Add more fright to your Halloween décor this year with these DIY Halloween Tombstones! This step-by-step pallet project guide will have your neighbors spooked in no time.
What would Halloween be without a cemetery in your front yard to greet the goons and goblins roaming the streets on All Hallows’ Eve? These tombstones are easy to build and lots of fun to personalize. You can use these year after year to build up your creepy holiday decorations.
Materials are cheap and easy to find, too! This is such a simple project that the list of tools will be very short.
- 1 or more pallets (a large one should get you 4 tombstones, but you may need multiple if your pallets are on the small side)
- Nails or screws
- Pry bar or hammer
- string and pencil
- lights or candles
Let’s get started with the tutorial and build some tombstones.
Step 1 Find a pallet that is sound and meets your needs.
If you can find a pallet large enough you will be able to build four tombstones using only one pallet. Measure the height of the pallet and decide if the pallet is tall enough to provide two tombstones. If so, mark the middle of the pallet.
Step 2: Create a solid surface on the pallet.
To create a solid surface on the pallet either move the slates to be side by side or rip the slates and secure them between the slates. I chose to move the slates and place them side by side.
Step 3: Measure and cut the pallet.
Using a jigsaw or any saw to your liking cut the slates as close as possible to the middle stringer. You should be able to get four tombstones from this pallet with the addition of some scrap wood you have from other projects.
Step 4: Adding some shapes to the tombstone.
Make a center line down the center of the tombstone. Measure the width of the tombstone, divide the width by 2 and place a screw that same distance from the top of the tombstone on the centerline. Secure a string to the screw that reaches the top of the tombstone. Secure a pencil to the string at the top of the tombstone and move the pencil to each side of the tombstone. Use a jigsaw and cut along the line made by the pencil.
Step 5: Paint or markup the tombstone.
I am going to use a flat black for the first coat and then apply flat white for the second coat. The final coat will be a mixture of the two giving the tombstones a worn weathered look.
Step 6: Add an epitaph.
Adding an epitaph is the last step in this tutorial. There are several options available for an epitaph, I’m going to cut “R I P” into one of the tombstones and add a shelf for lighting. As a precaution, I glued a scraped piece of OSB to the back of the tombstones to help prevent breaking the slates as I cut the epitaph. Measure the width of the tombstone and divide by 5, this will give you a good reference for your letters. Use a ruler to trace the epitaph on the tombstone and make sure it is spaced as you like. I used a cutting wheel and peanut butter top to help in drawing some of the letters.
More DIY Halloween Decorations:
- These Jack-O-Lanterns are an inexpensive pallet project that is an easy way to create a great Halloween experience.
- This Pumpkin Centerpiece extends the festive fall vibe to any home.
- This DIY Fall Wreath transitions perfectly from early Fall right into the holiday season!
- These DIY Halloween Bats are the perfect fun Halloween décor!