13 Cheap and Simple Halloween Ghost Decorations

First carved pumpkins appear in the neighborhood. Then you start noticing paper bats, plastic spiders, and spiderwebs in the stores. Halloween is approaching! Can’t wait to get into the Halloween vibe? Why not begin your spooky preparations with some Halloween ghost decorations?

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But Halloween shopping can cost a lot and you may be concerned about the amount of money you’re spending this Halloween. In 2017, the National Retail Federation estimated that 72% Americans will spend $2.7 billion dollars on decorations. That’s a frightening fortune!

But there are lots of ways to cut down on your costs this Halloween. One way is to make your own Halloween decorations.

If you’re finding the amount of choice for DIY Halloween decorations a bit overwhelming, why not start by focusing on one type of decoration? Here, we’ll give you 13 ghoulish Halloween ghost decorations, complete with a shopping list for each one.

Cheap and Simple Halloween Ghost Decorations Shopping Dos and Don’ts

Before you start your Halloween shopping, here are some tips to help you out.


Don’t head to a Halloween-themed store as your first shopping destination if you have still plenty of time before the celebrations. Only go there if you really can’t find what you want anywhere else. The prices there are usually much higher than in other stores, such as supermarkets, where you can find the same or similar items.


Do plan your Halloween decorations shopping with a shopping list. You can even use a shopping list app, like Listonic, which is full of handy features like sharing your shopping list with others. A shopping list will help you keep track of the products you bought and those you still need to buy, meaning fewer missed items and duplicates.

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  • Always with you on any device
  • Buy exactly what you planned
  • Make and share shopping lists together
  • See items automatically grouped into categories

Do use a shopping list to you plan your expenses. There are estimated prices for each decoration at the end of each shopping list so you can be aware of how much each decoration will cost. You can also use a shopping list app with a price function to help you keep track of your spending when doing your shopping.

Do check out online auction sites like eBay.com, eBid.net, or Bonanza.com for materials. There’s plenty to choose from and the items you can find there are sometimes much cheaper and more unique to what you might find in stores.

Do visit a consignment store if you do any Halloween shopping at the last minute. The choice may be limited but you can still find some wicked accessories for your home decorations.

Do shop for pre-made Halloween decorations late. This way, you’ll save yourself money as most stores offer big discounts just before Halloween on items that aren’t popular and haven’t sold well. Use the opportunity to buy decorations for next Halloween, too.

Halloween ghost decorations
Photograph courtesy of modernparentsmessykids.com.

#1 Cheesecloth Balloon Ghost

Creating one is pretty simple.

Follow these steps:

  1. Inflate a white balloon
  2. Attach the balloon to a plastic bottle. The size of the bottle depends on the height you want for the ghost.
  3. Fill the bottle with a transparent liquid such as water so that the ghost stays in place
  4. Prepare pieces of cheesecloth to cover the balloon. It’s best when the cheesecloth is crumpled, frayed, and torn.
  5. Cover the balloon with cheesecloth, using pieces of double-sided adhesive tape to make the cheesecloth stick to it
  6. Cut out some eyes and a mouth using black paper and glue them to the ghost


Instead of inflating the balloons with air, you may use helium gas. This way, your ghost won’t need the support of a plastic bottle and will float on its own.

Cheesecloth Balloon Ghost Shopping List

  • White balloon (from $1)
  • Plastic bottle (from $1)
  • Cheesecloth (from $3)
  • Double-sided adhesive tape (from $3)
  • Black paper (from $2)

Total: $11

Halloween ghost decorations
Image courtesy of onegoodthingbyjillee.com.

#2 Floating Ghost

You may use the balloon ghost to create a similar kinds of Halloween ghost decorations: floating ghosts.

  1. Attach two plastic bottles of the same size to the left hand and right hand side of an inflated balloon
  2. Put some cheesecloth directly on top of the balloon
  3. Spray the cheesecloth with fabric stiffener
  4. Leave for 24 hours to dry
  5. Remove the balloon and the bottles from under the cheesecloth. When placed directly on the table, it’ll create the illusion of a floating ghost.


