This year I decided I was done spending money on store bought stones and foam. I was done constructing headstones out of foam that eventually fell apart. This year, I was going hard core! Break out the wood!!! Not only were these surprisingly easy to make, but the supplies to make 5 headstones cost about the same as buying one of those crappy 4 piece foam store sets of around $10. I love that I am able to personalize them as I wanted to. And I don’t know what you think, but I think they turned out pretty darn good!
I started this project by picking up a 10 foot length of 2 x 10 at my local home improvement store, pre-cut steaks, and a can of grey spray paint. Everything else I had on hand in my crafting supplies. You could of course repurpose wood you have laying around for this project. My hubby was kind enough to cut the board into five 2 foot sections for me. Oh sure, I can handle a circular saw and totally could have done it myself, but since he offered, who was I to say no!
The pre-cut steaks were then just simply screwed on to the back of each piece to create the backbone of my headstones. Make sure your screws are not longer then the steak and the board combined. It would be very heartbreaking for them to pop through the front. While this didn’t happened to us THIS time, well it might have happened on past projects, so I just thought I would point that out if you’re not used to carpentry work.
Once the “headstones” were assembled, which took all of like 10 minutes, it was time to make them LOOK like headstones. Now you could grab a brush and hand paint them if you wanted, but spray paint is soooooo much faster and simpler to get them covered.
While the paint was drying, I got on the internet to search for images and saying I thought would look good on my headstones. Some of them were just silly images and rhymes. Some imparted history or wisdom. But the Masonic headstone was something I did special for my hubby.
I printed off the images and sayings I wanted to put on the headstones and then I used white chalk to trace the BACKS of the print offs. If you put the chalk on the front of the print offs, your images and words will transfer backwards. Once I had the chalk on the paper, I positioned them on the headstone and rubbed back and forth to transfer the chalk to the headstone.
As you can see the chalk is enough of a guide that you can then use a pencil to mark in your designs and words. This is so much easier than trying to freehand everything. It also takes all the centering and lining up work out of making these headstones.
After you trace over your chalk lines with a pencil, simply whip off the chalk. Grab a paintbrush and some acrylic paint and get to work. Painting the designs and words were the hardest part of this project because the oldest country kid kept begging to help. He doesn’t have the steadiest hand….. But all and all, I love how they turned out. They were cheap to make, look good, and will last for years to come!
And if you’re curious, the Dullahan headstone is for the Irish version of the headless horseman. He fears only gold, so you should always carry some for safety. While I don’t live in Ireland, please excuse me while I go look for some gold. Even if the Dullahan won’t get me, it would still be nice to have some gold! *wink*