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What's on Your Tombstone?

By: Frank Tompkins for Styrofoam Brand Foam

Decorate your front lawn. Scare your neighbors. Enjoy making haunted Halloween tombstones from STYROFOAM.


  • Shapes of STYROFOAM Brand Products:
    • 1- 12" x 1" disc
    • 2- 2" x 12" x 36" sheets
  • Old candle (to wax knife)
  • Floral knife or serrated kitchen knife
  • Wood burning tool
  • Letter stencils (optional)
  • Straight pins
  • Square edged floral picks
  • White craft glue or low melt glue gun
  • Acrylic Spray Paint:
    • golden yellow
    • black
    • silver
    • flat white
    • light green
  • Assorted dried flowers
  • Spanish moss
  • Leaves
  • Branches
  • Twigs
  • Ceramic or real jack-o'-lantern (optional)


  1. Cut one of the 2" x 12" x 36" foam sheets into two halves, each 2" x 12" x 18". Using a waxed knife, cut a tombstone shape from each half. If desired, cut a cross shape from foam scraps; attach to top of tombstone using glue and floral pick.
  2. Pin stencils to the surface of tombstones and trace appropriate letters with a wood burning tool; or, sketch letters freehand. Etch cracks, borders, scrolls and other design details freehand with the wood burning tool. (Always work in a well-ventilated area when using heat with STYROFOAM Brand Products. To avoid possible burns, do not touch molten foam with your unprotected hand.)
  3. Spray letters and details heavily with black paint. Using silver paint, spray tombstones at an extreme angle to cover tombstone surface without filling in black details. For a muted gray color, spray flat white paint at the same angle across the tombstone. If a more aged look is desired, lightly spray tombstones with light green paint, again at an angle.
  4. If black lettering and details have become hard to read, touch up with black paint.
  5. Cut bottoms of tombstones at an angle; using floral picks and hot glue, attach tombstones to remaining sheet of plastic foam.
  6. Spray paint disc golden yellow; attach to base with long floral pick dipped in glue at both ends. Be sure pick is hidden behind tombstones.
  7. Trim base to desired size; decorate with your choice of Spanish moss, branches, twigs, dried flowers and leaves. Add optional jack-o'-lantern or other Halloween decorations.



Cutting: A serrated knife, hacksaw, floral knife, or X-acto� knife easily cuts through STYROFOAM Brand Products. Wax the knife blade for easier, smoother cuts. Sanding: For smooth, round edges, "sand" the foam with another piece of STYROFOAM Brand Products. For large pieces, cut first and then sand to the final shape.


Painting: Spray paint with acrylic paints. Enamel or lacquer-based paints may contain active solvents that can damage foam. (See paint manufacturer's instructions for details.)


Gluing: White craft glue is ideal for STYROFOAM Brand Products. Use floral picks or toothpicks to hold the pieces together until dried. For faster bonding, try a low melt glue gun; hot glue guns can be used, but they will melt a small portion of the foam. (Please follow manufacturer's safety instructions when operating a glue gun.)



®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow. For more project ideas, please see



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