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ghost out of tomato cage

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DIY Tomato Cage Ghost

Taylor | Casually Coastal Designs

If you've been on Facebook or Tiktok at all recently, I'm sure you have seen these adorable little tomato cage ghosts. They're super cute, simple to make, and pretty cheap! So follow along for step by step instructions on how you too can jump on the hottest Halloween decor trend!

diy tomato cage ghost

You'll need: a tomato cage, either a full or half styrofoam ball, a white sheet, a string of lights, black felt, a hot glue gun, and a pair of scissors. First, your going to grab your tomatoe cage and use a twist tie to gather the three prongs together. This will help keep everything secure.

diy tomato cage ghost

Next, grab your half syyrofoam ball and push it down onto the three prongs. I made sure it was down onto the prongs as much as possible to ensure a nice, secure hold.

diy tomato cage ghost

It should look like this at this stage!

diy tomato cage ghost

Next, grab a string of lights and wrap them around the tomato cage. You can use twist ties to keep the lights in place, or just wing it and wrap them tightly.

diy tomato cage ghost

Pro tip: make sure you leave enough of a tail so that you can plug your ghost into whichever outlet you choose!

diy tomato cage ghost

So, this part took some trial and error, but I found a great tip! You could kind of see the styrofoam ball under the sheet when the ghost was lit, so I fixed this problem by throwing a white pillow sheet onto the tomato cage first. This helped and made the ghost have the final look I was going for!

diy tomato cage ghost

Next, put the sheet over top of the cage. Center the sheet and fluff. I used a fitted sheet for mine, and I ended up liking this better than a flat sheet. The fitted part allowed me to fluff and arrange the bottom hem to my liking and I think it was a little thicker than the flat sheet as well.

diy tomato cage ghost

Cut out some felt eyes. My mom added a mouth to hers. Go crazy and create any ghost face you'd like!

diy tomato cage ghost

Hot glue your felt pieces onto your ghost face.

diy tomato cage ghost

Plug in and enjoy!

DIY ghost decorations

Enjoyed the project, resources for this project:.

Tomato Cage

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project.

Mary Wallace

Will the lights catch on fire from the pillowcase and sheet over it????

Join the conversation

Sandra Whittier

What a cute ghost idea.

I love it!👻

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Stop Googling, Start Crafting: The Only Tomato Cage Ghost Instructions You’ll Need (5 Steps)

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My post contains affiliate links (a.k.a.shortcuts to the products I know you are going to love and use).  If you buy one of these items, DanaVento.Com will make a tiny commission (so I can seek out more fun products to share with you!) Don’t worry, none of this affects your price. Consider me, your concierge to find these things faster without a lot of searching! Learn more here .

Turn your yard into a Halloween spectacle with these Tomato Cage Ghost Instructions—easy, affordable, and spooktacular!

DIY outdoor ghosts made using my tomato cage ghost instructions

So you’ve been scrolling through Pinterest and TikTok, spellbound by those wickedly charming tomato cage ghosts. But let’s be real. All that Googling has gotten you nowhere—except maybe a few rabbit holes.

We’ve got the tomato cage ghost instructions and deets you have been searching for, so I got you, my Halloween Spook masters! Stick around and banish the mystery. No tricks, just treats!

In a time when everything from gas to groceries has skyrocketed in price, why should Halloween seasonal decor be any different? And consider how short-lived the season of hauntingly fun outdoor decor is, as it is up for about a month or less.

The solution to the expense: easy DIY outdoor ghosts using tomato cages. Our tomato cage ghosts are ridiculously affordable, chic, and an utterly beautiful DIY solution to light up your yard.

***But act fast! As the season changes, stores quickly clear out their garden supplies. So, head to your local home improvement store, locate the Lawn & Garden aisle, and grab at least four tomato cages. Trust me; you’ll want them for my legendary Tomato Cage Christmas Trees later!

untouched tomato cages at your local home improvement retailer ready for its Halloween makeover

Hot Tip For Tomato Cages at Home Improvement Retailers >> If you don’t see any in the lawn and garden, ask; they wrap them and put them on the top shelf, so get there crafters, go!

Table of Contents

Ghostly reasons you will like tomato cage ghosts.

DIY Outdoor ghosts are a total win.

Tomato Cage Ghosts Complete and ready to decorate with

  • Kid-Friendly : This is a great project to get the little ghouls involved!
  • Budget-Friendly: The materials are insanely affordable, and you might already have them in your home.
  • Quick to Assemble : This isn’t an all-day affair; you’ll have your ghosts up in no time.
  • Weatherproof: Vinyl tablecloths? Check. Outdoor lights? Check. Tomato cages that already live in the garden? Double-check.

The 5-step Outdoor Ghost DIY overview

Need a quick grasp of the project before diving into the nitty-gritty details. Here you go, and keep reading because I dig in with the tips to help your outdoor ghosts DIY stay there without losing their white tablecloth covering!

  • Invert the tomato cage and secure it into a triangle shape.
  • Wrap or secure the lights around the cage.
  • Attach a “head” to the top of the cage using your chosen material.
  • Drape one or two plastic tablecloths over the frame.
  • Add eyes and a nose using low-temp hot glue.

Materials You’ll Need: No Bones About It, Gather Your Gear

  • Tomato Cage: Either a 32″ or 42″ galvanized type. Your choice!
  • Outdoor Lights: A 50-count white light set. Target’s got ’em for $2.
  • A Plastic Table Cloths: Your canvas for creating a ghastly silhouette.
  • For the Head: A plastic bag, an 8-inch wreath frame, or dare I say, get creative!
  • Zip Ties: Because no one likes a flimsy ghost.
  • Low Temp Hot Glue Gun : A crafter’s best friend.
  • Foam Eyes: Totally optional, but a spooktacular touch.

5-Step Tomato Cage Ghost Instructions. No Hocus Pocus Here

Use my short video to see this happen, but it is so easy. This is kindergarten-level crafting, trust me! Don’t make tomato cage ghosts harder than they are; they are a simple DIY and fast to make!

Step 1: Light It Up and Secure That Tomato Cage

Flip that tomato cage upside-down and tie those prongs together with a zip tie to form your ghost’s noggin. Then, go straight into stringing those twinkling lights around the cage. Make sure it’s evenly distributed, y’all.

String of outdoor lights carefully wrapped around A DIY Outdoor Ghost n tomato cage

Step 2: Choose Your Tomato Cage Ghost’s Cranium

Now, it’s time to get artsy. You’ve got options galore for your ghost’s head—a stuffed white plastic bag, a nifty 8-inch wreath frame from Dollar Tree, or even an 8-inch Styrofoam ball if you’re feeling fancy. Secure your chosen cranium with zip ties, adding a bit of extra stuffing for that 3D oomph.

