Puffy Cotton Ball Ghost

ghost-mateo-and-ghostToday I was looking for an easy, paint free craft. Glue seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Mateo’s never encountered glue before so it offered a new sensory experience for him while allowing me to skip the cleanup associated with painting adventures. Pinterest offered up this Puffy Ghost Craft and I jumped on it faster than you can say boo (see what I did there…).

Mateo has also just started to grasp the idea of ghosts (as a Halloween decoration, not as a scary haunting presence) and could not have more excited about the idea of creating his own ghost. Prep was easy. I simply cut out a ghost from white construction paper, glued it to a black background and cut some facial features for the ghost. Then I set out a bowl of cotton balls and a Tupperware bowl of Elmer’s Glue.


A side note: Mateo is very visual and does much better if he can see what he is working towards. Part of my Pinterest scouring is to collect pictures to show him. Our crafting projects go much more smoothly when he’s shown a picture of what we are creating ahead of time. Generally speaking it looks like this. I’ll show him the Puffy Ghost someone else created, we chat a little about ghosts, “boo” at each other a few times and then break out the glue. I did the first few dips of the cotton ball into the glue and onto the paper to show him how it worked. Then, I guided his hand as he dipped the cotton ball into the glue and asked him to stick it to the white paper ghost. Then it was his turn and he picked it up quickly.

This craft was a perfect example of what I mean when I tell people to embrace the experience as an activity rather than a straight path towards an end goal. The cotton balls were massively entertaining to Mateo. The glue was a new and fabulously sticky substance. Randomly he would remember ghosts say BOO and feel the need to yell “boo” at each other for a few minutes. For us, this is all part of the fun. Crafting is a joy when I embrace the entire experience and let myself get a little silly with my kid without stressing about whether we are “on task” or not. This is all new to him and he’s just diving in and taking the time to enjoy every aspect of it. We could all stand to do a little more of that!



  1. Cotton balls
  2. Black and white sheets of construction paper
  3. Scissors
  4. Elmer’s Glue


  1. Cut a ghost outline out of a piece of white construction paper. I am the least artistically talented human you’ll find. If I can make a ghost, so can you! You can, if you wish, use a stencil. Cut out circles for eyes, a triangle for the nose and a creepy looking mouth of your own design.
  2. Glue the ghost cutout to a piece of black construction paper or cardstock. You can, if you would rather, let you child glue the ghost to the black paper themselves. I chose to do it ahead of time in order to allow us to focus on the glue and cotton ball experience and cut out a few steps.
  3. Set out a bowl of cotton balls, a dish of glue and the cutout facial features.
  4. Show your child how it’s done and then let them cover the ghost outline with cotton balls. If dipping doesn’t work for your little one, you can also paint the ghost with glue ahead of time and simply have them add the cotton balls and facial features.
  5. Once the ghost is covered with cotton balls, have your child use the cutout facial features to create their ghost’s spooky face.
  6. Hang and display.


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