Halloween Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

Registered
Joined
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have those foam tombstones you can buy at Party City. I gave up on the wire things that come with them. They didn't work. So I got bamboo stakes and used duct tape to adhere the stakes to the tombstones. But in the Texas heat, the tape keeps falling off. What do you all suggest for keeping your tombstones up in your yard? Or more specifically, how can I adhere stakes to foam permanently? Would there be a glue that would work? Thanks so much.

julie
 

Typical Ghoul Next Door
Joined
7,330 Posts
I use wooden stakes driven in at a slight angle and then lean the tombstone against that as I push the little metal stakes into the ground. So the stake is supporting the backside of the stone, and it leans into the stake slightly - most side/front wind won't budge them that way, it would only be strong winds from the backside that would dislodge the stones then. This setup works for me most of the time.

I would also suggest trying to put the bamboo into the ground first (not a whole length - say cut them down to be around 10 inches total), then sliding the stones onto the bamboo (make sure there is at least 4-6 inches above ground) but again this isn't a perfect fix, and you should also probably use an electric drill to create the holes in the bottom of your stones so you don't rip them up trying to push in the bamboo.

Most folks use short lengths of pvc tubing glued to the backside of their stones (liquid nails works well) and then drive rebar into the ground and slide the pvc collars over that. OR you could build a small base out of plywood or even more foam, attach your existing stones to those as a wider base can be secured much easier than the standalone stones.

I'm fine with the wooden stake/flimsy metal stakes that comes with them since I have my fencing enclosing all of my graveyard - it also corrals the stones if they decide to fly off. :D
 

Registered
Joined
38 Posts
Make a styrofoam base and stake that to the ground. Get styrofoam about 1 1/2 in thick 4 inches wide and about 3 to four inches longer than the width of the tombstone. Cut a slot in the foam to fit the tombstone and take some black spray paint and lightly paint them so the white shows through so its still greyish. Insert tombstone then take 2 3" deck screws to screw through the tombstone. Then put the metal stakes through the sides of the base. We had 40 mph winds last week and they stayed in place.
 

Blaberus craniifer
Joined
4,920 Posts
All my tombstones (store bought or hand made) I glue a piece of plywood to the back of the stone and screw in two pieces of 1/2" PVC. I then pound two 16" pieces of rebar into the ground and slide the tombstone over the rebar. I've had 70+ mph winds come through and nothing has even blown over.
 

Registered
Joined
910 Posts
Ahhhhh......the never ending debate about keeping styro tombstones up on Halloween. If you do a search on the forum, you'll discover this topic has been discussed many, many, many many.....times. Cheers....'Scruff
 

Registered
Joined
355 Posts
This is an easy one. I still have some store bought tombstones I purchased long before I ever learned to make my own, and since they're still in good shape, i put them out. I struggled for years trying everything to keep them standing. Since they're too thin to embed a piece of 1/2 inch PVC into them, I just hot glued or Gorilla Glue the PVC to the back, pound a piece of rebar or heavy gauge wire into the ground, and slide it onto the rebar or wire. I've never had a single problem since. 20141028_100153.jpg 20141028_100120.jpg
Notice the white strips going up the center of the tombstones. That's from the dozen other things I've tried, but that failed. Trust me. Hot glue, PVC, and rebar is the way to go.
 

Going bump in the night..
Joined
3,388 Posts
My solution has been to adhere a strip of wood to the back of the tombstone that does not extend below the bottom of the stone.

I then pound a wooden stake into the ground.

I will then place the tombstone against the stake, lining up the wood strip with the stake, and run a screw through the stake into the wood, thereby holding the stone well in place.


(I learned after one attempt that gluing the stake to the stone and then trying to pound all that into the ground will simply damage the stone as it rips the stake off the stone at some point)
 

Registered
Joined
372 Posts
I intend to make a better looking solution going forward but time always seems to get in the way. Yes, the little stakes that come with the store bought stones are garbage. What I found 2 years ago is quick and cheap and easy. I pound in a piece of rebar or wooden stake and then set the stone in front of the stake. I then take giant rubber bands around the whole thing. One towards the bottom and one towards the top. Have not had a single stone fly away which used to happen all the time. I get the bands in black and you would hardly notice them and at night they disappear. They are actually trash can liner bands. I can find a link if anyone is interested. We are on the top of a hill and get a lot of wind and I was surprised how well this works.
 

