Styrofoam Tombstone

Halloween tombstone propHalloween decorations have become highly important nowadays. People are spending weeks to figure out the best way to decorate their house and lawn for Halloween. Also, many home haunters spend a fortune of decorative items that will make their homes creepier or more attractive (depending on their tastes). By far the most sought for piece of décor is the tombstone.

Representative of the spiritual and at the same time of the material world (they are the part of the tomb which can be seen) the tombstones make great decoration items. Most tombstone decorations and props are made of high density Styrofoam – these look a lot more realistic than plastic, and last longer (and cost much less) than wood.

You may be surprised by the excellent quality of store-bought foam tombstones – you’ll rarely see cheap plastic props nowadays, unless you go to your local dollarstore (and even then, I’ve seen some pretty good quality foam Halloween decorations there.) You can purchase your own props, either at a brick and mortar store or online (there the selection is usually better, since everything is shipped from a giant central warehouse), or you can make one yourself. Let’s take a look at each method:

Purchase tombstones online

Whereas most items can be bought both online and in your local shop, if you want to see the widest selection in Styrofoam tombstones,  online is best. The reason is quite simple: people from your neighborhood have access to the local stores and these are the first places where they would search for a nice decoration. There are fewer people ordering from websites and there are even fewer chances that you purchase the same item from the same online store.

Plus, buying online will likely save you money, as the overall business costs is lower (one giant warehouse as opposed to several outlets, each paying rent.) Online stores like Buycostumes.com also usually have weekly specials, such as free shipping or discounts off your entire order.

But why would you want to purchase your Halloween tombstones from the store, anyway? Well, first because it is far easier than making one. It only requires a few clicks, unlike the DIY projects which usually take time and patience. Then you can choose various patterns, you can see the actual product (without worrying how it will look in the end) and if you purchase them with some time before Halloween you may even find some high quality Styrofoam tombstones with great discounts. In addition to that, it requires very little time and you get it to your door in a couple of days.

Make the Styrofoam tombstones yourself

DIY Halloween tombstone propIf you are the type of person who wants to have their personality imprinted on each and every item they own, then you can make the Styrofoam tombstones yourself. Whether you have skills in the DIY activities or this will be your first project, the tombstones will certainly be a fun way to spend your day.

You will need these items for your DIY project (also, check out this tombstone tutorial for a more in-depth process):

  • a knife or wood saw to cut the Styrofoam
  • Styrofoam board (you can choose the actual density as well as its thickness depending on the way you want your tombstone to look like)
  • sandpaper to polish the rough edges
  • hammer and nails
  • latex paint to paint and decorate the tombstone (oil based paint eat out the Styrofoam, which may result in ruining your great work of art … unless that’s the look you want!)
  • pieces of plywood for the base
  • and of course, your imagination!

Make Your Own TombstoneStart by cutting out the Styrofoam board in the size and shape you want. It is recommended to draw the pattern on the board before starting cutting. If you are not a very skilled in drawing, you can use a bucket or planter pot to make the circles and a ruler to cut straight lines. Use geometrical figures (preferably simple ones) for the first tombstones. Once you have the perfect shape of your tombstone make a base for it, so that it will stand up without your help. Cut two pieces of wood of the same size as the tombstone’s width at its base. Then place them in front and in the back of the tombstone, making a “sandwich” with the Styrofoam in the middle.

Measure the sandwich’s thickness and cut two more pieces of wood. Attach them to the other two pieces of wood using nails. Now, your tombstone will stand on its own, and you can start working on painting and decorations. Use grey painting for the entire surface, black and white for the edges and black paint for the writing. You can also carve the letters with a knife and add a light grey paint inside for a more dramatic effect.

The time it takes to make this great Styrofoam tombstone depends on your skills, but it should not take more than an hour – but be prepared to spend an entire afternoon for your first one.

Have fun with building your Halloween graveyard!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011 Tombstones

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