Instead of buying fabric stiffener, you can make your own. Mix a half cup of white glue with a half cup of water and stir until it’s the consistency of milk. You’ll need to immerse the fabric in the mixture and then place it on the balloon.

Floating Ghost Shopping List

  • White balloon (from $1)
  • Plastic bottles (from $1)
  • Cheesecloth (from $3)
  • Double-sided adhesive tape (from $3)
  • Black paper (from $2)
  • Fabric stiffener (from $4)

Total: $14

Halloween ghost decorations
Image courtesy of surroundingsbydebi.com.

#3 Hanging Ghost

Another variation of the cheesecloth balloon ghost is a hanging ghost.

  1. Inflate a white balloon
  2. Tie a piece of string to the balloon
  3. Make a small hole in a piece of cheesecloth and thread the string through it to cover the balloon with the fabric
  4. Hang the ghost from the ceiling

You won’t need to glue the cheesecloth to the balloon as it will stay in place because the string is threaded through the cheesecloth.

Hanging Ghost Shopping List

  • White balloon (from $1)
  • Cheesecloth (from $3)
  • String (from $1)

Total: $5

Halloween ghost decorations
Photograph courtesy of chiconashoestringdecoratingblog.com.

#4 Cloche Jar Ghost

This is an elegant way to decorate your house with Halloween ghost decorations.

  1. Find a big glass cloche
  2. Fill it with cotton wool
  3. Cut out some eyes and a mouth using a sheet of black paper
  4. Stick the eyes and the mouth to the cloche with double-sided adhesive tape
  5. Put it on a cake stand

Jar Ghost Shopping List

  • Glass cloche (from $10)
  • Cotton wool (from $1)
  • Sheet of black paper (from $2)
  • Double-sided adhesive tape (from $3)

Total: $16

Halloween ghost decorations
Photograph: Courtesy of domesticmommyhood.com.

#5 Milk Jug Ghost

Quick, easy, and cheap, especially as you’ll probably have a plastic milk jug in your house. If you go through a lot of milk, you can start saving these early on. Just don’t forget to clean them thoroughly our you might get a frightful pong from them!

  1. Find and clean an empty plastic milk jug
  2. Draw a scary face on it using a black marker
  3. Put a glow stick, flashlight, or fairy lights inside

Milk Jug Ghost Shopping List

  • Empty plastic juice or milk bottle (from $3)
  • Black marker (from $1)
  • Glow stick, flashlight, or fairy lights (from $3)

Total: $7


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#6 White Candle Ghost

These are simple Halloween ghost decorations you can add to your dining table at your party. Amuse and spook your guests with these cheap and easy candles.

  1. Use a white candle
  2. Create some eye and a mouth using a black marker

White Candle Ghost Shopping List

  • White candle (from $2)
  • Black marker (from $1)

Total: $3

#7 Lollipop Ghost

Create some scary lollipops this Halloween season, either as a treat or as Halloween ghost decorations.

  1. Cover a lollipop with a white tissue
  2. Secure the tissue by tying a ribbon around the lollipop
  3. Draw some eyes and a mouth on the tissue using a black marker


Instead of a tissue, you may use a white coffee filter.


Lollipop Ghost Shopping List

  • Lollipop (from $3)
  • White tissue (from $1.50)
  • Ribbon (from $1.50)
  • Black marker (from $1)

Total: $7

Halloween Ghost Decorations
Photograph courtesy of themoodyfashionista.blogspot.com.

#8 Leaf Ghost

Make use of the falling leaves from the trees and recycle them for Halloween ghost decorations. You can also make collecting the leaves part of the Halloween fun with your family, by seeing who can find the biggest, bestest, leaf!

  1. Find a leaf and cover it with white paint
  2. Use a black marker to draw a face on it or attach some googly eyes


Hang the leaves you’ve found on a clothesline and use white spray paint. This will not only ensure an even coating of paint on the leaves, but means they’re less likely to break when painting them.