Tomato cage flipped upside down secured wreath frame with a zip ties for the ghost's head

I used the wreath frame covered with a stuffed white plastic bag to add that 3D oomph, but I could have left it just as the frame, in all honesty, because tomato cage ghosts are fine any way you craft them.

3d oomph by packing wreath with a bag filled with more bags for a diy outdoor ghost

Step 3:Drapery and Durability of DIY Outdoor Ghosts

This is part of my DIY tomato cage ghost instructions you’ll really want, or your ghost will fly away (well, its table cover will!) One simple step keeps your table cover on and centered, and this is what you need to perfect these DIY outdoor ghosts.

Grab that low-temp glue gun and run a quick line of glue across the head you made, as it will be what keeps that white vinyl cloth from flying away. Drape your vinyl tablecloth right over the glue.

Tie or staple the sides not to expose the tomato cage, but rather so your ghost doesn’t attempt a Great Escape in October winds.

The tomato cage covered in white tablecloths taking on a ghostly form

Pro tip : One tablecloth worked like a charm for me, but hey, you do you, and if you want to layer up your tomato cage ghosts, go ahead. I just shortcut, and all is good.

Step 4: Eye Spy a Spooky Ghost

Bust out those Dollar Tree foam eyes and stick them on with low-temp glue. Don’t even think about markers unless they’re weatherproof; trust me on this one. I don’t suggest spray paint either unless you are a pro artist, or you will get running mascara eyes! (yep, we tried it.)

Step 5: The Final Touch – Light ‘Em Up!

Plug in those lights, and step back to marvel at your DIY mastery. It’s so simple you’ll want to make another. And another.

On Material Choices and Reusability

Here’s a pro tip: If you’re hesitant about dedicating a tomato cage to your spooky artistry, worry no more. The beauty of this DIY is that it’s fully reversible.

Once Halloween is over, you can easily disassemble your ghost and reuse the tomato cage for its original tomato-supporting purpose.

Now, let’s talk materials.

We tested everything from bedsheets to mesh material.

  • Bedsheets got too heavy when wet and heavy and clung to the tomato cage
  • Pillowcases are too tight; there’s no flow, no reality to them, no thanks!
  • White material mesh, even combined with tulle, was too transparent (the cage showed)
  • But a plastic tablecloth? That’s the goldilocks of ghost garments. One layer gives a nice glow, and two layers offer a darker effect, depending on the number of lights you use.

On Stuffing the Ghost Tomato Cage Head and Sizing

Let’s talk about this for a second. Someone suggested styrofoam balls, but Hobby Lobby And all the other crafting stores are a standard $8+ for a styro 8-10″ ball.. um, no thanks; this is a DIY on a budget, and that is ridiculous. I might as well go buy a ghost for the outdoors! But if that appeals to you, go for it; it just seemed like a waste.

We did find styro skeleton heads at the dollar tree, but it was too small in diameter, and well, we passed on that.

Want to give your ghost more depth? Stuff a plastic bag with filler and secure it over the wire wreath frame. For this, you’ll tie off the bag so the stuffing fills the opening in the middle of the frame. That was our go, and it was inexpensive and reused stuff I had lying around.

The TOMATO Cages For Tomato Cage Ghosts

For sizing, we used a 32-inch tomato cage. It’s on the smaller side but packs a punch in the spook department. You could buy the 42″ one if you prefer or alternate sizes; I just did not do that. Personal preference. Also, I didn’t really go BUY them. I had them in my yard from summer planting, to be clear, but when I bought them, they were 32″.

Glue Gun and Weather Conditions + Tomato Cage Ghost Instructions

I would be remiss if I did not remind you about glue guns, plastic, foam, and weather.

First, use a waterproof hot glue for both cool and hot glue temperatures (it’s what I do)

If you don’t use waterproof glue for your glue gun, remember using a hot glue gun could be a gamble if you place your ghost outside. The weather elements can mess with the glue, causing your foam or felt eyes possibly fall off. So, take the weather into account when you’re planning and crafting your tomato cage ghosts.

Next, use the low glue gun setting ONLY, or you will melt the plastic, and well, there goes your DIY outdoor ghosts that you just made.

Lighting Up Your DIY Outdoor Ghosts: Bargain Hunting for Lights

We snagged a 50-count white outdoor light set from Target for just two bucks! That’s right; they’re stocking them in the aisles as we speak, so grab ’em while you can.

Remember, only use outdoor lights . If you want a different color, you will have to seek them out I went with white to get the color to show best.

Extra Juicy Details: DIY Pro Tips to Elevate Your Ghost Game

  • Why Low Temp Glue? Keep your tablecloth intact so it does not melt the plastic.
  • Weather Watch: Use waterproof low temp hot glue and stake those tomato cages down so they don’t fly.
  • Recycle & Reuse: Finished haunting? Disassemble your ghost and return the cage to its daytime job—supporting tomatoes! Or you can use my fabulous DIY tomato cage Christmas tree it is easy and a great way to decorate your outdoor areas.

FAQs Tomato Cage Ghost Instructions DIY

  • How do you make a ghost from a tomato cage? Quick answer: With a tomato cage as the skeleton, add lights for glow and drape a vinyl tablecloth over the frame. Presto, you’ve got a ghost!
  • What size tomato cage works best for these ghosts? I used a 32-inch cage, but feel free to go bigger (42″) if you want your ghost to stand taller.
  • How much fabric do I need? A 52″ x 108″ Dollar Tree white tablecloth works perfectly.
  • What should I use for the ghost’s head? You’ve got options! Styrofoam balls, plastic bags, or mylar balloons work well.Just make sure to use white on top of the ballon to you can’t see it (plastic bag)

You can change up so many different things for these diY outdoor ghosts so the sky is the limit but your ghost is grounded on a tomato cage so you are sure it won’t be flying anywhere soon.

Take Your Halloween Decor to the Next Level with Tomato Cage Ghost Instructions

As we’ve shown you, creating a spooky yard setup doesn’t require a horror movie budget or special effects. Our Tomato Cage Ghost Instructions are foolproof and budget-friendly.

Now for the bonus tidbit: Did you know you can also use glow-in-the-dark paint to give your tomato cage ghosts that extra ‘boo’ factor at night? Yes, you heard it here first!

