Halloween Decor around my neighborhood is off the charts….and creepy! While I’m not about to hang a zombie missing limbs from my front yard, I do indulge my kiddos with building a spooky graveyard. For the past 3 years I have bought those flimsy Styrofoam headstones from the Dollar Tree and chased them down the street when the wind blew them away. This year I decided no more! Being on a self-imposed spending freeze I looked to my own stash of materials and this is what I came up with. My son and I had so much fun doing this together! While I didn’t spend any money, it will cost you money if you don’t happen to have these materials on hand.
Also, maybe DIY crafts aren’t your jam, I love to put this out there that projects don’t have to be perfect to be awesome! I’m not going to pretend like these are “store-worthy”, but it was a fun mommy-son activity and we love them, so that’s what matters. Don’t be intimidated to pick up a new tool or play around with new materials-there’s your takeaway from this project 🙂
Ok let’s get on with it, here’s how *I* did it (not the way it has to be done)
- Scrap Wood (I used pressboard/particle board which probably isn’t the best for outside- pine boards or any solid board would be best) Mine was 15″ wide x 4′ long
- Spray Paint (I’d recommend a hammered paint and metallic paint in either grays/blacks/whites)
- Sharpie Paint Pens
- Scrap wood for stakes (but I’ll tell you what I’d recommend if I were to buy materials again)
Trace a shape on the board
Cut out the shape. I used a jigsaw, which is one of the most simple and versatile tools you can use. Highly recommend.
Make sure to pose awkwardly with the cut out for your kid to take your photo. Very important.
Spray paint is next. I used 3 different types that I had in stock, (a black, a hammered rust-oleum, and a metallic silver) but if you are buying just for this I would buy this:
We just layered the spray until I was satisfied with the look.
After letting them dry, we got to the fun part. My son had fun picking out the look for each one. He was VERY specific on the decoration for the spider. I got to pick the funny names…if my son had his way, Seymore Butts would be buried in my front yard right now.
Again, not going for perfection, I just used a combo of white and black to make the surface appear a little more dimensional. I did paint the edge of each “stone” with white craft paint just to make it appear raised.
Enlist your little helpers to fill in your outlines or add creepy cracks.
The last part was to add a way to keep them in the ground. Without spending money I simply screwed in a scrap wood stake into the back. Next year I’ll probably add metal pipe held on by a plumbing pipe ring because metal in dirt is more lasting than wood!
Add some creepy hands and skeleton heads and the cobwebs (all found at the dollar tree) for a creepy graveyard!