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 TombstoneView in gallery

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 - MaterialsView in gallery

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 meassureView in gallery

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 sawView in gallery

Step Two: Cut

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

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone -silhouetteView in gallery

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

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - sand the woodView in gallery

Step Three: Sand

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

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - sandedView in gallery

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 coatView in gallery

Step Four: Prime

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

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - primer dryView in gallery

Let the primer dry thoroughly.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - your dried primerView in gallery

Step Five: Sand again

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

Stir your chalkboard paintView in gallery

Step Six: Paint

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

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone- foam rollerView in gallery

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

bluish tones of your chalkboard paintView in gallery

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

Let the paint dry completelyView in gallery

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 chalkView in gallery

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 chalkView in gallery

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 surfaceView in gallery

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 clothView in gallery

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

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone - wippingView in gallery

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 chalkView in gallery

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 namesView in gallery

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

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone -zombeeView in gallery

Ah, yes. Ms. Zombée was a favorite.

DIY Chalkboard Tombstone Project for HalloweenView in gallery

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 NextView in gallery

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

Happy Halloween DIYing.