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DIY Halloween: 20 uses for cheesecloth

Posted by Melissa Massello  October 22, 2012 04:00 PM

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Cheesecloth is a kitchen workhorse, but did you know you can use it to create quick and easy Halloween decorations and costumes? Here are some simple ways to turn this staple into seasonal and scary decor.

Creepy cobwebs. Cut and rip the cheesecloth into strips while keeping them connected on one end, so it acts like a garland. You can hang above from doorways, windows, or fixtures, or drape on a mantel or through a tablescape or vignette. 


Spooky spiders. Pin a single layer to a wall or in front of an unlit fireplace, or cover a dining table, poke holes of varying sizes throughout, and attach plastic spiders. 

Ghastly ghosts. Prop a ping pong ball on an upended toilet paper roll, cover with a couple squares of cheesecloth and spray with laundry starch. When your ghost is dry, use a black marker to draw eyes and a mouth on the head. You can also use larger balls, bent coat hangers, and taller props to vary the shape. Hang.

Malevolent mummies. Cheesecloth will turn anything into a mummy. Pumpkins are a good option; so are mason jars, simple glass vases, and candle holders. Attach googly or felt eyes after wrapping with cheesecloth. For hollow containers, add battery operated candles inside for some extra ambience. Grab a friend and have them wrap you into a mummy. Just use the bathroom first.

That's all from basic cheesecloth. Take a little extra time to dye it, and you expand your project options:

Aged tatters. Add double strength black tea to a spray bottle, and instantly age your cheesecloth for a centuries-old look.

Bloody rags. Mix a few drops of red food coloring with water and soak spots or sections of cheesecloth in it. Allow to dry, and then transform yourself into a vampire victim or a wounded warrior. Drape inside a clear shower curtain for a Psycho feel. 

Swamp thing. Add green food coloring to water. Mix equal parts red, yellow, and blue together in a separate container to make black. Add drops of black to to the green water to darken the hue. Soak ripped strips or garland in the mixture, let dry, and hang for a scary swamp vibe.

Zombie attacks. To perfect your undead look, take any dyed or clean cheesecloth and get some dirt on it. Brush off the excess, preserve with hairspray, and then use to cover wounds on your decomposing self. 

Dim the lights. Use dyed or clean cheesecloth to create a low light atmosphere by draping a few layers over lampshades. Make sure that bulbs are low-wattage and the cheesecloth does not come close enough for it to get hot.

Black as night. You could dye your cheesecloth black, but if you want a lot of it, buy it online or at party stores. Black cheesecloth is great for bringing creepiness to candles (tent over candelabras and then insert your tapers), making a widow's veil, or finishing a witch's ensemble. 

Wreath-ful vengeance. If you also have a wreath form or a simple twig wreath on hand, you can greet your guests in style. Wrap with clean, dyed, or black cheesecloth, add eyes for a mummy or plastic bugs, spiders, or snakes for the creepy crawly factor. Tuck disembodied fingers into a spot-dyed red cheesecloth-wrapped wreath to beckon those to enter. 

Have you ever decorated with cheesecloth? Tweet at us using #DIYBoston to share your Halloween decor tips and stories.


This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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