Registered
Joined
449 Posts
I've always used plywood on the back of my tombstones, but this year I switched to rebar and was thrilled with the result. It's pretty inexpensive too which is nice!
 

Here to burgle your turts
Joined
2,305 Posts
I just want to say thanks to whoever it was who originally came up with the PVC/rebar method of securing tombstones. The first few years we did Halloween displays stuff was always getting blown over - often breaking when they fell. I used to get up in the morning and wonder what would need to be fixed.

We're making tombstones with PVC sandwiched between two pieces of foam and these things are darn near immovable in some fairly serious wind. Between that and moving to PVC armatures for our figures, life has gotten SO much easier.

Thank goodness for smart people.
 

Mistress of Darkness
Joined
1,689 Posts
The PVC/rebar is definitely the way to go. That's what we did to ours years ago and we haven't lost one yet.
 

Registered
Joined
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So two years later, I finally got around to fixing this problem. I cut PVC pipe, glued it to the backs of the tombstones, and spray painted the backs gray. Worked great. I'm just sorry I waited so long to finally do it! IMG_8299.jpg I do need another coat of spray paint to cover up the words on the PVC pipe.
 

Registered
Joined
354 Posts
1/2 PVC attached (or embedded) to the tombstone.
(Great Stuff expanding foam makes a great adhesive)
PVC slides over #4 (1/2 inch diameter) rebar.
I agree the Rebar embedded in the foam is the best. If embedded isn't an option, the second best I've found is to glue the tombstone to a piece of plywood slightly larger than the base of the tombstone. Then using http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grip-Rite-3-8-in-x-10-in-Galvanized-Steel-Spike-Nails-50-lb-Pack-10HGSPK/100124434 large nails to drive through the plywood into the ground.
 

Registered
Joined
763 Posts
With those thin foam tombstones I just cut and use coat hanger pieces and press into the grass then press the tombstone
onto it. But after a couple years of chasing them down the street I built some more stable tombstones. Made of 2 inch foam
with a base that is 12 inches wide and 24 inches long and glued to 1/2 inch plywood, we had high winds and they didnt budge
an inch.

IMG_20161009_142300741.jpg

IMG_20161015_102941459.jpg

IMG_20161016_110543706_HDR.jpg
 

Registered
Joined
720 Posts
I should take pictures... crap...

Okay so we use Loctite PL300 foam glue, to stick our tombstones to a wooden base plate. Then we'd use eye screws, two in the back, one in the front. Then we'd hammer 10" roofing spikes, at inward angles. The front spike gets hammered all the way, the back two only need to go in half way.

Lessons learned:

We no longer use plywood because the laminates separate after a few years of weathering and moisture. I recommend getting deck boards. 5/4 x 6" boards measure 1" thick and 5-1/2" wide. Then I make a base stone the same size as the board, so when I paint, the board looks like part of the base stone.

I'm also downgrading to the thinner 8" spikes. The 10" spikes are 52 cents each, where the 8" are only 22 cents each. They still hold perfectly well once hammered down at an angle.

No matter how you anchor your stones, if there's wood involved, SLATHER them with a waterproofing coat of paint. The better you protect them, the less you complain years from now.
 

Registered
Joined
139 Posts
the stakes as described above are a really good idea, but i have a concrete front garden and i use some big pieces of timber nailed together and then painted to match.
as shown in the picture..

20161031_111624.jpg
 

Registered
Joined
3 Posts
I use wooden stakes driven in at a slight angle and then lean the tombstone against that as I push the little metal stakes into the ground. So the stake is supporting the backside of the stone, and it leans into the stake slightly - most side/front wind won't budge them that way, it would only be strong winds from the backside that would dislodge the stones then. This setup works for me most of the time.

I would also suggest trying to put the bamboo into the ground first (not a whole length - say cut them down to be around 10 inches total), then sliding the stones onto the bamboo (make sure there is at least 4-6 inches above ground) but again this isn't a perfect fix, and you should also probably use an electric drill to create the holes in the bottom of your stones so you don't rip them up trying to push in the bamboo.

Most folks use short lengths of pvc tubing glued to the backside of their stones (liquid nails works well) and then drive rebar into the ground and slide the pvc collars over that. OR you could build a small base out of plywood or even more foam, attach your existing stones to those as a wider base can be secured much easier than the standalone stones.

I'm fine with the wooden stake/flimsy metal stakes that comes with them since I have my fencing enclosing all of my graveyard - it also corrals the stones if they decide to fly off. :D
So Do I :p
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top