Cemetery Pillars Part 1

Since the second halloween at the Blue House, we’ve had a little cemetery out front for Halloweentimes (which for us runs from early September to Dia de muertos). Our house sits a little funny on our lot so we have two very small front yard sections that are separated by the driveway. But the section you see as you come up the driveway is almost too small, but just right, for the cemetery that gets a little more ridiculous each year.

The first year, we had a cheap metal archway that we stretched some theater scrim over and projected graveyard ghosts onto it. There was also a mix of cheap styrofoam graveyards and some more expensive resin ones. Surrounded by little medal fences that we got from Home Depot, and kept tripping over in the dark when setting it up at night.

This is not a sponsored post

The next year, despite traveling quite a bit and rushing to get decorations up, we upgraded things a little bit by way of Grandin Road. We added a really creepy ghost with glowing eyes and some fancier and more substantial metal fence posts. We also remembered to carve pumpkins at the last minute.

The following year, we didn’t take any good pictures (not that anything above would be considered “good”). But we added a very intense archway (from Home Depot I believe) and some props from Grandin Road. We also added some more metal fence pieces and some outdoor speakers to play a spooky playlist.

The issue with the new archway was clear almost immediately. We stretched the scrim across the entrance and it looked really nice, unfortunately, the lights distracted from the projection effects and so the ghosts didn’t show up. Literally and figuratively. I spent the rest of the next year (free time due to the pandemic came in handy) drawing up designs to make my own cemetery pillars. I spent a lot of time on pinterest and found many tutorials, before I narrowed down my plan.

Then, over many weekends in August, my team (FIL, Chad, and friend Jamie) worked on putting these monstrosities together. The second weekend when I was using a hand tool to create the appearance of stone, my very friendly neighbor ditched his lawn mower and came over to see WTAF I was doing.

Neighbor: I have to ask, what are you building there?

Me: (wearing a face mask for non-pandemic reasons) Cemetery Pillars

Neighbor: For what?

Me: The Graveyard

Neighbor: …

Me: …

Neighbor: … (this is where I remember it is currently August)

Me: For the Halloween Graveyard that we set up for Halloween (wildly gesticulating to the location of the graveyard in previous years)?

Neighbor: OOhhh! That makes sense.

What I planned for, but haven’t yet completed, was an archway across the top so that the scrim doesn’t hang awkwardly on the top. Otherwise, the pillars turned out better than I’d hoped. Somehow they were larger than I imagined. They were also quite a bit lighter, so we ended up cutting a slot in the backside and sliding in some paver stones to keep the pillars from blowing over in the wind.

Also, as was the hope, the projected ghosts worked perfectly. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we had very few people who were able to admire the cemetery. Fortunately, there’s always this year.

I made a quick video and I also put a supplies list below in case anyone is interested in replicating these.

Supplies List

  • 2 2-inch Thick Foam Board Sheets (Home Depot) $30 each
  • 2 1-inch Thick Foam Board Sheets (Home Depot) $20 each
  • 9 1-inch x 2-inch x 8-foot Boards (Home Depot) $10 each
  • 1 2-foot x 4-foot x 1/4-inch Fiberboard (Home Depot) $7
  • 1 case (12) 9-oz Gorilla Glue Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive (Home Depot) $86
  • 2 2-foot x 2-inch PVC Pipes (Home Depot) $5 each
  • 2 10-foot x 1 1/4-inch PVC Pipes
  • 2 16-oz Bottles Acrylic Black Paint (Amazon) $5 each
  • 4 12-oz Cans Flat Gray Primer Spray Paint (Home Depot) $4 each
  • 4 12-oz Cans Dark Gray Spray Paint (Home Depot) $4 each
  • 2 12-oz Cans Charcoal Gray Spray Paint (Home Depot) $4 each
  • 1 12-oz Cans Hunter Green Spray Paint (Home Depot) $4 each
  • 2 6-inch Decorative Iron Hooks (Amazon) $17
  • 2 Solar Lanters (Amazon) $40

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