Okay, here is the promised Beloved Tutorial.
I tried my hand at making the Beloved Tombstone by somewhat using the instructions at Haunted Webby - Alice Tombstone. I got additional ideas from Kevin at Brewster's Yard haunt at Brewster Yard Haunt: New Props. From what I can gather, the Beloved Tombstone was created by http://www.castleblood.com/scrap/199...ctem/1999.html. If anyone knows more history about this great idea, please let me know.
Okay, so you've decided to tackle this daunting project. KUDOS! I thoroughly enjoyed working on her in my spare time and I'm sure you will too.
You will need:
One and a quarter sheet of 4'X 8', 1 1/2" thick blue or pink foamboard
Fancy thrift store small-sized dress with a train, high neck and sleeves
Med curly long wig (seduction wig)
Mannequin styrofoam head: also known as a wig stand
3-4 tubes of foamboard adhesive
Can of cheap flat spray paint
Monster mud (4 gal drywall compound mixed with 1 gal exterior flat gray paint)
1 gal gray Drylok, latex base
1 qt. exterior flat dark gray paint
1 qt. exterior flat white paint
Small tube raw umber acrylic paint
Scraps of muslin fabric or sheet fabric
1 roll mesh drywall tape
Some wire (I used 16 gauge)
Pkg. model magic
10 pipe cleaners
1-2 tubes exterior caulk
4' X 2' plywood board
Elmer's wood putty
Bag of moss
Set of flicker lights (see my tutorial)
Dremel with cutter attachment and multipurpose cutting bit
3" brush, 1 1/2 inch angled brush, small and large detail brush
Drywall mixer attachment and drill
Microplane rasps (used for woodworking)
To make the stone: I didn't take measurements as I made this so hopefully these measurements will work (PM if you find I'm off a bit). Using your jig saw, cut the following out of your foamboard:
Front: 28" X 28"
Back: 28" X 28"
Top: 31" X 18"
Bottom: 28" X 18"
Side A: 29" X18"
Side B: 29" X 18"
T-Brace side A: 28 1/2 " X 12"
T-Brace side B: 28 1/2 " X 12"
T-Brace center: 15" X 15"
In the first picture you will get an idea of what you are building. You are building a box with a center support. First cut out, with your Dremel, a 1/2" deep channel in the T-Brace sides so the T-Brace center will snug up into it. Glue together with foamboard adhesive.
Using the assembled T-Brace, trace out onto the inside bottom of the box. Cut another 1/2" channel with the Dremel. Glue in place.
Start to assemble, but do not glue yet, the box (use painter's tape to hold in place). Be sure that the top of the box is being nicely supported. File down if needed.
Before gluing the box together, cut out your epitaph on the front foam.
In 'Word' find the font and size you like. Then go under the format tools and select 'emboss' to just outline the font and then go under 'spacing' and make the space between the letters bigger. If the words were too big to fit on one page, still print it but tape the letters together. Place it over the tombstone and transfer the drawing by tracing over the outline with a pen. It would leave an impression on the foam. Remove the paper and make a clearer line with the pen.
Use the Dremel with the multi-purpose cutting attachment to cut out. For very small or detailed fonts, go shallower. If not, the centers of 'e' , 'o' and 'a' would flake off.
Now you can glue your box all together. Don't worry if your cuts aren't perfect, that's what the wood putty is for . Glue with foamboard adhesive and hold all together with painter's tape and weigh down. Let dry overnight. Repeat if some sides still need to be glued down (I had to turn over the box two additional times).
File down using your rasps to make it look more like aged stone. Also, make it rough and old using the rasps. Then, fill any open seams with wood putty.
Now, the fun part. Take outside and hit it hard with strong sprays of cheap, flat spray paint. You are trying to get the dissolving effect when spray paint touches raw foam.
First off, I wanted her to be a very small woman. So, her scale is more like the size of a 14-year-old girl. I thought that would look more feminine and the stone could be smaller-sized.
Take your small dress and place on the stone to see how your pose will look. For mine, I had her resting her head on her right hand and her left arm was hanging down over the stone (like she was sleeping).
For her left arm, measure the sleeve from the shoulder to the wrist to see how long her arm needs to be. Cut out a section of chicken wire to that length. Then roll up and hold together with some wire. For the upper part of her arm, cut out another section of chicken wire and roll that around the top part of her arm. Hold together and give shape by wrapping mesh drywall tape around it. Bend the arm at her elbow to your desired position.
Wrap the muslin or sheet fabric around the arm and hold in place with the mesh drywall tape.
Do the same procedure for her right arm and torso. In the last picture, you can see her taking shape. I didn't tie her arms to the torso because the dress will hold them in place and you need the flexibility.