Styrofoam tombstones are a staple to just about every Halloween yard display but unfortunately Styrofoam is very easily damaged.
Because of this, most just toss them out & buy new to replace them. Even as cheap as some of these tombstones can be, for a home haunter, like myself, every penny I can save counts and I would rather spend the money on a new tombstone to increase the size of my display or make it better looking! I mean creepier looking! ;)
You can also use this method to improve the look of a new, yet plain, tombstone.
With this Instructable, I will show you how to take those old damaged tombstones and bring them back from the dead! It's Cheap & it's easy!
Step 1: What You Will Need
1. A Tombstone - Damaged or New
2. Rubber Gloves
3. Clear Silicone - Won't melt the Styrofoam and areas of Silicone that are visible will add a slimy wet look to your tombstone.
4. Some Moss - Dollar Tree usually has a great selection of colors. You can use just one color, but multiple colors will give you a better & more realistic look.
Step 2: Apply the Silicone
You can work with the tombstone already in place but it is much easier to work with if you have it laying flat.
Apply the silicone to the damaged areas in small globs, for lack of a better description. You just want enough to push the moss in & make it stick better.
I applied the silicone to just the areas I was going to be working on first.
Step 3: Adding the Moss
Separate the moss into strands. It will be easier to apply and give you a more natural look.
Take a few strands* and push them into the silicone glob. You can either start from one end and attach it at points along the strand or in the middle of it the strand and work in two directions, leaving the bottom ends to hang loose & free. Continue this process until you cover all the damaged areas and you are happy with your results.
*Note - You can either use one color in your strand bunch or mix different colors together for the bunch. The great thing about moss is it is easy to interwine, so mixing the colors, even if you apply them one color on top of the other, isn't much of a problem.
Step 4: IT'S ALIVE!
Now that you have breathed new life into that old tombstone, set it in your yard and watch it come to life as the fall breeze blows the little tentacles of moss dangling down, adding movement & creepiness to your haunt.
A few things to remember:
It's ok if you miss small areas of damage because the moss you added will take the focus off them now.
If you have a large area or several smaller areas of damage all over the tombstone, don't worry about having too much moss on it or that it covers over the lettering. It will just look like an unattended, overgrown tombstone in an old cemetery.
If you end up buying a new tombstone, only to find that it's one you already have, this is a great way of disguising it, so that you don't have to worry about having duplicates so close to each other.