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Hauntless
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On another thread we were talking about using stencils to block out the effect of spray paint eating at foam so a pattern is left behind. So, I put together a tutorial of what I did. By the way, after a few days, I won't be able to edit this post with any lessons learned or additional ideas. So, please go directly to my album for the latest additions. Halloween Forum - Terra's Album: Tutorial: Tombstone Stencil Technique

I like using spray paint to eat away at my foam for the ancient look. To create patterns in the foam, you have to block the spray paint from getting to the bare foam. I love Herman Secret's technique using sticky-backed letters: http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-step-step/68179-easy-tombstones.html

This technique here I will show using latex paint put on by a stencil. This is good for Celtic designs or other large designs.



Here's the effect you get after all the finish painting is done. I explain finish painting steps in another tutorial called Ancient Tombstones: Halloween Forum - Terra's Album: Tutorial: Ancient Tombstones





There are many ways to make a stencil. I like the fabric method but I'm sure there are better ways out there.

To get a stencil ready, prepare the backing: Layout interfacing material onto an ironing board. Then following directions on Heat N' Bond, iron-on the 'glue'. In the second picture you can see the 'glue' now on the interfacing (shiny part). The third picture shows you what to look for at the fabric store.






I had found a pattern I liked on the web. I printed it as large as I could using the 'poster' option for printing. I taped the printed pages together and then made the pattern darker with a Sharpie. The first picture shows the backside of the pattern I darked. Put the inked side onto the glued interfacing. Following directions on the Heat N' Bond, iron it to the interfacing. You've now made your paper much stiffer and resilient to the painting you will do on it. In the second picture you will see the pattern showing through the interfacing.

Cut out the pattern.






I used pins to hold the stencil onto the tombstone. Then I dipped a rag into latex paint (any color) and ragged on the paint. You don't have to be perfect here. I did two coats. Let dry.

Now, take your tombstone outside and hit the pattern hard with spray paint. It will start to eat away at the foam and leave the latex painted foam generally alone. It does get in there a bit but I like that!

Now, paint the whole tombstone with two coats of gray Dry-lok. Let dry between coats.






After following my painting technique for making tombstones look ancient (see other tutorial) you will see it really makes the effect pop.





Here's the tombstone in the graveyard display.

Thanks for looking :)

.
 

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This is a really great idea, quicker than carving it all by hand, and eliminates the smoothness that knives tend to leave in foam when carving. Great tutorial
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter #10
That's a great tutorial, Terra. I wonder if you could use a roll of contact paper and stick a pattern on the stone, spray it down, and then just peel it off. I might have to try that.
Thanks :) Your idea is also terrific and would be great for hand-drawn items. In this case, I needed to transfer something I printed on my printer.

In another technique, I printed letters on ink-jet printer 'Full sheet Labels' so I could do an embossing-type epitaph like Herman Secret's 'Easy Tombstones.' I printed the epitaph out and then cut out the letters and attached them to the tombstone. Used spray paint and peeled the letters off. Here was the result:

 

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So there WAS a purpose to fighting off crazy ladies on black friday for that super-duper cheap Cricut machine my wife wanted...

(WE essentially got it FREE. $300 machine on sale for $200, sold the older, smaller one for $100, and got $100 in free cartridges on a mail in offer for buying it)

Now to convince her to let me borrow it...
 

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Hello Terra,

Awesome tutorial.Do you have a tutorial on how to make the tall tombstone that the design was applied to?

Thanks, Daren
 

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