These gravestones start out as blocks of EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam, similar to Styrofoam. The shapes were cut out using a hot wire. Back when I first started making gravestones, I would make two masonite forms to put the blocks of foam between to use as a template for cutting. Now I send CAD files to the foam company for them to cut the foam out with.

After the forms are cut, the letters and details are burned in with a soldering iron. A good tip: Build yourself a plug-in box with a dimmer to adjust the temperature of the soldering iron. You can also pit the surface of the foam with a light spraying of Chemtool (a carburetor cleaner). Spray lightly though, this stuff will eat right through the foam.

Paint the foam with a dark gray latex house paint. Then dry brush (just a little paint on the brush) an off-white latex paint from the top down. You can sponge in moss growing and other details.

For a final touch I like to take Rosco invisible blue (a paint only visible under blacklight) and dry brush that over the finished gravestone. It makes for a spooky moonlit effect in blacklight.

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