Instructables

A cross to mark a grave

Picture of A cross to mark a grave
Problem: A loved one has gone and died on you. All the usual offices have been performed, and the mortal remains have been laid to rest. But, for whatever reason, there's no headstone yet. You want the grave marked, and fast!
Solution: Some deckboard fished out of a skip, fashioned into a cross, and tricked out with a strip of tile for the inscription.
 
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Step 1: First make your cross

Picture of First make your cross
The ways to mark a grave may be limitless. But in a traditional Church of England graveyard, the best bet is a wooden cross. It is a marker hallowed by time and association, and as such is unlikely to cause remark - let alone offence. If you rock up with a homebrew non-traditional marker, you can expect to run into trouble. I had only a few hours notice that a marker was required, so I used what I had to hand - some deckboard offcuts fished out of a skip, quite by chance the night before. The ubiquitous grooved wooden board is a fair choice because it's easy to work and comes impregnated with preservative. (On the other hand, it does look like deckboard.) I just cut out a rough rebate for the cross joint, screwed it together and cut the base to a point. A conventional headstone has been ordered but delivery has been long delayed. so my cross is only a temporary marker. If i was making a permanent marker, I would obviously go about things in a rather different manner.
Thanks for this wonderful idea, can't afford a gravestone but have a friend who can make this cross and I can inscribe it. Great idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
barrycdog3 years ago
With all the thefts of copper/brass plaques and vases I wonder if there is a plastic craft to design a grave marker that would last for a while and not be so expensive.
caitlinsdad5 years ago
Unfortunately in America, putting a loved one in their final resting place is a business. I don't think or have seen any homemade type monuments in public cemetaries because the industry rules that govern them, made up by the businesses, make you purchase it from a vendor and prohibit you from putting your own there. It does help to have closure to done something for a friend though.
Unless local ordinances are involved (some cities/counties require certain qualifications), anyone can open shop and practice as a mortician, crematorium, etc.; there are no federal regulations on this. As to the actual locations of the bodies post-mortem, that is regulated - you can't just toss a corpse anywhere. And you can't just stuff a corpse in the ground without certain burial requirements being met. I just find it odd and slightly wrong that anyone anywhere can decide to start a burial business with no qualifications, training, or certifications. But hey, we live in America, right?
StCustards (author)  caitlinsdad5 years ago
I agree, it is a problem, if you confined by commercial or religious restrictions. But in the UK there is some hope, with a growing green burial movement. There are several woodland burial ventures. And there has been a blossoming of coffin alternatives, from cardboard to wickerwork. I just want to give encouragement to anyone who, like me, would never originally have considered that any alternatives were possible.