Leaf Ghost Shopping List

  • White paint (from $2)
  • Black marker or googly eyes (from $1)

Total: $3

Halloween Ghost Decorations
Photograph courtesy of funlittles.com.

#9 Coffee Filter Ghost

This is a good option if you had little time to prepare or even think about decorating your home for Halloween. It’s also a cheap, quick, and fun idea for a kids’ craft.

  1. Take a coffee filter and draw a face with a black marker on it
  2. Turn the filter upside down and make it into a cone shape

You may thread a string through the top of the ghost and hang it from a plant in your home or a dry branch that you put inside a tall vase.

Coffee Filter Ghost Shopping List

  • White coffee filters (from $3)
  • Black marker (from $1)

Total: $4

Halloween Ghost Decorations
Photograph courtesy of parscaeli.com.

#10 Paper Hanging Ghost

It’s a very last minute option but an effective one! It’s great fun for kids to make, too.

  1. Take a black marker and draw a simple ghost’s face on a white sheet of paper
  2. Draw the shape of its head
  3. Make the lower part of the ghost a spiral
  4. Take scissors and cut out the ghost, including cutting out the spiral
  5. Glue string to the ghost’s head
  6. Hang it wherever you like

Paper Hanging Ghost Shopping List

  • Black marker (from $1)
  • White paper (from $2)
  • Glue (from $1)
  • String (from $1)

Total: $5

Halloween Ghost Decorations
Photograph: Courtesy of firstpalette.com.

#11 Plastic Cup Ghost

You’ll probably already be using a lot of plastic cups for your Halloween party, so why not use some of them to create Halloween ghost decorations.

  1. Take a white plastic cup
  2. Draw some eyes and a mouth on the cup using a black marker

You may place the ghost on the table or create a garland out of it. For the latter you’ll need string to thread it through the cups. Additionally, you may glue a couple of strips of tissue paper to the cup, to make the ghost even more ghost-like.

Plastic Cup Ghost Shopping List

  • White plastic cup (from $3)
  • Black marker (from $1)

Total: $4

Halloween Ghost Decorations
Photograph courtesy of onewomenshaven.blogspot.com.

#12 Lamp Shade Ghost

Transform cheap or old lamp shades into Halloween ghost decorations. This is a good way of reusing an item you may no longer need, making this decoration eco-friendly too.

  1. Find an old lamp shade in a neutral colour such as white or beige
  2. Draw a face on it with a black marker or cut the eyes and the mouth from black paper and glue it to the lamp shade
  3. Place a flashlight or fairy lights underneath it

Lamp Shade Ghost Shopping List

  • Lamp shade (from $1)
  • Black marker (from $1)
  • Black paper (from $2)
  • Glue (from $1)
  • Flashlight or fairy lights (from $3)

Total: $8

Photograph courtesy of amysfavorites.com.

#13 Trash Bag Ghost

Why not create extra cheap, homemade Halloween ghost decorations which also make sounds?

  1. Usa a white trash bag
  2. Hold the bag upside down
  3. Place a white balloon or a messy ball made of other white plastic bags underneath the bag
  4. Attach the ball to the bag using double-sided adhesive tape
  5. Draw a ghost’s face with a black marker or glue the one that you cut out of black paper
  6. Attach some string to the bag and hang it outside close to a window

If it’s windy the bag will make spooky noises and will move like a ghost!

Trash Bag Ghost Shopping List

  • White trash bag (from $4)
  • White balloon (from $6)
  • Double-sided adhesive tape (from $3)
  • Black marker (from $1)
  • Black paper (from $2)
  • String (from $1)

Total: $17

Halloween Ghost Decorations

Have a Fa-BOO-lous Halloween!

Remember, creating Halloween ghost decorations should be fun. Even if they don’t turn out perfect, focus on enjoying yourself whilst making them. Grab your family and have your kids help you in making them, or use this opportunity to spend time with your friends while preparing these spectral centrepieces.

Have you made any of these Halloween ghost decorations before? Have you got any other ideas for cheap Halloween ghost decorations? Let us know in the comments.

For more inspiration, check out articles in our Halloween section.

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Happy Halloween!

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