Tag Archives: halloween diy

15 LAST-MINUTE Halloween Finds – Each for UNDER $15!

Halloween may be a multi-million dollar industry in the U.S., but this year, you don’t have to break the bank – or rush around in stores. Our sinister scouts dug up these 15 fantastic Amazon finds for under $15 each…just for you.

Please note: we are not the supplier of these items. Always do your research on any item you buy online. Prices do not include shipping costs. If you are an Amazon Prime member, the item may include free shipping.

Click the pics for more information…and stay scary!

1. Zombie Hand Wall Decals * $11.99

Creep party guests and trick-or-treaters out with these reaching hands. Includes 5 haunting pieces that peel off the wall without damaging paint or wallpaper.

2. Pretty Kitty Ears Headband (Pack of 2; Black/White) * $6.99

Be one cool cat and turn heads with these lacy, sexy cat ears. They sit on a comfy headband. Comes in a pack of two (Black; White).

3. Skeleton Gloves * $11.69

Warm up – you look chilled to the bone! You’ll want to wear these unisex skelly gloves even when it isn’t Halloween…’cause they’re just that cool. One size fits most.

4. Vampire Bat Wall Stickers * $9.99

Decorate your home-sweet-cave with these 28 cool pieces. Bats are made of PVC (vinyl) for easy-stick, easy-removal (no damage to walls or glass).

5. FX Bullet Wound Kit * $6.80

Okay, we’re not going to lie: that looks bad. But it’s supposed to! Realistic wounds apply with adhesive, come off with enclosed solvent. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

6. Mini Poseable Skeletons (Pack of 2) * $12.99

These 16″ skellies are two (see what we did there?) cute! Pose them in a variety of scenes to spook up your decor.

7. Bloody Handprints/Footprints * $7.99

Point party guests in the direction of the freakish fun with these spooky prints. 40 pieces with handprints, footprints and faux blood splashes.

8. Vampire Fangs * $10.79

That Halloween party doesn’t have to bite. But it’ll be a lot more fun if it does. Choose from three sizes.

9. Glitter Skull Tattoo Kit * $13.03

Have your Halloween with a side of gorgeous with this uber-glittery kit. Includes stencil, makeup and application brush. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

10. Cosplay Elf Ears * $5.98

Play up your Medieval side with these elf ears. Two sizes (M and L); simply clip over ears and you’re ready for some fantasy Halloween fun. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

11. Skeleton Restroom Door Cover * $5.50

Would it be crossing a line to say his meal REALLY went through him? Probably – but we’ll say it anyway. Hangs on the door to tell party guests where to park their bones after too much party punch.

12. Body Parts Necklace * $7.96

Have a heart! Or in this case, have a finger and a couple ears. This zombie is proud of his job and shows it with a trophy necklace. LATEX ALLERGY WARNING: Contains latex.

13. Bloody Treat Bags * $11.49

Thirsty? Fill these 12 bags with juice, soda, liquid candy or whatever your grim little heart desires. Note: bags do NOT come pre-filled. Your order includes 12 fillable party bags.

14. Creepy Baby Mask * $12.99

We just can’t look at this…thing without crab-walking backward. That’s why we knew we HAD to include it. Make party guests cry like toddlers with this creepy mask that pairs with any outfit for a hairless scare.

15. Bat Kitty Costume * $10.99

Why should humans have all the fun? Humiliate your favorite cat or small dog with these devilish little wings. Comfortable (at least, we haven’t heard any wearers officially complain).

 

5 *Even Freakier* Halloween Makeup Tutorials

Last year we brought you these reality-defying, head-bending Halloween makeup ideas. This year, you asked us for more – and you asked for the scoop: just how do they create those fantastic effects, anyway?

Your wish is our command, HA fans: here are five even freakier Halloween makeup ideas, plus vids to creep you through every step. Enjoy!

NOTE: Some tutorials contain add-ons like latex prosthetics or glue. If you’re allergic to any of these items, please DO NOT attempt.

1. It’s a Scream

The “open mouth” idea isn’t new, but this tutorial amps things up a notch. Wow! We know we’re screaming. (And we kinda can’t stop.)

2. Horror Hands

We admit it – our minds are blown. Try these FXs to trick out your trick-or-treaters this year.

3. That’s Out There. Way, Way Out There

“Pale Man” wins our vote for most understated costume name of the year. WhatEVER this thing is, it’s scaring our pants right off (and we love it).

