Hobbies, Lifestyle, What's trending?

Thrift Your Cute Halloween Decor With This Viral Ghost Painting Trend

thrifted ghost painting trend

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Raven Minyard. Find her on Instagram at @raven.minyard. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at thezillennialzine@gmail.com.

One of my favorite parts of the Halloween season is checking out all the new cute and spooky decor in stores like Michael’s and Target. But sometimes, the scariest thing about the decor is the price. If you’re looking for some fun seasonal decorations that won’t break the bank, we have the perfect thrifted DIY project for you. If you’ve been on TikTok over the last couple of months, you may have seen the thrifted ghost painting trend, in which people buy an old painting from a thrift store and add sheet ghosts to it. Not only is this a great way to save money on your Halloween decor, but it’s also a fun DIY activity you can do with friends, family or by yourself. Keep reading to learn more about this thrifted ghost painting trend and some tips and tricks on how to do it yourself.

What Is The Thrifted Ghost Painting Trend?

If you’ve ever been to a thrift store, you’ve probably seen those big framed paintings of landscapes and people in old-fashioned clothing. The thrifted ghost painting trend gives paintings like these a new life by, well, making them dead. DIYers paint little sheet ghosts over the preexisting paintings, effectively upcycling them into a cute Halloween decoration or, if you love the spooky vibes year-round, permanent decor for their home. Just like sheet ghost and pumpkinhead photoshoots of previous years, this trend seems to be the most popular 2023 Halloween trend on TikTok.

What Kind Of Painting Should You Look For?

We get it. If you’re thrifting, sometimes your options can be limited. The best thing about this trend is that you can get as creative as you want! Most people tend to go for paintings that already have an autumnal feel, so look for landscapes with fall leaves or anything that has a lot of reds, oranges and browns. Make your own haunted house by adding ghosts to the windows of a painted house. Look for paintings with a lot of people to populate your own ghost town. You can even create sheet ghosts of animals or, like this TikTok creator, portraits of public figures. The possibilities are endless. Don’t stress about finding the “perfect” painting, and remember to have fun with it.

Supplies and Painting Tips

One of the great things about this DIY project is that it doesn’t require a lot of supplies. After you’ve grabbed your painting, you just need some white, gray and black acrylic paint and a paintbrush, and you’re ready to get started. Sheet ghosts are just white blobs with two black circles for eyes, so they’re really easy to paint even if you don’t consider yourself an artist. But if you’re really worried, you can always sketch one on a piece of paper or, as this blog recommends, lay a sheet of clear plastic over the painting to see how your ghosts look before permanently adding them. And if your painting already features people, just paint over them to populate the scene with ghosts. Once you’ve decided where your spooky subjects will go and added the white paint, go back in with some gray lines to add shadows for dimension. Little details like that make it look like the ghost truly belongs in the painting rather than something that was added later on.

If the painting you selected looks too summery, try adding other seasonal details like pumpkins, bats and witch hats. You can also change any green leaves to orange, brown or red to add to the autumnal feel, or add some clouds to the sky to give the impression that the weather is cooler. Alternatively, incorporate your ghosts into their non-spooky environment by having them do other activities. If your ghost is at the beach, give it a beach ball. If your painting is set in the winter, add a Santa hat or two. Like we said earlier, the possibilities are endless. It can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be.

When you’re finished painting, just wait for it to dry and then you’re done! Hang up your new thrifted ghost painting and go enjoy the rest of the Halloween season.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the viral thrifted ghost painting trend! What other Halloween DIY projects are you doing this year? Let us know in the comments!

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