Introduction: Ghost Terrarium Light-up Decoration

About: I'm a craft DIY hobbyist. I dabble in woodworking, lazer cutting and micro-controllers.

Build a ghost terrarium and capture enchanting spirits! Have the ghosts glow to safely haunt your home.

I had two objectives for this project.

1. Use some of the glass jars I had kept from recycling for projects.

2. Use excess tissue paper lying around my workbench.

2. An aspect of the project had to light-up.

The project is a combination of several ideas put together. Take note that many of the materials and techniques have substitutions that you can use instead of what I have in the instructions. I really wanted to give people ideas and creativity for their own project.

Step 1: Materials, Tools, Expendables

The following is a list of tools and materials needed for the project.

Ghost terrariums

  • Glass jars (with lids)
  • Glitter
  • LED string lights
  • twist ties
  • black construction paper
  • floral foam

Ghostly spirits

  • Tissue paper or cheese cloth
  • Wooden skewers
  • Styrofoam balls

Tools and expendables

  • Sharpie
  • Paint brush
  • Newspaper
  • White glue
  • Plastic bottle cap
  • Tape

Step 2: Create the Ghosts

Take a styrofoam ball and size it up to the volume of the jar. You want to make sure you will have some room between the head of the ghost and the jar.

Take some tissue paper or cheese cloth and wrap the material around the styrofoam ball. Shape the paper or cloth so the tissue paper appear to be floating and flowing. Rip the tissue paper to size so the ghost will fit comfortably in the jar.

As a tip, use two or more layers to give your lively ghost some depth and form. You can place a spot of glue on the top of the head to keep the tissue paper or cheese cloth in place. Draw some conspicuous eyes on the ghost with a sharpie or black paint.

Place your ghost into the jar to test how the ghost will look floating in the jar.

Step 3: Create the Ghost Holders

Cut a 3/4 thick chunk of floral foam for the ghost holder base. Cut this piece to the size of the jar's mouth. It doesn't have to be perfect, as long as the floral foam fits into the jars mouth. Try to leave a small space for the lights.

Next, measure the skewer and cut it down to an appropriate size. Make sure the skewer is short enough so the ghost's head has some clearance at the top of the jar. Once cut, then stick the skewer into the centre of the flower foam.

Step 4: Create the Mystical Mist

First, whip up some home-made water glue. Take a recycled plastic bottle cap and place about 2 parts glue to 1 part water. Mix the solution together to get uniformity.

Tip: Try the water glue solution on a test glass jar before putting the glue in your main jars. It will give you an idea if your water glue solution is too thick or too thin. Too thick, and the glue will be visible. Too thin, and the solution won't capture any glitter.

Second, take some newspaper and cover your work area. This is to capture any glitter that will come loose. (Loose glitter gets everywhere!)

Third, once the water glue is ready, take a paint brush and paint the water glue onto the sides of the jar. Go for a smokey spirit design on the insides sides of the glass. I found that the water glue will naturally form into interesting patterns on its own, so don't worry if it isn't forming perfectly. Also, try laying the glass jar on its side and doing the bottom half. Then turn over the jar and do the other half.

Fourth, pour some glitter into the jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake. Make sure the glue solution collects enough glitter. Then repackage any extra loose glitter.

Step 5: Make the Bottom Strip and Set the Lights

Take some black construction paper and cut the strip about an inch thick. Once cut, take your jar and wrap the strip around the bottom. Then take a piece of tape and tape the end together, creating a loop. Cut any access cardboard and work the strip so it is flush with the jar.

To set the lights, make a couple of loops with the light string. Then use a twist tie (or other long fastener) to secure the lights on the floral foam. As a tip, make sure the fastener has length so it can take hold in the floral foam.

Step 6: Step 5: Put It All Together

Stick the ghost's Styrofoam ball head onto the wooden skewer. Then place the wooden skewer into the floral foam, ensuring it is centred. Take your constuction paper jar bottom and place it around the bottom of the floral foam. Finally, place your mystical jar over the ghost and into your jar bottom.

Add any additional decoration around the jars to create an even spookier ambience.

Halloween Contest 2017

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2017