Project: Attic Apparitions

In the attic, shackled souls
Make blood like ice within your veins
Their silent struggle to escape
Is barred by simple window panes

Who knows what evil fate befell these poor souls in the attic of this broken down manse? Why do they buffet against the windows in a fruitless attempt to escape their otherworldly prison, trapped forever by whatever spectral shackles holds them there?

Whatever the cause, here's how to trap some hapless haunts inside your own home. Perhaps their spectral forms can scare away those who may follow them to their doom...

As always, lest you wind up wandering the halls of your home as a hapless haunt yourself, take proper safety precautions while making any Halloween craft.

Materials

To make these spirits, you will need:

These ghosts were very easy to make, and although they look good under normal light, they look great under black lights. They are easily stored away and pulled out the following year.

Preparing the fabric

If you plan to hang your ghosts under black light, the first thing to do is make sure they glow under it. In a dark room, look at the fabric under a dark light. If it doesn't glow, you want to treat the fabric with a mixture of water and laundry detergent.

Since this fabric is so fragile, and the edges unfinished, you don't want to just throw it in with your laundry. Either use a spray bottle, or fill a sink with water and add detergent, and then soak the fabric and let it dry before proceeding.

Laying out the pattern

Cover a table with wax paper. Lay the fabric on the table and smooth it out as much as you can. You might want to weigh down the corners with a handy heavy object.

Using the blue highlighter marker, sketch out a ghostly form at whatever size you want. Remember that the ghost will be hanging, so design accordingly.

Once the pattern is done, mix some sculpey glaze or modge podge with water in a cup, and paint it along the pattern edge. This is to seal the edge to keep it from fraying. Make sure the width of the glaze is enough so that you can easily cut along it and not miss any parts.

Cutting out the ghosts

Wait for the edge seal to dry before cutting it. When the edge is tacky but still a little wet, pull it off of the wax paper, so it doesn't dry onto it.

When it's completely dry, you can cut the ghosts out of the fabric. When cutting, try to keep it in the center of the edge seal you painted on, so that you don't have any edges that aren't sealed. I used a shimmery, iridescent material (it was very cheap!) which was very difficult to see the marker and edge seal on. I found it very helpful to move into an area that didn't have much light in it, because there wasn't a lot of light to reflect, but depending on the fabric, you may need to take some other tactic.

Staging

Now that you've got your ghosts cut out, all you need to do is hang them up! Since the fabric is so light, three pushpins through the fabric and into the windowframe are plenty to secure a ghost in place.

Place a black light on the windowsill, and make sure there's a safe clearance between the fabric and the light, since black lights can get a little hot. Place an oscillating fan on "low" nearby, and hit the lights. The result is floating, fluttering ghosts!