We put the fence up around the whole yard before adding any further decorations. I neglected to do that one year, and some of my tombstones grew legs and walked to another yard.
Funny how that happens.
I’m sure it was all in good fun, but I make sure the fence is up first these days, to keep wandering decorations at home.
The first items to get placed outside are the cemetery columns. These are the starting point for installing the entryway arch and gates, as well as the cemetery fence that surrounds the yard.
These columns are just big plywood boxes, painted to look like brick. My secret painting tool? A brick-sized sponge! The gargoyles on top were bought on sale from Target around Halloween. They aren’t really designed to be used outdoors, but for the short haunting season, they are fine.
Next, the arch:
The arch is a collection of 2X2 lumber for the uprights, 1X2 lumber for the cross piece, and corrugated plastic for the ornamental ‘ironwork’.
You can find the corrugated plastic at any sign-supply store. I got mine from N. Glantz & Son in Dallas. I bought a 4X8 foot sheet, and they cut it in half so it would fit in my car. I traced out the design with a white crayon, then used a jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade to cut out the designs. The cut was a little ragged, but you can trim it with a good utility blade.
The gates are just like the fence sections, with 1X2 lumber and 1/2-inch PVC pipe. They sag a bit, which annoys me, but my wife assures me no one will notice. She points out that it’s supposed to be a haunted cemetery and look old and decrepit. She says these things, not just because she is right, but to save me from fiddling with it for the entire month of October.
I like her. I think I’ll keep her.
The fence is made from 1/2-inch PVC irrigation pipe and 1X2 lumber. Below you can see the unpainted lumber after I made some much needed repairs.
The fence slides over 2-foot lengths of steel reinforcing bar (rebar). The fence posts are then attached to the fence before adding the next section. At Stonehaven Manor, the fence holds up the posts, not the other way around.
We’re weird that way.
The fence posts themselves are made from 2-inch PVC pipe, with an endcap, and topped with a re-purposed skull drink container.
You can get these from Oriental Trading company. Before painting, they look like this:
The finials on the fence are made from the same corrugated plastic as the arch.
The lamppost on the corner is the same 2-inch PVC pipe, with a clearance-bought carriage light from Home Depot on top.
I soldered the light into an extension cord for power, then frosted the glass with spray-on glass frosting. Add a flicker bulb and it looks great!
As for the sign, you can check out my Sign of the Times post for more information and pictures.
Next up… Tombstones!!!