4. You Forgot Something

And by that we mean: half your face. This inhuman take on the “pulled-off face” is out of this world.

5. Oh. Eye Get It

Honestly, we’ve been wondering for years how this is done. The idea seems simple but it’s true art. (No, really!) Try these eyes on for size.

20 Halloween Costume Hacks You ALREADY Have at Home

 

Ink yourself with makeup or non-toxic markers.

The spooky scene: you’re all alone on your couch in the darkness. Suddenly, your phone rings. You nearly jump out of your seat when you see you’ve been invited to that hot Halloween party – but you have nothing to wear!

Never fear: 20 EASY hacks are here – and most of them can be created from stuff you have lying around the house. Read on.

20 Incredibly Easy Costume Hacks From Your Home

Put an old lampshade on your head and hang a sign around your neck that says “Life of the Party.”

Roll up the sleeves of a black or silk screen t-shirt. Draw flowers, swirls and the word “MOM” on your arms and upper chest with makeup or non-toxic magic markers and be a biker.

Get fully clothed and hang a sign around your neck that reads “Nudist On Strike.”

Have a headband lying around? Cut animal ears out of paper, color them, and glue them to the headband, then wear the headband ears on your head, along with an outfit in coordinating colors.

Paint on a scruffy “beard” with mascara. Scrunch a knit hat down over your head. Put on your messiest clothing, leaving it partially untucked. Punch holes in a piece of cardboard, jaggedly cut away. Tie a string through the holes. Write “Will Work For Candy” on the sign and hang it around your neck.

Grab your own – or your roomie’s or sister’s – makeup bag. Make yourself up as a  zombie by dabbing bone-white matte shadow all over your face and painting “blood” spatters with lipstick. Dab black circles around your eyes with matte shadow.

Charlie Brown. wonderhowto.com

Draw an up-and-down pattern in black magic marker around a yellow shirt and be Charlie Brown.

Be a slasher film prom girl by repurposing an old outfit you were planning on tossing.  Slash the dress up a bit (you know you want to!) and add “blood” spatters with lipstick. Grab an old play tiara or cut one out of cardboard and spray paint it gold or silver if you have these colors hanging around your garage. Wear it askew on your head.

Work with what you have naturally! If you’re a woman with long, dark hair and you have a black dress or black skirt and shirt stashed somewhere in your closet, do up your hair in braids and be Wednesday Addams. Work out a lot? Shred an old shirt, paint open areas green with green eyeshadow mixed into makeup base and be The Incredible Hulk.

Glue multicolored pom-pom balls all over a white shirt. Pair with a red skirt or pants if you have them (otherwise, black or jeans will do). Ta-da – you’re a gumball machine.

Scarecrow. heavy.com

Have autumn/Halloween leaf decorations up (or stored in your garage)? Tape them all over autumn-colored clothes such as yellow, orange, red or brown and be a tree.

Find torn up old duds and a hat you were about to toss and be a scarecrow. Add circle cheeks and other scarecrow face decor with makeup if you’d like. If you have hay or straw decor around your house, stuff a little into your wrist and pants cuffs.

Put some lemons in a bowl and write “LIFE” in marker on an old t-shirt. You are now life, handing out lemons.

The most interesting man in the world. mashable.com

Grab an old black suit jacket and an empty Dos Equis container, paint on a beard and mustache if you don’t already have one and be The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Put a bandanna on your head. Wear a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of jeans with the cuffs rolled. Put on lots of red lipstick. Voila – you’re Rosie the Riveter.

Know someone who wears a uniform to his or her job and is willing to “loan” it? There you go: instant “costume”! Careful: don’t try to wear a police or other uniform that could get the lender in trouble. Borrow a football or cheerleader uniform, one from a big-box store, or scrubs.

Put black tape in a stick-figure formation on a white shirt and pants, tie a smiley circle around your head and be a stick figure.

Have a lot of black in your closet? Put on a black shirt and black jeans and safety-pin a full black skirt to the back of the neck of the shirt and to each cuff of the shirt. Spread your wings, and you have an instant bat costume.

Take dozens of Post-It Notes and write “Hello, my name is…” with a different name on each. Post them all over your shirt. Your costume? Identity thief.

Grab some pajamas, put your hair up in pigtails, grab your child’s or a friends stuffed animal (or that old teddy bear you still have in your closet – come on, admit it) and be a big baby for Halloween. Hey, at least you’ll get more candy that way!

