Make Faux Tombstones for Halloween

Learn to make foam-slab tombstones with witty epitaphs to decorate your yard for Halloween.


What You'll Need

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  • 2-inch-thick, 24-x-36-inch STYROFOAM brand foam sheets
  • Foam saw
  • Wood file
  • Fake skull
  • Styro Wonder Cutter Plus
  • Nonshrinking spackling compound
  • Repositionable spray adhesive
  • Rotary carving tool
  • Household trim brush
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic crafts paints: Candy-Bar Brown #02407, Metallic Red Copper #02605, Black #02506, White #02505, Avalon Blue #02418
  • Foam trim roller
  • Dark gray interior latex paint in flat finish
  • Krylon Make It Stone Textured Paint: Charcoal Sand #18202
  • Natural sponge
  • Krylon Acrylic Crystal Color spray paint: Forest Green #1297

How to Make It

  1. Enlarge pattern on a photocopier or at a copy center. Cut out pattern and trace onto foam sheet using a permanent marker. Use a foam saw to cut out shape.
  2. Use a wood file to round all edges and create a timeworn look. To embed a fake skull, use the Wonder Cutter to cut a skull shape out of the tombstone. Push the skull through the tombstone, cutting more away as necessary. Fill with nonshrinking spackling.
  3. To add cracks to your tombstone, cut away a portion with the Styro Wonder Cutter, and then score an indentation where the cracks end.
  4. For lettering, choose a font, type in desired words, and print to your desired size. Cut words apart and apply to the tombstone with repositionable spray adhesive. Then carve out the letters, using either a rotary tool with a round chuck or the Styro Wonder Cutter.
  5. To create the basic stone look, use the household trim brush to push Black paint into all carved areas and cracks. Let dry.
  6. Use a foam trim roller to base-coat the entire tombstone with dark gray latex paint. Spray a light coat of Charcoal Sand. A variety of stone finishes can be achieved after the basic stone finish is applied.

"Too Soon to Go" Tombstone

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Use lowmelt glue to attach the skeleton arms to the tombstone (hotmelt glue might melt the foam slab). For the copper look, sponge on Candy-Bar Brown, Black, and Metallic Red Copper acrylic crafts paint.

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"I Can See You" Tombstone

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For an aged copper finish, mix one part each of White, Candy-Bar Brown, and Avalon Blue. Dry-brush and/or sponge the mixture onto the tombstone, concentrating on the bottom portion but not covering the entire stone. Spray on a light coat of Forest Green paint.

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"Vacancy" Tombstone

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For a gray stone look, pour White and Black crafts paint onto a disposable plate. Dip the sponge onto both colors and, using a dabbing motion, apply on tombstone. Add Black to the sponge to make the edges darker. Rinse the sponge, and then add some White using gentle, tapping motions. Allow to dry.

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"I'll Be Back" Tombstone

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For a mosslike finish, spray randomly with Forest Green spray paint.

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"C.U. Later Allie Gater" Tombstone

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For a weather-streaked look, use a household trim brush to brush White in long streaks adding Black as desired while the White is still wet.

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