Sunday, October 17, 2010

14 Days 'til Halloween: Fed-Ex Box Gravestone "How To"

I thought I'd expand on my John Rozum gravestone homage (created as a thank you for his fun one with my name last year). Here's a quick "How-To" of my Fed-Ex box grave making using basic craft supplies. It's a pretty easy and fast way to add a few last minute tombstones to your display (or you could just go buy some, but where's the fun in that).

Step 1: Go get yourself a FREE large overnight shipping box, any companies will work.

Step 2: Create a name plaque to go on it. First measure the space for it and then type up a template on the computer. Print out on sticker paper (large sheet label paper works great too).

Step 3: Stick the sheet on a piece of foamcore. Using an X-Acto knife create the engraved look by tracing the edges of each letter, cutting inward at an angle. Once the opposite beveled cuts meet in the center, the unwanted foam should just lift out cleanly. Trim the whole board into a plaque shape.

Step 4: Cut off the pre-glued closing tabs on the box because if used, they would create a bulky unwanted edge. Save them though, going to use later. Close only one end of the box using tape, covering all the seams.

Step 5: Spread the flaps on the other open end out, they'll become a base so the grave will stand. Here use the cut off pre-glued tabs and trim to size, attaching at the corners bridging the open flaps. This helps keep them in place and make a sturdier base. Then just hot glue the plaque on

Step 6: Give it 2 or 3 thick basecoats of exterior house paint using some random color you can waste. Dab the paint on to create a textured look.

Step 7: After drying, paint it grey or tomb color of choice. Once that dries, give it a wash of watered down black for a weathered effect.

Step 8: This is optional, but for added texture, dust the whole grave with a light coat of faux stone effect spray paint ( I happened to have some so I used).

Step 9: As it dries, dress the base gluing on dirt and fall leaves (real or fake). Also a good time to sprinkle some dirt on the wet paint for extra aging if wanted.

Done. Let dry really well and place in yard using large nails pushed through the base to secure on ground.

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