Easy DIY Halloween Decor-Foam Tombstones
Be the scariest house on the block without giving your wallet a scare. For cheap, easy Halloween decorations, styrofoam tombstones are a must! Below, we’ve created a complete step-by-step guide so you can make you own DIY tombstones in time for Halloween night. Okay let’s be real, there’s no designated “foam tombstone maker” tool or accessory. But, we both know cutting and engraving styrofoam can get a bit messy. To make things easy we’ve listed out the tools, accessories and materials we used that make this project quick and easy.
It’s a little sketchy but…outline your tombstone
Once you have your design idea in mind grab your permanent maker and sketch an outline of both the tombstone shape and design. Now your tombstone is traced with your spookiest Halloween pun. But hold on, literally! Before you make the first cut, clamp down the styrofoam to your workbench and put on your safety goggles.
Cutting the outline
Now you’re ready to make your first cut! To cut the outline of the tombstone we used the new Dremel Multi-Max MM35 oscillating tool. Its 3.2-degree cutting angle offers the most versatility when making those tough cuts. For the precise detailing on those curved corners, we switched from the MM482 Wood Cutting Blade to the MM435 Dry Wall Blade. The Dry Wall Blade features an offset Jab-Saw design that allows you to cut into the material without having to create a pilot hole. The MM35’s tool-less quick change accessory interface made switching back and forth between the two accessory blades quick and easy.
Engraving those last words
Normally, free handing a rotary tool takes practice! To take the worry out of slipping up we attached the Dremel Cutting Guide included in the Dremel 565 Multipurpose Cutting Kit onto the Dremel 8220 Cordless Rotary tool. The 8220 provides sturdy control and power while providing completely free range of motion. For this project, we attached the Dremel 9903 Tungsten Carbide Cutter and set the depth of the cutting kit to ¼ inch. From there, we traced the outline and then cut up the area inside of the outline to remove the styrofoam.
Looking a little rough? Smooth it out!
Give that tombstone a little TLC. Grab a handheld sanding pad to smooth out those rough corners and edges. Just a little light sanding gives your DIY tombstone the edge that will make it look store bought! Helpful Hint: Once finished, be sure to vacuum up the loose foam bits on your tombstone and work space to ensure a smooth & clean surface before you apply your paint.
Liven up the graveyard, add some color!
Now it’s up to your creative maker intuition! Make your gravestone as fresh or as old as you want with the color palette of your choosing. For this project, we used a mixture of grey, black, and brown spray paint to give it that fresh “spooky graveyard” look. Helpful hint: Give ample time between your different coats of paint as some spray paints can eat away at Styrofoam with heavy application. When painting specific letters use a piece of cardboard to block off those surrounding sections that you don’t want painted.
Walk out to the graveyard
After the paint dries, arrange your tombstones in your yard. Before you walk away, be sure to stick wooden skewers to the bottom of the foam tombstones to keep them in place and upright. Snap a pic, show off to your friends, and now you’re ready to be the scariest house on the block!
To reduce the risk of injury user must read instruction manuals for all tools used in this project. Wear eye and respiratory protection. Use clamps to support work piece whenever practical.