Tombstone 101Pay attention. There will be a quiz later.
There’s no one right way to make a tombstone. Ours isn’t the only way, it’s just our way. It’s what our humans grew comfortable making over the years. We think if you have to be dead, you should at least be comfortable. We also let the humans do most of the work. Bears are more like consultants. We’re the ideas behind the site crew. Like most consultants we take all the credit when things go right, and blame the workers when they go wrong. And things have gone wrong; sometimes disastrously so. Fortunately for us, our two man work crew is really good about not panicking. Instead, they push forward to find a fix. If you don’t learn anything else about building tombstones and haunting in general, learn that idea. Don’t let things upset you. Stressing out means you’re missing the whole reason for haunting. Haunting is about finding your Halloween conduit for fun. The more you stress over setbacks, the more likely you are to make even bigger, messier mistakes. You can fix most things if you don’t panic. If you can’t fix them, you might be able to repurpose them. If you can’t repurpose them, put them in the recycle bin or trash. It gives raccoons something to rummage through when they get bored.
Get Ready… Get Set… Oh Wait
First: Do you have opposable thumbs?This is really important. If you don’t have them, ingratiate yourself to someone who does; or be content to buy all your tombstones. Thumbs are pretty much essential if you want to make your own Halloween props. Some people say they’re all thumbs, which seems to be as bad as not having any. Keep that in mind. Two thumbs -- good. All thumbs -- you’re probably going to be happier being a consultant for your haunt, rather than trying to be a builder of said haunt.Second: Assess your strengths and work with them. If you’re great at painting and carving, but you suck around skill saws, hot knives, or sculpting paper mache; own it. If you suck at all of those things, you might be back to buying your tombstones come October. But don’t be intimidated by the idea of making your own tombstones. Of all the Halloween props out there, tombstones are one of the best for beginners dipping their toes into the prop making waters. They aren’t high art requiring years of training and study. They’re the art of the masses… masses of zombies, masses of vampires, masses of skeletons; you get the idea.Third: Figure out your budget. You can spend a lot of cash to get what you want if that’s what you want. Buying larger, more realistic, or sturdier stones isn’t cheap. But if you decide you don’t enjoy crafting, and you have the budget to afford buying off the shelf, go for it. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad that what you put out on your lawn is mass produced. There’s no shame in buying your tombstones. After all, that’s the way people do it in real cemeteries. What’s important is that you put something out on Halloween for all to see that says, “This is who I am. This is how I haunt.” We firmly believe something is far, far better than nothing. But if you have the budget of a church mouse… or a dead bear for that matter… don’t worry. You can still have a cemetery. You don’t have to invest a lot to plant dead folk in your garden instead of flowers. If you’re willing to make your own tombstones, the world is your graveyard. You can get nearly everything for free if you’re patient and know where to look. We have that church mouse budget. So, while we may point out the more expensive paths, we’re always going to show you the less expensive routes as well.
Everybody Must Get StonedWho knew Bob Dylan was a haunter?
BABY STEPS:Upgrading Your Store Bought Tombstones
THE BIG LEAP: Designing Your Own Creation
THE MIDDLE GROUND:Part Puchased, Part Foam; All Tombstone
Before you get started; figure out where you are on the continuum of front yard cemeteries. If you can toddle down to the Dollar Store, buy a few tombstones, peg them to the ground, and call it good; you’ve got a very easy road ahead. If you need more, whether it’s bigger or more realistic, then we hope to help out.We’re going to start with the most basic tombstones and work our way up the evolutionary ladder. Click on whichever tombstone speaks to you, and we’ll try to give you all the info you need to make one on your own. Also, consider therapy if the tombstones continue to speak to you. Or just accept that the insanity has taken hold and embrace it. That’s what we do. If you need more help, see if there are video tutorials for your chosen stone. You can also email us, or visit us on Facebook and ask questions. Just remember that part about opposable thumbs. We have paws; no thumbs. Our response time reflects that.
Before we dive into making a tombstone, let’s look at a couple of things worth considering, regardless of whether you’re a bear or a human.