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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is my tutorial on how to make ancient-looking tombstones like this:



Be sure to go to my albums to check to see if I updated this information. After a few days and some lessons I may have learned, I won't be able to come back to this and edit it: Halloween Forum - Terra's Album: Ancient Tombstone Tutorial

Okay, let's start:



First off...ALWAYS WEAR A MASK WHEN CUTTING FOAM! The foam dust floats through the air and you will certainly suck it into you lungs. Unless you want to know what it's like to be a coal miner for a few days, don't skip this step! (Not that I learned the hard way....I'm not THAT dumb). ;)

Using 1 1/2 inch thick blue or pink foam, cut out 2 copies of your design. When planning your shape, be sure to add length to the bottom so when you add layers of base foam it will insert into it. (You'll see what I mean in a later step). Then determine where you would like the channel for your 1/2 inch PVC pipe and cut out using the multi-purpose cutting attachment for the Dremel. Do this on both sides. Glue sides and PVC together using foamboard adhesive. Weight the top while curing.
Cut the PVC to be a 1/2 inch longer then the base of the foam.




To make an inset for the epitaph to rest on I Dremeled a shallow layer with the multi-purpose cutting attachment. I rubbed the pieces off and sanded it smooth using the rasp.




Epitaphs: 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.




To make the base, set the tombstone on your 1 1/2 inch foam. Trace around the perimeter. Then determine how big you want your base and cut that out. Then use the first base you cut out to make more and more bases to make taller and/or wider. Then make a plywood base an inch or two wider than the foam. Cut out two circles out of the plywood where the rebar will go into the PVC pipe. Glue all together using foamboard adhesive. Weight the top while curing.




Now the fun begins! I love shaping with rasps. I have a plane rasp for shaping long swaths of foam and a hand-sized one for detail shaving, aging and for making cracks and crevices.




Use wood putty to fill in all seams in the tombstone.

To add the skull, insert drywall anchors into foam. Then on your work-table, mold out your item using Model Magic. While soft, push onto the screws. Let dry and caulk edges to secure it even more to the tombstone.


Continued on next post....
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter #2


After skull and caulk is dried, use cheap flat spray paint and hit it with long bursts to get the foam to start dissolving. This gives the tombstone a terrific aging appearance.





After you spray painted the aging, turn the tombstone on it's side so you can get to the base. Seal all openings around the PVC with caulk. Let dry and coat with dry-lock. Then turn right-side up again to paint the rest of the tombstone with Dry-loc. Dry-loc is terrific for this because it is waterproof and has sand in it which helps give it a stone look. In this first coat, I had some white Dry-loc. But, be sure to use gray Dry-loc though, as you see in the second picture, it has the perfect stone color.





Painting dark crevices and epitaph: Using a small brush and dark gray exterior paint, paint the inside of the epitaph. Using a larger brush paint the crevices but also feather out to the edges.

Next: Detail aging painting. I also call this 'tea-staining'. Water down your dark gray exterior paint. Then roughly drip it down the tombstone and help brush it down. Do it over and over again until you like the look. You are trying to make it look like this stone has been in the weather forever.





Dry-brushing: This is the miracle step. Get a dry 3-inch brush and dip it in slightly-grayed white paint. Brush it dry on a paper towel. Then lightly brush the entire tombstone. This will paint only the raised edges of the tombstone and you will be amazed at the transformation. Instantly your tombstone will look like real stone.





Make it ancient: Raw Sienna is the perfect orangy color to add a rust-colored lichen look. Have some of the paint straight and have some of it lightly mixed with white and dark exterior latex paint. Using a 1 1/2 inch brush, dry-brush paint streaks down some areas of the tombstone. Switch it up with the lighter paint to add depth.





To make it ancient: To add a white-lichen look, put some white exterior paint on your pallet and very, very slightly darken it with some of your dark gray paint. Get a rag and dip it the paint and dry off a bit on a paper towel. Then hit the tombstone with it a couple of times to get the look you want. In the picture, you will see it I hit the base of the tombstone with it.





Get some moss from Michael's and hot glue it to the tombstone and you are DONE! Thanks for looking at my tutorial.

 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter #7
Hey! That Nosferatu tombstone looks very familiar... hehe and "Beloved" too. The moss is a nice touch. Great work and a good tutorial!
Hey, that's you! Awesome. Yes, you are my hero. I had mentioned in my thread at the 'props' section that you had made the Nosferatu. http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/71814-my-tombstones-finished.html I had gotten the instructions for the Beloved at the Alice Tombstone site and I now remembered that you were the one she copied her tombstone from.

I hope you don't mind that I copied them. They are terrific! In fact, all of your tombstones are amazing. You are the king in imagination and production. I'm so glad you are a member here too.

Thank you eveyone for the kudos. It warms the heart a lot. :)
 

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Awesome work Terra! And one of the best tutorials. It is well thought out with great attention to detail (same as your props)
 

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Hey, that's you! Awesome. Yes, you are my hero. I had mentioned in my thread at the 'props' section that you had made the Nosferatu. http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/71814-my-tombstones-finished.html I had gotten the instructions for the Beloved at the Alice Tombstone site and I now remembered that you were the one she copied her tombstone from.

I hope you don't mind that I copied them. They are terrific! In fact, all of your tombstones are amazing. You are the king in imagination and production. I'm so glad you are a member here too.

Thank you eveyone for the kudos. It warms the heart a lot. :)
I don't mind at all, Terra, in fact I'm very flattered. The sharing of our ideas is why we are all here and its what makes our wierd little community so special. I'm glad that you took the time to explain the build/weathering process in such great detail. I'm looking forward to seeing your set-up when the "big day" rolls around! :D
Be well,
 

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Great job! I spent last night covered in blue foam shavings as I'm making a sign with a recessed background. Shaving it down by hand with a rasp and large grit sandpaper block isn't as much fun as one would think. *heh* I really need to get my hands on some of those dremel attachments.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Great job! I spent last night covered in blue foam shavings as I'm making a sign with a recessed background. Shaving it down by hand with a rasp and large grit sandpaper block isn't as much fun as one would think. *heh* I really need to get my hands on some of those dremel attachments.
LOL! I'm with you. After I was done with the rasp and Dremel, I still had a pile of shavings a foot high! :eek:
 

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Terra, those are great! Thanks for the tutorial... Gonne have to try them out for myself!! Keep up the excelent work!
 
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