Ready to turn your yard into a ghostly paradise? Don’t wait until the witching hour; follow our Tomato Cage Ghost Instructions today and let your creativity haunt your neighbors with envy! Tell me what you are doing the same or different in the comments below! ~Dana XO

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Southern Home and Hospitality

Easy DIY Tomato Cage Ghost: Large & Low Budget Halloween Decor

Inside: Tomato cage ghosts are the perfect addition to your Halloween decorations. This easy DIY project costs little to make but gives big “boos” for your buck!

Tomato cage ghosts on front porch

If you’ve been scrolling through Halloween ideas on TikTok or Instagram, you’ve seen the tomato cage ghost. A lot. 👻

I know they got my attention—ridiculously cheap and large Halloween decor that can be seen from across the room, or across the street? I had to make some.

But when I went to my instruction guru Google, I was surprised there weren’t many websites with tutorials. (Maybe it’s just too easy?)

So I’m sharing how truly simple this Halloween project is if you’re looking for some big bang Halloween decor that doesn’t cost big bucks!

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase something through any link, I may receive a small commission, at no extra charge to you.  I only recommend products that I love or would purchase for myself.  See my full disclosure  here .

Supplies needed to make Tomato Cage Ghosts.

  • Tomato cage
  • White fabric : I used two plastic table covers from a Dollar Tree set of 2, but you can also use a white sheet ( a twin sheet works best )
  • White cheesecloth or white creepy cloth
  • Large styrofoam ball : I used 8-inch foam balls
  • Black felt with removable peel and stick backing for the ghost eyes and mouth
  • White Christmas lights ( optional )
  • Rubber bands, zip ties, twist ties, duct tape, or string to bind the top of the tomato cage

Supplies to make a tomato cage Halloween ghost

How to make a DIY Tomato Cage Ghost.

1. Secure the three prongs of the tomato cage together. I used rubber bands, but you could use anything you have on hand (ideas listed in the materials above).

Tying together the prongs on tomato cage with rubber bands

2. Push the styrofoam ball down over the point of the tomato cage.

Pushing the styrofoam ball head onto the tomato cage to make a ghost form

Instead of the foam head, even cheaper options are to use an upside-down round plastic pumpkin trick or treat bucket; or use plastic bags within a plastic bag, tying off to form a head shape.

3. If you’d like to have a glowing ghost, add some white mini lights to the tomato cage. Secure the lights at the top by tying off the end or with some zip ties. Wind them down the cage and thread the lights out the back.

Attaching Christmas lights to tomato cage to light up tomato cage ghost

4. Cover the form with the plastic tablecloths, white fabric, or sheet. I needed two tablecovers to completely cover the tomato cage. I started one plastic tablecloth at the bottom of the back and then draped the second one starting at the bottom of the front of the ghost.

Draping white tablecovers over tomato cage to make a ghost

5. Drape the cheesecloth or gauzy creepy cloth over the top.

Laying cheesecloth over tomato cage ghost

6. Cut three ovals out of the peel and stick felt. (I traced the oval bottom of my vintage Good Seasons salad dressing cruet to make it quick, easy, and even.)

Sticking on felt eyes and mouth on tomato cage ghost

7. Peel off the backing and apply two ovals for the ghost’s eyes and one for the mouth.

And presto—instant Halloween ghost!👻👻

Tomato cage ghosts on Halloween front porch, Kate Rodgers of Southern Home and Hospitality

More halloween ideas

  • How to Easily Pose Cheap Halloween Skeletons in the Yard
  • How to Create a Spooky Chic Halloween Tablescape
  • Creepin’ It Classy Halloween Decor Ideas
  • Scary Simple Halloween Front Porch Decor Ideas
  • DIY Soaking Skeleton Bathtub Candle: “Humerus” Halloween Decor

How to use the tomato cage ghosts outside on the front porch.

​This Halloween season I’m using them to flank my front door, but something I didn’t take into account was wind. And the materials I used are so lightweight the ghosts “disappeared” every day.

Here are a couple of tips if you’re planning to use them on the porch ( lesson learned ):

  • Staple or use safety pins to attach the table covers, cloth, and/or cheesecloth to the tomato cage frame in a few places.
  • Tie a ribbon around the neck (plus it adds another cute decorative touch).

Another great way to make a statement? Have a whole family of Halloween ghosts! Tomato cages come in different sizes from a small size tomato cage to make a little ghost, medium tomato cage for mama, and a large tomato cage for dad.

Happy Haunting,

ghost out of tomato cage

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Oakdale Ace Hardware & Home Center

Make tomato cage ghosts for a quick and easy Halloween decor!

With just five materials, you can put together in five minutes, a Halloween decor that looks as eye-catching as the other ideas out there!

This tomato cage ghost project is not only easy to do, but it is also inexpensive. And we like that the required materials are not ruined in the process, so you can still use all of them for other purposes after the Halloween season. For instance, you can take the tomato cage and decorate it anew to create a Christmas tree for the holidays!

This tomato cage ghost is perfect to put just about anywhere in your home. You can place it on your porch, in your backyard, under the stairs or in one corner.

You can add more decorations if you want – hats, shoes, scarves… But even with just this basic design, it definitely looks great already! You can make it as scary or as cute as you want. And since it is a cheap project, you can also create as many as you like!

Now the best part about this tomato cage ghost is that it is eye-catching during the day, but even more so during the night! Considering how easy it is to make one, we say this is one of the most clever Halloween decor ideas out there.

So is this going to be your Halloween project for this year? Get more ideas from our gallery below 🙂

You’ll need these materials:

  • Tomato Cage
  • Clear White Wire Light Set
  • White Fabric Sheet
  • Straight Pins

And these tools:

Source: craftideas2live4.com

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TRENDING POST: Free Poppin' Valentine's Tag 

Lolly Jane

Tomato Cage Ghost Tutorial

Ready for the easiest and cheapest (and cutest!) Halloween decorations? Easily transform ordinary tomato cages into ghosts and witches for easy Halloween decor!

Have you seen the viral Halloween tomato cage ghosts floating around Tik Tok? We finally made them and they’re SO easy and so darn cute! Why didn’t we make them last year? Darn!

Ready for the easiest and cheapest (and cutest!) Halloween decorations? Easily transform ordinary tomato cages into ghosts and witches for easy Halloween decor!

Let’s dive right in and bring a ghostly guest to your front yard! BONUS: We made a friend for the ghost and created a Tomato Cage Witch!

DIY Tomato Cage Ghost Supplies

You only need a handful of quick goods to make a ghost. You may even have them all on hand!

