Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How To Make The Pinterest Ghost Dress

Have you seen the Ghost Dresses on Pinterest? Genius!

Hauntingly wistful with a touch of's Carolina Herrera meets Casper. The second I saw this on Pinterest, I knew I had to make one. Tiny problem, though: no instructions. 

I'm not easily thwarted, so I studied the photo and bought what I thought I needed. I'm happy to report (trumpets please) my ghost dress turned out FABULOUS! Here it is, pre-glow. I even added sleeves!

Not bad, huh? It only took me an hour and a half. I constructed it in my family room while watching Disney's Haunted Mansion (it's important to set the mood!)  Here's how I did it:

  • chicken wire: one roll, 36 inches wide, 25 feet long (you'll have some left over for other projects)
  • wire cutter
  • a small roll of thin wire you can bend and twist with your fingers
  • green fluorescent paint (optional)
  • landscaping staples to anchor it to the ground

The Skirt
1. Roll out 43"of chicken wire, and cut. Repeat two more times. Lay the three panels side by side, and use the thin wire to "sew" them together. Stand up the panels, and sew the ends together to make an enormous cylinder. This is the skirt, though it doesn't look like one yet!

2. Stand the skirt up. Gather the waist into pleats, sewing as you go, until you have the size waist you want. Bend the rest of the skirt into gentle folds. 

The Bodice

1.  Roll out the chicken wire again. This time measure down 14" and cut. Match the ends and sew it into another cylinder.

2. Fit this to the skirt, wire together.

3. Push in the bodice to give it a womanly shape. I gave my bodice a sweetheart neckline, but you can just leave it straight if you want.

The Sleeves (optional)
1. Cut two lengths from the roll for the desired sleeve length. (I cut 9 inches).  Wrap the sleeves around into a cylinder and wire the ends together. Crimp into a sleeve shape and wire to the bodice.

Now for the fun extras!
I wanted my dress to glow in the dark. I first tried Krylon's Glowz glow-in-the-dark spray paint. Save your money. This stuff doesn't work at all!  (Too bad I didn't read the Amazon reviews before I bought two cans at the hardware store!) Then I did some research. I could buy some NASA-grade glow-in-the-dark paint that recharges in sunlight, but the reviews were mixed on how well it actually worked, plus it's super expensive ($22 for a 2 oz bottle). It was time to revert to the tried and true of my childhood dance recitals: fluorescent paint and a black light.

*Note--I opted to paint my ghost dress by hand vs spray painting it. It's a lot cheaper to paint by hand and the coverage is better. Then again, it's a lot faster to spray paint. Your choice.

Now for the black light. In order for your ghost dress to really glow at night, you need to shine a LED UV Black Spotlight on it that's outdoor friendly. Don't think you can just pop in any old cheapo black light bulb. It won't work, trust me, I tried.  I ordered my LED spotlight off Amazon, but there are multiple sites that sell them.  I recommend this website to learn more:

Last night I went outdoors to check out my ghost dress. It sent a chill up my spine! It's just the coolest Halloween decoration EVER! Give it a try. I'm not an artist or a seamstress, so if I can do it, anyone can. Maybe next year, I'll add another to keep her company!


  1. Time to get super creative and make her a MAN!

  2. great to have these instruction. I saw the image of the wire dress early this year and got very excited. More power to you that you gave it a try without instructions. I and a friend spent hours doing the calculations of how to fit the shapes into the wire. Next step is the cutting and meshing together. Thanks v much for your information.