Tombstones
Home Up Tombstones II Painting Stones

 

Tombstones can be made from foam (some Haunters use wood). I have used all different  types of foam to make tombstones. My favorite is the blue foam from Dow chemical. You can purchase form in different sizes, usually it's sold in 4'X8' sheets, I use the 2" thick foam. It's also sold in 2'X8' sheets. I cut the 2'X8' sheet into 32" sections and get 3 tombstones from a 2'X8' foam sheet. (6 from a 4X8 sheet).

Here's a step by step of my process. Links to some great sites for tombstones are listed on my links page. My personal favorite is Keeba's Tombstone Instructions

After cutting the foam into 32" pieces, I use an overhead projector to project the template of the tombstone onto the foam. I trace it and then cut the foam. (Blue foam appears white in photo due to light intensity.) You can also draw tombstone outline by hand or print out and transfer to foam.
To cut the foam I use a hacksaw blade with duct tape on the blade to allow a grip. I make rough cuts with the blade and use a hot wire craft tool for smooth cuts. If you don't have a hot wire cutter you can use the blade for all cuts.
I drill a hole to allow for placing stone on rebar in the yard. I have moved from using this method to hot gluing a short piece of PVC to the back of the stone for placement on the rebar. The wind and daily placement and removal of the stones has broken a few of my stones over the years....so I use PVC (you will see that later.)
Carving in the tombstone can be done using either a children's wood-burning tool, a soldering iron or a Dermal tool with router/type attachment. You can also just write on the tombstone after you paint it.
These tombstones were carved with the Dremal tool with router/type attachment. I printed out the text and taped that paper to the foam. Then just cut right into the foam (thru the paper). On the tombstone below I inserted  Christmas lights (as explained by Scott Brunell) to have the Vacancy fade in and out slowly on a Christmas light fader. The effect is great! 
 

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