Darlings, with a mere 22 days left til Halloween, I know many of you will be trying your hand at Halloween craft projects in the near future.What better place to start than your own creepy abandoned cemetery? Read on for a collection of DIY tombstone tutorials, plus a spooky gallery of 18th century sepulchers for your inspiration!
First up is this introduction to DIY tombstone creation by Crafster, which gives you the basics on quickly putting together a graveyard for your house this Halloween.
If you’re looking for a more advanced project, Martha Stewart Halloween uses similar materials but more elaborate designs and aging techniques (instructions and templates here) to create lovely rotting headstones perfect for any Halloween haunt. For those of you on the ambitious side of the crafting spectrum, try one of these gorgeous tombstone tutorials from Scary Lady Videos. Even if you don’t create such intricate headstones, her techniques for aging and distressing the “stone” can be applied to even a basic tombstone design, so they are worth a watch (even just to covetously ogle her fabulous finished creations).
Keep in mind that a well-manicured cemetery is rarely terrifying, so aging techniques are key to creating a graveyard lost to all but the restless, hungry ghosts who claim residence there. To help inspire your design, here are a collection of photographs I’ve taken of cemeteries with graves dating from the late 1700’s. These weathered monuments, besieged by lichen, moisture, and the relentless, consuming force of time, are often in such disrepair that they hunch and shift above the grass, barely muttering the names of the dead they once represented – the perfect touch for your own Halloween cemetery, abandoned by the living but not remotely uninhabited. Happy haunting!
For more on the historic cemeteries featured in the gallery, read up on Settlers’ Cemetery (the oldest cemetery in Charlotte, North Carolina, with surviving gravestones dating from 1776), Boston’s Central Burying Ground (established 1754), and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 (established by Spanish Royal Decree in 1789 and now the oldest extant cemetery in New Orleans).