How to make a Ghost of Christmas Past costume

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The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Christmas ghosts who visit him were immortalised in Charles Dickens' 1843 story "A Christmas Carol." The first ghostly spectre to visit Scrooge was the Ghost of Christmas Past, described as a child, but aged and all in white. If you want to recreate this ghost--which could be male or female--for Halloween or a school play, use items from your closet or purchase what you need to make the costume of the Ghost of Christmas Past for little money and effort.

Female ghost

Place a white dress on a flat work surface. Choose an existing dress from your closet or purchase one at a local thrift store. Dickens described the garb as a "tunic of purest white." If possible, choose a tunic dress. If a tunic dress is not available, any long flowing white dress, with or without sleeves will do.

Pull the blooms off silk flowers. Discard the stems. The number of flowers depends on the size of the dress and the size of the blooms you choose. For average size blooms, 40 to 50 blooms will be enough. Choose summer flowers such as daisies, chrysanthemums, roses, hydrangea or pansies.

Arrange the flowers along the bottom hem of the dress and at the neckline. If desired, place additional blooms around the dress in random places. Once you are happy with the arrangement, attach the flowers to the dress using hot glue. Alternatively, sew the blooms on with a needle and thread for a more durable construction.

Wear the dress with a gold or silver belt around the waist. The belt may either be metal or fabric, as long as it has a sheen.

Wear a long and preferably straight platinum blond wig. Wear soft, natural-looking make-up. Once you apply make-up, dust your face and neck with baby powder to give yourself a spectral look. Pour some baby powder into a dish. Dip a make-up brush in the powder. Brush it onto your face as you would any loose powder. Dust your hands and any other exposed skin with baby powder, as well.

Attach one white LED light to each point on a costume crown using hot glue. Place the lights on the inside edge so these cannot be seen from the outside, but cause the crown to glow.

Carry a branch of silk holly in one hand to finish the look.

Male ghost

Wear a solid white suit, complete with a white dress shirt, tie, shoes and socks. Look for a white suit at a thrift store.

Measure your head using a flexible measuring tape. Cut a piece of silk holly 10 cm (4 inches) longer than the measurement. Form the holly into a circle overlapping the ends by 5 cm (2 inches). Twist the overlapped ends together to create a crown.

Style your hair as normal. Spray white Halloween hairspray to colour your hair. Follow the can's directions for proper application. Once the colour is dry, place the crown on your head.

Dip a make-up brush in white baby powder. Brush the powder onto your face and hands to create a pale look.

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