Hang these ghoulish apparitions around the house or in a window or tree outside to attract trick or treaters. They look even spookier when underlit with a lamp or torch.
An old plastic 1l bottle
A tennis (or similar sized) ball
A plastic child’s size coat-hanger
A box of household starch (from Boots)
An old white sheet or muslin, cut into squares (ours were 60cm x 60cm but make them as big or small as you like)
A thick black felt tip pen
To make the outline of the head, half-fill the plastic bottle with water to stabilise it and, with the lid off, balance the tennis ball on top. For the shoulders, stick the small coat-hanger on the neck of the bottle with Blu-Tack. This is your frame. (For more than one starchy ghost, make more frames or re-use this one after each ghost has dried.)
Take two tablespoons of starch, mix in four tablespoons cold water, then pour a pint of boiling water over (this is twice as strong as the manufacturer’s instructions). For best results, mix thoroughly while the solution is dissolving. Leave to cool for a short while until hand hot. Then dip a square of white material into the starch mixture. Soak and squeeze it out, then drape over the tennis ball skeleton. If you want the ghost to stand on a table, arrange its lower edge against a flat surface so it forms a base. Leave for a few hours to dry.
Before taking the ghost off the frame, draw eyes and mouth with felt tip pen. To hang, thread a needle with black cotton, tie a big knot in one end, push the needle through the top of the head from the inside, and make a hanging loop at the top.