How to Make a Temporary Headstone

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In many areas of the world, people purchase or make a temporary headstone to mark a grave while waiting for installation of a professionally-made headstone. The style and size of a temporary headstone depends on a person’s budget and any personal, cultural or religious concerns. One of the quickest and least expensive methods of making a headstone is to use fast-setting concrete and a decorative concrete stepping stone mold typically found at most home improvement, hardware and garden stores.

1 Lay plastic sheeting across a flat

Lay plastic sheeting across a flat, level work surface.

2 Wipe

Wipe, with paper towels, a thin layer of vegetable oil over the entire interior of the concrete mold.

3 Place your concrete mold

Place your concrete mold--interior facing up--on plastic-protected work surface.

4 Mix the fast-setting concrete

Mix the fast-setting concrete following the instructions on the package. Typically, you will pour dry concrete mix into a bucket, soak with water and then mix with a large trowel or shovel.

5 Pour the concrete

Pour the concrete into the mold and then bounce the mold up and down slightly to level out the mix and force any air bubbles to the surface.

6 Wait for the concrete to set

Wait for the concrete to set, per the package instructions. Pop the concrete form from the mold by placing a soft, thick towel on your work surface and carefully turning the mold upside down onto the towel.

7 Decorate the top

Decorate the top (or front) surface of the headstone. For example, paint the entire marker, highlight any decorative areas and stencil on the last name of the deceased. Adornments such as a sealed photograph of the deceased or a religious symbol such as a cross can then be affixed with all-weather adhesive.

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.