Friday, October 14, 2022

We Made A Packing Tape Ghost Bride From Haunted Mansion!

Happy Friday, friends!

So far for our Haunted Mansion Halloween we've made ghostly ballroom dancers and the three hitchhiking ghosts... but of course we need MORE ghosts. So next on my list is the Bride. (Or Constance, to her victims.)

I'll warn you purists now that our bride is not park accurate, old or new, though we did include a beating red heart as a nod to the original.

And y'all.


Yesss. Look at her. LOOK AT HERRRR

She also cost very little to make, since she's made almost entirely of packing tape and clear plastic drop cloths.  

C'mon, I'll show you how!

If you've ever made a duct-tape dress form then you can make a packing tape ghost; the method is almost identical.

I used the same mannequin torso from our chicken wire ghosts for my form, but you could use a brave friend instead. Just make sure they're wearing a t-shirt you can cut up, then cover THAT with the plastic wrap before starting with the actual tape. (So the shirt won't stick to the tape.)

I recommend a mannequin if you can get one, though; it's easier and safer.

Start with one layer of plastic wrap, then start layering on the packing tape.

You want a minimum of 3 layers. I did about 4, which took a roll and a half of packing tape.

The criss-crossing of tape and plastic wrap underneath gives a really cool texture, almost like cracked ice:

(I'm already brain-storming how we can make a faux ice sculpture with this for Christmas. Drop me your suggestions on what we could make!)

Once your layers are done, cut a slit up the back to remove your mannequin:

Because I also wrapped the arms, I had to cut a big + sign to get the form out.

Remove the mannequin, then carefully tape the cut seams back together.

I'm seeing Gozer's bubble-wrap cat suit here. "ARE YOU A GOD?"


Repeat this process with a Styrofoam head, then tape the head in place:

I tipped the head down slightly, both because our bride is going to be up high & because it looks creepier that way. :D

We couldn't help ourselves and immediately had to try out some lights. I gotta say, it's quite tempting to make this a centerpiece for the dining room table:

It's like a ghost is coming THROUGH the table, eeeee! So cool. Or imagine this attached high up on a wall somewhere. Oh! Or out of a mirror?!


Focus, Jen. We're making a bride here.

Most people hang their packing tape ghosts, which looks amazing, because then they catch the breeze. We plan to put our bride on the roof, though, so hanging isn't an option.

Instead John ran a long PVC pipe up inside the ghost, securing it with screws in her back and head.

The best part is the PVC is so thin she sways easily, like a weeble wobble. I've been bopping her around just to watch her skirt swish, ha.

The skirt went on lightning fast, since all we had to do was drape, pleat, and tape. We used a super thin, super cheap painters' drop cloth - the kind that costs maybe $2. (Side note: speaking as a former pro painter, NEVER USE THESE ON YOUR FLOORS. They're slippery and dangerous, plus keep paint drips wet for long stretches, so it's easier to track.)

For the veil we took a long length of plastic, made a little bump in the middle, and taped down the sides:

Another quick lighting test:

Meh. She needs something, right?

I decided to give her a bouquet, both for definition and so I wouldn't have to make her hands. (Hands are HARD.)

At the last second I realized it'd look extra cool if the flowers lit up, so I made them by wrapping long strips of clear plastic around a Dollar Tree light strand:

These LEDs are supposed to be white, but glow more blue, which is perfect. I used packing tape and a little hot glue to hold the strips of plastic to each bulbs, then twisted and wrapped to make the "roses."

I'm quite smitten with how these look, may have to revisit this idea for an "icy" wreath in a few months.

Next I mushed the flowers all together, face down, and taped them into one big mass:

Which looks like this, face up:

We taped the battery pack to the bride's belly, taped the mass of flowers to her wrist stumps, and, voila:

Glowing bridal bouquet!

We also cut and re-taped her straight arm to get this angle.


Pretty as she is, she's also a little startling first thing in the morning.


At this point our bride was mostly done, but needed fine-tuning: the support pole was way too visible, the flower lights were too bright, and she still needed her glowing heart.

Our heart solution was a happy accident: in my light drawer I found exactly 2 red LEDs, and when we hooked them to a battery they just happened to flash slightly off-beat with each other. Like a heartbeat. YUSS. John wired them to a battery pack and switch, and here I am testing the glow inside a wad of clear plastic:

That'll do, donkey. THAT'LL DO.

I mashed the plastic into a vaguely heart-shaped ball, taped it up, and taped it inside her chest.

I don't really know how big a heart is. Don't come for me, medical peeps.

