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Creating Your Own Halloween Graveyard

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By Author: Paul Hulse
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Decorating your home for Halloween can be a lot of fun - not just for you, but for everyone in your neighborhood that happens to wander by. While many people might hang a fall wreath or place a skeleton in the window, going all out is sure to help your home stand out this Halloween. A great way to get into the Halloween spirit is to create your own spooky grave yard scene. Here are some simple steps to get you started on creating your own haunt.

Visit the hardware store

One of the first things that you will need to do is head off to your local hardware or home improvement center for some supplies. You will need some large sheets of insulation to cut your tombstones from. 1.5 or 2 works the best. You will need a few sheets of sandpaper to clean and prep the Styrofoam. You will also want to look for some stakes that you can attach to the back to hold your tombstones up. You will want white latex paint to paint with, as well as gray or black paint for the final steps.

While you are out shopping, you might consider stopping at the local craft store as well. If you do not have a large knife or electric cutters, ...
... you will want to pick those up. Other people choose to embellish their tombstones with fake moss and flowers. A wood burning tool will make decorating the tombstones a lot easier.

Get some inspiration

Once you have your materials, you will need some inspiration. You can look around online for sample tombstones to give you some ideas. Or, take your camera and head out to your own local cemetery to snap pictures of your personal favorites. Think about the shape of the markers as well as the eulogies they include. You might consider sketching out the shapes you want to use before starting to cut - your average sheet of foam should make about 6 to 8 headstones.

Cut

Once you know the shape you want, you will want to cut your tombstones out. A large knife works well for this and will create realistic rough edges. You can also use the electric cutters if you prefer.

Write

After you have your shape, you will want to add in any writing or decorations that you want your tombstone to have. This can be as simple as name and dates, or you could do some of the delicate engraving that tombstones will include. A wood burning tool can be quite handy for this, though a small set of craft blades will work as well. If you need assistance, consider using stencils to keep the words even. What you write is up to you - you could consider using the names of your own family members, movie characters, or come up with your own funny names and sayings.

Sand

Once everything is finished, use the sandpaper to clean the surface and remove any loose hangings from where the cutting was done.

Paint

Using the white paint, cover the entire surface of your tombstone. This will create a barrier and make your final detailing look better. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Final details

Once your priming coat is dry, you will want to finish the tombstone off. You can spray water on the surface and then spray the paint, allowing it to run down. Or you can dry brush the paint by applying the paint lightly to the corners or writing and brushing it downwards.

For finishing touches, you can add fake flowers, moss, etc. to give a realistic look. Attach the stakes to back, and place around your yard. Consider using strategically placed strobe lights, fake ghosts, and plastic skeletons to complete the look. You are now ready for Halloween!
Make Halloween Gift Baskets

Halloween is becoming a very popular holiday for the young and old alike. And with so many different things to do, often the host and/or hostess of the Halloween parties and other events are forgotten in the shuffle. One way that you can remember their generosity is through Halloween gift baskets.

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