Thursday, November 26, 2009

How to build a cheese cloth ghost sculpt.
  • Go by Michaels and pick up some Stiffy( ).
  • I get cheese cloth in the package at WallMart or Home Depot.
  • RIT brightner and whitener ( I find mine at Publix.
  • Something to use as a form for the head; I use the plastic skulls that were available at Kmart last year.
  • Release agent, I use motor oil.
  • 3/8” and 1/8” wooden dowels, scrap wood
  • Flat black spray paint.
  • Newspaper and duct tape.

    I can provide the basic directions I follow, a lot of the technique is in how you form the cheese cloth as you apply the Stiffy. I suggest you experiment with different techniques and find what works for you. For example you can dip the cheese cloth in the Stiffy, wring it out then apply. You can also place the cheese cloth then paint the stiffy on with a brush.

    Mix the RIT in some water, soak the cheese cloth for a while, then remove and let dry.

    Rub some motor oil on the skull, making sure to remove any excess. Use the Stiffy and cheese cloth to cast the skull. I will cast the front of the skull, let that dry and remove it. Then I will cast the rear of the skull so it will overlap the front section some. Once both are finished I glue them together with Elmer’s glue.

    Build a frame with the wooden dowels that will support the skull at the top, sides, back, nose and jaw. Ignore the wire in the frame picture below, that was an idea that did not work.

If you want to build a bust, form some shoulders dowels, newspaper and duct tape. Paint it flat black. When the frame is done, form the neck and shoulders with more Stiffy and cheese cloth.

Then attach the head to the frame with elmer’s glue. I use black cardboard behind the eyes and nose so they will be black in the UV light.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More work on the ghost heads. I have made small frames with wooden dowels that make them easy to work on, and they do a great job of supporting the cheesecloth, and should provide an easy way to connect the heads to whatever, or hang them up. Here's a pic. I will have to take some pics of the supports to, they are very simple to make.
I tried hot glue and an ultra bright LED for a potential eye, and I liked the effect. I think I have figured out how to add these as eyes for the ghost head. Once that is done I am thinking about rebuilding my original FCG with before and after pictures, hopefully there will be a very noticable difference.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halloween 2009

Here are some pictures from Halloween 2009. First is a picture of my new internal crank ghost. An old reindeer motor moves the arms and head, and a wiper motor raises and lowers the entire ghost. Gives a nice random affect. Video of the ghost in action is here
Next is my Leer Ghost. An automobile mirror motor raises and lowers the head and arms, making it appear to leer down at trick-or-treaters standing at my front door. I will be build a new one for next year, there are several improvements that can be made, but this is not bad for a first try. I plan on posting a how to when I build the next one. Video is here

This is a picture of the house where you can see all the ghosts.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Welcome to Johnnys Ghost Blog

I am a home haunter, which means I have the house all decked out for Halloween. I started focusing on a new theme this year, ghosts, and now I have decided to stay with that theme and see how far I can take cheese cloth and black lights.

I have to give credit to Phantasmechanics for the original Flying Crank Ghost (, and for me at least the idea of making a moving ghost out of cheese cloth and sticking it under a black light. My original FCG has served me well for 4 Halloweens, but now it is time for something more. I will post ideas, experiments and ghosts here as I go along. Blogging is new for me, so the ghosts will not be the only things learning as they go along.

First experiment, forming cheese clothe using paper mache glue, while retaining that nice blue glow in a black light. I used a life size plastic skull I picked up at K-Mart last year (thanks to Dr. Morbius for letting me know about deal on these at K-Mart) as a base, then layered cheese cloth on the skull and applied paper mache glue (mix of elmers and water). I tried applying polyeurathane to the first one, and it really degraded the black light effect. The second one, without any polyeurathane is show to the left. I would like to extend this idea to include a textured hood, along with some reenforcement inside so these could be used as the head in ghost props.