In honor of our “Christmas in July” theme at Hallmark and our guest on today’s show, Mr. Ernie Hudson…an original ghostbuster…I am making a “A Christmas Carol” themed DIY ghost catcher lantern. This a cute DIY that is fun to do with your kids…or in my case…is fun to do for this kid inside of you! I enlisted the help of our props master, Mr. Dave Lowe, who allowed us to dream into the macabre, mixed with a little ghostbuster love to create this one-of-a-kind ghost catcher. And since it glows in the dark, it can double as a lantern!
First…let me give you a little history. Charles Dickens wrote the classic Christmas tale, “A Christmas Carol” in 1843. And even though this is a holiday tale, it is one of the greatest ghost stories ever written. This was during the Victorian Era and the American Old West, a time in history that is commemorated by a popular current trend called “Steam Punk”. This mixes Victorian and Old West style with their view of a post-apocalyptic, futuristic, science fiction machinery. To create your own perfect Ghost Catcher Lantern, imagine a world that mixes those styles with machinery that uses steam for power. Think outside the box. Use things around you (or around the craft store and hardware store) to create things that they were never intended for. Take what you know about life and the world and turn it upside down. See objects in a different light. Let the objects take on their own life. Shake it up.
If you’ve done all that, you are on the right track. So keep that in mind as you view this material list…these are the things that WE used. Your imagination will help you pick up materials for your own lantern!
You Will Need:
- Wooden box 8”x8”
- Potted plant plastic saucer
- Wood tabs
- Wood drawer pull
- Plastic Christmas ball ornament
- Red copper wire
- BBQ skewer
- Glass cylindrical container
- Plastic tubing for an aquarium
- Plain card stock
- Push-pin studs copper
- X-acto knive
- Metal name plates
- Fluorescent green spray paint
- Glow-in-the-dark spray paint
- Copper spray paint
- Hot glue gun with glue sticks
- Crazy glue
- On your piece of card stock, free-hand draw a ghost to fit your container. My ghost is approximately 10” high and about 6” wide. If you don’t feel comfortable drawing this yourself, you can download the image on the Home and Family website.
- Cut out the ghost using scissors. You can use an X-acto knife to cut out the mouth and the eyes.
- Take the fluorescent green spray paint and start painting the card stock ghost at the bottom. Get lighter and lighter with your spray so that it creates an ombre look from bottom to top, green to white.
- Paint both sides of the ghost. Let dry.
- Take the glow-in-the-dark spray paint and paint your ghost from top to bottom. Be generous with this step. Do about 5-6 coats of this paint and set aside to dry.
- Now you are ready to create the actual trap. Take the box and turn it over so that it serves as a base, rather than a box.
- Add the push pins to each top corner of the box.
- Take all of the pieces that you would like to use and paint them with the copper paint. You can be messy and dirty with this step since you want it to look old and rusted. Set aside to dry.
- Once dry, take your potted plant plastic saucer and line the edges with hot glue. Turn it upside down and glue it to the box.
- Take your cylinder container and add hot glue to the bottom of the cylinder and secure on top of the plastic saucer.
- Take the screw-off top of the cylinder container and glue wooden pegs to the rim about 1” apart.
- Take the drawer pull and glue it to the top of the rim.
- Take the grommets and line them up, one on top of the other. Glue into place.
- Glue the grommet stack to the top of the container.
- Glue the Christmas tree ornament to the top of the grommet stack.
- Print out little signs to go in the metal name plates. Use your imagination, or download the ones we provided on the Home and Family website.
- Add any little acrutramonts you would like to add for final touches.
- Add the ghost to the cylinder by curling his legs in opposite directions and pushing him down into the cylinder. Adjust as needed.
- Turn off the lights and enjoy! You’ve trapped your ghost!
Missed the episode? Check it out here on Home & Family!