Making Gravestones out of Plywood for Halloween | Bob Hoellwarth | Skillshare

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Making Gravestones out of Plywood for Halloween

teacher avatar Bob Hoellwarth

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Marking and Cutting out the Gravestones

    • 3. Painting the Gravestones

    • 4. Attaching the Hardware

    • 5. Setting up the Graveyard

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About This Class

This course will show you step-by-step how to make quality gravestones for your yard to set up a Halloween graveyard. Made from solid plywood, they are strong and durable and will last for years. Unlike store-bought gravestones, they are firmly attached to the ground and will not blow away in a wind.

It takes about 30-60 minutes to make one gravestone, and it can be faster if you produce them in batches.

Here are the supplies you will need for this project:

  • plywood
  • measuring tape
  • straightedge or ruler
  • flower pot / round item
  • jigsaw
  • rebar
  • hacksaw or reciprocating saw (optional)
  • exterior house paint
  • paintbrush or roller
  • electrical conduit straps
  • drill
  • hammer

Meet Your Teacher

Hello, I'm Bob Hoellwarth. I am a woodworking teacher and I make a lot of videos about woodworking. I have taught classes of adults in Woodworking I, Woodworking II, Joinery, and assisted in Building Classic Furniture.

I will be making videos on here primarily about woodworking and using SketchUp to design furniture and make plans.

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1. Introduction: Hi there. In this course I'm going to show you how to build one of these sturdy plywood gravestones that are really easy to make. And the last for years, I got really tired of using flimsy store bought tombstones that blow over in a strong wind. So I designed these solid plywood tombstones that are attached firmly to the ground and a very strong, they're very easy and cheap to make using common materials that you've probably have lying around in your shop. For this project, you'll need the following tools and materials. A piece of plywood, any plywood will work, but I used one inch thick plywood. You can make 12 of these tombstones out of a full sheet of plywood, a measuring tape, a flowerpot for tracing the curve, a jigsaw, a piece of rebar, a hacksaw, or a reciprocating saw for cutting the rebar. You can also do this with a jigsaw, some exterior house paint, and a brush or a roller, some electrical conduits, straps and screws, a ruler or a straight edge, a mallet or a hammer, a plastic bag. And your sense of humor for making funny names. This project takes about 30 to 60 minutes to build one of the tombstones. And it can be faster if you do multiples at the same time. So if you want some yard decorations that are to die for this Halloween season, I'll see you in the classroom. 2. Marking and Cutting out the Gravestones: Using a sheet of one inch plywood, mark out sections at 24 inches by 16 inches. This is a good gravestone size and you can make 12 of these out of a single eight by four sheet of plywood. Then place a flowerpot or other round object on the corners and trace it to get the curve you want. Cut on the line with a jigsaw. I paused after one side and clamped it so it wouldn't fall down. Once one of them is cut out, you can trace it to mark the other ones. Then round over all the edges. I used a router table with around overbite. But this can also be done with a file or a rasp. 3. Painting the Gravestones: Then paint the whole gravestone with a light gray exterior house paint, which will be weather resistant. It's important to paint the edges of the plywood so it doesn't absorb water and delaminate. I'm using a foam brush, but a paint roller would work very well, probably even better. After that's done, paint some medium gray exterior paint onto a scrap of plywood or a piece of plastic. To add this stone texture, crumple up a plastic bag and debit on the paint. Dab the pain around the outside of the gravestone at first. And then as the paint runs low, debit on the inside, this will make it darker on the edges and lighter on the inside, creating a nice gradient effect. Occasionally, you'll need to add some more paint to your palate area. Make sure to do both sides and also the outside edge. If you want to, you can paint some words onto the stones using House pate. This can be time-consuming, so you might want to use stencils. I tried to make the process faster by carving a stamp out of wood. It didn't work that well, but I think rubber stamps would work pretty well. 4. Attaching the Hardware: Cut some links of rebar to make supports. I used a reciprocating saw, but a hacksaw will also work. If you have a bench grinder grinding the tips on one side by rotating them. This makes them easier to drive into the ground, but it is not required. You some electrical conduit straps to attach the rebar to the gravestone. Bend them a little bit flatter. So when they're tightened down, they'll clamped tightly on the rebar. Loosely screw them into the plywood. 5. Setting up the Graveyard: Dr. The rebar into the ground with a heavy hammer, making sure to avoid any sprinkler lines or gas lines. Then slip the gravestone onto it and tighten down the straps with an impact driver. The gravestones are very secure and tight to the ground and will not blow over in a strong wind. Adding a pile of dirt in front of the gravestones adds some extra realism to the display. For nighttime, you can add some spotlights on them and no caste spooky shadows on the house. With a graveyard made out of these. You'll have the best house on the block. People will be dying to get in. Thank you so much for watching my course and make sure to give it a review on skill share. By.