Here are some fun "fright night" items for your Halloween home decorating: a front yard full of custom-created tombstones and some spooky hand-carved jack-o-lanterns for your porch. Get project tips from our "D-I-Why Not?" video host, Jeff Meacham, who shows homeowner Suzanne the fun, and follow along to make your own pieces with our step-by-step instructions below.
Here's what you'll need
Dremel 4000 motor cutting tool
Adhesive spray glue
Styrofoam cutting tool
Paint roller and paint brush
6"-long wood dowels
Round, sharp-tip tool
Here's how to make the tombstones
In just a few quick and easy do-it-yourself steps you can make your front yard the spookiest on the street. Crafting these Styrofoam tombstones will save you money, provide lots of fun, and let you display the decorations again next year, too.
First, place a Styrofoam sheet on a clean, flat surface (atop a dropcloth).
Use a styrofoam cutting tool to trim a traced pattern of a tombstone onto the Styrofoam. Cut firmly and steadily for a neat line. Gently break off the extra Styrofoam material.
D-I-WHY-Not? tip: Cut tombstones in several lengths for a natural, staggered look in your front yard "graveyard."
Apply a sander to smooth the rough edges of the Styrofoam tombstone. Then sand the Styrofoam edges again at a 45-degree angle for a beveled look.
Next apply gray paint over the entire tombstone with a paint roller. It's fine if you miss painting some of the Styrofoam nooks and crannies, as this will only add to the weathered stone appearance. Let the paint dry completely.
Now align a stencil onto the Styrofoam sheet where you wish, and then place it pattern-side down.
D-I-WHY-Not? tip: You can download lots of fun -- and free -- stencils from the Internet.
Apply adhesive spray to the back of the stencil (make sure the spray is "reposition-able," so you can remove and place the stencil as needed).
Now flip the stencil over, and gently press it onto the Styrofoam.
Use the motor tool and trace inside the outline of the pattern -- such as inside the "RIP" lettering of our project -- and cut about 1/8" deep into the Styrofoam to "engrave' the pattern/lettering. Remove the stencil.
Now drill down into the pattern about 1/4" deep, removing the Styrofoam material.
Use a narrow paintbrush to apply black paint inside the pattern where you cut out the Styrofoam. For
a further weathered look, flick a few spots of black paint from your paintbrush tip here and there on the tombstone. Let it dry completely.
Glue some plastic skulls or spiders onto the tombstone for a more personalized spooky effect. Finally, insert two 6"-long wooden dowels into the base of the Styrofoam tombstone, and stick the tombstone into the ground.
Now enjoy the startled squeals of the tiny trick-or-treaters coming to your door!
Here's how to carve the pumpkins
Refer to the video for guidance in the following steps.
Choose a stencil and apply it with spray adhesive onto a pumpkin, as you did for the tombstone.
Use a round, sharp-tip tool to make 1/2"-deep puncture holes in and around the stencil pattern on the pumpkin. Remove the stencil.
Flick baking powder onto the pumpkin to make the puncture holes more visible.
Use the motor tool to cut in and around the stencil pattern and reveal the design features.
Eager to try more "D-I-Why Not?" projects? Check out our latest videos. You can learn how to turn a spare room into an attractive home office. Adorn a plain wall with custom-made photo frames. Do some decorative fall planting. Or make a man cave.
Share comments here about how your project went, and also post photos of the finished look on Yahoo! Homes Flickr to amaze your friends!