you will need :
1 sharp box cutter
1 black marker
1 large sheet of styrofoam
( Mine was 4x8)
1-2 cans of black flat spray paint
( the cheap stuff)
metal skewers or metal hanger cut
into 5 inch pieces
1 bag each of brown and green peet
moss (again the cheap stuff
1 fuzzy realistic spider
1 can craft spray adhesive
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Step 1: Buying the Styrofoam
I bought my Styrofoam from home depot. It's only 1 &1/2 in thick. Cost approx $10.50 and makes up to 5 large tombstones. Just depends on the size you want of how many you get out of it. You can find the styrofoam in the building department where the sheetrock is. It will have a clear backing on it, and then most have a colored side as well. This will be front. Mine was silver. The picture here shows only a smaller sheet because I had to split it into 3 sections to get it into the car.
Step 2: Cutting Out Your Design
Lay the styrofoam on a flat surface, preferably the sidewalk or driveway, that can be used as a hard backing to cut on. You will need your sharp box cutter for this step. You can use a marker to trace out your shape or do it free hand. Always remember to cut away from yourself, never towards yourself. Saftey first. After you cut your shape you will then peel off the colored side. Leave the clear side still atteched to the back. This will help hold the styrofoam together better. Now your ready to cut out your words. I just used the universal RIP for mine, but feel free to get more creative. Its easier to cut your letters in a wedge form, slanting the box cutter to the left then on the other side of the letter to the right. Then use your finger to remove the foam on the middle. Do not cut all the way through the foam. You can cut out cracks, divots, holes, whatever you can think of to make it look older.
Step 3: Painting.
Now you are ready to use spray paint to color it. I used just the cheap .96 cent paint from Wal-Mart. Black flat. Use a well ventilated area for this step. Also use a drop cloth or lay newspaper down under the tombstone before spraying. Hold the can of spray paint at least 6 inches from the foam when spraying. If you hold it to close it will eat through the foam. Spray as light or heavy depending on your color you want. You can also use some brown if you prefer. Let air dry for 5 minutes or so. If you prefer you can also paint the backside which has the clear plastic still on it. Make sure to leave that on there too hold it together better.
Step 4: Ready to Decorate
Now your ready for decorations. You can omit this step if you like, I wanted to add a little something more for mine.
I used dried peet moss in brown and green, a fuzzy spider, all bought from the dollar tree.
To add them to the tombstone I used craft spray adhesive. First on the tombstone only in the area your going to put the items spray just a little, then grab a small bunch of peet moss and spray one side of the bunch and stick it on the tombstone where you sprayed the adhesive. I did the same for the spider.
To make the tombstone stand up in the ground you can cut a wire hanger into 4-5 inch pieces and push 2 into the bottom of your tombstone to stick into the ground. Be careful not to push to hard and break through your tombstone. If its super windy you might want to add a more sturdy backing maybe some sticks in a cross form to hold it together.
The picture here shows most of the decorations are on to give you an idea, I'm not sure if I will add more to this one. I kind of like it the way it is. :)
Step 5: Finished
Now your tombstone should be complete. Total cost for mine was approximately $15 for 5 tombstones. Cheap and easy. After making your first one it only takes about 20-30 minutes for each one.
Tips for removing the spray adhesive from your hands, use rubbing alcohol.
To remove spray paint from your fingers, use finger nail polish remover.
Extra items to cut out are bricks from the leftover styrofoam, again use spray adhesive to make them stick. Cut out bones or a skull from the left overs.
Hope this was easy enough to follow it is my first instructable.