Building Tombstones

All tombstones are built using the following guidelines.


  • 2″ Polystyrene Foam Board
  • Hot knife
  • Liquid Nails – Heavy Duty
  • L Steel Carpenter Square
  • Permanent Marker
  • 1/2″ pvc pipe
  • 1/2″ rebar (length depends on drilled hole)
  • Exacto knife
  • Drylock
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

General Guidelines / Instructions

Use the Carpenter Square and marker to line out the shape that you want. You can easily find tombstone shapes online.

Cut the foam using the square and hot knife. Unless you want a really bad headache I recommend doing this in a well ventilated area and even then use a breather.

You can cut the foam into separate pieces and then glue them back together with the liquid nails.

Drill out at least one 3/4″ hole into the bottom. Fill a bit with liquid nails and then insert a 1/2″ pvc pipe. This is where you will put the rebar in to hold it up.

For the epitaph, I recommend printing it out first in the correct size. Then use in pen and exacto knife to cut it out the best you can. Once you have it generally cut out you can stick with the knife or use the exacto knife the flesh it out.

Before painting, cut some texture into the foam. Look online for old tombstones and go from there.

The base layer should be Drylock or something similar. It will greatly help the paint adhere and adds a stone texture.

From there, paint black and various shades of gray.

You can look up weathering techniques online. I recommend watching some videos, but overall it’s using a dark color mixed with water and a paper towel. Rub and squeeze that onto the tombstone. Let dry and repeat with with lighter colors. Finally, drybrush a bit of white and it will really bring out the stone texture.

Here are some pictures of tombstones in the making.

Tombstone is carved out and Drylock applied.
First few layers of paint.
All paint and weathering applied,