Although they seem to be available almost everywhere now, about 10 years ago I made my own headstones to decorate the yard for halloween. They are a bit old and worn now as you can see in the photo, but you get the idea of how they look. Here’s the how to:
Foam insulation sheets (they go behind drywall - I bought mine at home depot)
Scrap pieces of thin wood molding, plant stakes, metal rods, etc. approx. 8” long (use whatever you have on hand)
White painters caulk
Box cutter or large kitchen knife
Black, Silver and/or Gray paint
Thin paint brush
Letter stencils or paint free hand
1) Cut the panels in half to make two 2’ panels
2) Place the stakes or rods so about 6” extends below the panels, this is to stake them in the ground.
3) Use the caulk to glue the 2 pieces together. You need to be cautious about what kind of glue you use to sandwich them together. Some industrial panel adhesives will melt the Styrofoam.
4) Draw out the shapes of your gravestone and cut them out with the knife. There are many shapes you can use, but if you use the cross, then you only need one stake in the bottom.
5) I used a faux marble painting technique to paint mine. I just used a fine paintbrush and did small diagonal veins in gray paint. Experiment with other techniques if you like.
6) Then paint on the epitaphs. I did mine freehand, but feel free to use other methods. There are plenty of ideas out there for funny or scary sayings on the headstones. My husband even has a book of strange real ones from the 1800’s.
I have also recently added a gate to the graveyard. I got two short scrap pieces of plastic fencing that someone tossed out. I spray painted them black. I found some thick plastic chain and attached it between the fence panels, this prevents people from traipsing through the graveyard (The first year I put them out, some were stolen and we found them in a yard around the corner, the mom made her boy come apologize to us) I guess that’s one advantage of DIY, you can always spot your own stuff.