How to make your garden more spooky with gravestones

By Death Wish Coffee — / Death Wish Coffee Blog


By Angela Garrity, Guest Blogger

Nothing says, “Here lie my efforts” quite like these graveyard markers to proudly display in an herb garden this Spring. My green thumb can finally rest in peace.

Instructables included all the directions and methods for to “meet the maker” and get started on this DIY project using many methods including modeling clay, building up layers of card or art foam, wood carving, actual stonemasonry, laser etching, 3D printing or whatever rattles your bones.

The artist, known as PenfoldPlant, states, “Depending on your resources and technical ability, not all of these will be possible. I appreciate that not everybody has access to a laser cutter or a 3D printer or the software experience required to design vector files for use with these machines. I chose to use a laser cutter to make my gravestones because: (a) I had access to one, (b) I believed it would give a result with a very high level of detail with minimal effort on my part, and (c) it meant they would be reproducible so that I could refine the process or make more to give away as gifts.”

We can “dig it”.

You’ll need:

  • 3/8" white acrylic sheet, suitable for laser engraving
  • Black and white acrylic paint
  • Computer-controlled laser cutter
  • Extractor fan and fire extinguisher
  • Paintbrush
  • Freshly planted herb garden


Sketch out some designs on the herbs that will come up and then draw the gravestones as vector images.  Think about how they will be etched.

Next, break the gravestones up into layers. “Make several copies of your image and re-color them so that each one corresponds to a single pass of the laser cutter. These images should be opaque black on a white background. These images will actually be used by the cutter as rasters rather than vectors, so any part that is filled in black will be etched away on a single pass, not just the edges.”

Finally, it is time to bring out the laser. Place the acrylic in the laser cutter, align it to where the images will etch and begin.

Paint the gravestones using watered down acrylic paint if you prefer that aged stone look. Once dry, they are ready to be planted and cherished forever by the living.

 RELATED: 5 ways to re-use coffee grounds around the house

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