Monday, October 25, 2010

Make It Monday: Foam Tombstones

It’s Make It Monday here at, and today we’re talking tombstones!  Remember those frightening tombstones you saw in yesterday’s post about outdoor Halloween decorations?  

I’d been dreaming of these ever since I saw them made on a Halloween special on HGTV several years ago.  Now that we finally have a yard to decorate, I couldn’t wait to try it out!
You’ll need the following materials and tools:
  • Insulation foam – buy the 1.5” or 2” thick foam available at home improvement stores.  You’ll need a 2 ft. x 2 ft. square for each tombstone.
  • Wooden dowels, cut into 8-10” lengths
  • Drill and drill bit in same size as dowels
  • Serrated knife
  • Grey and black spray paint
  • Black permanent markers
  • Black acrylic craft paint
  • Small paintbrushes for lettering and details
Start by drawing the tombstone outline onto the foam.  Search for images online for inspiration.  Cut out each tombstone using a serrated knife.  Enjoy the foam “snow” that will cover you from head to toe.

Next, lightly paint the tombstones with grey spray paint, then accent with black spray paint to get a weathered stone look.  While this is drying, start sketching out what you want each tombstone to say.  Again, you can search online for inspiration, or come up with your own clever ones.  We even used silly references to tv shows we watch in coming up with ours!  Once the spray paint is dry, add the lettering and details you’ve decided on with black permanent markers, black paint, or a combination of both!  I started out hand-painting each letter, but quickly grabbed my trusty Marks-A-Lot when I realized how time consuming painting was going to be.  Once I’d drawn on the basic lettering, I went back to add more detail with the paint, including the drips and the faux cracks in the stone.

Finally, using a drill bit the same width as the dowels, drill holes into the bottom of the tombstone – make sure they are straight in, otherwise your dowels will poke out through the side.  Insert the dowels into the holes, then into the ground.  I had to use my drill again here to drill holes into the hard Arizona soil for the dowels to go into.

And that’s it!  While this project does take some time initially, it’s super simple and inexpensive to make, and will last year after year.

To see HGTV’s full tutorial on these foam tombstones, click here.  Now go make it!


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