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Custom-life size Tombstones

15112 Views 41 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Michael Smith
Hello there all you fellow haunters! I'm brand new to this forum, but certainly not to the love of the holiday. For the last few years, I have been building my own props, adding lots every year. Unfortunately I was unable to participate this year since we moved and we had NO trick or treaters. But the last 2 years, I've been slowly building myself up between etsy and eBay, I create custom tombstones. I'm hoping to attend a trade show or 2 this coming year. Hopefully gain a decent customer base. Here are some pics of Halloween night 2013 and some custom stones I've built recently. You can see more pics and YouTube video on my site CemeteryHaunts.com. I know for the most part everyone here builds their own stuff, but if you see something you like and don't feel like building it, reach out! :). I'm a very handy chick! Lol!
Headstone Grave Memorial Stele Cemetery
Headstone Grave Cemetery Grass Memorial
Light Lighting Night Tree Reflection
Liqueur Drink Alcohol Night Distilled beverage
Blue Lighting Light Night Sky


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Welcome to the forum, CemeteryHaunts! Love the look of your stones :D
I'm curious.... What are your tombstones made of?
Thanks Darkhaven! Sirmeili, They are made of polystyrene foam. It's the Owens Corning foamular ridged insulation foam. I use the more dense 250 sheets. They're thicker and more weather resistant.
How do you do the beveled edges?

So beautiful!!! Off to look at your site...
Hi weeping angel! It's all done by hand with a Dremel. Every stone you see is done all by hand. I've bought all sorts of different bits through out the years cause I knew I just couldn't find something other than a cnc router to do it for me. That's my next investment! I wanna do the huge horror/party trade show coming up in February. That would be my first, and basically coming out party! I've even signed up with kick starter to help assist with the last few $$ it's gonna take me to launch. It's taken a while with dribs and drabs of money invested. It's time though. This is my newest piece
Grave Headstone Religious item Memorial Cross
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What will be incredibly nice is, as soon as I get my router, my prices will considerably drop! It's because it's all by hand right now. Once the computer takes over, production goes up, prices go down. Can't wait!!
I was just checkin out your site. Your quite talented yourself! Your an amazing sculptor, I really like your grinch mask it came out fantastic!!
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Oh, you're going to fit in just fine!

Welcome to the Forum! Love your pictures. Don't be a stranger!
I was just checkin out your site. Your quite talented yourself! Your an amazing sculptor, I really like your grinch mask it came out fantastic!!
Haha, I read this and was like, "ooo...who's she talking about?! I want to check out their site, too!"

Thank you very much!
Wow, Cemetery Haunts...all that with a dremel? You must have a stong and steady hand! Wishing you a smashing opening at the trade show! :D
Your work is beautiful work! I will hopefully be able to check out your booth at a "February" trade show!! :)
Thanks guys! I'm really nervous about the shows, and that's one of the reasons why I'm here. I've gotta feel out the crowd in hopes that I'm not gonna flop! Lol! eBay, etsy, that's one thing. Getting options from a large group of fellow haunters is another. Your who I'm selling to, and it's you guys I wanna hear from. What do YOU wanna see?? I know what "I" like and I've done for my haunts. But everyone's different and likes diff looks. I'll be heading down to Magnolia Cemetery in downtown charleston tmrw to take more pics. I've gotta really build inventory up if I'm gonna make it to at least the Orlando trade show. I wanna thank you Angel for the compliments on my dremel work!! I've been 4 yrs now with it and I've gotten pretty good at it. What is like is to give up the dremel for the Cnc router, then I could focus all of my attention on the structure itself. Put ALOT more detail and time into that! But it's all $$$...boooooo. Can I win the lottery already! Lol
CH, I really like your products, but one thing I'm hesitant about is putting "foam" tombstones out (granted, I've only ever done the cheap ones from the stores). I live just off a lake and that time of year we can get pretty gusty winds, so the Resin or Concrete ones have always been preferred to me because of their "weight".

How do you make sure your's stay in place?
How Durable are they?
Do they stand up well to water (sprinklers, rain, etc)?
Once you get your CNC machine, how much "cheaper" do you think they will be?

They don't seem overly priced as is, but I'm just curious.

Thanks and once again, they all look awesome!
CH, I was looking at your custom stones. I am a Haunted Mansion fan, so of course I recognized your 9 Old Men stones. Those and the tribute stones in the DW cue would make me stop and consider if I were to see them at at haunt show/convention. Also the details like the beveled edges and what looks like wood molding on the base would have me taking a closer look, like, 'How did they DO that?!' Same with your texture and weathering, which are awesome. I am a complete newb at building props, and I need A LOT more practice with the dremel (lost control and accidentally carved outside the lines with my first attempts). So if I were at a show nowhere close to Chri$tma$ time, I'd consider plunking down the money to buy HM stones of obviously better quality than I can currently create if the price was within my budget.

Speaking of ebay, I had pinned several tombstones from someone who makes them out of wood. Not because they are made out of wood, but because I can't figure out how they painted them. I'm guessing airbrush...and for the moss I am guessing that itty bitty flaky green stuff they sell for making model train sets. Those details really interest me. I send you a PM of what I'm talking about.
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Hi sermelili,
With the foam, I totally understand the fear of rain and wind. That's all our fears when building our haunts! We don't wanna see our stones blowin down the road 30 miles an hr! Lol! My stones are a standard 2" thick foamular dense foam from Owens Corning. I can make them 4" thick as well. You'd be shocked to feel the weight behind these things! So...the trick to keep them in place??? Since they're 2" thick, I drill a 1/2" hole in the bottom left and right sides and insert 1/2 PVC into the stone. Then, you hammer some rebar into the ground, slide the stone over the rebar (the PVC keeps the stone safe from rebar damage) and there ya go! A wind proof tombstone. Mine survived hurricane sandy. I left my pet cemetery sign out and it held up against 40-60 mph gusts. That was a great feeling!!

When I get that machine, it's prob gonna knock the stones down to around $60 for the standard stones. Where real money comes into play will be the elaborately built stones. The money will no longer be tied up in the engraving, it'll be in the structure.
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