Two good friends of mine love Halloween and are making their own little haunted house this year. Since I love to make Halloween decorations, but have no place to store them after I make them, I was very happy to offer to make them a ghost decoration. My first thoughts naturally was to do some elaborate Scooby-Doo Mysteries grand holographic 3D ghost with sounds and smoke effects that would make Steven Spielberg envious... but alas I was also working on a robot and Halloween cards, so I had to scale my idea back a bit. The other issue was I presently lack the budget of Steven Spielberg, or for that matter even that of the producers of the first Blare Witch Project movie. As someone who does not drive and can't visit the local Halloween shop for spooky supplies, I looked around my house for any items that I could come up with to make an awesome spooky ghost. Then, when I saw a plastic trash bag flying by in the wind, I had an awesome idea for an inflatable trash bag ghost.
This project makes a green glowing inflatable ghost that seems to rise from above a gravestone. The picture above is the ghost before it is inflated.
For this project, you will need the following supplies. Please note, this project is very easily adaptable. If you don't have an item on the supply list, it should be easy to come up with alternatives.
1 all white plastic trash bag- I used a newspaper bag which was the ideal size and shape. If you can't find an all white bag, you might be able to cut out the printed section if your bag is large enough.
1 Dollar store hand held fan- This is one of those cheap fans that you buy at the dollar store that consist of a motor, foam propeller and battery compartment. If you don't have a dollar store fan, a computer fan might work or any small fan.
1 green LED light- Optional - you can also just use a flashlight or any LED light
1 small cardboard box - Can also make your own box from paper or cardboard
Electric wires - I used one of the wires salvaged from taking apart an old electric cord.
1 wire tie - Optional - Can just use wire or twist tie
Card Stock Paper
Black Construction Paper or Black Poster paper or black paint.
2 Copper Brads and small piece of copper -OR- a low voltage switch (optional)
1 Transparent Report Cover OR 1 Transparency OR 1 transparent or semi transparent disposable plastic cup (May be optional, depending on fan)
Black Sharpie Marker
Step 1: Trash Bag
The first step to making a trash bag ghost is finding a suitable trash bag of course. Depending on the type of fan you use, it may not have enough power to inflate a very large bag. In my case, I planned to use a dollar store fan, so I knew that this small fan was not going to be able to inflate a very large bag.
The newspaper bag I found seemed to be the ideal size... not too big, made of very thin plastic, and had only a little writing on it. I cut out the section of the bag that had writing, then made the bag into a ghost like shape by rounding off the top and using plastic remnants to form the ghost hands.
Initially, I had intended to make the ghost like a wind sock kite with a hole at the top and the fan blowing air in at the bottom. Later, I found that the fan was not strong enough to keep the ghost upright like this... so I sealed off the top using transparent tape essentially making it a ghost shaped bag with just a single hole at the bottom. That way the air would not escape out the top of the ghost and it would stay inflated.
Cut the bag according to Illustration 1