  • tomato cages ( 33″ tomato cage for ghost, 42″ tomato cage for witch)
  • sherpa fabric to fit 33″ cage (1.5 yards)
  • white twin sheet to fit 42″ cage
  • black felt (self adhesive)
  • fairy lights
  • mini pumpkin (optional)
  • glue gun + glue

How to make a Tomato Cage Ghost

ghost out of tomato cage

Step 1: Select Your Tomato Cage 🍅

First things first – find yourself a tomato cage. You might already have one lurking in your garden. If not, head to your local garden center or home improvement store to grab one.

Step 2: Dress Your Cage 👻

Grab that sherpa or teddy bear fabric, white sheet or cheesecloth – it’s time to give your tomato cage ghost some ghoulish attire! Drape the fabric over the cage, ensuring that the top is covered completely and the rest cascades down like a ghostly gown. Secure the fabric at the top and bottom with some twist ties or ribbon if you live in a windy state.

Step 3: The Faceless Fright 😱

Part of the charm of your Tomato Cage Ghost is the playful face!. Use felt to add matching eyes. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it – your ghost’s expression sets the mood for your Halloween display!

BONUS: Mimic the viral Gus the Ghost pillow by adding a small pumpkin to your ghost. Simply glue the fabric to either side of the pumpkin so it looks like he’s holding it. So cute!

ghost out of tomato cage

Step 4: Light Up the Night (Optional) 💡

If you want to take your Tomato Cage Ghost to the next level, add a string of clear lights inside the cage. Secure them with tape or twist ties and let your ghost glow with a supernatural charm. It’s the perfect way to make your ghost visible even in the darkest of Halloween nights!

Step 5: Display Your Spirit 🎃

It’s time to show off your creation! Place your Tomato Cage Ghost in your front yard, on your porch or wherever you want to spookify. You can even make a whole family of them for a more ghostly gathering!

How to Make a Tomato Cage Witch

Follow the same instructions to make the tomato cage ghost but add a witch hat and witch broom ! So easy and oh so cute!

ghost out of tomato cage

What other ghost characters could you make? Mickey Mouse ghost by adding mouse ears or a zombie ghost by adding strands of cheesecloth to name a couple, get creative!

More Halloween Fun

Crescent Moon Wreath

Halloween Hand Pies

When Witches Go Riding | free print

DIY Crow Halloween Mat

SEE THEM ALL

ghost out of tomato cage

👻 Now that you’ve just crafted your very own Tomato Cage Ghost Halloween decoration, add it to your porch for easy Halloween porch decor ! Happy decorating!

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Home • Tomato Cage Ghost

Tomato Cage Ghost

ghost out of tomato cage

Published: Aug 27, 2021

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy .

Happy Halloween! I LOVE DIY Halloween decorations and am so excited to share the directions for this Tomato Cage Ghost craft idea with you. This is the cutest and friendliest Tomato Cage Ghost ever! This project is super easy, inexpensive to make, and so cute!

Tomato Cage Ghost

If you don’t have the time to make some serious Halloween decor for your home, here is a really quick and easy project for you! With just a few simple materials, most of which you probably already have, you can assemble this ghost. It is more eye-catching than many other ideas out there.

Pin this now to save it for later

Tomato Cage Ghost Materials

  • Plastic pumpkin pail
  • White sheet
  • Tomato cage
  • Black ribbon
  • Black felt or craft foam

Lights around a tomato cage

Instructions:

Begin by placing the tape around the top of the tomato cage. These 3 prongs can get sharp, so it’s best to hold them together to avoid injury and create extra stability. Next, wrap and drape white, yellow, or orange lights around the tomato cage. Hold the strand of lights in place with a little extra tape.

How to Make a Tomato Cage Ghost

Next, place a plastic pumpkin pail on top of the cage. You can use any color of pumpkin pail. You can even paint the pail if preferred. It’s cute to coordinate the color of the lights with the pumpkin pail. Whatever you do, just place the black part of the face in the back of how you intend to display the tomato cage ghost. You don’t want to see the plastic face glow through.

DIY Halloween Ghost Decoratin

After, drape a white sheet on top. I used a basic and very inexpensive twin-sized sheet for this project. Whether it’s extra big or just enough fabric, just manipulate the flowing appearance and it will work out no matter what:) I used a steamer to reduce the wrinkles in the fabric.

How to Make a Tomato Cage Ghost

Using a large size ribbon (or whatever you have on hand), tie a large pretty bow around the ghost’s “neck”. I happen to find this black ribbon with purple and orange accents at Walmart. I love it! Consider being creative with the ribbon… use glittery ribbon, ribbon with a pattern, or several bows to embellish the look.

How to Make a Tomato Cage Ghost Face

Finally, cut out some eyes and a cute mouth to bring your adorable Tomato Cage Ghost to life! I cut out oval eyes and then glued two “eyelashes” to each side. I love how cute she turned out! Don’t you?

Tomato Cage Ghost

What should we name her? So many people have named her here on my Facebook page !

More Halloween Crafts

Halloween Peeps Houses! An easy DIY Halloween craft idea for all ages.

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This HUGE tomato cage witch hat for Halloween is sure to be a show stopper!

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Tomato Cage Ghost

Ingredients

  • String of lights

Instructions 

  • Tape the top of the Tomato cage togehter
  • Wrap and drape lights around the cage starting from the top. Hold the strand of lights in place with a little extra tape.
  • Place the plastic pumpkin pail on top. You can paint the pail to coordinate with the color of the lights you are using. Be sure to rotate the face of the pumpkin to the back
  • Place a white sheet on top. Consider steaming out wrinkles if needed.
  • Tie a bow around the “neck”. Embellish the bow as much as you desire. Have fun with it!
  • Cut eyes and a mouth out of black craft felt or foam. I added little eyelashes on mine:)
  • Glue the eyes and mouth in place
  • Plug in the Tomato Cage Ghost and enjoy!

Kelly Dixon

Welcome to Smart School House! I’m so glad you are here! I’m Kelly Dixon and my website is designed to inspire your creative side. I hope you visit us here often!

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How to Make Tomato Cage Ghosts for Halloween!

How to Make Tomato Cage Ghosts for Halloween!

2023 Update: I stored my ghosts and hay bales in the attic for an entire year. With a little update to the eyes and mouths, the ghosts are good as new! I cut new eyes and mouths for all my ghosts and hot glued them on accordingly. A pro tip on being able to reuse your hay bales, don’t take the plastic wrap off! The bales stay together and they’re easy to store (no mess!).

I’m so excited for the upcoming holiday season! I was eager to decorate our front porch for Halloween and fall and wanted to take a stab at making tomato cage ghosts! They were so easy to make and turned out so cute! Keep reading for instructions on how to make the tomato cage ghosts!

What You Need for Your Tomato Cage Ghosts!

