Garbage Bag Ghosts




These cute little ghosts can be quickly and easily made with just a few household items.

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Step 1: Supplies

1 white kitchen garbage bag / bin liner
4-5 white plastic shopping bags
black permanent marker
chopstick or other long, sharp tool  (a large nail will do)
(optional) string or twine

You will be able to make two ghosts from each garbage bag.

Step 2: Cut Apart the Garbage Bag

1) Cut off the top edge, removing the channel that holds the drawstring.

2) Cut two more strips from the edge of the bag.  Cut these strips in half so you have four total.

3) Cut the bag open along the side seams, then cut the bag in half along the bottom fold.

You should have two large squares now.

Step 3: Cut Apart the Shopping Bags

If your shopping bags have printing on one side, cut the bags apart to separate the printing from the blank bag.

Step 4: Make the Ghost's Head

1) Take the printed parts of two or three of the grocery bags and wad them into a ball.  Take the other halves of the bags (the blank sides) and wrap them around the ball so that the printing is concealed as much as possible.  (Some color will probably show through.)

2)  While still holding this wad of shopping bags, drape one half of the garbage bag over the ball, gathering the excess underneath.

3)  Use one of the strips cut from the garbage bag to tie the neck of the ghost just below the ball.

Step 5: Tatter the Ghost's Body

Start cutting the bag into strips from the edge towards the neck.  Stop your cuts a couple of inches from the neck so they don't get too narrow and fragile.  Your cuts will be wider at the bottom and may get quite narrow at the top.  (See the second image for a cutting guide.)  Perfection isn't needed here.  Just try to space them nicely.

If you feel like your strips are getting too narrow at the top while being too wide at the bottom, you can trim the sides of the strips and discard the extra.

Step 6: Add a Face

Pick the spot you like best and use your permanent black marker to draw a face on the ghost's head.  Give it a minute before touching the ink or it can smear.

Step 7: Add a Loop for Hanging

1)  Take your chopstick (or other long, sharp tool) and poke it into the top of the ghost's head on one side, then back out the other side.  (See photos for placement of holes.)

2)  Remove the chopstick, then use it to push one of the garbage bag strips through the holes.

3)  Holding the ends of the strip, twirl it into a rope, then knot the ends together.

4)  Trim the ends of the knot, removing the excess, then carefully slide the loop until the knot is hidden inside the ghost's head.

Now use the rest of the bags to make a second ghost, then go hang your spooky pair somewhere and enjoy!

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13 Discussions


3 years ago

These are an easy and fun project for the kids. I put a layer of cheese cloth over some and added googly eyes from the dollar store. Felt, cut in circles for eyes also works well on the cheese cloth. Thanks for sharing.


5 years ago

Just spent the evening making lots of these with my kids, quick very easy and puts a big smile on their faces.

Plenty more to make tomorrow ready for the big creepy party were having.



Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I made a few more and hung them from the trees in the front yard, but I think I we need more!

Cute ghosts and good idea. They are really effective when there are a LOT of them hung on the path through our little forest. I've made these from old white sheets torn into squares, but your plastic version would probably light up better at night.

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I don't know if they'd light up better, but since the plastic is lighter than fabric, they flutter really well in the breeze. I'd love to see a ton of these little ghosts hung along a forest path. That must look awesome.


8 years ago on Introduction

This is perfect. I was walking around my neighborhood this morning and noticed similar one. This will be a fun projects with the kids today! Thanks. Lee

1 reply