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Discussion Starter #1
Well, as usual I have had the intention of making tombstones all year....and haven't gotten around to it. Story of my life. So anyway, last year I bought a couple of stones from Spirit after Halloween and when I was at Michaels last night I saw they had a 3 pack that didn't look overly cheesy. So my question is, if you have store bought stones, do you leave them as is or do you add to them? Also, do you do anything to help weatherproof them?
 

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I've bought pairs (on sale), cut or melt a channel in the back, glue in a small dia pvc tube and glue back to back, (2 sided tombstones) the tube goes over metal rod in the ground. When I didn't have a second tombstone, I've cut insulation foam to the shape and glued to the back (doing the channel) and then just painting a gray color over the new foam.
 

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Add some darker green pain to certain spots to give them a mossy look, and after that glue some fake moss on top of the green spots.
 

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Lighthearted Halloween
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Hi there!

I don't have the talent to carve my own tombstones, but I can do grunt work. I got this idea off a thread on here a couple summers back.
You basically glue the store-bought tombstones onto foam and build the rest of the tombstone around it. I absolutely am THRILLED that I was able to make all these tombstones by... well... cheating. LOL

It's still a bit of work, minus the grueling carving and engraving the design.
If you are interested on the technique, I'll grab the tombstone building and painting videos by Terra Lair that I used and link them below.

1401493_725878887458177_2717801079337586372_o.jpg


All from dollar store and cheap store-bought thin tombstones.
Like these...

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During the process...

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Two more I just did.

Before.

IMG_7331.jpg

After.

IMG_7445.jpg IMG_7447.jpg
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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Those look awesome Hilda, nice transformaiton!! No talent what everrrrr!! :) :)

We essentially did the same with these stones, we picked up 3 at a garage sale for $5.00 a few years ago. The tall one we inserted into larger foam pieces, and then added the skulls from a dollar store plastic fence for more detail. I distressed and repainted. The shorter one we did exactly as Hilda did above, I added more cracks and damage using a Dremel and then re-painted.


 

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This is a great idea! I have so many stones that I have bought that are just not great but the detail on the front is awesome.
 

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I love those tombstones too, Hilda! The bases really take them to the next level. I've got to do a project like that!

In the past, we've painted our store-bought foam tombstones. When we first started doing outside decorating, we had this idea to use some florescent paints and wanted to create a glow-in-the-dark effect. It didn't work out so great, mainly because we just didn't have enough blacklights, plus we're on a corner and the streetlight is somewhat bright.

Still, we had used florescent paints on the tombstones like orange, yellow & green, and even though they didn't glow, I liked how it brought out some of the detail. I mostly just dry-brushed it on.

Here's a small example:



You can see how the lettering, some raised details & the pumpkin & skull face stand out more with the coloring.
Also, one of my favorite things to do at Halloween is to decorate our cemetery with accessories - I use Dollar Store faux flowers (many of which I paint to look dead & decaying), I use moss & leaves to drape over some of the tombstones or glue to the edges & bottom. Like others have done, I have stuck crows, owls or vultures into the tops of the thicker tombstones like they are perching on it. And of course, faux candlelight gathered at the base of the stone always makes it look creepy!

Another option is adding pre-cut wooden letters from craft stores, or taking apart the skelly garland from the Dollar Tree and making borders on the stones out of little bones - it's a great way to get creative!
 

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Lighthearted Halloween
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So I followed this build video and just used the store-bought tombstone for the front piece of foam.



Then I got brave and did some of the finishing techniques that are towards the end of THIS video. (i.e. using a pocketknife to chip up the edges.)



Then I painted them by following Terra's techniques in THIS video.

 

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Lots of great ideas here and I'm going to steal many of them.

I'll just say that I take and old spray bottle and put a few tablespoons of black paint in them (I don't measure it out - but for the purposes of giving you and idea of how much I'd say 3-4 tablespoons). Then fill it about half way with water and shake.

I spray the stones and let them dry. Repeat as necessary (sometimes takes 3-4 applications). It gives a good weathered look like years of rain washing over it.
 

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Great ideas! A couple of years ago, I did some quick tombstones from Dollar Tree foam stones, built up with cardboard, and using foam letters, etc.

1012444_10151605665680748_1307115007_n.jpg

They're not as realistic as building with foam, but they worked in a pinch!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I went to Michaels today and found cork and wood letters in the summer section for 50% off, they ended up being $2.50 for a pack of 31 letters. They are the perfect size to add to tombstones.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nightfisher- what type of paint did you use? That stone looks 10 times better!
Store bought tombstones seem to either come in black or gray so light the white styrofoam is clearly visible!
 
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