Homemade Headstones

by Elizabeth Punke

Headstones are expensive and after paying funeral fees buying one may seem impractical. Fortunately, there is an alternative. By constructing a frame and molding mortar with personalized lettering, you can create one yourself.

Formation

First construct your frame out of four wooden boards. You will pour mortar into this frame to form the stone, so make the frame the size you prefer the stone to be. Drill screws into the boards at the corners to form a rectangle. In a wheelbarrow or disposable bucket, combine mortar mix and water according to the directions on the package. Each mix is different, and the amount you need will depend on the size of your stone. Mix the mortar with a shovel until it attains the consistency of smooth peanut butter, neither runny nor stiff. Set your frame on some sheeting plastic placed on a level, flat surface, and shovel the mortar in until the frame is full. Smooth the top with a trowel, and bang the sides of the frame with a hammer to settle the mortar into the corners.

Lettering

You can place lines of thread across the frame at two-inch intervals to serve as guides when you create the inscription. Letters should be applied after the mortar has settled into the frame, but you must complete the inscription before the mortar is hard. Use rubber letter stamps in your preferred typeface and size. For easy pressing and lifting, grease the rubber stamps with a nonstick cooking spray.

Photo Credits

  • wall from stone image by Dzmitry Lameika from Fotolia.com