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DIY Halloween Foam Tombstone Props & Decor For Your Cemetery Display

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Published on Feb 17, 2014

http://hollywoodhaunter.com Here is an inside look at the making, carving, and distressing of some of our fake tombstones decorations and grave markers for our front yard Halloween display and home haunt. This video slide show will give you a pretty good idea of how we carve, sculpt, make, build, paint, and finish our custom realistic looking Halloween tombstones. It is a fairly inexpensive and easy Halloween project you can finish for the October holiday. We got many of our inspirations from Disney and several other shows and films as well as some other Halloween decor and indoor decorations. I also got lots of ideas by visiting real cemeteries and graveyards and taking pictures and getting measurements of the tombs, crypts, and graves. It was a really huge help in getting the right size and thickness down to help make them look as real as possible. The thickness of store bought headstones was one of the things that I was never really happy with from places like the spirit Halloween store and the like. The photos from real grave yards also helped in the paint and color ideas for the real looking finish. They are all made of thick pieces of white styro-foam. You can purchase several insulation foams from various vendors pink and blue foam is popular to use and can be purchased at Lowe's or Home Depot. I believe a 2" x 4" x 8" is around $30.00 bucks or so and the pieces could be glued together with adhesive to double the thickness. They are sculpted using files, sandpaper, grooming tools, routers, and Dremels. We choose a font on the computer and print the epitaph out on regular printing paper then tape to the surface and then carefully carve out the lettering. We use a soldering iron to melt any cracks to help age the look of the surface. We also use a homemade electric hot wire set up to cut many of our larger pieces of foam for carving and shaping. For hard coating there are a couple different products we have used. If I'm carving the more dense yellow or green foam I just use a fiberglass resin mixed with a hardener but it does melt the white styro. For that we have used Shell Shock plastic coating from Smooth-On which works but isn't my favorite to brush on. The stuff I use most of the time is called StyroSafe Fast-Cure Laminating Resin Product# 30P-106A. It's great! Like the fiberglass resin you mix with a hardener. I use Norex MEKP-925 organic peroxide cure., Last we paint and aged all with a grey base coat of either light or dark grey and then age with a watered down darker color like black and gently wipe off using a damp old rag. If your interested in going further to age the tombstones adding moss is a great way to get that real old look. To be more real remember moss tends to grow more on the North sides of the tombstones if you want to be real crazy. We purchased a bag of moss from places like the hobby stores or Michael's and then using a spray glue or adhesive like 3M spray 77. Lightly coat the area you want the moss wait a minute until tacky and apply. You may want to use rubber gloves to help keep your hands from getting sticky and covered with dirt and moss. When placing and staging them in the yard haunt inside our cemetery fence columns and pillars we use short pieces of cut steel re-bar we pound into the ground with a hammer and slide the tombstones over them. It helps to have pre-drilled 1/2" holes with a drill ahead of time instead of just jamming them into place. We also placed some loose dirt and sticks around for that extra little wow factor. Our yard haunt looked so real and run down this past year we had the city officials come out and tell us we needed to clean up our cemetery. For lighting these sweet gravestones, motorized or animated props like peepers, poppers, and skeletons we used LED modules that are connected long RGB cables fished through all the outlined styrofoam headstones leading to a enclosure with terminals that you connect the cables too. We are able to choose the color that fits the cement or marble looking gravestones. We also designed and made an awesome pet cemetery you need to check out. We hope this helps you get started designing new foam stones and gives some decorating ideas.
Some of our epitaphs include, Stupid, I'm With Stupid, Dracula "That Garlic Gets Me Every Time" Ricky D. Bones, Rosemary, Myra Mains, Dusty N. Crumblin, Theo Later
Ray Peterson "The Burbs" Levi Tation, and Stella Live
Dwelling In A Basement - TeknoAXE.com
Call to Adventure - Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
If you would like to see many more prop making videos check out our YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/Hollywood...
Visit our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/HollywoodHau...
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http://www.hollywoodhaunter.com/
http://youtu.be/DPI0DaCr4KU

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