DIY Wooden Halloween Yard Tombstones
I've been making these wooden tombstones to put up for Halloween in our front yard for years now.
They are the perfect Halloween decoration- cheap, easy, and completely customizable. As a self-proclaimed Disney adult I like to take this opportunity to add a little Disney magic to our yard and create each tombstone to reflect a Disney character. But they could truly be made to say anything- Haunted Mansion? Nightmare Before Christmas? Hocus Pocus? Or you know... another theme that has nothing to do with Disney (what's that?). So if you're looking for some easy Halloween yard decor- you've come to the right place!
*the quantities of the supplies will depend on how many tombstones you are making
- 2' x 4' sheets of wood (the laminated wood is cheaper, but over the years it hasn't held up near as well as the solid)
- paint (I used mostly white, other colors are optional and will depend on your design)
- sanding block
Let's get into it!
The first thing I did was sketch out my designs on a scrap piece of paper, this helped give me an idea of what shapes I wanted to cut my wood tombstones out in.
Then I sketched out my tombstone shapes onto my 2' x 4' wood. I bought wood in this size so I could easily fit it in my car to get home and I found that each piece was large enough to create about two tombstones.
Next, I used my jigsaw to cut the shapes out.
They certainly weren't perfect and I think that adds to the personality of these homemade tombstones.
Next I gave everything a quick smoothing with my sanding block.
Then it was time to spray paint my tombstones and I used this hammered metal look spray paint.
It not only changes the color, but also gives the wood a slight texture. I think it's perfect for a creepy tombstone look.
Once everything was cut and painted, then it was time to paint on my designs. I used a sample pot of basic white interior paint for most of them, but did end up adding a bit of color with craft paint to a few of them (more on that later).
I first mapped out my design in pencil just to get the spacing right and then started painting. I again embraced the imperfect nature of doing everything by hand. But if you want picture perfect designs you could totally cut designs out in vinyl using a Cricut machine or print out designs on a computer and use graphite paper to trace everything onto the tombstones.
Some of my lines went a little crooked and my lettering certainly isn't perfect, but this was so much fun to do. If I messed up I sprayed a little bit of the base spray paint color into a bowl and touched it up with a brush. Do you get the Disney references? These new ones I created are from some of my all time favorite Disney movies! Like this Wreck It Ralph tombstone, and here you can see where I decided to add in some color!
Once my designs were completed I decided to give them a few coats of this clear durable topcoat to help the paint hold up. Especially since I used colorful craft paint on some of these tombstones that are going to be outside. I am hopeful this will help them hold up!
Next it was time to cut down my PVC pipe and dowel rods. I just cut them to size and made two per tombstone. Then I glued the PVC pipe to the back of each tombstone using liquid nails.
I let them dry laying flat overnight.
Then it was time to add them to the yard with the ones we already had! My husband Kris used a rubber mallet to help hammer the dowel rods into the ground, then the PVC pipes slid right over the rods.
Voila! We were all complete and now we have ten perfectly silly Disney tombstones!
I hope Disney fans drive by our house and get a kick out them. What do you think? Do you decorate your yard for Halloween and if so, what kind of theme do you go for?
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