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92 Posts
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!

165 Posts
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.




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.

546 Posts
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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