Introduction: Home Made Grave Stones

If you ever went into a Halloween store to buy some head stones, you were probably shocked to see a $20 plus price tag for each! Well, you can make three of your own for under $20.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


1  4foot x 8foot sheet x 1inch of Styrofoam insulation.Home Depot and Lowe’s always has this  for about $10.
1 can of flat white spray paint. I use enamel based
1 can flat black spray paint.
glue that won’t melt Styrofoam. I use the brown Gorilla glue.
bailing wire
cheap wood for steaks

For tools you will need

A hack saw blade
a hot knife with changeable tips. Check out Michael’s near the wood crafts.
tape measure
box cutter
drill and bits
drywall screws
paint brush

If you want to take your head stones to the next level you will also need

air brush
black and white water based airbrush paint. I use Createx found at Michael’s.
hollow plastic skulls for molds. Found at dollar stores and at Spirit.
something for mold release. I use tire cleaner
Great Stuff urethane gap foam
air compressor
hot glue gun with lots of glue sticks
blow gun for your compressor

Step 2: Molding Foam Skulls

You can skip this step if you do not have the materials to do so. To mold some decorative skulls, you need to cut the back of your skulls off. You may want to also cut some slits in the sides so you can get your piece out more easily. Then spray a thin coat of you mold release. Shake up your Great Stuff really well and slowly spray the foam into your skull molds. Do Not fill the mold up all the way because when you go to pull out your part it will have a melted face that has no resemblance to a skull. Just spray it into the face area about 2 layers thick and set aside to set up. The foam will expand and fill the mold. When the foam is set up, spread the mold and pop out the piece. Cut the back off the foam part. Paint the parts white. When you are done with the Great Stuff, remove the spray nosle and pour some acitone down it and blow it out and clean out the attachment for the nosle on the can as well so you can reuse the can.

Step 3: Step 1

To start, working on the side with lettering, measure out the dimensions you want your grave stone to be. Cut the board with a box cutter on the letter side and break along the cut you made. You need to get the plastic sheet off the blank side. Fold the board in half at your cut, hold the bottom piece while pushing the top piece and you will roll off the plastic. Remove any that did not come off by pealing it off. You need to do this so you can melt and form the foam.

Step 4: Step 2

Measure out and draw your design on your board’s letter side. Cut out your design with the hack saw blade or what ever you choose to use. If you want to make yours have pillars, ridges and recesses like this one, measure or trace out the areas you want to add material to and cut out your parts. Take some bailing wire and cut some pins to hold your parts while the glue sets. Glue down the pieces and pin them on. If you want to put the skulls on do that now as well. Cut the back of the skull to set in in at an angle.

Step 5: Step 3

On the front side, draw out the details, lettering ect. in pencil. Marker is hard to hide with paint. Put on your respirator for this next part, I don’t think the melting Styrofoam fumes are good to breath! With the hot knife, melt in your details starting with the letters and scroll work. Then melt in cracks and other damage. Then change to the wide round attachment and create an aged stone texture. To do this, quickly slide the hot knife in a short random patterns and leave no area untouched.

Step 6: Step 4 Painting

Time to paint! Start with black and lightly spray your stone to a grey that you like. At a low angle to the stone, spray from the bottom to the top to deepen the pits in the stone. Now with white, do the same thing but from the top. Try no to spray too heavy, the paint will melt the foam! Spray the back of the stone black. With a paint brush or airbrush, paint black in the cracks and details. If you have an airbrush, darken around your lettering and darken next to any raised parts. You can also take some white and paint in some water stains.

Step 7: Step 5 Cobb Webs

To add even more to your epic creation, you can look on how to make a spider web shooter or try it this way. You may want to find the spider web shooter Instructable so you can get a better idea of what to do here. Plug in your hot glue gun and start up your air compressor. Turn you pressure down to about 20psi. When your glue gun it good and hot, hold it at an angle to your blowgun. Start feeding in some hot glue while spraying some air and you will start to spray some webs. Try different angles to your work piece to get some different effects and try to avoid globs of glue.

Step 8: Step 6 Steaks

Cut out some steaks to mount your stones to. Drill some holes for the screws to slide into. Drive the steak into the ground and then run the screws into the head stone from the back of the steaks.

Step 9: DONE!!!

Take them even further by adding led lights or liquid Tide and day glow paints to react with black lights. Your only limited by your imagination!

Step 10: Stone Texture Tool

This is a tool I made to do the stone texturing MUCH faster than just with the wood burner. It is very simple to make and use. I made two different sizes. The large is for the large areas, smaller for the tight areas and for the realy tight spots the wood burner.

Step 11: Items Needed

A sheet of thin alluminum  .065
A way to cut the alluminum. I use a band saw.
A ballpene hammer
Something to form the metal on. I use a black rubber pad.
Rivet gun and rivets  1/8"
Drill and 1/8" bit
Vice grips
Propane torch

Step 12: Texture Stamp

Cut a square of aluminum. Mine are 4"x4" and 2"x3".

Hammer the square with a ballpene to make dimples in it. The square will want to fold in on its self so flaten it out as you go.

Drill a hole near the center large enough for the rivet you have.

Cut a short piece of aluminum for a handle. Drill a hole the size of your rivet at one end and bend it in an L shape.

Rivet the two parts together.


Step 13: Use the Stamp

Clamp your stamp with your vice grips.

Start up your torch and heat your stamp.

Lightly touch the stamp to your tomb stone to burn the texture into it. Overlap your stamping and when the tool cools, heat it back up.

Continue untill your stone is finished. Start with the large stamp and work to the smaller ones.

Remember to wear a respirator!

Instead of a torch you could use a camping stove and make several stamps. When one cools down, just place it on the stove, pick up a hot one and contiue stamping. Just dont get them too hot or they might be hard to use.

Make It Stick Contest 2

Participated in the
Make It Stick Contest 2