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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Martha Inspired Graveyard Silhouettes

 It is almost September and at our house that means it is time to get ready to let all of our spooky skeletons out of the closet.
Last year I was ooo-ing and aahh-ing over all the awesome Halloween stuff in the Grandin Road catalog. As I was flipping the pages I happened to see the coolest graveyard silhouettes by Martha Stewart.
 But, alas, if you have learned anything about know that I am always working with a tight budget, and the Martha Stewart variety of graveyard silhouettes did't fit into my tight budget for Halloween decor. But, I had to have instead I made them! And, for those of you who are desiring your own little piece of graveyard, here is how....

  • Pencil
  • Straight Edge Ruler
  • Lots of differed size cookie sheets and bowls from your kitchen cabinets
  • 3-4 cans black spray paint (Lowes has a .99 cent brand...that's what I used)
  • 1 sheet plywood (mine wasn't very thick or expensive. But, make sure it has a smooth finish to take the paint well)
  • approx. 27 - 3/4 in. EMT straps (picture below. They can be found on the electrical aisle at Lowes or Home Depot and they cost about $3 for 20)
  • 2 part epoxy, that can be used on both metal and wood
  • 4 - 1/2"(round) x 48"(long) wood dowels (Cut in half at an pictured below)
  • Jig saw
  • sand paper
  Using the picture of the Graveyard silhouettes from the catalog as my inspiration, I began making an out line of my graveyard on the plywood. I used my cookie sheet and mixing bowls to help trace the different shaped headstones. As seen in the example below:
Be creative. You can use all sorts of things, and combinations of things to trace into headstones. And remember, most spooky graveyards do NOT have headstone that are sitting perfectly straight up and down. Don't be afraid to make your headstones slightly as-cue either direction.

I was able to fit 1- two headstone silhouette section and 2- three headstone silhouette sections on my plywood board.

Once you have your headstones traced begin cutting them out with a jig saw. Then lightly sand any rough edges smooth. At this point take your dowels and cut them at an angle in half. This is so they can be used as stakes to pound into the ground and hold up your panels. Now spray paint the panels and dowels black.

 Once the panels are dry, lay out the EMT straps on the back of the panels. This is best done by laying your panels down flat. I used 3 per head stone. Use your dowels as a guide to insure that your straps are laid out in a straight line. Then read the directions on the epoxy package and begin gluing the EMT straps to the back of the head stone. Gently slide the dowels out from under the straps, so your dowels aren't accidentally glued to the board as well. Once the glue is dry, the back of your panels should look like this:
I took a quick spritz of black spray paint to my straps, even though they are on the back. Now is the fun part.....arrange your panels in the yard. Using a hammer, pound the dowels through the back straps and into the ground until you feel like you have a good sturdy hold.....and, deep enough that there aren't any dowels poking up from behind your silhouettes. Here are mine in the yard with a few spooky finishing touches.

These look really cool with a little fog and back lit at night.

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