  • Tomato cage for each ghost
  • Styrofoam ball or half sphere for each ghost
  • One large white sheet (you can cut for multiple ghosts)
  • One string of Christmas lights for each ghost
  • Black construction paper
  • One claw clip for each ghost

Step by Step Instructions

  • Attach the styrofoam ball or half sphere to the pointed end of the tomato cage.
  • Use tape to attach the Christmas lights to the tomato cage and wrap the lights around the cage.
  • Drape the sheet over the ball and cage and cut any excess fabric. (I used a King size sheet and cut it in half, then cut excess fabric hanging from one of my bigger ghosts to fit the smaller ghost.)
  • Use a claw clip or other fastener to cinch the fabric in the back.
  • Cut ovals out of black construction paper for the eyes and mouth. Attach with hot glue.
  • Add in straw bales, fall plants, and pumpkins to finish out your display!

Video: How to Make Tomato Cage Ghosts for Halloween!

Here’s a Reel you can check out to see how I made these cute ghosts! And a video below too!

How to Make Tomato Cage Ghosts for Halloween!

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ghost out of tomato cage

A Guide to Create Easy Tomato Cage Halloween Ghost

Halloween Ghosts

Looking to give your garden a spooky makeover for Halloween? With just a few simple materials and a pinch of creativity, you can transform tomato cages into lighted ghosts. Here’s your step-by-step guide to making the perfect DIY lighted ghosts that are sure to be the talk of the neighborhood!

Step 1: Prepare the Tomato Cage

Turn the tomato cage upside down and place the circular top on the ground. Use hanging wire to secure the stakes together in a tipi tent shape.

Halloween Ghost Cage

Step 2: Position Floral Half Circle

Position the floral half foam ball in the center of the tipi point. Press down gently to secure the ghost’s head.

Halloween Ghost Head

Step 3: Wrap the Lights

Start at the bottom and carefully wrap the wire lights (solar-powered) around the cage. Once at the top, wrap back down to ensure full coverage and even distribution for a consistent glow.

Halloween Ghost Body

Step 4: Drape the Sheet Over the Cage

Position the white twin flat sheet over the tomato cage, ensuring it covers the entire cage. This will form the body of the ghost.

Halloween Ghost

Step 5: Create the Face

Cut out two ovals for the eyes from black craft felt (or Cricut vinyl). Arrange the eyes on the ghost’s head and attach them using super glue .

Halloween Ghost Face

Step 6. Light It Up!

Wait until dusk and then light up your ghost! The effect is particularly spooky when there’s a gentle breeze causing the fabric to flutter.

Lighted Halloween Ghosts

Supplies List

  • Tomato Cages
  • Hanging Wire
  • Floral Half Foam Ball
  • Wire Lights Solar Powered
  • White Twin Flat Sheet
  • Black Craft Felt

Creating DIY lighted ghosts using tomato cages is a fun, easy, and budget-friendly way to add some spooky charm to your outdoor decor. With materials you might already have at home, you can create a ghostly display that’s sure to impress trick-or-treaters. Enjoy the spooky season with your DIY spirits!

BONUS: 7 More Halloween DIY Projects!

I teamed up with a few of my creator friends to bring you even more budget-friendly projects for Halloween!

Jill from Bungalow 47 used plastic pumpkins and chalk paint to create Faux Vintage Paper Mache Pumpkins .

ghost out of tomato cage

Molly from Good Golly Gal used a skull jar and jewels to create a DIY Rhinestone Sugar Skull .

ghost out of tomato cage

Rhegis from The Morris Mansion used ornaments and tissue paper to create Hanging Ghost Garland .

ghost out of tomato cage

Alicia from Design Of Your Life used spray foam and pool noodles to create a DIY Giant Spider .

ghost out of tomato cage

Katy from Simply Gold Studio used a tea towel and embroidery floss to create a DIY Halloween Hand Embroidery .

ghost out of tomato cage

Mandi from Mandi’s Market used a floral swag and spray paint to create a DIY Thrifted Halloween Decor .

ghost out of tomato cage

Chica from Chica and Jo used a fern and spray paint to create Halloween Decor from Dead Houseplants .

ghost out of tomato cage

Drawing inspiration from the eerie charm of Halloween, our projects capture the essence of this spooky season. We hope they ignite your creativity and add a touch of magic to your festivities!

Please note: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase through my link, at no additional cost to you. Please read my full  disclosure policy  for more information.

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Create Spooky Tomato Cage Ghosts: Tips and Sizes You Need

by Brittany | Sep 5, 2023 | Crafts , Decor

tomato cage ghosts

Last year I assembled these super cute, super easy, tomato cage ghosts for Halloween and they were a huge hit! They’re great for indoors or outdoors and don’t require a lot of time or supplies to make them.

To make one tomato cage ghost:

  • 36″ – 42″ round tomato cage, with the option to cut the rings down for a smaller size
  • Rubber band
  • 12″ diameter styrofoam half ball
  • Strand of 100 white lights
  • 6ft round table cloth
  • Standard sheet of black felt
  • Optional: you can use two 12″ long, 16 gauge floral wire stems and two 2″ mini styrofoam balls for arms and hands. 

If you haven’t notices, Kristin and I love making ghosts for Halloween! Along with these great tomato cage ghosts, Kristin showed us how to make tabletop ghosts out of cheesecloth and thumb painting mini ghosts on pumpkins ! Just a couple sweet ideas if you’re in the market for some ghost themed decorating.

For now, let’s get into how and what you need for this spirited project…

tomato cage ghost supplies

  • 36 – 42″ size round tomato cage
  • strand of 100 white lights
  • standard sheet of black felt
  • Optional: you can use two 12-14″ long, 16 gauge floral wire for arms and two 2″ mini styrofoam balls for hands.

Instructions

Follow along this video time lapse or read through the steps below.

Here’s a couple helpful tips to get you started:

You can cut the tomato cage down for a smaller/shorter ghost. This is great for a little hight variety.

Don’t stress about the lights – this part does not require perfection.

Try to stick with a vinyl table cloth if you plan to keep your ghost outside.

Ok, let’s get down to the details!

  • If you need to cut your tomato cage, start with that first.
  • Flip your cage over so the largest ring is sitting on the floor.
  • Rubber band the three stakes together.
  • Attach your styrofoam half ball to the three stakes. (No glue or wire needed, just push down firmly until it feels secure)
  • Wrap the cage in string lights.

making tomato cage ghosts

Optional Arms

If you’re wanting to add arms and hands, then follow these steps here. Otherwise, feel free to skip this part.

