I used cheap styrofoam,
the ceiling tile stuff that comes 5 to a pack for around $10 or so from Home Depot type stores.
First I spray-painted the tombstones. Non-latex paint does eat at the styrofoam, and I went through a couple tiles before discovering just how FAST it eats through. A layer of *a* more expensive (at the time) latex paint color provided protection, and a base coat with which I could experiment with other shades of cheaper stuff.
having anything at the time that did a good job creating that "carved"
look I resorted to a very time consuming method: I picked out the bits with
a pair of tweezers after lightly tracing stencil patterns of the letters with a pencil.
My coworkers at the time thought I was nuts, but liked seeing the effect when I was done. The original idea was to make them glow in the dark with
blacklight, but with the streetlight on the corner next to the house, that idea didn't work at all.
2002: I added picket
fence stakes to the back of all my tombstones (that's the little white bits under each that you see) - I figured if I'm *still* using
the same ones 5 years later, that I might as well come up with a way to stick
them in the ground a little better. Unfortunately, the process of beating them into the ground that year broke one ("Open Nightly Until Dawn") and it's been patched with duct tape since. You can see the duct tape in it's picture below.
Phrases on my tombstones
(in no particular order) - these pictures were taken in 2004, after seven years of wear and tear:
Sayings I've found online and eventually want to make:
Good old Aunt Rose - she grabbed a wire and now she glows
I've made an ash of myself