Gauzy spirits to haunt your entry

Translucent fabric is the secret behind these quick-to-make Halloween characters
Mary Jo Bowling and Jil Peters, Sunset Magazine

Tulle, an almost transparent fabric, is the secret behind these apparitions you can put up even at the last minute before Halloween night. They sway spookily in the slightest breeze.

Time: 25 minutes

Cost: $10

Tools and materials:

Clear balloon (1 per ghost)

Gray latex paint and paintbrush, or a thick permanent marker

Tulle (3 yards per ghost)

Scissors

Fishing line (2 to 3 yards)

1. Inflate a balloon and, with paint or a permanent marker, draw a ghostly face on the balloon.

2. Cut the tulle into two 4 1/2-foot squares.

3. Fold the squares in half and cut ragged edges on the unfolded sides.

4. Unfold one square of tulle and place it over the balloon. This will be the head and body of your ghost. Holding the tulle tight around the base of the balloon, weave fishing line through the fabric, pull it tight, and tie it off.

5. Lay the head and body on a flat surface. Place the other square of tulle (still folded) on top of it so that the folded edge lines up with the base of the balloon. This will form the ghost's arms. Connect the two pieces with fishing line, tied through both fabrics at two points near the base of the balloon.

6. To hang the ghost, tie fishing line to the top of the head and at a point partway along each arm.

Note: Balloons may deflate after a day or two; keep replacements on hand, or put these up on Halloween day.

Next: Halloween in a pot