Ahh, that blue spotlight really makes her a Mansion bride. Love it.

Next we camouflaged the interior pole by wrapping it in a swath of more clear plastic, which worked amazingly well.

No more pole!

And finally we swapped the batteries in the rose lights for nearly dead ones, to dim the glow. The flowers still blow out most photos, but look much better in person. I wish I could capture how cool they look IRL, those ghostly glowing roses are my favorite part.

At 10 o'clock last night we carted our 7 foot bride into the front yard and put on an absolute SHOW for the neighbors, while also getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.


Uh huh, uh huh, UH HUH

Getting the light right for photos is by far the hardest part of this build; the bride looks incredible in most any light IRL, but to get decent video and still shots we had to combine a white spot, blue spot, and small flashlight on her face.

Here she is without any interior lights:


And a side profile with just the heart light:
("Turn on your HEART LIGHT! Bah da daaaaa... Let it shine wherever you are...")

(Sorry, that's been stuck in my head for an hour now. :p)

And that's our Haunted Mansion bride!

We still plan to put her on the roof, but that could change as we're deciding where everything goes - and of course as we keep building more things. I hope you'll come back for the final tour in two weeks!

Before you go, here's a sneak peek at our Victorian Doom Buggy, which I am SO psyched for:

That's our friend Karen giving it a test drive. Since I took this photo John has made the enormous side wheels and we've added paint, though some rain is slowing us down. We plan to have this as a fully interactive photo opp for the neighborhood kids and families, and I can't wait to start adding the decorative touches.

I hope to have a finished Doom Buggy reveal for you by next week, so stay tuned!


If you like our over-the-top DIYs and silliness and want to help us do even MORE, then you can support me and John directly through Paypal! Whether it's a one-time tip or a monthly donation, every dollar helps us buy more materials, devote more time, and even pay a few bills, so THANK YOU.

You can also support Epbot by sharing my posts, tagging your friends, buying a cute t-shirt, or shopping through the Epbot Amazon storefront, where I keeps lists of my favorite things. The best support is reading my posts, though, so thank you for being here, truly. Love y'all.


  1. Maybe I'm a weirdo but when I first saw the bride I thought the bouquet was her intestines! Lol

    1. Me too! I think it was a byproduct of viewing it on a small screen. Though I must say glowing bowels would have been very spooky.

  2. Thanks Jen! This was fun to see on my Friday! Can't wait to see everything all set up. I've only been through the haunted mansion once, and don't really remember it. Wish I could!

  3. I love everything about this including the fact that youtube put an ad for engagement rings over the ghost bride video!!

    I kind of want to suggest some twinkle lights in the crown of her veil; but that might make it too, I don't know not ghosty??

    Also - I think you should totally have one of those 'eat sushi off a model's body with the ghost bride as the model in the middle of the table. Far less awkward and more sanitary but totally weird. (especially if you levitate the bride a few inches off the table!!!!)

  4. That's beautiful and amazing. For a future modification on this theme. It would be cool to project a talking face on your ghost face that fades in and out. It's amazing how realistic a movie of a face projected onto a 3-d face appears. And very uncanny valley ghostly eerie too.

  5. Did you try painting over the rose LEDs to dim the glow? a little grey acrylic should help.

  6. So my first thought when you mentioned faux ice sculptures was making one using one of the cats as a model. Then I thought about wrapping a cat in packing tape and realized that was so very, very wrong on so many levels. But maybe if you used a stuffed cat? Or "sculpted" one out of various styrofoam and other things and used that as the model? I bet you could get the rough shape correct with some scrunched up brown paper, pipe cleaners and PVC pipe.

  7. Wow! That looks astonishing and quite beautiful. One tiny nitpick (please ignore if you're not fussing with this any more) having had open heart surgery, heart should be lower in the chest and more centered.

  8. Great googly moogly Jen. This thing is disturbing and I want to see Ghostie ride the buggy now.

  9. I've made a packing tape ghost, and we used a clear garbage bag (which I bravely wore while getting tape put around me)

  10. Wow! Completely amazing and terrifying. Love the ghostly heart! Can’t wait to see the wagon.

  11. Wow this is very cool!

  12. Excellent re-use of a thestral!

  13. Christmas Ice sculpture- a Nokk from Frozen using Tim as your model. Or Mr Frozone from the Incredibles. Or a crystal castle. or your standard leaping fish but maybe its a.. whale?
    Betsy in WI

  14. If you use a friend as a model, please pick up some EMT shears. They're cheap and specifically designed not to poke/cut someone when you're cutting clothing off of them.


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