DIY Chicken Wire Ghosts




About: Content creative at Wholesale Halloween Costumes who loves to create DIY projects for Halloween.

We’ve got spirits, yes we do, we've got spirits, how about BOO! These chicken wire ghosts will put you on the map of haunted places, and you might even get a couple ghost hunters knocking on your door with their entire camera crew. You can basically raise the ancient spirits in a few hours, but they will go on spooking the neighbors straight through Halloween. With a quick spritz of glow in the dark spray paint the spirits will be lit all through the night, especially if you have a black light spotlight to give the glow pigment a little boost. They're the perfect addition to any Halloween lover's yard decorations.

Go grab some work gloves and your supplies. Rub on some elbow grease. Things are about to get spirited!

Step 1: Materials

Here's what you're going to need to make this:

  • Chicken Wire- 1 in x 2 ft x 50 ft
  • Black Trellis Netting
  • Foam Mannequin Head
  • Tomato Cage- 54” x 18” diameter
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Spray Paint
  • Wire Cutters
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Thin, Bendable Wire
  • Cheesecloth
  • Clear Packaging Tape

Step 2: The Head

Cut a piece of chicken wire large enough to loosely wrap around the mannequin’s head. Shape the wire to resemble a face, keeping the back of the head open.

Remove the wire head from the mannequin, and use small cut pieces of wire to attach the back of the head together When done, you should now have a wire head, and neck.

Step 3: Attaching the Arm

To make the body, cut a piece of chicken wire approximately 3 feet wide. Bend the wire together, and form into a torso. This ghost only has one arm, which is all I thought she needed. Leave an opening at the top of the torso to attach the arm in a later step.

Attach the head to the top of the torso. You can fold together the cut edges, or use small pieces of wire to secure the neck and body together. Bend another piece of chicken wire to resemble a long, bent arm. Use your own arm as a guide for proportions. Keep one end wider, and the end for the wrist skinnier. Attach the arm to the opening on the body, by folding the cut ends together, or using small pieces of wire. The edges don’t need to be prefect, they will eventually be hidden by the cheese cloth.

Step 4: The Rest of the Body

Spray the tomato cage black. Let dry.

Slide the body of the ghost onto the inverted tomato cage. Cut another piece of chicken wire, making it large enough to fit around the torso, and about 6” longer then the torso. Start shaping the wire to make the top part of a dress. You can see the general shape in the photo. Wrap the top of the dress around the ghost’s torso, securing in the back with wires. Use the wire cutters to cut the bottom of the dress into approximately 5” strips. Bend the strips outward, as shown.

Step 5: Finishing Up

Loosely wrap the black trellis netting around the base of the tomato cage to create the skirt of the ghost. The netting is hard to see and will really help create the illusion that your ghost is floating.

Making the hand– Follow the instructions to make the masking tape hand, but use the packing tape instead. When making the hand, bend the fingers to resemble someone pointing.

Place the packing tape hand over the wrist of the ghost, so she looks like she’s pointing. Drape the cheese cloth around your ghost, silhouetting the head, body, and arm. To get the floating illusion have some of the cheese cloth extend to the skirt. Lastly spray the cheese cloth and hand with the glow-in-the-dark paint.

Step 6: All Done!

2 People Made This Project!


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10 Discussions


2 years ago

Brilliant idea, great instructions, very clearly shared! This is going to give a lot of people a lot of ideas next Halloween! :)


2 years ago

I just love this idea. I'm going to try and improvise to make an angel for a Christmas outside decoration. Thanks for sharing. If I do get an angel made, I'll post my creation... and I'll try to remember to take photos of the steps, as you did.


2 years ago

hey... i know where "we've got spirit, yes we do, we've got spirit, how bout you" comes from


2 years ago

Love it!


2 years ago

Very cool idea! Your photos for the Instructable are wonderful. :-)
Great job, MRHoffman. Great job.


2 years ago

That is so cool and creepy at the same time!

Uncle Kudzu

2 years ago

Wow, that's seriously creepy!


2 years ago

I love it! Genuinely unsettling halloween decorations are my favourite, way better than smiling cartoony pumpkins and vampires (if you don't have to worry about terrifying small children).

One tip: if you don't have glow in the dark paint but you're going to use a blacklight, highlighter ink glows strongly under UV light so you could use that instead. You can take the felt ink reservoir out of a highlighter pen and soak it in water to make your own glow fluid- see 3 Ways To Make Water Glow. This way you can even get different colours, though it won't be as bright as glow in the dark paint.


This looks amazing. I would love to set up something like this in the middle of the woods.