This is a very simple project that is quick to create just in time for Halloween.
I'm not sure what 'Breeze Blocks' will be called in your particular part of the world but they are basically light weight concrete blocks that have a lot of bubbles in them.
I created a How To video showing the process here:
- 3 x Breeze Blocks
- Exterior Wood Glue
- Grey Spray Paint
- Black Spray Paint
- Old Handsaw
- Old Chisels
- Black Marker Pen
- Sand Paper
- Orbital Sander
Step 1: Glue Blocks Together
You can of course make this to any scale you like but I made mine using 3 blocks glued together using wood glue.
I know using wood glue doesn't seem like it would work but it really does. This is just a decoration after all so I'm not worried about load baring strength but the glue holds the blocks together really well and is perfect for this application.
The blocks I had were very rough so I used my random orbital sander to flatten and smooth the edges ready to be glued. I then added a lot of wood glue and stuck the blocks together. I gave them 20 mins before adding the 3rd block to the bottom. They were then left for 2 hours to dry.
Step 2: Thin Out the Blocks & Bevel
I thin having a wider base that bevels looks a lot more realistic so I used my old handsaw to cut down the front and 2 sides of the soon to be tombstone. I removed roughly 30mm from all 3 sides.
After it was thinned down, I could add the bevel to the edges of the base. I just used an old chisel to do this. I think it make a big difference to the overall look.
Step 3: Shape & Carve Letters
A simple curve on top was what I went for. You can be as simple or as elaborate as you like for your design of course.
I marked on a slight curve and cut it out with my handsaw. I just kept removing the corners until it was round.
For the letter I marked them on free hand. I did make a few mistakes but a light sanding with sand paper quickly removes the pen marks. Once I was happy with how the letter looked, I could carve them out.
I used a small chisel to cut a V shaped groove along the lines I marked. The blocks carve really easily so take it slow and steady and just use a light pressure. No need for a hammer or mallet.
The curves are a little tricky but again take your time and take small passes until you achieve the curve. You can also scrape the chisel to help define it too.
I added an underscore detail and a name to finish of the tombstones lettering. Again, you can chose any design you like. Let your imagination run wild.
Step 4: Distress & Paint
To finish of the tombstone I wanted to make it look old and crumbling.
There was already some chunks missing so I emphasised them to help achieve the look I wanted. I also removed chunks from the edges to add to the effect. I find that less is more so try not to do too much or it wont look natural.
For the paint I simply used grey and black. 1 coat of grey covered the entire tombstone and then I used the black to make the letters stand out. I did this by flooding the carved letters with paint and then wiping the excess off with a paper towel. I also did the same in the distressed areas. I also gave some light sprays of black all over to help blend everything in and make it look more old and dirty.
Step 5: Done
Im really happy with the end result. I hope you give it a go for yourself and have fun!