  • Twist one end of floral wire to the cage, about 1/4 of the way down the “body” of your ghost. Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Attach the mini styrofoam balls to each “arm”. 

making tomato cage ghosts

  • Open up your table cloth and drape over the top. Do your best to make it even but the most important part is to cover all the front areas. 
  • Fold the sheet in half and cut one oval to make two equal shapes.
  • Use your hot glue gun to carefully add glue to the ovals and attach as eyes. 
  • Plug in and enjoy the fun!

making tomato cage ghosts

I loved mine around my fireplace to finish off the decor on my mantle. But these guys would be great for the front porch or foyer. Be sure to have them ready to go for your Halloween party and trick-or-treaters!

tomato cage ghosts

Check out these spooky posts next!

decoupage pumpkins

Affiliate Disclaimer

This page may consist of affiliate links from Amazon and others at no additional cost to you. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. This does not cost you anything extra, but does offer opportunity for this channel. All the products we share are tested and approved by Brittany & Kristin. Thank you for your support!

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Home > DIY > Holidays > Halloween

How to Turn Tomato Cages (Yes, Tomato Cages!) Into Cheap DIY Halloween Ghost Decorations

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These DIY Halloween ghost decorations are a little bit spooky and a little bit silly!

light up DIY Halloween ghost decorations for the yard

This year, let’s make some spooky DIY Halloween ghosts for decorations!

If you’re looking for a fun, easy, and cheap  DIY Halloween decoration idea for either inside or outside the home, check out these awesome DIY tomato cage ghosts that light up at night!

It’s a brilliant idea to repurpose tomato cages in an inexpensive way, and if you are a gardener, you probably have everything already at home for this easy DIY project .

making diy tomato cage ghosts

It takes just three supplies and ten minutes to make tomato cage ghosts and the results are SO CUTE & SPOOKY! I have done this project in the past and the kids always get a kick out of it.

supplies for tomato cage ghosts

Tips for making DIY tomato cage Halloween ghost decorations:
  • To make the ghost’s eyes, I used a Sharpie marker . If you wanted to reuse the sheets and not make permanent markings, consider pinning on black felt shapes instead.
  • I have used old bedsheets for this. If you don’t have any on hand and want cheap sheets, consider looking at thrift stores, Walmart, Target, Big Lots, or other low-cost retailers for inexpensive twin white sheets . Consider securing the sheet to the cage in a couple of spots with clothespins if your area is especially windy.
  • If you don’t have any tomato cages, they can easily be found at gardening or home improvement stores. I actually scored some recently for just a few dollars each on clearance at Walmart! I like the idea of using two heights for variation.
  • You can attach a ghost head to the top like a large styrofoam ball or volleyball on the 3 points of the tomato cage. I tried it and didn’t like how it blocked the light at night. Perhaps a clear ball of some sort would be better?

adding christmas lights to a tomato cage

Tomato Cage Halloween Ghost Decorations

Supplies needed.

  • tomato cage
  • set of mini christmas lights in white
  • plain white flat sheet
  • black permanent marker

Place the cage upside down so the largest round wire circle is on the ground. You can leave the wire as is, pull it apart a little, or even go further and create a rounded shape for the edge. I just left mine as is. 

Wrap the Christmas lights around the tomato cage and cover it with a white sheet.

Place your ghosts outdoors on the porch or where desired inside and plug them in to illuminate the lights. Enjoy your new Halloween decor!

DIY halloween tomato cage ghosts

These light-up tomato cage Halloween ghosts look even better in person!

A grouping of them look so festive together, and if you have the supplies this could be a zero-spend DIY Halloween decorations creation! You can of course utilize them inside or outside if you’d like — they’re great either way!

woman making tomato cage Halloween ghost decorations

I first did this idea when my kids were younger, and they were super excited about it, and I got tons of compliments from trick-or-treaters on Halloween. I like that it adds a bit more light to the yard while also looking so GOOD!

tomato cage ghosts

Hip2Save reader Stacy was inspired and made her own! Here are her helpful tips:

“ I added a white balloon at the top and used white duct tape I had on hand to cover the prongs and hold it in place. I also found some fun Halloween ribbon at Dollar Tree and decided to give each of my ghosts a bow. After searching high and low for white sheets and couldn’t find anything, I ended up using white plastic tablecloths from Dollar Tree as well. I’m using LED lights so they won’t get hot and pop the balloon or melt the plastic tablecloth. 

Check out our BEST Halloween deals, discounts, and DIY ideas!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

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Comments 11.

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Cute idea! I bet you could use cheap white plastic tablecloths also to resist rainy conditions. And possibly put a balloon or ball at the top with duct tape to give a rounder head? Thanks for the idea- I think I’ll try this!

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Yes love that!! Email me a pic if you do as I’d love to see it. 💕 [email protected]

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I was thinking Dollar Tree Shower curtains too.

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If you use plastic, make sure to use LED lights as they don’t get hot.

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I need more DIY outdoor Halloween decorations!!!

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Here are all of our DIY Halloween ideas! https://hip2save.com/category/crafts-diy-projects/halloween-craft-ideas/ Hope that helps!

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We took the Dollar Tree hanging ghosts and stuck them on garden stakes, last year. They turned out great and you can add lights. Really easy and cheap too!

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Oh how fun! Great idea!

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I have my tomato cage ghost, I use a volleyball for the head!

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ghost out of tomato cage

Spooktacular Halloween Decor: Creating Ghostly Tomato Cages in 7 Easy Steps

  • Team Ideas24
  • October 11, 2016

Tomato Cage Ghost

Don’t have the time to make some serious Halloween decor for your home? Here’s a wonderfully swift and effortless project just for you!

In a matter of mere steps, you’ll unveil a delightful and seasonally fitting addition to your décor. Rest assured, this creation encapsulates the very essence of the season.

Still, you have the chance to infuse your surroundings with the magical appeal of Halloween, all within the constraints of your limited time!

Halloween Decor

With just seven simple materials, you can put together in five minutes, a Halloween decor that looks as eye-catching as the other ideas out there!

This tomato cage ghost project is not only easy to do, but it is also inexpensive. And we like that the required materials are not ruined in the process, so you can still use all of them for other purposes after the Halloween season. For instance, you can take the tomato cage and decorate it anew to create a Christmas tree for the holidays!

This tomato cage ghost is perfect to put just about anywhere in your home. You can place it on your porch, in your backyard, under the stairs or in one corner.

You can add more decorations if you want – hats, shoes, scarves… But even with just this basic design, it definitely looks great already! You can make it as scary or as cute as you want. And since it is a cheap project, you can also create as many as you like!

The remarkable attribute of this tomato cage ghost lies in its ability to captivate both in daylight and, remarkably, even more so under the cloak of nightfall. Given the simplicity of its creation, this is one of the most ingenious Halloween decor concepts at your disposal.

