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Ghost garland
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Ghost Garland

What you will make:

This colorful garland of ghosts is a quick and easy way to decorate for Halloween. The project includes printable patterns for ghosts and illustrated instructions for making the garland based on a paper chain in Halloween colors. Make the garland any length you like, and add to its creativity by creating ghosts of your own design.

Patterns for two types of ghosts are included in the project—one that is simpler to cut and one with more detail. Both types are cute and can be mixed on a single garland.

Here's what you need:
  • Computer paper or cardstock
  • Construction paper: orange and black
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Optional: Black marker, empty ballpoint pen, hole punch, string or yarn

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make the Ghost Garland

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose ghosts to make. Download and print the pattern(s) on computer paper or cardstock.
If you are printing on paper, use any pattern except Two Ghosts and then follow the instructions for paper ghosts. All of the patterns can be printed on cardstock.

The happy and mad ghosts are simpler to cut than the ghostly ghosts, so keep that in mind when selecting a pattern to print. Also, the ghostly ghost pattern comes in white, bluish and green. If you want any of the ghosts in other colors, print the black & white patterns on colored paper, or color them with crayons or markers. For the most creativity, use either the Plain Ghosts or Plain Ghostly Ghosts patterns—both are blank and ready for you to draw a scary (or funny) face!

Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.

All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Step 2: Make Paper Ghosts (optional)
Fold and glue two sides of ghost together.

Ghosts made from paper need to have two layers. Score the dashed line on the Happy Ghosts, Mad Ghosts or Ghostly Ghosts patterns with an empty ballpoint pen, then fold on the scored line. Apply glue inside the fold to completely cover the back of one ghost. Press the two sides together and rub to remove air bubbles.

Set the glued ghost aside for a few minutes before cutting it out.

Step 3: Cut Ghosts

Cut out each ghost on the outer black line. Try to make smooth, neat cuts. If you printed on cardstock, turn the ghost over and draw eyes and mouth on the reverse side with a black marker.

Tip: You can trace the printed eyes and mouth if you hold the cardstock up to a window with light shining through.

Cut out ghosts and draw eyes and mouth on reverse side.
Step 4: Make a Paper Chain Cut 1-inch strips, form strips into rings than link with each other.

Cut 1" (2.5 cm) strips from one 9" by 12" sheet each of black and orange construction paper. Set aside one paper strip for each ghost. Glue the strips into rings. As you glue, link one ring into another to form a chain.

Tip: Alternate orange and black rings as you make the paper chain.

Step 5: Add Ghosts to Paper Chain Hang ghosts from paper chain.

Cut a slit near the top of each ghost that is a bit wider than your paper strips. Thread a paper strip through the slit, link the paper strip with a ring on the paper chain, and glue the ring together.

Tip: Place the ghosts evenly along the paper chain, leaving at least two empty rings between ghosts.

Make the ghost garland any length you like! Just make more ghosts and cut more strips. Hang the garland with thumbtacks or tape it in a doorway or window, over a bulletin board, or from the ceiling.

That's it! Your garland is ready to hang!
Ghost garland

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Thanks to...

Thanks to Janet LaFara for creating the original ghost patterns and the idea for a ghost garland for Aunt Annie's Craft Page in 1997.

Janet suggested other ideas for using the ghosts: "Tape the ghosts to a window or put them on a bulletin board."

Thread a paper strip through a slit in the top of the ghost.

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Tip: To hang the ghosts from the paper chain, thread a paper strip through a slit in the top of the ghost and attach it to a ring in the chain.

Punch a hole in the top of the ghost and thread a string through.

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Tip: Another way to hang the ghosts is to tie them with string or yarn to the paper chain. Just punch a hole in the top of the ghost, thread a 10"-to-12" piece of string through the hole, and tie.

Happy ghost printed on pink paper.

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Tip: Ghosts don't have to be white. Try a colored pattern, or print one of the white patterns on colored paper or cardstock.

Ghosts made of paper treated with wax

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Tip: Treat paper ghosts with wax to make them water resistant and translucent. See How to Wax Paper.

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