<I>Hands-On Crafts</I><BR>Making Ghosts From Paper Towels

All Hollow’s Eve approaches, the time for haunting is here! Creaky doors! Black cats! Ghosts and goblins! This is the time of year when imaginations run wild!

You can help your little boys and ghouls exercise their creativity by breathing life, albeit "afterlife," into inanimate paper towels. With the help of liquid starch and other household items, your kitchen or craft room can become a laboratory for making playful poltergeists. Dr. Frankenstein doesn’t get to have all the fun! And you won’t require the use of Igor or a thunderstorm either; it’s unBOOlievably easy to make these friendly phantoms!

Ages: 3 - 12

Time: Minimal

Skills Required: Cutting and gluing

Materials: liquid starch, white paper towels, plastic cup, toilet paper tube, aluminum foil, scissors, white glue, newspapers, googly eyes, markers, white thread and drinking straws



1. First, prepare your work area by spreading out some newspapers on a table and standing the toilet paper tube upright on the newspapers. Roll a piece of aluminum foil into a two-inch ball and place it on top of the toilet paper tube.

2. Next, use scissors to cut a white paper towel into a circle about 10 inches across.

3. Pour about one-half cup of liquid starch into a plastic cup. Take the cut paper towel and completely submerge it into the liquid starch. It’s OK if the paper towel is wrinkled, but try not to rip it. After the paper towel is completely covered in starch, remove it and gently squeeze out any excess starch.

4. Carefully lay the wet paper towel over the toilet paper tube so that the center of the circle is resting on the foil ball. The paper towel will drape down around the toilet paper tube.

5. Let the paper towel dry for several hours or overnight.

6. When it’s dry, remove the paper towel from the toilet paper tube and you will have a stiff ghost. Add googly eyes using white glue or draw eyes onto the ghost using markers.

The ghost can be hung in a window using white thread to give the illusion of a floating spook.

Experiment with giving your ghosts different shapes by poking a drinking straw through the toilet paper tube before you drape the wet paper towel over it. The ghost will dry with the appearance of outstretched arms.

Goopy Goo



Another great way to use liquid starch for more Halloween fun is in making goopy goo:

  • Pour equal amounts of liquid starch and white glue into a pie plate. Use your hands to mix the items together until the substance is thick and no longer sticky.

  • Add a few drops of liquid food coloring to give the finishing touch to your concoction.

    Kids will have great fun playing with the gooey slime and using it to add to their Halloween haunting.