Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Halloween Graveyard - Make Your Own Tombstones

Make Your Own Tombstones!

If you really want to make your Halloween Party or Halloween display for trick-or-treat the talk of the graveyard, you can fill your cemetery with inexpensive, easy-to-make headstones handcrafted by you! You can make an entire graveyard of Halloween headstones for the cost of one store-bought headstone!

Step 1) Call your local home center (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) and ask if they carry sheets of Styrofoam insulation. Even within the same franchise, some will and some will not. Half of our local Home Depots have it. Just call around.

Step 2) Get a kitchen knife and safely stow it in your car. You’ll see why in a moment.

Step 3) Head to the local home center with the Styrofoam insulation.

Step 4) Before you head over to get the insulation, grab a can or two of FLAT BLACK spray paint.

Step 5) Purchase several sheets of Styrofoam insulation. It comes in all sizes and thicknesses. The thicker, the better. You might also get some thinner stuff to add to the front of the main headstones (more later.) Some sheets are small, but others may be too big to fit into the car. Now that kitchen knife comes in handy. Even if you buy a gigantic 4 foot by 8 foot chunk of Styrofoam (VERY INEXPENSIVE) you can rough cut it into small squares that will fit in your car or trunk!

Step 6) If you need to, cut down the Styrofoam in the parking lot to fir it into your car, then drive your supplies home.

Step 7) When you get home, trace out a pattern. (Suggestion: leave the protective plastic coating that is on the Styrofoam on for drawing & cutting). Use that same kitchen knife to carefully and safely cut out several gravestone shapes. You might also choose to use a craft knife or box-cutter. Be VERY CAREFUL using these and ALWAYS CUT AWAY from your body. Be careful to never hold the Styrofoam by placing a hand underneath where the knife may cut through.


Step 8) Optional: Break off tiny pieces or carve out small cracks and edges to make the headstone “older” looking. (If you accidentally crack your worries! Work that crack in!)

Step 9) Optional: For some DELUXE tombstones, take the thin Styrofoam sheets and cut out some shapes. You can cut out several squares and stick them to the bigger, thicker headstones to give a brick or block effect. Cut out a skull or other ornamentation while you're "at it!"

The best way to get ‘em to stick is to apply a little spray glue and then (and most importantly) take some small "finishing" nails or even straightened-out paper clips (anything small and rigid) and stick it through the small piece tacking it onto the big piece. You’re essentially “nailing” the brick to the headstone.

Step 10) Carve out any slogans of designs. A large black permanent marker (and we mean the GIANT ones) can also be used to literally carve words into the Styrofoam as the ink will melt the Styrofoam as it sets into it.

Step 11) Use spray paint to add the final touches to your tombstone. BE SURE TO SPRAY IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA! There's no need to be precise, a random uneven spray pattern will look more realistic. Simply "dusting" the Styrofoam will give the most "stone like" results. The Spray paint will unevenly melt and disintegrate the Styrofoam creating an incredibly realistic stone-like effect.

Step 12) Cut a few wire hangers and stretch them out into stakes. Stick one end into the bottom of the tombstone. When ready, stick the whole tombstone into the ground using the other end of the "stakes." If your tombstone is large and it's windy in your area, you may want to use larger, wooden garden stakes.

Step 13) "Set dressing!" Be sure to add some leaves and twigs around the base to add realism.

To see more amazing, simple, low cost to no cost projects, visit!


  1. Styrofoam insulation is mainly used in bead form, but it is also possible to get sheets that can be used for insulation of dry walls, attics, and under roofing. Installed properly, Styrofoam insulation will provide an effective barrier against any loss of heating and also as a seal to keep cool air in when using air conditioning equipment.

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