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How to Make Styrofoam Tombstones For Halloween (page 1 of 2)

Instead of getting store-bought decorations, you can say what you want with custom-made Halloween lawn ornaments.

More in Decorating

  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty


Here's What You'll Do:

Tombstones look great outside or indoors this time of year. Create a variety of sizes and shapes for the best effect.

Cut the Styrofoam to Size

With one large sheet of Styrofoam you could get four nice size tombstones made at a fraction of the cost than buying equal-sized props that are commercially made.

Create Pattern and Transfer

Use carbon paper to draw out your design and write the epitaph. Lay the carbon paper over the tombstone. You may want to tape down the ends to make sure it stays in place. Use a ball-point pen to trace over carbon paper transfering the pattern onto the Styrofoam. If the transfer marks are not dark enough, go back over them with a marker.

Create Cuts and Cracks

In a well-ventilated area, use a hot tool point, in this case, a soldering tool, to go over the pattern lines (image 1). Heat melts the Styrofoam instantly, so you will need to keep the tool moving at a quick pace. Decide which areas to push in and which to leave up. To create deep cuts or cracks, hold the tool to the Styrofoam surface a bit longer, dragging the line out (image 2). For more accurate design work, you can cut the lines with an X-acto knife.

Apply Monster Mud

Using a mixture of drywall compound and any color water-based paint, called Monster Mud, apply the mud with a brush to the entire surface of the tombstone (image 1). Be sure to cover all sides, letting each side dry completely, before moving on. No Styrofoam should be showing when you are done (image 2).

Get Instructions to Make Monster Mud.

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