Now that your kids are a little older, it’s time to update your Halloween decorations – specifically, put away the funny and cute Halloween characters and bring out the flying ghosts, cackling witches and crawling creatures! Everyone knows no scary, outdoor Halloween theme is complete without a spooky graveyard and what does every graveyard need? Tombstones!
After you’ve mapped out where your graveyard is going to be in your yard and designed a rough sketch as to how you want your graveyard to look, it’s time to start making the tombstones. Tombstones should be placed at the head of each dirt mound in your graveyard. To give your graveyard a tattered look, you can also scatter some broken or cracked tombstones around the yard. Here are some easy steps to show you how to make a tombstone:
Purchase Your DIY Tombstone Supplies
Search around on the internet and get some ideas on what tombstones should look like. Once you have a few ideas, here is what you’ll need to make a tombstone:
- Spray paint
- Black enamel craft paint (the kind used to paint on glass)
- Small paintbrush
- Pen knife
- Serrated kitchen knife
- Felt-tip pen
- Metal ruler
- Bamboo garden skewers
- Garden clippers
DIY Tombstones Step-by-Step Directions
This is where you get to be creative. In this step, you will decide on the shape, size, and decorations for the tombstone. If you need a little help determining the shape of your tombstone, download and print out this free tombstone template.
Cut out the shape of the tombstone using a serrated knife. You can either draw your design directly onto the Styrofoam with a pencil or felt-tip pen or you can transfer your design from paper. To transfer your design or letters onto the Styrofoam, you can use carbon transfer paper or you can use a pencil. Rub the side of the pencil lead on the back of your design, covering the entire area behind your design with the pencil rubbing. Then put the pencil covered side to the Styrofoam and using a ballpoint pen trace the design (pressing somewhat hard). Your design will be transferred onto the Styrofoam.
Note: Here are some possible quotes for tombstones:
- “Ben Better – 1893-1993”
- “Barry M. Deep”
- “IMA Frade”
- “Flint Stone – Done In By Rubble”
- “Here Lies Johnny Yeast – Pardon Me For Not Rising”
- “Yetta Nother – 1442-1507”
- “Otta B. Alive – 1975-2012”
- “I. Emma Ghost “
- “Into The Earth I Shall Be. Keep Off The Grass, And Stop Walking On Me”
Using a pen knife or a small kitchen knife you can begin to carve the design into the Styrofoam. Cut an angle about ¼” deep.
When the design is carved, use a small paintbrush and black paint to paint into the carved design. Let dry 2-3 hours.
Follow the directions on the spray paint and spray the front side of your tombstone at an angle so as not to spray directly into the black carved area. Let dry in a well-ventilated area for 2 hours, then spray the back.
Stake Tombstones Into The Ground
Once the spray paint is dry, cut the bamboo skewers using garden clippers into 4 pieces each 10” long. Insert two skewers into the bottom of each tombstone careful not to poke through the front or back, and allow half of the skewer to stick out.
Light it Up
Add spotlights to some of your tombstones to make them stand out. You can also cover them with fake spider webs, dead flowers, bugs, creepy creatures or anything else that you think would be scary.