DIY Ghost Orb

Things have been pretty quiet around here and for that we apologize. Steph and I have both had pretty hectic Septembers (are there any other kind??). But this weekend marked the first weekend of October and I was finally in the mood to do some Halloween crafting and decorating. I’ve had the idea for this project in the back of my mind since we did the DIY pool orbs for the 4th of July. The idea of pairing something as simple as a balloon with the re-useable battery operated tea light is so, so simple and seems to lend itself to any kind of holiday or celebration (my wheels are turning for a Christmas-themed balloon orb project!).

I’d actually never tried the cheesecloth ghosts which have been all over Pinterest for years. However, as I pondered ways to incorporate the orb into Halloween, my mind kept coming back to the idea of using starched cheesecloth or fabric to drape over the lit balloon. I actually tried it both ways – with cheesecloth and with a basic white cotton fabric. I’ve pictured it both ways but think I prefer the fabric application best.


DIY Ghost Orb - supplies

1 square of 30″x30″ (or larger) white fabric or cheesecloth

liquid starch (I DIY’d this using this tutorial as I didn’t have the energy to run out to the store AGAIN. It worked perfectly!)

1 white balloon

1 submersible tea light

small pieces of black fabric or black cardstock (for the eyes)


Start by making your liquid starch, if you’re DIY-ing it. Follow the directions here.

Next, rig up a “form” to create your starched ghosts. I used a tall vase with a balloon attached to the top.

DIY Ghost Orb

Soak your cheesecloth or fabric, depending on which material you’re using, in the liquid starch and wring out the excess liquid.

DIY Ghost Orb - starch

Drape the piece of fabric over your ghost form. Allow to set for an hour or two.

DIY Ghost Orb

Once the fabric has set, prepare your orb. Stretch the opening of the balloon and pop in the submersible tea light (have it switched on). See this tutorial for more pictures of this step.  Blow up the balloon and tie it.

Insert the balloon into the fabric ghost. If it falls out with the weight of the tea light, you can secure it with some glue or tape. Ta-da!

DIY Ghost Orb

If you plan on lighting the ghost up multiple times, you’ll want to blow up a new balloon each time (so you can turn the light off when you’re not using the decoration).

This was the cheesecloth version…. didn’t love it…

DIY Ghost Orb - cheesecloth version