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My husband and I bought a bunch of foam at Lowe's, hand traced a gravestone pattern, hack sawed them, painted them, then spray painted granite looking paint on to the top of them. They look AMAZING.

But now...? I don't know how to add words to the stones...

What has worked best for you??

Stencils? I feel like that would be hard to keep it aligned...

Free hand? I feel like that might look crappy after all the hard work we put in...

I can't seem to find a good tutorial online anywhere so I'm hoping one of you crafty beasts has some tricks and experience up your sleeve!!!
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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All I've ever done is freehand with a Dremel tool. But I'm no perfectionist...
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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Typically you engrave the lettering into the stone prior to painting. In this case, I would use a stencil and light tack adhesive for stenciling to adhere the text to the face of the stone and paint it on.
 

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Or you could use a projector, trace the projected image/letters, and hand paint.

But yes, most everyone carves the lettering prior to monster mudding and/or painting.
 

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I saw a tip (can't remember where) to print out the words in whatever font you want on regular paper. Then use a lot of the kids washable glue sticks (school supplies) to hold it in place, carve right over that using Dremel or whatever tool you want, then peel off whatever paper you want then simply wash off the glue with water. I used that method for a carboard sign and it worked well.
 

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Since you've already painted the stones with a textured paint, you're probably going to have to use a Dremel to carve them. I can't see doing it with a hobby knife, and I doubt a hot foam carver would work well after painting. Don't be discouraged, though--a couple of years ago, when I was making my first stones, I only had a few carved in time for Halloween. So I quickly painted my blanks with Drylok so I'd have something to fill up some space. Later that winter, I carved them with a Dremel, and it worked fine. The Drylok just left a crust that had to be punched through, but it carved fine.

To get the actual letters on the stones, I've used a couple of methods. Print out and use washable white glue--worked well using a hobby knife, but on the smaller letters, I had to be super careful not to damage the carving while getting the paper off. Usually, I just print out the words, tape them onto the stone, and carve with a hobby knife. In the past, I've traced out the letters and used a Dremel. Many people use a hot foam carver. There are several ways to do it, but since you've already painted yours, you'll have to use a Dremel.

Of course, there is another option--use raised letters. Carve (or buy) letters from foam and then glue them onto the stone with something like Gorilla Glue (careful--it expands!), or construction adhesive.
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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I saw a tip (can't remember where) to print out the words in whatever font you want on regular paper. Then use a lot of the kids washable glue sticks (school supplies) to hold it in place, carve right over that using Dremel or whatever tool you want, then peel off whatever paper you want then simply wash off the glue with water. I used that method for a carboard sign and it worked well.
I use this method for my stones, yes the glue washes off very easily.I found sometimes the paper would lift when using the Dremel, but all in all it works well.
 

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can you add paint right to the drylok to color it, or do you drylok, then paint over that?
Yes to both. Drylok can be purchased in either white or gray. If you get the white at. Home Depot or Lowe's, they will tint it for you.
I should add that I use the gray Drylok, and I don't paint it at all, except for tea staining.
 

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Has anyone ever tried putting a stencil down and then spray painting on the foam to have the paint eat away in only the exposed areas?
Yes...I did that years ago. That was how I started making my stones. My son got me a Dremel a couple years ago and I remade the stone. I still need to darken the words and age the stone but I ran out of time and just stuck them out in the yard and then I got lazy after Halloween. I have a few other stones that still need to have the aging done too. I will get around to it one day. :eek:

Grave Headstone Cemetery Memorial Yard

Grave Headstone Cemetery Memorial

Marie
 

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I agree with others......the lettering SHOULD be done well before the paint stage.....it's going to be a little more difficult if you attempt it now but NOT impossible. What i did was use Microsoft Word to print my lettering on plan paper. With that done i simply taped the paper to my tombstones and used a toothpick to trace the outline of the letters into the foam. Once this was done, i then used a craft knife (X-Acto) and carved out my letters one-by-one. It's a labor intensive process but well worth it in the end. After the lettering and details were done, i sprayed my tombstones with a Granite Look spray paint to give them that "Stone" feel. Finally, i applied black paint withing the carved letters to hi-lite them and finally, i coated all my tombstones in a Varithane spray to weather-proof them and "toughen" them. Hope it works out for you......i'd love to see your finished stones.
 

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We used black letters from Michaels, they stick great, had them for years, got phrases off of various sights and most of ours are from the Haunted Mansion, we are halloween nuts, with Nightmare before christmas.
 

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another option i don't think has been mentioned so far is to print the words you want onto some A4 paper. you can various spooky fonts for free if you search around the internet.

i then taped the A$ onto the foam and then used a pin to push through at the strategic points, much like you would carve a pumpkin. i then joined up the dots with a dremel like tool.

just a thought.
 

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I use a solvent transfer - I print reverse images of the text I want, then use a solvent to transfer it from the paper to the stone. But don't do this if you have already painted your stones!
 
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