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Monday, August 24, 2009


My goal each year is to make at least one tombstone. Back in June I took a trip with some co-workers to Union Hill Cemetery near downtown KC. One of the oldest cemeteries in the area. I took lots of pictures for reference. I was kind of intrigued with the tombstones that had these urn shapes on top. So I decided I'd do a much simpler version for my tombstone this year.

Just like most people who make theie own tombstones, I use the blue insulation foam. I use the 1" and 2". I use plain old wood glue and toothpicks to hold the whole thing together.

Then I get out the stinky hot exacto knife and start carving. You must do this in a ventilated area. It's unbelievably stinky and I'm sure toxic. After the carving I add caulk (any acrylic caulk will do) to the seams. This helps reinforce it. You can also use the caulk as texture.

Now is the fun part. Painting. I used a tinted primer as my base. Then I start adding my darker grays with a sea sponge. This sponge leaves great texture. And check out the awesome urn I found at Lowes for $3.40. It was originally $25.00. Now is a great time to find pots really cheap since it's the end of summer. I can't decide if I'll actually glue this down.

And here it is all complete. It stands 40" tall and is 11" wide at the base. I need to add something to the plaque as well as glue on Spanish moss.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


So Chris and I are gearing up now for Halloween and making lists of all the stuff we want to add to our Halloween display this year. Plus I've started working on mine and Violet's costume. Chris isn't the dressing up type. I hope to post some of the projects we'll be working on as well as research and fun sites that we like to check out.
I thought I'd also post some of last years projects occasionally. It would be nice to get them all over here on this blog.
So here's last years Scarecrow from start to finish.

I thought I'd show some pics of the progress of the scarecrow I've been working on this week. Please ignore the messy garage in the background. He'll stand about 7ft tall. I started just used to scrap wood left over from our deck project this past summer. The PVC tubes will hold the arms. They'll just slide inside.

I then stapled (no sewing involved) burlap to the front and back on the shoulders, sinched it around the waste and then stuffed it with plastic bags.

Then I stapled some larger pieces of scrap black material over the burlap body and then hot glued strips of black material. I didn't even cut the strips. I just ripped the material into strips.

I used the rest of the burlap material to make the head. They head is also stuffed with plastic bags. I tied a rope around his neck, used some spray paint for the eyes and yarn for the stitching down the center. I found some dead tree limbs and used those as arms. Those are what are slid into the PVC pipes. They don't need to be glued or screwed into place. This allows me to take the scarecrow apart after Halloween.

I bought a package of mesh material in the Halloween section at Walmart, this stuff can be found just about anywhere, and wrapped it around his shoulders. We're also going to add five more crows with lit red eyes, to the branches.

This is kind of what it will look like when it will be lit at night. Our scarecrow will be the main focus of our big outdoor set up this year. I'll be posting those pics as well as some other projects I'm working on for our display.