A Halloween tombstone can add a ton of personality to your Halloween decor. I decorated my cubicle at the office with the one I did for this project (before the pandemic). But you could carve any ghoulish message you like and turn your front yard into a veritable graveyard for the big night 🙂
To make your own Halloween tombstone, all you need is a 2″ thick 4×8 sheet of foam board, a jigsaw, marker, wood burning tool and faux stone texture spray paint (note that this one is for indoor use only).
Halloween Tombstone DIY
1. Carve the Foam
Cut the foam to your desired tombstone shape using the jigsaw. Then use a marker to transfer the letters onto the face of the foam with a marker. Pop on a pointed tip and heat up the wood burning tool. Once hot, start tracing around each letter. Because of fumes, do this work outdoors or in a well ventilated area (I did mine in the garage and laid it flat on top of the blue bin).
Once the outline is done, burn inside the rest of the letters to get depth (you can use a wider tip for the interior of the letters so it goes faster).
When you’re done carving, your Halloween tombstone will look like this:
Don’t worry about any marker still showing; it will get covered by the paint.
If you want the lettering to be more pronounced, dab in a darker colour (I didn’t do that step). Then spray the entire piece with a texture paint (I used a light grey). However, make sure the paint you choose is compatible with styrofoam; some paints will literally melt it!
If using this indoors, add a mound of dirt and a dead flower (I used dried moss and a faux flower at the base).
Halloween Tombstone Office Decor
Since this was for the office and I was poking fun at the fact that our company was closing down our cafeteria, I decorated accordingly. So, I added an abandoned tray, a curdled cup of coffee, albino rat and trail of spiders:
Here is the Halloween tombstone all pulled together in the cubicle vignette. More about the model employee with the ball and chain is below:)
A ‘Model’ Employee
I made the ’employee’ that sits in the cubicle from scratch using upcycled items. Unfortunately I didn’t take step-by step photos, but do include the few that I do have so you get the gist of how to make her.
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- Texture spray paint (for tombstone project above)
- Chicken wire (use a good quality one to support the weight),
- Pool noodles (with hole in centre from the dollar store),
- Butchers twine,
- A pair of cotton gloves,
- Old clothing, and
- The piece de resistance – ball and chain (from the dollar store)
Building my Own Fembot
First, I put some plastic over a dress form to prevent snagging while I while mold the torso out of chicken wire to the shape of the form. The plastic also helps make it easier to remove.
I leave the opening in the back and removedthe torso. Twist the seam of the chicken wire closed using a pair of needle nosed pliers. To keep the wire from showing through, I put a bodysuit over the torso to smooth it out.
Pool noodles, for the arms and legs, are cut at the knees and elbows then strung together. This allows her to bend so she can sit and hold the ‘baby’ Pantyhose over the pool noodles holds the stuffing in place, which gives her adequate padding.
Add one of those a hair mannequin heads which cradles right into the neck. Then fashion a ‘turtle neck’ of sorts out of a piece of scrap black knit fabric to hide the seam between the neck and head.
For the hands, I stuffed a pair of cotton gloves, which I dyed a natural skin tone. Then clothe her and put on some shoes. A high ankle boot is best because you can tighten it to the pool noodle.
Scene of the ‘Crime’
As you can see below, I assembled on my living room floor. Consequently, the room looked like a crime scene while I was working on her – lol!
The final test is to prop her into a chair to make sure she will stay upright. Success!
As we found out while transporting her, it’s not a good idea to leave her slumped in the back seat of the car while you run an errand (and an even worse idea to stuff her into the trunk); passersby may mistake her for a real person 🙂
Once she was at the office, I clothed her in a company golf shirt. In addition to sporting a ball and chain around her ankle, I also poked fun at ‘bring your kids to work day’ by putting a ‘baby’ in her arms (you’ll notice I left some diapers on the desk too).
However, it’s not just any baby; on closer inspection, you can see that I replaced the dolls head with a skeleton skull head that lights up.
Just the right amount of ‘creepy’.
More Halloween Tombstone Ideas
For more one-of-a-kind tombstone ideas, this tutorial from DIY Network also has some great information on how to carve one and give it a realistic faux-finish with regular paint.
If you’re making the tombstone for outdoors, add three dowels in the bottom and then press them into a styrofoam base so the tombstone stands on it’s own – like this project from Lowes (click through to get details on how to fabricate a base):
In Oh My Goth (Part 1), I carved a realistic pumpkin in the likeness of my boss – a different employer but still one with a sense of humour. For that one, I poked fun at the boss’s addiction to smoking and put a lit cigarette in the pumpkin’s mouth. Then I presented it to him at the Halloween office party (check out Oh My Goth It’s Halloween at the Office).
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