So, is this going to be your Halloween project for this year? Get more ideas from our gallery below :)

  • 1.1 Materials
  • 2 Tomato Cage Magic!

How to Make Your Own Ghostly Tomato Cages Halloween Decor

Get ready to summon some spooky charm with this enchanting DIY project! If you’re seeking a bewitching addition to your Halloween decor that’s both creative and easy to achieve, you’re in for a treat!

In this tutorial, discover the secrets to transforming ordinary tomato cages into ghostly spectres that will delight and mystify all who encounter them. Now, gather your materials and prepare to embark on a hauntingly fun crafting adventure that will leave your space dripping with eerie elegance.

  • Tomato Cage
  • Clear White Wire Light Set
  • White Fabric Sheet
  • Straight Pins
  • Glue or Double-Side Tape

Tomato Cage Ghost

Transforming everyday tomato cages into ethereal spectres is easier than you think, and this guide is here to help you through each step. Unveil the secrets to conjuring these charming ghostly figures that will infuse your space with a sense of otherworldly Halloween decor elegance.

With a dash of imagination and the right materials, you’ll soon have your very own Halloween decor that both captivate and mystify. Ready to craft your own ghostly wonders?

Step 1: Prepare the Tomato Cage . Begin by setting up your tomato cage in a well-lit and convenient workspace. Make sure it’s clean and free from any debris.

Step 2: Attach the Foam Ball . Take the foam ball and securely attach it to the top of the tomato cage. This will form the head of your ghostly figure. Ensure it’s centred and firmly positioned.

Step 3: Illuminate With Wire Lights . Wrap the clear white wire light set around the foam ball, letting the lights drape over the cage. Secure the lights in place by gently tucking them under the tomato cage wires. This will give your ghostly creation a captivating and ethereal glow.

Step 4: Drape With White Fabric . Drape the white fabric sheet over the tomato cage, allowing it to flow down and cover the entire structure. Adjust the fabric to create a flowing and ghostly appearance. You can trim any excess fabric if needed.

Step 5: Secure the Fabric . Use straight pins to secure the white fabric to the tomato cage. Make sure the fabric is draped and arranged in a way that resembles the flowing shape of a ghost. Pin the fabric at various points along the cage to hold it in place.

Step 6: Add Face Details . Cut out eyes and a mouth from the black felt. Play around with different expressions to give your ghost its own unique personality. Once you’re satisfied with the face, attach the felt pieces to the foam ball using small dabs of glue or double-sided tape.

Step 7: Final Touches . Step back and admire your ghostly creation! Ensure the fabric is draped just the way you want it, and adjust any lights or fabric as needed. Plug in the wire lights to bring your ghost to life with a soft, enchanting glow.

There you have it – your very own ghostly tomato cage masterpiece! This charming and whimsical Halloween decor piece is sure to captivate and delight everyone. Place it indoors or in your outdoor space to infuse an air of mystery and fun into your Halloween festivities.

Of course, you can place it by your front door, seamlessly integrating it into your ensemble of Halloween decor . This not only accentuates its mystique but also welcomes all who approach with an enchanting touch of seasonal spirit.

Enjoy the spooktacular results of your Halloween decor crafting adventure!

Tomato Cage Magic!

Elevate your Halloween ambience with a touch of spectral enchantment! Unleash the spooktacular charm of DIY ghostly tomato cages in just 7 simple steps.

Cast a luminous spell upon your surroundings by infusing ethereal light that dances with an otherworldly glow. Envelop your creation in the delicate embrace of white fabric, allowing it to cascade like a spectral shroud. As you do so, observe the mesmerizing transformation unfold before your eyes, as humble tomato cages are transmuted into enchanting and haunting spectres that possess an irresistible allure.

Craft an otherworldly decor that combines simplicity with elegance, turning your Halloween into an unforgettable, ghostly affair. And bewitch your surroundings with mesmerizing Halloween decor! Let the ghoulish festivities begin!

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Make a jack-o-lantern ghost tomato cage craft for Halloween home decor.

Tomato Cage Ghost : Halloween Decor for Your Front Porch

Make a jack-o-lantern ghost tomato cage craft for Halloween home decor.

Making a Jack O’ Lantern Ghost Tomato Cage Craft

Tomato cage ghost crafting is easy and cute. The decorating urge has overtaken me this Halloween season along with the fun and creativity it gives  you when it is completed. I am not a scary decorator, because they have always frightened me, but I love the cutesy whimsical themes.

Tomato Cage Ghost Crafting

ghost out of tomato cage

During my last thrift store finds, I came across a pumpkin smiley head that was electrified, for $1 it was the start of my decorating frenzy.

The image to the left is an example of what my jack-o-lantern ghost tomato cage craft head looks like. It’s from Amazon, our affiliate. Any plastic Jack-O-Lantern head will do. And of course, since you are covering your jack-o-lantern, it doesn’t need to be too realistic looking. You can get them at most stores during the Halloween season, from as early as August in most places, for a variety of prices. Or, if you are like me, you may get lucky in a thrift store.  The plastic treat pumpkin heads can also be used.

Directions for Ghost

I used an upside down tomato cage for my bases and incorporated the head in the loose prongs at the bottom of the cage. The cages come in different sizes, the one I used was the smaller type because it was a better proportion for the size of the head.  The prongs are brought together and fastened with twist ties. tape or wire. I cut a wire coat hanger at the hook,  twisted and bent it in half attaching it to the bound top of the form to create arms. Then placed the head on the wire V of the bound prongs. I had left over muslin I had used for another project and simply draped over the enter form, arms and the pumpkin head. Tie a ribbon around the neck and it was done. I placed a weighted planter under the cage to give it stability in the wind. The face lights up and then seen thru the muslin for a cute effect.

 Happy Halloween

If you would like to see more ideas visit my Pinterest board or my Tomato Cage Witch project .

6 Replies to “Tomato Cage Ghost : Halloween Decor for Your Front Porch”

The second paragraph in the narrative gives you simple instructions on how I made the ghost. Sorry I did not have any pictures to guide you.

Lol people don’t know how to read these days. Extremely cute. I might make a couple for my yard this year. 🙂

You gave me some ideas of my own, not only for Halloween, but for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I just need to buy more tomato cages.

yes my thoughts exactly. Christmas Pilgrams etc

Approximately how much muslin was used??

Less than 2 yards. They were actually scrapes, the body was one piece tied at the neck and the arms were a piece just layed over the wire coat hanger arms.

