Intro: Ghost Girl(s)
My wife and I saw these in the Grandin Road catalog (the second picture) and were inspired to make our own version without the glowing heads.
1"x2'xXX roll of Poultry Netting (Chicken Wire)
1x Galvanized Electric Fence post
5' of 1/2" PVC Sch 40 pipe
1x of 1/2" PVC cross T
1x Female Styrofoam Mannequin Head
1.25 yards of fabric (106" Crushed Voile from JoAnn was our favorite)
1x Cheap standard/queen white pillowcase
4x small zip ties
1x Safety pin
drill with 1/8" bit
something to cut PVC (PVC cutter, hacksaw, etc.)
hot glue & gun
Step 1: Create the Torso
1a) Cut 2x 5.5" pieces of PVC pipe. Create the shoulders by putting the 2x 5.5" pipe pieces into opposite sides of the cross T.
1b) Using the wire cutter cut 27" of the chicken wire. Feed/fold the loose wire ends around, through and over each other to form a cylinder.
1c) Drill a 1/8" hole about 3/8" from the outer ends of each shoulder.
1d) Flatten the cylinder into more of a pillow shape and fit the shoulder PVC pipes into two holes of the chicken wire opposite each other.
1e) Using the 4x zip ties, Zip tie the ends of the shoulders and up next to the cross T to the chicken wire. Pic 3.
Step 2: Head and Spine
2a) You'll have to double check yours, but I measured the depth of the hole in the bottom of the mannequin head to be 7".
2b) Combining the depth of the Cross T (1/2")+ depth of the mannequin head (7") + 1/4" extra. Cut a 7 3/4" piece of PVC pipe to mount the head on.
2c) Apply some hot glue into the bottom hole of the head and push the pipe from 2b into the head.
2d) Cut 33" of the 1/2" pipe for the spine and insert it into the bottom of the cross T
Do not attach the head yet! Pictures 3 and 4 just shows you what it would look like.
Step 3: Her Slip
3a) On the end opposite of the pillowcase opening, we need to a 7" cut in the center of the seam to fit over the base of the Styrofoam head.
This will end up being too big, but it is ok.
The pillowcase helps to hide the chicken wire torso.
Step 4: Her Dress
4a) You can either leave the fabric at 1.25 yards or cut it down to 40" wide. Mine are 40" wide so I will continue these as if yours were 40" wide.
4b) You should now have a piece of fabric 106"x40". Rip 13" from both ends of the 106". Rip it to give it a bit of a ragged edge.
4c) You should now have a piece of fabric 80"x40". Fold it in half.
4d) In the middle of the fold make a 7" cut, similar to the 7" cut on the pillowcase seam.
4e) Measure down 18" from the fold on each side. From there on each side make a 15" cut through the front and back halves of the fabric at 45° towards the fold. This will make the sleeves. Pics 2 and 3.
Step 5: Put on Her Dress
5a) Slide the pillow case over the chicken wire torso.
5b) Drape the dress fabric over the pillow case.
5c) Find the top of the cross T and attach the head.
5d) Slide both the 7" cuts of the pillowcase and dress up over the flared neck of the Styrofoam head.
5e) Pinch the extra cut opening of the dress and pillowcase closed above the neck flare and use the safety pin to hold the pinched fabric together. I made sure the head of the pin was inside.
Step 6: Put on Her Belt
6a) Tie the two pieces of fabric ripped off from step 4b together to form a long piece of fabric or belt.
6b) Under the arm flaps, about 7" down from the shoulders, tie the belt around the torso tight enough to squish the chicken wire to give definition to the upper torso. Picture 2 shows what the chicken wire torso looks like after the belt was tied.
6c) Make the knot as pretty as you want it and position it where you want it. e.g. front and center, just off to the side, etc.
Step 7: Form the Arms
7a*) Grab a hold of one arm flap and near the very bottom tie a knot to form the hands. Repeat with the other arm flap.
7a*) If making multiple Ghost girls, wait to tie their hands until you have them set up, then tie the adjacent arm flaps together at the bottom. Then it looks like they are holding hands like in the Grandin Road picture.
7b) To place in the yard, stick the electric fence post in the ground and slide her PVC pipe spine over the post.
If constructed alone they will spin around on the post. This is why I recommend at least two to hold hands. The breeze then makes them look like they are dancing.
Last year I made 5 and used both a black light and a Fire and Ice light to light them up. Not lighting them internally helps reduce the visibility of the chicken wire and PVC.
To improve them this year, I'd like to include some subtle black light reactive something to their eyes. I tried laundry detergent with brightener, but it didn't work.
To store them, I drilled small holes along the top edge of the gable end of our rafters and slid the end of the fence post with girls on the posts into the holes. Pic 6.
I'll upload a picture of the 5 of them last year once I find one.