Carve a Halloween Tombstone

2 Materials
1 Hour

A 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, but you could carve any ghoulish message you like and turn your front yard into a veritable graveyard for the big night :)

All you need is a 2" thick 4x8 sheet of foam board, a jigsaw, marker, wood burning tool and some faux stone spray paint (I used Krylon Make It Stone!).
carve a halloween tombstone
Cut the foam to your desired tombstone shape using the jigsaw. 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. 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).
carve a halloween tombstone
When you're done, it will look like this:
carve a halloween tombstone
Don't worry about any marker still showing; it will get covered by the paint.
carve a halloween tombstone
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 the texture paint (I used a light grey).
carve a halloween tombstone
If using this indoors, add a mound of dirt and a dead flower (I used dried moss and a faux flower at the base).

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. I added an abandoned tray, a curdled cup of coffee, albino rat and trail of spiders:
carve a halloween tombstone
I even added an 'employee' with a ball and chain around her ankle and I 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).
carve a halloween tombstone
But it's not just any baby; on closer inspection, you can see that I replaced a dolls head with a skeleton head that lights up.
carve a halloween tombstone
Just the right amount of 'creepy'.
carve a halloween tombstone
Let me know in the comments if your employer lets you decorate your 'home away from home' for Halloween and what you've done; I'd love it if you attached pictures!
carve a halloween tombstone
If you're making the tombstone for outdoors, add three dowels in the bottom and then press them into a styrofoam base so they stand up like this project from Lowes:
Last year, in Oh My Goth (Part 1), I gave you some tips on how to carve a realistic pumpkin from a photo ( you can see that post here).
carve a halloween tombstone
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Suggested materials:

  • Foam  (big box store)
  • Paint  (paint store)

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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