Bring Old Tombstones Back From the Dead




About: I am a Halloween freak!! I love everything creepy & spooky about it. My favorite Halloween things are skulls, skeletons, spiders, cobwebs, gargoyles, bats, vampires and creepy dolls.

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!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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. 

Halloween Decorations Challenge

Participated in the
Halloween Decorations Challenge



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • DIY Summer Camp Contest

      DIY Summer Camp Contest

    9 Discussions

    I love it this is great i really hope you win in whatever you put this in! (this is my real reactoin)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Another idea is to use some dryer lint and mix it with some green and brown paint and a little Elmer's glue to make some "moss". Just smear this over the cracks or damaged spots and let dry.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job! Actually looks better (worse?) than new. I like the way you put the moss on the lawn, too.

    How about posting a photo showing your entire cemetery. I can't be the only person wanting to see it!


    1 reply

    Thanks! I will get a pic of the whole cemetery up when it is done. Still have some work to do on it & some repairs to make after the nasty winds we had yesterday. No repairs needed on the tombstone in this Instructable though! :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    great idea ! We believe that a little damage just adds to the age of the "stone" , I usually use craft paint to disguise the damaged area but this idea will work on any "stone" . I'm going to suggest this to the graveyard crew tomorrow

    1 reply

    You are right too, a little damage adds to the age of the stone and can be a real plus for a creepy old cemetery scene. Unfortunately, sometimes the damage is too severe, as was the case with the stone in this Instructable. Sometimes I swear the metal mounting rods have a mind of their own. LOL!
    Have a wonderful Halloween! Happy Haunting!