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DIY Tomato Cage Ghost

  • October 14, 2013

ghost out of tomato cage

We may earn money from the companies or products mentioned in this post.

Do you love my DIY Tomato Cage Ghost Witch?  I truly thought I was being original when I came up with this idea. Then a fellow blogger posted some Halloween projects, and what is included – none other than tomato cage ghosts!  Well, I was still going to be original because I put mine together a bit differently than the others I looked at.

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4 thoughts on “ DIY Tomato Cage Ghost ”

This is a great project! It looks soooooooooooo spooky LOL I actually this it's cute (in a very creepy way)

Very spooky… I see your little guy likes it a lot.

Hi, Saw your linky on Diana Rambles Pin Me Linky Party. Very cute witch! Pinning!!

http://freshjuniper.blogspot.com

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Tomato Cage Ghosts

by Kat on October 29, 2012 with 8 Comments in Craft Projects , Crafts , Halloween , Holiday , Projects

ghost out of tomato cage

  • Tomato Cage
  • Stiff, yet bendable wire
  • White Christmas Lights
  • White fabric
  • Fabric glue
  • Wire Cutters

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8 comments to tomato cage ghosts.

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  • Jenny October 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

These turned out great. I may have to do this on my front stoop. Now to clean out the garden so I have some tomato cages.

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  • Mona Daughtey October 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

You know solar powered light are really food for these .. And you can put them anywhere!

  • Kat October 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

I wonder if they’d get enough light through the sheet in the day to light up at night?

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  • Manisha October 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm

These are awesome!

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Southern Living

Southern Living

How To Use A Tomato Cage

Posted: May 9, 2023 | Last updated: July 8, 2023

Caging your tomato plants provides support while improving plant health.

A plump beefsteak tomato can weigh up to a pound—that’s a lot of weight for the flexible branches of a tomato plant to support. Add the bulk of several fruits ripening at once and you have the potential for plants to flop under their own weight. That’s where the tomato cage comes in. Not only do cages provide much needed support for those long stems, but they also help manage tomato diseases and make harvesting fruits easier. Learn how to use a tomato cage to keep plants healthy and increase yield.

Benefits of Using a Tomato Cage

Tomatoes are prone to several diseases, many of which originate in the soil. Tomato cages hold foliage off the ground, reducing contact with the soil which in turn limits disease and insect damage. Caging tomatoes also helps manage foliar disease problems by increasing air circulation in the leaf canopy. Rather than enclosing the plant and confining the foliage, as the word cage might imply, the gridded bars of a tomato cage serve to support branching vines, holding some of the weight and allowing you to better separate branches. This improves air across the foliage and supports a lush canopy that protects fruits from sunscald. When it comes time to harvest, the fruits held up off the ground are easy to harvest.

A tomato cage also provides a framework for covering plants early in the growing season if temperatures take an unexpected dip. The same approach can be used to protect plants from early frosts in the fall, helping you to extend the harvest season. 

Types of Tomato Plants and Support Needs

Several different training systems can be used to support tomato plants. These include trellising, the stake-and-weave method, and cages. The type of support system to be used depends in part on tomato growth habits. Tomatoes can be divided into two types, determinate and indeterminate.  

Determinate tomatoes produce all their fruit at once, which creates a heavy load on the vines. Plants compensate for this with shorter, thicker stems to support the weight. Determinate varieties are heavily branched and tend to have a bushy form. Plant growth stops when the plants begin flowering and every branch tends to end up with a flower cluster. 

Indeterminate varieties continue to grow and produce leaves as well flowers throughout the entire growing season. Most gardeners grow indeterminate types at home to ensure a continuous crop. However, determinate tomatoes are ideal for small spaces and containers, or if you plan on canning your tomatoes for later use. 

Both determinate and indeterminate tomatoes benefit from support. All three of the training systems mentioned above can be used with indeterminate tomato varieties, but only cages and the stake-and-weave method are used with determinate varieties. Of all the training methods, cages are the easiest to use. They require less work than staking or trellising and provide similar benefits. Fruits on caged plants may ripen a little later than those on staked or trellised plants, but the fruits they produce are less likely to suffer from cracking or sunburn. For the best results, select a sturdy cage sized for the type of tomato you are growing.

Selecting a Tomato Cage

Tomato cages come in a variety of shapes and are made from metal, bamboo, wood, or plastic. While plastic cages are cheapest, they are also the least sturdy. Old-fashioned metal cone-style cages also tend to be on the flimsy side and too short for indeterminate varieties, however newer, taller cone-shaped cages made from thicker steel are available and stand up well to the weight of a loaded tomato plant. Cages range in height from 3 to 6 feet and typically have a diameter between 18 and 30 inches. When selecting a tomato cage consider the size of the plant when fully grown.

Determinate tomatoes tend to have a more compact growth habit and require a cage with plentiful cross bars to support branches for increased air circulation and heavy fruit loads. Determinate varieties are on the shorter side, so a four-foot-tall cage is adequate. Look for a triangular or square-shaped cage with a narrower width, up to two feet across, to support determinate tomatoes.

Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow and set fruit all season long, producing tall vines that can reach heights of up to 10 feet. You want a very sturdy cage to support these tall plants. Look for a six-foot tall support made of a strong material. A V-shaped tomato ladder or square cage provides the necessary support, as do sturdy cone-shaped cages. Be sure the support has long prongs for securing the cage into the ground.

How To Use a Tomato Cage

Selecting your tomato cage is the hard part, installing them is easy. To protect growing roots, it is best to install cages at planting time. Here’s how:

  • Center the young tomato plant in the middle of the cage. Remove any leaves that touch the soil.
  • Push the anchors into the soil to a depth of 8 inches. If you are using a cage in a container, set it in the empty container before filling with soil, so the legs touch the bottom of the pot.
  • If you live in a windy area, anchor the cage against the wind by securing it to wooden stakes driven into the ground on opposite sides of the cage, or by using additional extra-long garden staples.
  • Remove the bottom set of leaves when plants reach 12-18 inches tall. Continue periodically removing the lowest leaves until you have 12 inches between the ground and the lowest set of leaves. These are the most at risk of infection from soil-borne diseases.  
  • As plants grow, gently lift branches upward and direct them through the openings in the cage. If needed, you can tie stems very loosely to the frame.
  • Check your plants regularly to continue training them to the support system and prune as needed.

It is important to decide on a caging system and have cages ready when you set plants in the garden. Choose a sturdy cage sized for the type of tomato you intend to grow. Make sure your hands fit easily through the openings in the cage for easy harvesting. At the end of the season, take time to remove and clean cages for winter storage. Storing cages in a protected location over the winter will help them last longer.

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