There is something so nostalgic about graveyards. Don’t you think? You cannot have Halloween without them. The chance of recreating this spooky atmosphere is top on my list through the Halloween season. Retail markets inundate us with all types of frightful and playful Halloween merchandise. Sometimes just wandering the aisles at the big box stores, I fell like I am walking into a haunted house. One thing I have learned. My kids hate it, and love it, all at the same time. They love the thrill of the fright. A few years ago, I purchased one of those cheap, styrofoam cemetery sets, equipped with the plastic graveyard fence. I spent a day setting it up, attempting to create something less than tacky. The next morning I woke up, went outside to check on the day, and found……nothing. Nothing but one lone headstone and half of a plastic fence. What the heck?! I put my detective hat on, and quickly uncovered the carnage. my graveyard had been blown all around the neighborhood. My styrofoam headstones were busted into pieces. I was missing many other vital parts. The culprit? The wind. Something I have learned form living where we do, particularly our exact lot, is that we sometimes have some crazy intense winds that blow through. We have learned to make sure any item we place on our porch is heavy enough to withstand these winds. The graveyard was not.
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Once again, I took it upon myself to fix the problem.
2 years ago, I talked my husband into tearing apart about 20 pallets for projects I wanted to make. The light bulb dinged and the pallet cemetery was born.
We used every part of the pallets for this project and surprisingly, it was actually not a difficult project. Slightly time consuming, maybe.
Tearing apart our Pallet for our Pallet Graveyard
The first thing we did was cut our pallets apart. We used our Reciprocating saw for this. You can cut through the nails where the pallet pieces come together. This is a quick way to tear apart a pallet.
Assembling headstones for our Pallet Graveyard
The first thing I did was lay out some pallets together. I decided on the design for the headstone and we cut the design out with our Reciprocating Saw, which we also used to cut apart our pallets.
Before we cut out the shape of the headstone, we screwed some supports horizontally to hold the pallets together. They stayed in the headstone as the permanent support. Once the shape was cut we added a stake to the back to secure it to the ground.
We created a variety of different headstones. The great thing about this cemetery is, its not perfect. That just makes it look more authentic!
For some of our headstones, we used concrete stakes as its support. This might be overkill, but they work like a charm. As you can see for the previous one, we used a wooden stake we made with our miter saw.
Building the fence for our spooky Pallet Graveyard
We made 10 different headstones. We then moved on to the fence. This is by far my favorite part of the project. It looks so real to me!
We cut a point on about 50 pallet slats. This gave it that picket fence look. No measuring, definitely not accurate. But that is okay! It just adds to the old, rustic look.
We laid out about 8 slats at a time, and laid 2 longer ones across them horizontally, and screwed them in. The reason we did it this way was for easy handling. We can work with one section at a time. We made 8 sections. Some a little smaller than this one.
(If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that we laid our trusty Dewalt screwdriver to rest after 15 long years of hard labor. We purchased this Black and Decker one as a replacement and it is holding up fine. I plan on buying my husband another one for Christmas…)
Once we had the fence sections done, we assembled them around the headstones to create the graveyard. We screwed them together by adding a block to one section and screwing the end into the block.
One fun thing we did was personalize the headstones. Or maybe that’s creepy, not fun?
My husbands says “Here lies Lance, he died for the dance.” I think his is one of my favorites!
We create our graveyard around our walkway. I love how it frames the sidewalk and give a nice focal point to the entry.
Halloween is quickly approaching, and I am delighted to have one more project under my belt. My kids seem to be complaining that the front yard is not scary enough yet. Give me time, children. Give me time.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!
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