DIY Halloween Chalkboard Tombstone

This is a fast and very easy DIY project that can help you decorate for the Halloween season in a pinch. It’s a simple process, which is every DIYer’s dream come true.

Halloween Chalkboard Tombstone

Plus, you can customize the RIP messages to your heart’s content…or leave one on there for the whole month. Who doesn’t love a DIY project that’s both festive and convenient? Let’s get to it.

DIY Level: Beginner

DIY Halloween Chalkboard Tombstone - Materials

Materials You’ll need for Halloween Chalkboard Tombstone:

  • Plywood slab of your choice and size (shown is 1/2″ thick)
  • Miter saw
  • Ruler
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Chalk markers
DIY Halloween Chalkboard Tombstone - first step meassure

Step One: Measure

Begin by measuring and marking off the top corners of your rectangular plywood slab. The size can be whatever you want, really, and the corners should be symmetric but can be as flat or angled as you want as well. The example shows about a 3” triangle edge.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - mitter saw

Step Two: Cut

Use your miter saw, set at 45 degrees, to chop off the corners.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone -silhouette

Make sure the tombstone has a silhouette you like; modify as needed.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - sand the wood

Step Three: Sand

Sand the face and sides of your tombstone with medium to fine sandpaper (example uses 120-grit).

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - sanded

Don’t worry too much about the sides being perfect; it is plywood, after all. Just be sure they’re smooth.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - primer coat

Step Four: Prime

Slather some primer on the front face and sides of your tombstone.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - primer dry

Let the primer dry thoroughly.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - your dried primer

Step Five: Sand again

Lightly sand your dried primer with fine sandpaper, such as 220-grit.

Stir your chalkboard paint

Step Six: Paint

Stir your chalkboard paint completely so that it’s smooth.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone- foam roller

Use a foam roller or paintbrush to apply the chalkboard paint.

bluish tones of your chalkboard paint

Don’t be alarmed by the bluish tones of your chalkboard paint; when the paint dries, it will dry black.

Let the paint dry completely

Step Seven: Let dry

Let the paint dry completely. Lightly sand with fine-grit (220) sandpaper and recoat, if desired.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - start writing on chalk

Step Eight: Season

When your chalkboard paint has dried completely (follow the directions on your paint can), it’s time to season it. If you were to start writing with chalk on it at this point, the chalk would likely never come all the way off; it would be there in the white shadows for the rest of your chalkboard’s existence. Seasoning your chalkboard is easy and will take just a minute or two.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - thick chalk

Use thick chalk or the side of a regular piece of chalk and color the chalkboard in fully, moving in one direction. Then, in the opposite (perpendicular) direction, use your chalk to color in that way.

entire chalkboard painted surface

The point of this exercise is to make sure your entire chalkboard painted surface is covered, fully and completely, with an initial and comprehensive coat of chalk.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - clean cloth

When you’re satisfied that your chalkboard has been covered at least twice, wipe it off with a clean rag.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - wipping

A dry rag’s wiping may yield you somewhat chalky results (as seen here). The more you wipe, however, the cleaner it will appear. I wanted a “vintage” feel to this chalkboard tombstone, though, so I was brief in wiping off the seasoning base coat of chalk.

Grab a piece of chalk

Step Nine: Decorate

Grab a piece of chalk or your favorite chalkboard markers, and decorate your tombstone to your heart’s content.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - clever tombstone names

Coming up with clever tombstone names is kind of entertaining, really.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone -zombee

Ah, yes. Ms. Zombée was a favorite.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone Project for Halloween

Your DIY chalkboard tombstone(s) can be used for indoor or outdoor decorations; just be sure they are protected from the elements if placed outside. A covered porch would work best.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - Yul B Next

Yul B. Nekst…will you? Will you be next to create your own fun chalkboard tombstone? I hope so!

Happy Halloween DIYing.