Tried a couple of new things with this western-themed tombstone and also discovered a cool new trick: exterior up-lighting! This solves the problem of running separate lighting to your tombstone. New also is the use of an embedded portrait. Many thanks go to Big Nick for his advice on how to make these waterproof. The stone's dimensions are 33 3/8" tall, 29 1/2" wide and 12" deep. This is a medium to large stone.
Please watch this video to see how your tombstone build will be like:
Quick note: A 'Following Eyes' portrait is a devilishly cool optical trick. The eyes are cut out of the portrait, spacers are put behind the portrait near the eye sockets and the eyes are glued back on. The effect is that the eyes are now slightly recessed back into the portrait so they appear to follow you.
1 1/2" pink or blue foam (over half of a sheet)
29 1/2" x 12" plywood
12' red LED rope lighting
Latex Drylok - gray or tinted gray
Spooky Eyes Portrait: Make your own or go here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Haunted-Spoo...item5ad41029fe
8 x 10 picture frame
8 x 10 non-reflective glass (optional)
6-7 spent rifle or pistol casings
1/2" PVC pipe (28" total)
Opaque plastic: http://www.dritz.com/brands/showcase...?ITEM_NUM=3115
Dark gray exterior latex paint - flat
White exterior latex paint - flat
Red acrylic paint
Black acrylic paint - flat
Raw sienna acrylic paint
Dark green acrylic paint
Two 24" rebar rods
Photoshop-type program loaded on computer
Rasterbator program loaded on computer
Adobe Reader program loaded on computer
Blue painter's tape
Dremel with multi-purpose cutting bit attachment
Fiberglass-reinforced cutting attachment for Dremel
Multi-Max Dremel with wood cutter attachment
1/4" & 1/2" drill bits
Hot glue gun
Needle nose pliers
Misc. sculptor's tools (usually comes in a kit): http://www.dickblick.com/products/lo...ll-clay-tools/
Stanley SureForm Shaver
Stanley SureForm replacement blade bits
Misc. sized brushes including a 3" and 2" angle brush
Non-reactive plastic container
Tying twine (polypropylene)
Wood planks for leveling (optional)
Waterproof Picture Frame: Remove the glass from the picture frame. Place a bead of silicone caulk all around the interior edge. Insert the non-reflective glass. Place the spooky eyes portrait in the frame and place another bead of silicone around the edges. Shut the backing and allow to dry overnight. Turn the frame over and place a bead of latex caulk around the edge of the glass by the edge of the frame. Let dry over night.
Design Tombstone Face & Epitaph (picture 1): Design the tombstone face in a Photoshop-type program. Use text boxes to create and adjust the sizes of the epitaph. What's great about using Photoshop is you can move the layers around and change shapes easily to make your tombstone just as you want. The picture dimensions in Photoshop is 29 1/3" tall and 21" wide. If you'd like the full-size .jpg made here - PM me with your email address and I'll send the file. Note: In the next step, after printing, the image size printed out to be 28 1/2" x 20 1/2". Close enough...
Rasterbator (not pictured): Use the Rasterbator program to make a .pdf file so you can print it out on your printer. The program can be found here: http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/ Once the program is open, upload your .jpg image. Change the setting for Standard Paper Size to US Letter. Next, change the setting Define Output Size to 2.5 pages wide. Set Rasterbator Options to a Dot Size of 1mm. Then hit Rasterize. It will make your .jpg into a printable .pdf file. When printing in Adobe Reader, choose Page Scaling: Fit to Paper at the options window that comes up. If you choose horizontal paper alignment, also make sure Auto-Rotate and Center is selected. Now print out and tape back together.
Cut Foam (picture 2 & 3): First off...ALWAYS WEAR A MASK WHEN CUTTING/SHAPING FOAM! Lay out the Rasterized printout moving it up 4 1/2" from the edge of your foam to allow room for the bases of the tombstone (three stacked 1 1/2" pieces = 4 1/2"). Cut it out with a jig saw. Flip the cut piece over and trace out. Cut out. Measure out two bases that are 27 1/2" x 10" and cut those out. In the center of those bases cut out space for the tombstone to slip through (20 1/2" x 3"). Measure out the top base to be 24 1/2" x 7". Cut that out and in the center cut out the tombstone space: 20 1/2" x 3".