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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone...This is my tutorial on making Graveyard Columns from scratch...Then painting, and Decorating our 3 dollar urns with paint aging and fake flowers.

Items you will need:
1 2" thick piece of styrofoam. 4'X4' would work .I used insulfoam R-TECH I got at lowes
Serrated knife (I used a steak knife)
Tape Measure
Black Marker
Gorilla Glue
grip clamps
hot glue gun
Rough File or rasp
1 kids pool noodle foam tube
1 QUIKRETE 8-in Concrete Tube Form (48" long)
Your favorite MONSTER MUD mix
Paint items:
White 8oz and Black 8oz Craft Paint To make the gray base
1 can of Flat Black Spray Paint
1 Water bottle (filled with water)
For the Urn you can find them at Walmart for as low as $3 and up 12" size works perfect with these Columns....any color is fine since we paint it over anyways. A bust statue would work also in place of the urn.

I started by Cutting the concrete tube form in half, that way you get 2 Pillars that are 24" each

I then cut these shapes from the foam:
2 9" circles (These are attached to the 11" squares that attach to the top of the tube)
2 11" squares (these are slightly smaller and are the Top of the pillar)
2 12" squares (these are the bases on the bottom of the pillar)

I then cut the Fun noodle in half and glued it on around top of form. Note: fun noodles have a split that runs down the middle, you can just place the full noodle on top of the form with the open groove pushed down to hold onto the form without cutting it in half.
Be sure the glue is dry.

On the 12" square of foam, measure out where your form tube is going to sit in the middle. Then place toothpicks (dabbed in glue) into the base where the foam noodle will come in contact. These will help make a better bond.

Now put glue on the toothpicks and where the base will be touching the tube and place the tube in place. let it dry

Glue the 9" circle to the 11" square and let in dry

I then hot glued toothpicks to the inside of the form So the top base, the 9" circle and 11" square can be pushed onto the toothpicks and glued on. (I didn't have a pick of how I did this so I gave an example with a duct tape roll and toothpicks)

After all the sections are glued together and you have your basic shape, you can take the file and shape the corners and edges so they aren't so squared off. When your pillar is shaped to your liking, cover it in your favorite mix of monster mud and let it dry.
(since my Monster mud was a different color then what I wanted my pillar to be, I painted it with the gray I mixed from the black and white craft paint.)

If needed you can mix a grey base for your pillars like I did. Or if your monster mud already has the color you desire you can skip painting it.

I then painted the Urns the same color grey as the pillars.
This isn't the same urn I used, but it was this color

After all the paint is dried on everything (2 urns and 2 columns) your ready for the distressing paint look..VERY EASY!

Place what your gonna paint on a surface you don't mind getting wet or paint on...
Step one...with your spray bottle filled with water (or hose, never tried it like that though) spray water over entire surface of pillar or urn getting it good and wet
Step 2...Take your black (or whatever color you like) spray paint and spray paint the wet surface
Step 3... Now take the water bottle again and spray over the black paint so it starts to make the black come off a bit.
Step 4...Then just spray it lightly with the black paint again to your preferred look

Here are the results I achieved with the paint

Lastly you'll want to add your flowers, or weeds, or black roses, or pretty much whatever your heart desires to the urn (if it is the planter type). I purchased some plastic plants that resembled weeds, placed em in a foam disk and placed em in the pot.

Here is my end Result

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial....Happy Haunting!

Crunchitize Me Cap'n
1,654 Posts
Love the idea of the sonotube's as a column. See it a couple years ago and every time I see one I think columns.

Great work by the way, you'll have to show us all what they look like set up :D

623 Posts
Excellent job Haywood, Sonotubes make great columns,

I used some of the 10" tubes for the columns for my graveyard fence. The only problem with them is that the size isn't consistent, just because it says it's 10" doesn't make it 10". I had to measure the diameter of each tube in the store to get the ones I bought to be approximately the same size.

92 Posts
Very nice! Now is a great time to buy plastic urns on clearance. I made an indoor "funeral arrangement" last year with a discount urn spray painted bronze and flowers I got on clearance:

I think I will try your instructions for the columns this year. I'd love to have some of those along the sidewalk next to the cemetery!

96 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Very nice! Now is a great time to buy plastic urns on clearance. I made an indoor "funeral arrangement" last year with a discount urn spray painted bronze and flowers I got on clearance:
View attachment 211117

I think I will try your instructions for the columns this year. I'd love to have some of those along the sidewalk next to the cemetery!
Now that is a arrangement. Do you have professional training? I'd like to know how to do that...that looks like an arrangement you would see at Disneyland or a professional haunt. BRAVO!!

1,265 Posts
These are great! I love the dead & decomposing flower/plant look in my graveyard and I know columns would make such a big impact. I have a bunch of styrofoam coolers saved up to work on but I don't know if this will be the year for them yet since my two kiddos are young (and rather needy!) at this stage.

Thanks for breaking this down so simply! I love your paint aging technique! :cool:
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