DIY Halloween Tombstone Yard Decorations

Create a spine-tingling scene with these Halloween yard decorations sure to entertain guests and passersby with eerie realism. Use slabs of foam, paint, and readily available props to assemble a family plot of Halloween tombstones full of fun.

What You'll Need

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

Make the Basic Shape

To make these spooky outdoor Halloween decorations, enlarge the tombstone pattern (it's free!) to desired size on a photo copier or at a copy center. Cut out the pattern and trace onto a foam sheet using a permanent marker. Use a foam saw to cut out the shape, then use a wood file to round all edges and create a worn look.

Get Specific

To embed a fake skull, use a styrofoam cutting tool to cut a skull shape out of the tombstone, then fill with shrink-free spackle. To add cracks to your tombstone, cut away a portion with the styrofoam cutter, then score an indentation where the crack ends.

For the lettering, choose a font, type in desired words, then 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 styrofoam cutter. We suggest traditional phrases, like R.I.P. and Too Soon To Go. Or, give your neighbors a special treat with unconventional sayings.

Paint

Use a foam trim roller to coat the entire tombstone with dark gray latex paint, then spray a light coat of spray paint with a stone finish (we used Krylon's Charcoal Sand). A variety of stone finishes can also be applied after the basic stone finish is applied. To complete the basic stone look, use the household trim brush to push black paint into all carved areas and cracks and let the tombstones dry. Let the stones dry according to package directions; we suggest letting them dry completely between each coat of paint. When they're completely dry, use a matte spray sealer to weather-proof the stones and display these Halloween yard decorations for the neighborhood to admire!

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