Beakmyn sent us very detailed instructions along with some images of tombstones which he’s made using a variety of parts which you should be able to pick up at your local home improvement store. When you are done you’ll have something like this:
2 4×8 foot sheets of Dow Blueboard (1″ styrofoam insulation board, Home Depot, Lowes)
Dremel rotary tool with router attachment and various carving and routing tips
Sandpaper 600 grit
Construction adhesive (liquid nails by brand name)
Metal hacksaw blade
Paper, markers, razor blades and scalpels.
Hot melt glue
The first thing I did was hit google for information on crafting these. Then I searched for old time tombstone shapes and amusing epitaphs.
I found some that I liked then I used a freeware poster making program to design and layout my tombstones so I could maximize the space on the foam board. I printed the results on many, many sheets of 8.5×11 paper and lined it up on the 4×8 sheets. I taped them to the foam and used the hacksaw blade to cut out my tombstones.
After that I then to took to making them realistic. The text was printed on the paper. I used a ballpoint pen to trace around the letters to impression the foam, the paper was then removed.
For the inset text I used the dremel and carving tips to make the letters. For the raised lettering I used the router attachment for route everything away then the detail work was done with the carving tips. the raised lettering took a long time to do and made a mess but the result is worth it.
For the cracks and other embellishments I used both the carving tools and spray paint and got creative. The spray paint melts the foams and gives a nice erroded effect. Use it sparingly or you’ll end with a hole in your foam.
Painting; I found some light and dark green/gray “oops” paint at my local big box hardware store. I used a roller, paint brush and also used a technique of watering down the paint and using a spray bottle.
The thick pieces of foam are multiple pieces glued to together with liquid nails.
To hold the tombstones up in my yard, I drilled a 1″ hole in the bottom of the tombstones then stuck in a piece of 1″ pvc pipe. I hammer short pieces of re-bar into the ground and then slide the tombstones on top. Don’t worry if the tombstones sit up straight in the yard, they don’t at cemetery.
The vacancy tombstone was made by drilling small holes (just big enough for the christmas lights) in the foam. I used clear blinking lights and held them in place with a little hot melt glue.
The skull was bought at a local party store. I then cut it in half (top to bottom) and wired up a couple red LEDs to blink and stuck them in the skull. There’s a AAA battery pack that’s glued under the top jaw to power it. I then used the construction adhesive to attach it to the tombstone.
In all it took about 40 hours to make the tombstones.