The first thing I’ll say is I don’t like painting very much. And I have been doing a lot of painting. I am not a patient person in some areas. And watching and waiting for paint to dry is one of them. But, I cannot wait to show you all the projects happening behind the scenes here.
This year we decided to decorate for the month of October and Halloween. Our house is at the entrance to the neighborhood, so everyone has to drive by to enter and leave their house. With all of the craziness of the year, we decided to do something fun to hopefully give a few laughs.
I am not sure how your projects start, but this one started as a small idea where I was going to alter a few (6) Styrofoam gravestones and stick them in the yard. Well, that didn’t work and it ended up growing into a much larger project than I originally thought.
But my kids loved it, so it’s all worth it.
Note: this blog post is photo heavy
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My Silhouette machine was a big help in this project and it would not have been completed without it.
Since altering the Styrofoam gravestones did not work out, we ended up getting a sheet of plywood and some gray paint. I invaded my husband’s workshop (with his permission) and started prepping the plywood. I used a gray exterior paint from Sherwin Williams and painted both sides, so hopefully this decor will last a few years.
After the paint was dry, we started cutting it down to gravestone sizes. Each of the gravestones is an approximately 10″-11″ wide and 12″-14″ tall.
In the end, we ended up with 14 gravestones of varying sizes and shapes. After the stone shapes were cut, they needed another coat of paint in some areas on the edges and the stakes to help seal them.
During the entire process, I was working on the designs and getting the stencils cut out of Oramask 813 stencil vinyl. Remember I said I do not like painting and waiting for it to dry, well this was one way to keep working while waiting for the paint to dry completely, which took several hours per coat.
Here is a quick time lapse video of applying the Oramask 813 stencils.
Keep in mind that this video is a time lapse and in real life it is much slower. Take your time taking the backing off and you can see if there are any areas that do not stick and can push those back down.
And then came the process of taping the signs off and spray painting them.
Each sign was a little bit different in what worked to cover it for painting. In the end, making the stencil cover the majority of the wood and then taping off the edges was the fastest method.
This was one of the first ones I painted and only used cardboard as my barrier around the stencil and you can see how it sprayed in under the cardboard pieces.
Once the spray paint was dry, then came removing the stencils and letting the signs dry completely.
Once they were all complete, we had a gorgeous day to set up the yard and the kids enjoyed helping lay it all out.
The kids added in some skeleton arms coming out of a few graves. These are from the Dollar Tree and supposed to glow in the dark. Here is the left side of the cemetery.
And then the right side of the cemetery.
It is definitely hard to get photos of them at night.
And this year “Jack” our skeleton came back to visit after going on vacation when the pandemic hit.
Check out this post from last October on Silhouette Designs – Part 1 to see some of Jack’s various disguises.
Each time we decorate the door, the kids get to help in selecting what goes on it.
This time my youngest said she wanted Jack to have a thought bubble.
Here are the designs used to create the door decor:
Thought Bubble by Calli Arroyo – Design #223173
LW Bones font by Lori Whitlock – Design #277409
Fence from Halloween Elements font by Sarah Hurley – Design #274612
Tombstone and Crow by Loni Stevens – Design #33479
Jack the Positionable Skeleton by Samantha Walker – Design #4828
and the No Soliciting sign is up year round
No Soliciting by Jillibean Soup – Design #276179
This one has really cut down on the sales people knocking on our door.
A few more things added to the yard decor and I am calling this project finished for this year.
I had been looking for a design for the garden flag that fit in with the rest of the Cemetery theme and knew as soon as I saw this one that it was perfect.
Must Have Wine Design by Megan Hardy – Design #303383
We had a white corrugated sign that was blank on the backside, so I used Oramask 813 as a mask and added my text, then spray painted the entire thing black and removed the Oramask so the white could show through.
This is what the neighbors see as they drive out.
I used Oramask 813 to create a stencil for the signs.
Make sure to let the paint dry well before removing the Oramask 813 stencil. There were a few areas that bled because of the wood roughness and it was easily touched up with a small brush.
And it’s done! The kid’s are already planning things to add to it next year.
I am not ready for that.
Do you have any small projects that morphed into a much bigger project than you thought it would be?
I would love to hear or see it on my Facebook group at
Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
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