How to Make Headstones

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You may choose to make a headstone to mark the grave of someone who did not get a headstone at burial because he or she had no family. Some people make a headstone to replace one that has been damaged or stolen. Also, making a headstone yourself is less expensive than buying one.

1 Build a frame

Build a frame out of 2-by-4s that measures 21-by-16 inches. Screw the boards together.

2 Want to use

Lay out the stamp letters and numbers you want to use. Typically, a person's name and birth and death dates are included on a headstone. Spray the letters and numbers with nonstick cooking spray to help them release more easily from the mortar mix.

3 Mix water and mortar and together

Mix water and mortar together in your plastic tub to a thick peanut butter consistency. Do not add too much water, as this will cause the letters and numbers to fill in when you add them to the headstone.

4 Out a piece

Lay out a piece of plastic and put the frame on it.

5 Shovel the mortar mix into the frame

Shovel the mortar mix into the frame, filling it to the top. Use a cement trowel to level and smooth out the mixture.

6 Hammer all four sides

Hammer all four sides of the frame hard to make sure the mixture gets into all of the corners.

7 Lay your yardstick

Lay your yardstick where you want the bottom of the first line to be and stamp in the birth and death dates using the yardstick as a guide to keep the letters and numbers straight. Do the same for the second line, stamping in the name. Wash each letter or number in your bucket of water after pressing it into the mortar mix.

8 Let the mix

Let the mix set in the frame for two days, then unscrew and remove the frame.

9 Let the new headstone

Let the new headstone sit for an additional week after removing the frame before moving it to its final destination.