Craft four nice size, eerily realistic looking tombstones from insulation foam board / Styrofoam in under four hours using the following step-by-step instructions; just in time for Halloween (13 days away). Add fresh dirt, a shovel, and plastic skull at the base of your tombstones for that extra chill factor.
Materials Needed to Make Scary Tombstones
- insulation foam board / Styrofoam
- permanent marker
- serrated knife
- monster mud
- carbon paper
- latex gloves
Step 1: Outline Tombstones
With one large sheet of insulation foam board / Styrofoam – measuring 2” x 2” x 8’ – you should be able to make four nice size tombstones. The sheets can be found at most any local home improvement store. Use a permanent marker to sketch an outline for your tombstones. Tip: Keep shapes simple so they’re easier to cut out.
Step 2: Cut Styrofoam to Size
Cut foam along sketched outline with a serrated knife. We recommend doing this outdoors since this step can get quite messy. Keep blade perpendicular to foam and use caution while cutting.
Step 3: Write the Epitaph
Use carbon paper to draw out your design and write the epitaph. Lay the carbon paper over the cut-out tombstone and trace over the paper to transfer the patter / epitaph onto the foam. You may want to go back over the transfer marks with a permanent marker, if they are not dark enough.
Step 4: Create an Aged Look
Working in a well-ventilated area, use a soldering iron to go back over the transfer marks, melting them into the Styrofoam. To create an “aged” look, break off tiny pieces around the edges of the store, or carve out small cracks using an X-acto knife.
Step 5: Apply Monster Mud
Using homemade “monster mud,” apply a thin amount to the tombstone, spreading with your latex gloved hands or a paintbrush. You may find it helpful to use both, ensuring the mud gets into the smallest crevices. You can also spray paint using charcoal gray or black. Get the instructions for Monster Mud.
Step 6: Set the Scene
Secure your handcrafted tombstones to the ground using wire hangers, plant wire or wooden stakes. Simply cut out enough wire and stretch along the length of the stone to set the graveyard scene up in your yard.