How to Make Cemetery Tombstones

This is a fairly simple project/prop that can add a lot of impact to any home haunt.

Materials: change to suit your needs!

  • Depending on how many you plan to make, pick up some precut wall insulation foam from the local hardware store (I got mine at Home Depot, they were bundled together and wrapped in plastic, about 6 sheets in one pack.)
  • Black and Gray spray paint
  • Stencil's
  • Electric Kitchen Knife
  • Steaks for support.


Step 1: First the shapes of the tops need to be cut. One of the sheets of foam will make two tombstones. The height of each tombstone will be up to you, but the length of the first determines the length of the second. I used a ruler to act like a compass and just traced a half circle somewhere in the middle of the sheet of foam. Do this for each stone.

RIP TombstoneStep 2: Using the electric kitchen knife, begin slicing the foam on the line where you want it cut. The electric kitchen knife is best at cutting foam and leaves the cleanest line... just don't use an expensive one, as it does dull the blades considerable.

Step 3: Once you have the number of stones you want cut, it is time to paint each one. As you probably know by now, spray paint eats through foam like it's nothing. It is important that when spraying each stone, not to hold the spray too long in one place, or apply too thick. Otherwise you will be left with nothing. Spray each one lightly and let them dry before going to the next step.

Step 4: Now, make a stencil out of a piece of cardboard or heavy piece of poster board. It can say what ever you want. I choose RIP simply because people would not be able to read what they said anyway. They are just too far from the path, but still give an excellent effect.

Step 5: Once the stencil is made it is time to use the black spray paint to make the letters. This time it is ok to spray a little thicker. You want it to look like the letters are etched into the stone. But a little too much will eat right thorough the foam.

Step 6: Now the stone should be complete. Lay them in the yard how you want them placed. Take the stakes and drive them into the ground at every location where there will be a stone. To attach the stones to the stakes, use drywall screws with washers to screw through the foam, and securely hold onto the steak.

Like I said above, this is a SIMPLE project and may not suit the needs of you home haunt. Some situations require shaped tombstones (crosses, headstones, etc.) to look more realistic. But now that you know some of the basics, it will be easier to start creating your own shapes to match your needs.

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