Secrets of a Great Do-It-Yourself Halloween Costume

Jealous of your friend down the street who always seems to come up with the most creative and unique Halloween costumes? Looking for the “wow” factor in your Halloween costume this year rather than going as the color green (again)?

If you’re ready to dive into the costume venture of your life and catapult yourself into fame and fortune with the best do-it-yourself Halloween costume in the world (or at least get a few compliments at the Halloween party), there are a few things to consider before you begin.

  1. Consider your audience. Will you be going to a costume party with some close friends, or just trick-or-treating door to door? Do you need to keep it kid-friendly? What are the interests of those around you? Going as the main character in your favorite show to a party where no one has seen it won’t earn you the recognition your efforts deserve. You can save yourself a little trouble by thinking about what your audience will appreciate.
  2. Seek inspiration from the world around you. Be observant as you walk around during the day and ask yourself, “How could I turn this into a costume?” as you look at everyday objects. Inspiration can strike at any time!
  3. Be prepared to put in some time and effort (and maybe a little money too). Even if your DIY costume ends up being relatively inexpensive and easy to put together, you’ll probably end up putting in some hours on this — if not on the actual costume assembly itself, at least in the thought and creative process.

Elements of an Awesome DIY Costume

So, now that you know a little better what you’re getting yourself into, let’s look at some of the characteristics of the most successful DIY costumes. The best DIY costumes are:

  • Creative: In order for your DIY costume to be a hit, you have to be unique in some way. I’m sorry, but the whole witch or black cat routine isn’t going to work here. Think outside the box. Or maybe think differently about the box—cardboard boxes make for some great costume possibilities. (Love Rubiks Cubes? Dress up as one!) Your costume has to be something people don’t see on every other street corner while they’re trick-or-treating in order for you to stand out from the ghoulish crowd.
  • Easily Identifiable: If you’re going for something a little off-the-wall, you have to make sure it’s still in the ballpark as far as recognition value goes. How will people recognize your genius if they don’t know what you’re supposed to be? The most effective DIY costumes are those that others can identify immediately or within a minute or two (for costumes that are more subtle in their meaning). “DIY” doesn’t have to mean “elaborate,” but the costume has to be faithful to what you’re trying to represent in order for people to recognize and appreciate your costume masterpiece.
  • Resourceful:It’s great if you have the money to rent a costume or buy all the expensive supplies for a detailed costume, but generally people appreciate the clever use of readily available resources. Paint and cardboard and a little ingenuity go a long way. How about a clear plastic garbage bag with some colored balloons? Voila! A bag of jellybeans! Use what you have on hand and get creative.

    DIY Halloween Costume King Kong
    Photo: Ericka McConnell/Halloween Celebrations
  • Timely: Capitalizing on current pop culture crazes or current events can score big laughs and lots of “That’s so cool!” comments and pictures with smartphones. For example, dressing up as the lady on the Progressive Insurance commercial has been popular these past few years.

Think of a Theme

Now that we’ve named some characteristics of great DIY costumes, let’s look at some of the categories that they seem to fall under to really get the creative juices going.

  • Technology: Some of the most brilliant/clever DIY costumes I’ve seen fall into this category. For example, what about being a Facebook wall or YouTube channel? You’ll get some comments for sure—especially if you have a marker handy for that purpose. If you have a little tyke in tow, why not outfit their car seat with this iPhone getup? iLove it.

    ipone baby costume
    Image credit: IngaMun on Flickr
  • Food:This category provides some great fodder for DIY costume ideas. I love this DIY deviled egg costume—a food and a pun all in one!

    food costumes deviled egg
    Image credit: txkimmers on Flickr
  • Everyday objects: Salt and pepper shakers are a little bit cliché, but it’s going down the right track. How about Pepsi and Coke cans? Or a washing machine with clothes inside?
  • Puns: Love wordplay? Transform it into a brilliant costume that will dazzle and amaze your friends. Or at least it will make them snicker. Hi-ho the dairy-o; what about the Farmer in the Dell?:

    farmer in the dell costume
    Image credit: Coolest-homemade-costumes.com

One of the greatest things about Halloween is that it provides so many opportunities to be creative, even for the normally non-creative types. So don’t delay—get out there and make yourself a Halloween costume to remember.

About the Author

Emma Rae Curtis researches and writes about everything Halloween, from costumes, to party ideas, to makeup and more.

How to Make Your Own Halloween Tree

 

We loved this fun tutorial from guest contributor Nicholas Efastathiou. Thanks, Nicholas!

