Monday, October 26, 2009

Fabric Ghosts

This weekend the kids and I found ourselves at the fabric store. I went in for elastic, because our stupid Walmart decided to cut back on their sewing section, and came face-to-face with the true horror that is Halloween...tacky crafts.
In college I majored in art education. My professors spent years deprogramming us of the kind of holiday crafts we grew up making in elementary art class. You know, hand turkeys, paper snowflakes and bunny rabbits with cute little cotton ball tails? We learned how to teach art by focusing on technique, art history, criticism and aesthetics. There is simply no time in the curriculum for papier-mache ghosts. And yet, this is exactly what was standing before me...cute little ghosts made by soaking fabric in fabric stiffener. Oh no! Hurry up and pass them before the kids see them. Too late. "Awwww!! Mama look how cute. Can we make them? They have directions hanging up right here." Crap. So I ended buying the fabric stiffener. We made the ghosts and they ARE cute. So, as an art teacher, I'm absolutely horrified. As a Mom it was a fun activity to make with my kids. You should do it too. Here are the directions:

fabric stiffener
small balloons
scraps of white cloth or cheesecloth
fishing line or thread
assorted craft items for decorating your ghost

1) Dilute stiffener in a bowl using 50%water, 50% stiffener.
2) Blow up balloons, set them in cups for support.
3) Cut fabric so that, when draped over the balloons, it just reaches the table surface.
4) Place cloth in stiffener, covering the entire surface with the mixture. Wring out the fabric so that it is not dripping.
5) Drape fabric over the balloons.
6) Let fabric dry, then remove balloons and cups.
7) Decorate according to your tastes.
8) Place a knot on the end of a desired length of thread. Using a needle, pull thread through the top of the ghost starting inside the ghost.

You may want to work on a surface covered with newspaper, as this project can get pretty messy.

Have fun!

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