This year I wanted to build some tombstones and start to replace our styrofoam ones. The styrofoam is good but they break, blow around (in high winds) and are a bit pricey compared to how long they last. So, I thought it'd be nice to build a few this year and so on over the next few years. In the meantime, we'll keep the styrofoam headstones around and blend in the new ones.Sizing/Gluing
Since I'm a builder, my 1st thought was to make them out of OSB plywood and that's what I did. I used sheets of OSB from Home Depot, ripped them down to the sizes I wanted and then glued three of the same size together with liquid nails.
I glued and clamped these together but you can screw them if you need to. A screw in each corner and a few in the middle should work fine. You just want no shifting between materials as the Flew Bond is thin and it may crack. Although it is easily fixable, we don't want cracks. If you glued them, let them sit overnight, that's what I did.Designing
Next up was the designs of each tombstone. As I'm building a few each year, I just made these all the same size. Next year I'll do some different sizes but this year, they are the same size. I did three different heights though. One is 18", then 24" and 48", without the bases.
I used a set of Rigid Hole Saws to make the curves, then a jigsaw to make the outside curved cuts. One can use a jigsaw to make all the cuts but a hole saw really help get nice rounded areas. You can use any rounded object to make the curves, roll of duct tape, soda can, etc.Post Cutting
I cut these out with a jigsaw and a set of hole saws. The smallest one got a straightforward design with a curved top. The medium sized one got a rounded top, rounded sides and bump outs on the top and the tallest one got a straightforward design with a curved top.
Even though they aren't installed yet, the smallest one got RIP in wooden letters. One could cut these out of wood or paint them on but I just went with some I got from Wal-Mart, that saved time for me. At the same time, I installed a wooden cross on the medium-sized tombstone, which I also got from Wal-Mart. Our tallest one got a plastic but painted ornament that we got from the Dollar Store.Bases
The bases I made out of some 2x4's, OSB and OSB. I didn't do bottom's on these but one could if they wanted to. I wanted the bases to be heavy enough to keep the tombstones up in wind. I Colorado we have mainly general winds, but sometimes they can get pretty bad. The nice thing is that you can put a sandbag on the back of these to help stabilize them. If you added bottom, you could put sand in there before sealing it up. I was concerned about weight so I didn't do that.Flex Bond
I'd be lying if I said that I came up with the idea of using Flex Bond for a concrete feel but I didn't. I saw it on YouTube and thought it'd work great.
I put this on by simply smearing it on and building it up. It stuck surprisingly well and when dry, these things have a nice tombstone feel to them. Flex Bond lite as far as weight goes and it's easy to work with.
I will not use anything but Flex Bond on tombstones in the future. Drying time on these was about an hour and a half.Accents/Painting
After I had these done and the Flex Bond was dry, I added some accents I picked at Wal-Mart. I added some wooden letters, a wooden cross and plastic ornament we got at the dollar store. After I put the letters and cross on, I mixed up a little Flex Bond and covered them. That made them blend with the existing tombstone.
My wife Angela is the finisher/painter out of the both of us. While painting up the Morbid Playpen, she hit these with some walnut wood stain. I'm not sure if she's done with the finish or not but so far they look really good.Related Videos