Different ghost costume ideas for fancy dress

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Different ghost costume ideas for fancy dress
Ghost costumes are a practical, quick and easy costume for children. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A hovering white, ghostly spook is a classic Halloween costume for children and adults alike. It is affordable, easily made and can be accessorised to produce a range of fun and grizzly phantoms. Save money on costume hire and use a few craft skills to create a really personal fancy dress outfit.

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Classic ghost

To make a simple, classic ghost, use a large white bed sheet. Drape this over the head of the person who is going to dress up and make light marks where you need to cut out the eyes. Remove the sheet and cut two round eye holes, then use a black pen around the edges of these to create a border. Wear light coloured clothes and shoes under the costume. You could accessorise this with a cheap, plastic ball and chain bought from a party shop.

Musty ghost

A creepy variation of the classic white ghost costume is a dusty grey, ghost. To do this, use a grey sheet or dye your white sheet with fabric dye from a haberdashery shop. You can buy a cold water dye that you soak fabric in overnight, or one to use in the washing machine. Once you have a dry, grey sheet, cut out and border eye holes as for the regular costume. To make the sheet older looking, you could screw it in to a ball and leave it tied tightly in a bag for a couple of days. Make sure it is bone dry when you do this or you will end up with a rather too realistic mildewed smell. When wearing the sheet, dress it up with some cobweb spray from a party shop. Put plenty of this around the bottom and shoulders, to give it a spooky look.


Bright green and hungry, Slimer is the big screen ghost from 1984 film Ghostbusters. He makes a really striking change to the classic ghost outfit. To make a Slimer costume, dye your sheet bright green. Hot water, washing machine dye is the easiest way to get a really bright, consistent colour. Alternatively, you can sometimes find bright coloured sheets in basic supermarket ranges. Make eye holes as before and then use non-toxic acrylic paint to draw on a Slimer face. Slimer is easily recognizable by his large white teeth and big red tongue. As this ghost is always gobbling, you could complete your costume by carrying a large plate of sausages, reminiscent of his first memorable scene in the original film.

Extra tips

Ghost costumes can be hard to keep on, so many people secure them with a matching scarf at the neck. Alternatively, you could sew hair combs or clips on to the underside of the costume, with a couple of stitches in a matching cotton. As the sheet goes on, secure the hair clips from underneath to keep it stable. This works best on longer or thick hair, and you could put hair up first to give the clips an even firmer hold. Sew a couple of cheap plastic bangles, or loops of fabric to the hem of the costume. Then you can slip these over your wrists and make ghostly shapes with your arms. If you position these at the sides, the front and back of the costume should stay long and maintain a floating look. It also means you’ll have use of your hands, so will still get to eat and drink at parties without coming out of character. If you do this, don’t forget to paint your hands, to match your costume, with some body paint. Use a sheet that hovers on the floor when worn, not one that is too long and poses a tripping hazard. Trim the sheet to size if you need to.

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