DIY Tombstones

We don’t normally decorate for Halloween so for the kids this year I decided to mock up a graveyard for the front yard.  I wanted something that would be easy to make, setup and take down.  Using wood was out of the question because of the weight and cost so I decided to use extruded foam insulation. I gathered the following and got to work:

  • 4X8 Sheet of 2″ pink foam insulation (Home Depot)
  • Acrylic Gesso and brush
  • Stone colored spray paint
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Saw, rulers, marker
  • wood rasp file

I didn’t know how many I would be able to make so I just started to cut out basic tombstone shapes and as I wound up with cut-off pieces I glued those together to form cross shaped tombstones:

The Gorilla glue expands as it sets so you need to make sure and clamp the pieces to be glued together.  Once its dry any excess can be trimmed off as it has the same consistency as the foam insulation.  I used the wood rasp to break down the edges to give each tombstone a weathered look

Between the cutting and filing quite a bit of foam shavings get generated, so I kept my shop-vac handy and cleaned as I went along.  In all I was able to make 11 different tombstones with most of the waste being the cutoff material.  Once I had all the forms cut. glued and cleaned up I put on a coat of gesso.  I suppose regular primer would work, but I had the gesso handy.

To paint them I screwed a long wood screw through the a dog house outside, stuck them on top and blasted them with the stone spray paint.

Next I’ll add some lettering. Part 2: Lettering