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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, now that I can start planning for next year, was wondering if anyone has a source Or if people share their tombstone patterns?

I'm looking for the "inner" detail patterns, not the general tombstone shape, though probably be nice to share those if people have them as well.

Thanks
 

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I don't know how this post slipped by me. We love making tombstones and try to make each one unique. So, we go wandering around Pinterest looking at both real and fake tombstones all the time. It's really easy. You start with a page that has bunches of tombstones. Each time you click on one you'll be sent to that picture and yet another page of tombstones being collected by someone else. You can spend hours looking at designs. Here's a link to get you started if you've not already stumbled across this idea already. https://www.pinterest.com/ketchuplips/tombstones/?lp=true

Have fun. :)
 

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I have a Word document now titled TOMBSTONES. Every time I see a new stone that had some clever design or cool idea, I copy the pic or screencap it, and drop it into the document file. Sometimes I type up info beneath each pic, especially when its a new or specific technique. I've even collected a few before/after groups of pics and try to make a whole page dedicated to explaining it.

I have a paper copy, in a 3-ring binder. I keep adding to it whenever I feel I've saved enough new pages. I just color the last printed page red, so I know where I left off. Then slap them new pages at the back of the binder. It's a 1-1/2 inch binder, and maybe 2/3 full. Even stuck some Post-It tabs on certain pages I keep referencing.

I can only recommend you collect your ideas and have them ready and organized for when the weather clears up and you get ready to buy a few slabs of foam.
 

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I have a Word document now titled TOMBSTONES. Every time I see a new stone that had some clever design or cool idea, I copy the pic or screencap it, and drop it into the document file.

I can only recommend you collect your ideas and have them ready and organized for when the weather clears up and you get ready to buy a few slabs of foam.
While it's not in a binder, we do the same thing with every tombstone that makes us laugh or that we think is designed really well. We save them all in a file called Tombstones in a larger set of files called Halloween Inspiration. It rests on the hard drive of our computer and has a back up on a USB stick. Some tombstones we have are riffs on what we've seen, other pictures acted as the inspiration for tombstones or epitaphs that are uniquely ours. Bryah316 is right. The best thing you can do is find some way to collect the tombstones that inspire you and save them away in some form that you can return to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great! Yes, this is sort of what I was asking for, was patterns we can print and create tombstones from.
 

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Great! Yes, this is sort of what I was asking for, was patterns we can print and create tombstones from.
Depending on your library's resources, they may have either an opaque or overhead projector. They can project simple line drawings onto a tombstone much easier than using a printed out tombstone epitaph and the various transfer techniques available. I have an actual art projector that is essentially a smaller version of the opaque projector, and I really love using it compared to the older paper transfer methods.

If you have a projector that you're using to display animated windows or ghosts out in the yard, you can also load your images of tombstones onto a USB drive and project them with that same projector. It's all a matter of what you're used to using, but I enjoy just quickly tracing out the outlines with a pen onto the tombstone surface. For me, the difference between paper transfer, that I still use from time to time, and projector transfers is in how much detail I wish to have in the stone. If you look at Barry below, you'll see that he has quite a bit of graphic detailing with Celtic symbols. I've tried to make those using paper and for me, it just doesn't work all that well.

barry.jpg

I find it much easier to align the image, size it properly to the tombstone, and ensure I have the entire image traced out, if I am using the projector over other options. Have fun with your tombstones. We do a lot of our own props and to this day, tombstones are our favorite because they're relatively easy to make and very forgiving. But as I have said before, they're really only a gateway drug to other bigger, more elaborate props that lead you down the Halloween haunter hole. :)
 

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Here's something to consider, when trying to print out patterns.

You'll spend a lot of time making a pattern geometrically perfect, squared up, aligned, and printed exactly to scale. But then, you'll try to age it, damage it, weather it, scar it... soon all that time you spent drawing up your design so flawless, is now flawed. On purpose. Your goal was to create a flawed, ugly, scary design.

So try not to put too much pride and faith into a flawless pattern. Lettering? Sure, find the right font and make it symmetrical. Shape? Naw. Make it crooked. Make it visibly imperfect. You'll have more fun making your design look decrepit and discarded by Father Time. And don't forget, the creativity of a mistake is almost always rewarding! You may jack it up, and someone else will love that accidental design change. Embrace that. It has given me my favorite results over the years.
 

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