghosts

We started with approximately 15″ squares of thin cotton fabric, a little thinner than muslin.

Really, almost any thin white fabric will work. We filled the middle with about six cotton balls. Actually, it started out at “five,” but when N took over she increased the number by one or two, until the last ghost had about nine cotton balls in the head. This is good for counting, too!

Little Fabric Ghosts

I cut cotton string into lengths of 12″ – 30″ and then tied them around the “heads.” We then glued on googly eyes with white glue.

Little Fabric Ghosts

Now for the fun part! N wanted to draw a mouth on one of the ghosts so we found a Sharpie marker. Drawing the mouth turned into drawing hair, ears, and decorating the entire body. So fun!

Little Fabric Ghosts

She even drew inside the ghost. There are no limits, are there? We made four ghosts altogether, and she named this one the “dad.”

The others (mom, baby, and sister) were plain…what does this mean, I wonder?

Little Fabric Ghosts

We hung them in the tree to scare our neighbors for Halloween. A clear monofilament might have eliminated the noose quality of the string, but you work with what you’ve got! Boo!

More Halloween ideas?

Check out 50 Simple Halloween Ideas for Kids and 16 Halloween Crafts for Kids.


  1. Well, I hope we didn’t start a new tradition today, tromping through a SNOWY field to buy a jack-o-lantern pumpkin! We carve pumpkins every year. The kids draw what they want (or select from choices, depending on age), and the parents carve, and I’m happy that it’s never (knock wood) resulted in a trip to the ER, especially as this year, the last pumpkin purchased (7yo really wanted a white one) had spent the night outside in a wagon while it snowed, and was still a little frozen when we scooped & carved it. (Brr.)

    • I can’t believe the weather you’ve had, Amy! When we were back East last week, I could feel the snow coming, but it still surprises me that the lawn we were running on less than a week ago is now covered in a foot of snow! I love your tradition — it reminds me of one that my parents started when we were kids, and I revered my dad for his clever designs and for carving ours. Have a wonderful (warmish) holiday.

  2. cute! We made something similar out of garbage bags. We always do the norm of jumping in leaves and carving pumpkins, but I want to start more this year.

    • Laura, we’d love to jump in leaves, but it’s been oddly warm and hardly any leaves have fallen yet. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I know lots of people do not like glitter, but I think that for this project it would be really good. If you use the glitter to make the eyes and mouths, or even decorate the bottom part of the ghost, they will shimmer in the night. With any bit of light shone near them, they will glow and make their spooky appearance.

    • Great idea, Cristina! We’ll have to give that a try. I happen to be someone who loves glitter (especially when it’s used outdoors).

  4. SO cute I love your ghosties.

    We always carve pumpkins together. It’s such a fun tradition, one I remember from my childhood. This year, our daughter was old enough to draw her own design on a pumpkin and then we helped her cut it out.

    Our daughter has food allergies so we have a different kind of halloween night than most. We hand out stickers, erasers, pencils etc to trick-or-treaters whocome to our house. This year, we’re also going to a few neighbors to trick-or-treat and then come back and replace the candy with safe treats (and a few fun books and stickers).

    We’ve also started a tradition of “BOO”ing our neighbors with small treats before halloween. We include a poem and leave it on their door step.

    Happy Halloween!!

    • Heather, it’s a good reminder that not all kids can eat the Halloween treats, and fortunately the holiday can still be fun for them. We’re giving out candy, but maybe next year we’ll hand out something more artsy like stickers. I love that. And of course, carving pumpkins is right up there on our tradition list, too! And I forgot about Boo-ing…we did it last year and it was so fun…must remember it next year. Thanks for the reminder, and Happy Halloween!!

  5. Cute! I teach preschoolers in Japan, and the kids make something very similar. Here they are called ‘teru teru bozu’ and they are a weather charm, hung up to bring fine weather.

    • Oh, that’s good to know, Abi! Thanks for sharing this info with us.

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