Learn how to craft your own DIY Halloween Tombstones using upcycled cereal boxes and add a faux graveyard to your outdoor Halloween decorations!
As a new step-mother I am freshly reminded of how much waste a family of four can make. And while my city has a recycling program, I love that this project utilizes common cereal boxes and turns them into lasting outdoor Halloween decorations. Not only is it nice to create something lasting from trash out of the recycle bin, but hopefully this project will also inspire your own creativity by encouraging you to find new ways to make use of craft materials you may ordinarily toss out.
Making your own DIY Halloween tombstones is both easy and fun. And because this project doesn’t require any technical skill, the whole family can join in on the fun!
DIY Halloween Tombstones
What You’ll Need (for Each Tombstone):
large cereal box
Krylon Natural Stone Decorative Aerosol, Granite Finish
Tim Holtz block Upper Cling Foam Stamps, optional
craft glitter, optional
clear outdoor sealer
liner paint brush
two 12″ wood skewers
strong craft glue
pen or marker
What to Do:
Begin by cutting off the top front and back flaps of your cereal box. These are basically the flaps you use to close the box. Make sure to leave the side flaps intact.
Next, using a pen or marker, draw a half circle about 1-2″ down from the top of the box on the front of the cereal box. It should form a tombstone shape when it meets the edges of the box. (Be sure to draw the line so that when the sides of the box are rounded over the top of the tombstone, they meet or overlap in the middle.)
Carefully cut off the top front portion of the cereal box along and above the line you just drew.
Save the portion of the box you cut off the front so you can trace it onto the back of the box. Then cut off the top back of the cereal box.
Now round the sides over the curved edges of the box you just cut until they meet in the middle.
Then tape the sides of the box down onto the edges of the tombstone shape you cut.
Follow with more tape, taping the sides of the box all the way around the curved tombstone top.
Now carefully open the bottom flap of the cereal box. Cut two lines vertical lines on either side of the back bottom flap. Then cut two more small horizontal lines off each of the vertical lines you just cut and fold the flaps you created over. Now cut a small square out at the top of each flap, just big enough for your skewers to fit through.
Place your wooden skewers inside the cereal box and tape them in. Then close and tape the bottom of the box up with the skewers sticking out. Reinforce with more tape as needed.
Now spray paint your tombstone on all sides using the decorative stone spray paint. Once the first coat dries, apply a second coat. Spray excess paint in some areas, then use dried leaves or paper or even your fingertips to distress the paint so it looks like weathered, chipped stone.
Apply additional paint as needed once the second layer dries if desired.
Once the decorative stone spray paint has fully dried, you are ready to add details to your DIY Halloween tombstones. To do this, use a strong craft glue on your foam letters in your desired message. (I used E6000 craft adhesive.)
Then use craft paint to add details to the lettering as well as to paint a border along the front edge. I found a liner brush and black paint worked great for this.
Now lightly brush on red accent paint as desired. In addition to using a brush for this step, I also used my fingertip to apply additional paint in areas.
Next, lightly sprinkle glitter into the wet paint as desired. (I used iridescent and red glitters for this step.) Blow off any excess glitter you don’t want.
Finally, spray on a layer or two of clear outdoor sealer. This will help to not only protect the craft paint you added, but also help keep the glitter in place. Once you’ve made your DIY Halloween tombstones, all that’s left is to display them!
To do this, simply insert the skewers into the ground to hold the tombstones in place. Use your fingers to push the skewers into the ground as far as you can as pushing on the top of the tombstone can cause the skewers to come loose inside.
You can then add leaves and even Halloween lights and spiderwebs around the tombstones as desired to set the scene.
If you enjoyed my tutorial for making your own DIY Halloween tombstones, then you may also like my other DIY Halloween crafts including my moldable 3-D DIY pumpkin spice soap, my DIY Halloween cream eyeshadows, my DIY preserved organ Halloween jar decorations inspired by American Horror Story and my free printable vintage Halloween apothecary labels.
Also be sure to check out my guest post at The Nourished Life blog for making your own DIY Halloween grease paint makeup. This DIY is a must try if you’ve been disappointed with both the quality and ingredients found in store bought Halloween cream or grease face paints in the past. Additionally you can find more Halloween crafts and decorating ideas on my Halloween DIY Projects & Ideas Pinterest board.
Do you have other creative ideas for upcycling your recyclables or for making Halloween decorations? I’d love to see what you come up with! To share your DIY Halloween projects and creative recycling ideas with me, be sure to tag your photos with the hashtag #soapdelishowoff when you share them on instagram so I can take a peek!
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