Wooden tombstones are a whimsical way to evoke the horror and fear commonly associated with graveyards. With a bit of work, you can make creative tombstones out of scrap lumber that will make your front yard fun for trick-or-treaters. Use your imagination to write frightful or funny epitaphs and give your guests a reason to linger. Remember, the happier you make the kids on Halloween, the less likely you are to experience the trick side of trick-or-treating.
Make the Tombstone
Draw the shape of your tombstone on a piece of 1-inch-thick scrap lumber. A traditional tombstone shape can be achieved by drawing an 11 3/4-by-23 3/4-inch rectangle with a rounded top.
Cut out a 2-by-21-inch rectangle from 1-inch-thick lumber. Use a handheld cutting tool to cut one end into a point. This will be a stake that you can press into the ground.
Center the stake over the back of your tombstone. Place it so it overhangs the bottom of the tombstone by 6 inches. Attach the stake to the tombstone using 1 1/2-inch wood screws.
Decorate the Tombstone
Paint the tombstone black, using an exterior paint to protect the wood from the elements. Wait for the paint to cure before proceeding.
Use masking tape and a razor knife to create the letters of your epitaph on the front of the tombstone. Cover a large area with strips of masking tape and draw the epitaph on the tape with a pencil. Cut the shapes of the letters out of the tape with the knife. Remove the excess tape to leave the letters behind.
Spray paint your tombstone using a stone-textured spray paint. Wait for the paint to dry.
Remove the masking tape from the front of the tombstone to reveal the black paint beneath the epitaph.
Things You'll Need:
- Scrap lumber, 1-inch
- Wood screws, 1 ½-inch
- Band saw or a handheld cutting tool
- Stone-textured spray paint
- Black exterior paint
- Masking tape
- Razor knife
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