With Halloween fast approaching, take some ghoulish delight into your own hands. 

Seriously, here’s how to create a free-standing ghost from your handprints. 

This crafty trick is a boo-tiful decorative treat you can proudly display for many Octobers to come.

Hands-on time: 45 minutes

Total time: 11/2 hours


– One 14-by-22-inch white poster board (bigger is okay)

– Pencil

– Scissors

– 2-ounce bottle neon green acrylic paint

– Medium sponge paintbrush

– Three large paper plates

– Clear washable glue

– Two 7-millimetre wiggle eyes

– Black marker


1. Lay poster widthwise on a table and place your nonwriting hand on one side, leaving at least a half-inch space from your middle finger at the poster’s top edge and another half inch from your pinkie on the poster’s side. 

Trace your hand with a pencil. Move the hand you’re tracing to another part of the poster and repeat.

2. Rotate poster so hands appear upside-down and draw a curve across the bottom at the wrist area to complete the handprints.

3. Cut out the hands with scissors, snipping inside the lines so pencil marks aren’t left on handprints. Save leftover poster for another craft or to make more ghosts.

4. Place each hand upright and flat on a large paper plate, with thumbs on the right. Squeeze a small amount of paint onto another plate. 

Using a sponge paintbrush, completely cover this side of each hand with paint. 

Use more paint as needed. When done, gently turn hand over to make sure green didn’t get on the other side. If so, wipe off with a damp paper towel. Dry, paint side up, for 20 minutes.

5. Fold the green palm of each hand in on itself, lengthwise. 

Then, with the fingers of both hands facing down, squeeze and slide one hand just inside the other (thumbs will be on opposite sides). 

Pinch, but loosely, to leave room for a face.

6. Secure in place with two strips of invisible tape from the front hand to the back, rubbing to make as clear as possible. 

Place ghost upright on a table. To make it stand straighter, bend the bottom of each finger out. (It’s OK if thumbs and pinkies don’t touch the table.)

7. Dab a small amount of glue on the back of two wiggle eyes and press each – one left, one right – below the top of the ghost’s cone-shaped head. Dry 20 minutes.

8. Use black marker to colour an oval mouth on the ghost’s face, then display your “handmade” ghost for all to see.

– Washington Post

[All Photography]: Kris Coronado for the Washington Post