In recent years several holiday companies have started producing “Halloween Trees,” often complete with lights and decorations.

Money, however, inevitable raises its head, and we find ourselves asking, “Is this something I can really afford?” It may well be – but if not, or if you just have that creative itch, make your own with this easy tutorial. Enjoy!

Make Your Own Halloween Tree

halloween-tree01Halloween trees can be made quite easily, and the search for just the right tree – usually a branch which is gnarled, twisted, and something which represents the disturbed thought process of the villains in a Shirley Jackson tale – can be quite enjoyable!

Local parks and woods offer up tremendous opportunities, as there is almost always dead fall around, regardless of how often a park may be cleaned up. For those of you fortunate enough to live next to an ocean or other large body of water, driftwood pieces can add an exciting flair to the Halloween holiday.

Once you’ve located your piece, and you’ll know it’s the right one when you see it, all you need to do is bring it home and prepare it for display.

Creating a Base to Stand Your Tree Up

halloween-tree02When you’ve brought your selected Halloween tree home, you need to make sure that it’s going to fit into the place which you have chosen for it. Having done that, it’s a fairly simple task to make sure that the bottom of your tree is flat.

All you need to do is mark where you want it cut, and use a small handsaw to give yourself a flush edge. With this complete, you can use a small piece of board, perhaps 12” x 12”, as the base.

To do this, mark the center of your board and carefully drive a small nail, about 1” or longer, depending on the depth of your board, through the mark (and make sure you don’t nail the board to the table!).

With the board prepared, you can carefully push your Halloween tree’s flush edge onto the nail, keeping it centered so the wood doesn’t split. Once you’ve done this, wiggle the branch a little to make sure that it is fastened securely, and stand it up, turning it if necessary to the position that you want.

With all of this complete, you have your Halloween tree, and it’s ready for you to decorate and display as you wish!

 

How to Grow Your Own Pumpkin Patch

 

 

 

Ah, the orange, glowing, delightful jack-o-lantern: it’s perhaps the most immediately recognizable icon of Halloween.

Each autumn, thousands of families across the U.S. flock to farms, vegetable stands and even supermarkets to buy a pumpkin or two (or more!). But a few in-the-know growers avoid the rush by cultivating their very own decorative pumpkins.

How do these home growers do it? Pumpkin growing isn’t as difficult as you may think. All it takes is a little patience, a lot of yard space and a few tips on how to grow the best pumpkins in the neighborhood.

Read on for a tutorial on growing your very own pumpkin patch.

Selecting Your Seeds

Your first consideration is how much land space you have for your pumpkin patch. This will partly determine what variety you’ll be growing (hence, which seeds to choose).

Be aware that pumpkins require a lot of space—often ten feet or more per vine, depending upon the variety —so be sure you have a sufficient area available.

If space in your garden or yard is limited, try one of the two following options:

  • Semi-bush hybrids. The most popular variety among these is the Spirit Bush Hybrid. It requires a mere 4-5 feet of space per vine and yields 10-12 lb. fruits, suitable for carving.
  • Miniature decorative pumpkins. Jack B. Little, Wee B. Little and Baby Boo all fall under this category. Although the vines on these minis can still get quite long, the light weight of the fruits makes them ideal for a space-saving hanging garden. Simply fill a large size hanging basket with nutrient-rich soil, plant one to two seeds and allow the vine to dangle (it may reach the ground by the time its growth cycle is over). Be sure to keep the soil well watered and fertilized.

The most common commercially grown pumpkin in the U.S. is the Connecticut Field (Jack O’Lantern); you will find seeds for this variety in any plant nursery or store gardening section. Other popular carving-size choices include Howdens, Autumn Golds and Happy Jacks. Each has its pluses and minuses, so choose the variety that is best for you.

Preparing the Soil

Begin preparing your pumpkin bed after all danger of frost is over. Be absolutely sure of this timing – pumpkins are a warm-weather plant and new seedlings will not survive a frost. Depending upon what area of the country you live in, Final Frost will occur anywhere from mid-March to early May.

Choose an area that receives a lot of direct sunlight in the spring and summer; pumpkins prefer at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Pumpkins do well in nutrient-rich soil; consider starting a compost heap or purchasing a fertilizer that contains manure. Otherwise, try turning shavings of your food and lawn leftovers into the soil. (Fruit parings and fallen leaves are popular choices among growers.) Do this well ahead of your planting date so your additives have time to decompose into the soil.

