Make A Halloween Thing: Salt Dough Ghosts

Welcome to the Halloween installment of Make A Thing where we make handmade gifts for people! Or ourselves. Or our cats. Mostly our cats. 

Header by Rory Midhani

I don’t know about you, but I don’t do Halloween very well. I really hate scary things. I can’t do haunted houses or haunted corn mazes or actually anything involving the scaring of others. My fragile little soul just can’t take it! I think most movies are too scary. To be honest, I was concerned about how I was going to sleep at night after watching the Pretty Little Liars Halloween episode during the day. I just can’t do it.

That said, I can appreciate an adorable Halloween decoration when I see it. So that’s what I rolled with: adorability in lieu of scaryability.

Salt Dough Ghosts

I worked with salt dough because there’s a tiny human in my life and she loves to help make things, especially things that resemble cookies (dough + kitchen = cookies, duh). Salt dough is perfect for letting kids make things. It’s cheap, it cleans up easily and it’s non-toxic. It’s also perfect for making things sans kiddos, too, namely because it’s cheap, easy and won’t necessarily kill you.

Supplies Needed:
+ Basic salt dough (recipe to follow)
+ Microwave or oven
+ Paint
+ Sharpie
+ String

Basic Salt Dough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water

(If you’re thinking “that’s a fucking ton of salt, Hansen”, you’re right. Salt dough ain’t jokin’ around.)

Level of Difficulty: Easier than getting me to watch a scary movie without crying or hiding in a pillow or crying while hiding in a pillow.


1. Mix up the salt dough. You can stir it all together with a spoon at first, then knead it until it turns smooth (it will start out feeling pretty gritty, then smooth out as you knead it).


2. Shape out your little ghosts. I made mine pretty hollow for drying sake.


3. Use a paper clip or needle to make a hole through your ghost for your string to go through later.


4. Okay, here’s where I got rebellious. Google told me that instead of baking these at 350 degrees F for 3 hours (THREE HOURS NO WAY) I could instead make them in the microwave for 3 minutes until they are completely dry, adding 20 seconds at a time in the end if necessary.


5. Some of them cracked, some whithered. But I came to terms with this by imagining a sheet over a child and how wrinkly those things are, then I had zero fucks to give about having smooth ghosts.


6. Paint your ghosts white. All I had was glossy white, so my ghosts are just going to deal with being shiny. Paint brushes make excellent wet-ghost holders.


7. Use a sharpie for the eyes, string them through, hang them up and you’re done!



What do your Halloween decorations look like this year? But don’t show me anything scary.

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Hansen is the former DIY & Food Editor of and likes to spend most days making and cooking and writing. She teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in her free time.

Hansen has written 189 articles for us.


  1. I’ve never done anything with Halloween before bc my ex was in the God-Squad.


  2. This is super cute! I am planning on doing basically the same for Christmas gifts this year… I want to make some sets of 3-5 salt dough Christmassy ornaments (maybe some funny ones) and give them as gifts. Super cheap, fun to make, and every Christmas when they decorate their tree they’ll be reminded of my mediocre crafting skills (and how much I love them).

  3. Salt dough ghosts in front of beautiful fall foliage, mmmm.
    AND your rebellion is helping save the world.
    It’s really the little things.

  4. This is so great, Hansen. What if I print out every Make A Thing and use them as activities for the kids I nanny? You’re going to make me look so impressive.

  5. awwwww little ghostiiiiiieeeeeeees

    I went to (Moderator) Carrie’s halloween party and she did this genius thing where she decorated the extra toilet paper rolls in her bathroom like ghosts (little construction paper mouths and eyes). it was inspiring, like this.

  6. I’ve never heard of using salt dough to create anything…but I am in love with the idea. So many cute creatures to be made.

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