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Wow! Thank you for this great idea! I built a cemetery arch this year but ran out of time for the columns. I'm going to use this tutorial to finish my cemetery gates for 2012! Thanks!
 

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Thanks for the sonotube idea. I used it on my cemetery columns. I wanted to do the skeleton too, but ran out of time. I used the 12 inch tube for the entry columns and the smaller one (8 inch?) for the others. I made the column tops out of plywood and 2x4s. It just sits over the tube. The bottom is a bit more substantial with the tube going through one "layer" and the second "layer" holding a concrete paver for weight. I was then able to screw u-shaped brackets to the top and bottom 2x4s to clamp over the fence's end posts and archway poles to hold everything in place. The whole thing was very sturdy.

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Overall, it cost way more than I was anticipating, though.
I bought:
5 8" Sonotubes at about $7 each
2 12" Sonotubes at about $10 each
7 2x4s at about $3 each
1 piece of scrap plywood at about $3
5 pieces of 2'x3' plywood-like boards (I don't have a truck, so I had to buy would I could fit.) at about $6 each
2 bags of u-shaped brackets (those things to hold conduit pipe) at about $2 each(?)
1 box of screws (plus many I already had) at about $9
1 can of primer which I already had
7 cans of stone texture spray paint (using Michael's 50% coupons) at about $6 each
1 create-your-own sign at about $5
Column Cost for 2 larger/5 smaller columns: $169.00

The pieces to create the pvc fence cost:
30(??) pieces of 10' 1/2 pvc at about $2 each
Lots of pipe connection pieces at about $35
10 pieces of 1x2 wood at about $1 each
1 can of black exterior paint at about $20
2 cans of black spray paint at about $1 each
125 (realized I only needed 85) finials with shipping at about $45
1 special set of hole boring bits which I won't count in the total but cost about $50
1 heat gun which I won't count in the total but cost about $15
Fence Cost for 5 8' sections: $172

Total Fence/Column cost: About $341.
 

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I wanted to make some columns for my graveyard and found a great thread here where it was suggested that you could use cardboard concrete forms to make columns! So I had my husband get me a couple at Home Cheapo yesterday and I started them today -- they're 4' high and 10" wide -- I thought just the plain tubes might be kind of boring looking but couldn't think of any ideas to perk them up until this afternoon when I was watching "The Brothers Grimm" on TV and saw a scene where there was a skeleton kind of stuck into a stone outcropping and suddenly I remembered that I had a couple of small plastic skeletons up in the attic that I got last year on sale after Halloween -- so I decided to try to incorporate them into the pillars as if they were a part of them.

First I cut off all the parts on the backs of the skeletons that were sticking out in order to make them as flat as possible: the back of the skull, the back of the rib cage, and the back of the hips -- then I hot glued the skeletons onto the sonotubes:



For the base and tops of the columns I used some heavy pressboard bulletin boards that I got at the local job lot store for $3.00 each:



Then I took some foam pipe insulation that I bought a few weeks ago to use for Halloween projects, cut it in half and hot glued it around the top and bottom of each tube:



Took the columns outside and spray painted them with black primer:



I have a patina kit that I've been using on several of my halloween projects, so I decided to use it on these to see how it looks -- plus I'm hoping to use some gargoyles on top that I've already patina'd -- so here they are with the bronze base coat:



And here is the first one with the patina finish on it, not completely finished yet, I ran out of daylight so I did just enough to get an idea of how it'll look and I'll finish them up tomorrow and see how the gargoyles look on them -- I also think that they would look really nice done in white with faux marbeling --



Anyway -- I just wanted to share this project since its so cheap and very easy! Also, very lightweight -- my husband had suggested using paving stones for the bases and tops, but they were so heavy I decided to go with the cardboard rounds -- I glued the bottom on, but I'm hoping to be able to leave the tops unglued so that after Halloween, I can possibly use the tubes for storage, too!
These are a work of art, great job! Pinned them so I wouldn't loose them!
 
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