Dig an area approximately 4’X5’ and about 2’ deep and fill with your compost and soil. Remember that your plants will grow beyond this area; the bed is for the initial seedlings and the first root shoots.

Planting the Seeds

Credit: countryliving.com

If you live in a northern area which experiences very short, cool summers, you can get a jump-start on your pumpkin growing by planting seeds in peat pots about 4-6 weeks before final frost. Otherwise, sow your pumpkin seeds directly into the soil. Poke a hole in the earth 1-2” deep with your finger and drop in two seeds; cover loosely with soil and water well. Space your seed mounds several feet apart (refer to your seed packet for the exact distance your variety requires).

Credit: gardeningandplanting.com

In four to six days, you will be rewarded with a view of your first seedlings. As the plants grow, keep them well watered, but try not to let the leaves get wet; this can promote diseases, including the powdery mildew that is common to pumpkin plants.

Pollination, Maturation and Harvest

When your seedlings are approximately 2-3” high, cut the weaker of the two plants in each pair. You want the soil nutrients to go toward your most viable plants. Now sit back and watch your vines grow! Pumpkin plants grow at an amazing rate.

Credit: beeaware.org

About 40 days after planting, you will begin to see flowers on your pumpkin vines.

Pumpkins produce male and female flowers; generally, the males appear first, with the females following a week or two later. Female pumpkin flowers have a tiny “node” below the base of the bloom. If pollinated, this node will begin to grow into a pumpkin.

(l-r) Male and female pumpkin flowers. Credit: http://www.leafrootfruit.com.au

Insects will probably do the pollinating for you, but if you’re unsure, take the pollen from a male flower with a small paint brush or Q-tip and transfer it to the inside of each female flower.

Depending upon the variety, your pumpkins will be mature and ready to pick 95-120 days after planting. Be sure to leave a few inches of stem on the pumpkin when you cut it; an accidental slice into the fruit will dramatically shorten its shelf life. Store your pumpkins in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to carve them.

Pumpkin growing is a delightful activity for adults and children alike. Get your kids in on the growing action by involving them in every step of the growing process. You’ll leave them with an experience they’ll always remember. Just be sure to save some seeds for next year’s growing season!

The Ten Minute Tombstone

 

Image credit: DIY Network

Editor’s Note: From first tracing to spray-painting, this project should take about 10 minutes. Beginners may want to go more slowly. For fast, party-ready results, do just the basics. If you’d like to add creative touches, allow more time. Enjoy and stay spooky, friends!

Ready to scare up some inexpensive, fast and totally terrifying fun? This is the BEST tombstone tutorial we’ve come across and our most popular DIY here at Halloween Alliance. It’s so easy, it’s scary! Read on for the scoop.

1. Gather Your Building Materials

  • Styrofoam sheeting. Because we’re going with a simple, classic design in this tutorial, we are going to use a high-density Styrofoam sheet for the body and join it to a lumber wood base.
  • Small ground stakes.
  • Small push-pins, any type.
  • A pencil.
  • A craft knife or if you prefer, a saw suitable for cutting styrofoam.
  • Lettering stencils, if desired.
  • Latex spray paint: one black can, one white can and one gray can.
  • Materials and tools for an optional base if desired. (This step is NOT required. If you’d like to try it, the tutorial is at the end of this article.)

Let’s get started!

Step 2: Drawing the Stone’s Outline

Not everyone is blessed with DaVinci-esque art talent. This is why I always like to use geometric shapes. (Don’t worry, starting with the basics, you’ll wind up with something super-scary and ultra realistic!)

  • Google “tombstones” or “tombstone shapes” and be as simple or complex as you’d like – it’s up to you.
  • Draw your shape on a piece of large paper, such as butcher block. You can use straight edges, rulers, or curved items to draw around if you’d like to make sure you’re being perfectly geometric. Use any pencil.
  • Using a push-pin, poke holes periodically around the shape of your stone. This will show you where to cut in Step 4.

Step 3: Etching Your “Epitaph”

This part is easy and very creative – have fun with it! Start off simple until you get the hang of working with styrofoam. (For quick “ten minute” results, etch the name and/or a brief epitaph only. Once you get started, you’ll want to be more creative; additional touches will take more time. Enjoy!)

  • Use your imagination and come up with a great saying for your stone.
  • Use stencils or a steady hand to write/draw the words and images on your butcher block paper.
  • Add any decorations you’d like, using stencils or grabbing household items to circle around with your pencil.
  • Now use your push-pin to poke tiny holes to form the shapes and letters.
  • Remove the paper and cut your shapes and letters deeper and wider with your cutting tool. Go slowly! Take your time with this step.
  • TIP: Don’t create decorations too close to the edges of your tombstone. You may loose parts of them when cutting the styrofoam.

