Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy Halloween Graveyard Fence

What would your front yard be like on a creepy Halloween night without a graveyard?  A collection of tombstones with a fence out front makes for the perfect trick-or-treating ambiance.  Tombstones can be made or found very cheap at any drug store chain.  To add a little extra something, you can nail two boards together and make crosses to stick in the ground as well.

My Halloween fence was very easy and very inexpensive.  In fact, after it was all said and done, making them took only a few hours and cost me only a few cans of spray paint I had sitting in my garage and about $6 in conduit clamps from Lowes. Even the wood, which can be obtained from shipping pallets, can cost nothing.

Cut angles at the top of your pickets

Step 1 - Cut and Arrange Your Fence Pickets

I started by taking five boards and cutting them at an angle near the top.  It really doesn't even matter exactly what angle you choose, just be somewhere between 30 and 60 degrees.  The randomness of your angles add extra effect to the final product.  Arrange your pickets similar to the drawing to the right.

Basic fence before finishing

Step 2 - Add the Fence Rails

Then I take two slightly longer boards and lay them across the original boards as your rails.  Exact dimensions are not necessary, eyeballing everything is good enough for Halloween decorations.  You may even choose to lay these boards at a slight angle.  After you have everything laid out, nail the boards together.  I used a total of twenty 1 1/4" nails in total.

Pound the stakes in, the slide the straps over them

Step 3 - Add the Stakes

The first time I made these, I pounded wood stakes into the ground and screwed the fence to them.  I thought it was a great idea, but it was a bear getting things lined up properly and securing everything.  Then I came up with the idea of using conduit straps.  By lining up 1/2" green steel garden stakes with the straps, I found this very secure.   The strap/stake concept I used held my fence sections firmly in the ground during Hurricane Sandy this year.

Line up your straps and screw them halfway in.  Pound your stakes in, then slide the fence section down over the stakes.  Tighten the screws on the straps for a good grip. 

Spanish moss adds a nice "aged" touch to the fence

Step 4 - Paint and Decorate Your Fence

To paint this fence, I used a combination of green, black, beige, and brown.  First, I sprayed each color in a large camouflage pattern, using some of each color.  It looked pretty cheesy, but that was only a base coat.  Then, using the darker colors, I sprayed a light mist or black and brown over the whole fence.  It gave it a nice aged look. I finished off my fences by stapling a little Spanish moss or wrapping ivy vine cuttings around the pickets.

Make two, three, four, or as many as you want.  You can start out small and add a few more fence sections every year.  They store flat and out of the way, making this a no-brainer for reusable Halloween yard decorations.  I currently have six in my front yard and am ready for my trick-or-treaters to show up again this year.

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