Step 4: Cutting Out the Tombstone Shape

IMPORTANT! This article assumes you have the skills, knowledge and previous experience needed to be able to safely operate and use any of the tools which may be required to complete this project. If you don’t – just buy a tombstone! We’re serious about this.

  • Lay the paper back onto your styrofoam sheet. Tack it down if you’d like with pins.
  • CAREFULLY cut around the shape of your tombstone. Keep your steadying (non-cutting) hand well away from the cutting tool and don’t cut toward that hand.
  • Alternately, you can use any sharp knife or a small keyhole wood saw.
  • “Touch-up trim” as necessary. An old carpenter’s rule is “measure once, cut twice.” Go slowly and you’ll be much happier with the results!

NOTE: Want to attach a wooden base to your tombstone? We’ve included one at the end of the article. However, for the quick-and-dirty for a basic, read-to-scare tombstone, read on. (The images include an attached wooden base.)

Step 5: Painting the Tombstone

The choices for decorating your tombstone are only limited by your imagination and your budget. For the sake of the Ten Minute Tombstone, we’ll keep the finish simple – something appropriate for mid- to back-row placement.

For this project we’ll paint the entire tombstone with flat gray latex paint. (Note: It needs to be latex because oil based paints will dissolve or eat into the Styrofoam.) If you have a latex allergy, DO NOT use this method. Use an alternative method instead.

  • Once the gray coat of paint is dry (or once your choice of finish is ready), use black and then white spray paint to add some highlighting.
  • Spray in spurts so it isn’t too “perfect.”
  • Use a LIGHT touch so you don’t get one flat color; the effect is meant to be mottled.

Tip: Practice first on the back side of the tombstone or on scrap styrofoam.

It’s really hard to go wrong with this, as the tombstone is meant to look weathered and imperfect.

Step 6: Attaching Your Stakes

Push two or three stakes into the bottom of your tombstone so you can secure it into the ground later.

Go slowly so you don’t poke through the bottom of the stone. Grip the stakes by the side if you’re using a staple style, so you don’t cut your hands during this step.

You’re Done!

Add touches such as graveyard moss or a faux crow for an additional scare factor. Or simply place your gorgeous and grim new creation in the ground as is. Happy Halloween!

BONUS: Attaching a Wood Base (Optional)

This is an ADVANCED technique. If you’re not familiar working with the tools described below, ask a friend to help.

Depending on how thick the Styrofoam body is, you can use a combination of 2X6 and 2 X4 lumber or 2X8 and 2X6 lumber.

In this example we’re using two inch hi-density Styrofoam, so we will need to cut two pieces of 2X6 the same as the measurement across the front of the tombstone’s body. In our case, it’s about 17.5 inches.

Then measure the depth of the two pieces of 2X6 plus the body – this will be the measurement of the next two 2X6 cuts. In this case, about 5.25 inches.

Once they are cut, place all the cut pieces of 2X6 around the Styrofoam and screw them together by using 2 ½ inch screws – I like to use three per joint.

Once this is complete, measure across the width of the 2X6’s. This measurement will be the amount we need to cut the 2X4. In this case, it’s approximately 20.5 inches.

Cut two pieces at this length and line them up in the same manner as we did for the 2X6.

Next measure the depth of the two pieces of 2X4 plus the body – this will be the measurement of the next two 2X4 cuts. In this case approx 8.5 inches.


Image of nail compared to the depth of the 2×6 plus the body

The next step is important because it helps ensure the tombstone body and base will ultimately stay together.

Hammer three 6-inch nails through the 2X6, the Styrofoam body and the other 2X6. (Always use safety-goggles when hammering.) Do this from the front as some of the 6-inch nails will stick out the back. To handle this we’ll place one of the longer cut 2X4’s under the bottom 2X6 so the excess nail can go into the 2X4. Be sure that 2X4 is lined up correctly with the 2X6.

Once the nailing is done, place the remaining three cut pieces of 2X4’s around the Tombstone body with its attached 2X6 base. Screw these pieces together using 2 1/2 inch screws – three per joint.

Now for a little added reinforcement. We’ll go ahead and add a few extra screws which will further hold the 2X4’s to the 2X6’s for a nice solid base.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Halloween!