Crafting a Spooky Mausoleum

Welcome to my Halloween-themed crafting tutorial for your tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) adventures. In this guide, I’ll show you how to create a mausoleum for your game’s graveyard scene. This mausoleum will add an eerie atmosphere to your tabletop sessions. Get ready to impress your players with your DIY craftsmanship skills!

Materials Needed:

  • Ready Board (the white kind with paper that peels away easily. Usually found in dollar stores)
  • Utility Knife
  • Ruler
  • Balled up tin foil
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Corrugated cardboard (little corrugations are best!)
  • White glue
  • Tissue paper
  • Paints (you can do this whole craft with red, black, and white, but a tan is helpful.)
  • LED diode lights or LED tealights (optional)
  • Proxxon (optional but helpful!)

Step 1: Cutting out the Mausoleum Structure

Begin by cutting the basic shapes for your mausoleum. This tutorial is for a 20 ft by 20 ft building. Each wall piece should measure 4 inches by 2.5 inches. You’ll need four wall pieces.

Step 2: Starting the Roof

For the roof, cut out two pieces of foam. These pieces should be four inches long and approximately an inch tall. Find the center of these pieces and cut from the center to each corner to create the end pieces for the roof. You’ll cut the top pieces later, once you have the walls together.

Cutting the end pieces for the mausoleum roof
Find the centre and cut to each corner.

Step 3: Adding Texture and Details

Use a ballpoint pen to add brick lines and cracks to your wall pieces. Use a ruler for horizontal lines and freehand the vertical lines, making them thicker at the top and bottom to resemble worn brickwork. Add some cracks for authenticity at random intervals. To add texture to the outside of your walls and roof, press balled-up tin foil into the foam.

Drawing on brick texture

Make a few details and accents from foam to attach to the walls. Cut out window frames, a diamond or crest to go above the door, a door, and a door arch (basically a door frame that will stick out around your door). Customize your design according to your preferences.

Step 4: Gluing the Structure

You can cut window holes before or after gluing your walls into a square, but be sure they are slightly smaller than your window frames. Assemble your mausoleum walls with hot glue. Glue on the accent pieces, like window frames and the door, during this step.

Hot gluing the wall pieces

Step 5: Creating Columns

To create columns, take a piece of corrugated cardboard and peel the paper away from one side. Roll it into a tube with the corrugations facing outward. Glue it to hold it’s shape. Make 4 columns. To make the columns look more decorated, cut foam accents for the top and bottom of each column. You can do this by cutting pieces away from a solid square of foam (see video) or by cutting two squares (one smaller) and gluing them together.

Peeling away the top layer of cardboard to reveal the corrugations
the column with corrugations facing outwards

Step 6: Attaching Columns and Roof

Attach the columns to the corners of your mausoleum using hot glue. Ensure the cardboard seams are hidden against the wall. Trim the height of the cardboard tubes if needed to avoid interference with the roof. Cut away one corner of each accent piece so they sit flush to the wall once glued above and below each cardboard tube.

Hot glue the roof on next, sloping the top and bottom roof edges at 45-degree angles for a clean fit. For my build, I found 4.5″ x 2.5″ was a good size for each roof piece, but measure your own build to be sure. If you want to add a tile texture, you can draw it on using a ball point pen before gluing the roof on.

Step 7: Adding Roofline Accents

To give your mausoleum an authentic look, add roofline accents. I was rushing to be ready for our session, so I freehanded spikes along the edge of 4″ long foam pieces and glued them to the top of the columns along the roofline. If you prefer a neater look, you can create a stencil for your accent, or measure the decorative elements so they are more uniform.

Freehand zig zag roof accents

Step 8: Applying a Black Mod Podge Layer

Apply a layer of black Mod Podge to add structure, create a dark base coat, and solidify any weak glue joints. Allow it to dry completely before moving on to painting.

A TTRPG scatter terrain mausoleum in a graveyard

Step 9: Painting and Dry Brushing

Paint your mausoleum using the following colors:

  • Dark gray for the main structure
  • Black for windows, door frame, and columns
  • Red/brown for the roof to create a tile-like look
  • Brown for doors
  • Let dry completely.
  • Dry brush all stone with light gray, just a little bit of brown.
  • Dry brush doors with tan.
  • Dry brush roof with a stronger red.
  • Dry brush everything with a little white.

Step 10: Adding Window Lights (Optional)

Attach tissue paper inside the windows using white glue. This allows light to come through, without showing what’s inside. This looks great with a coloured LED diode or LED tealight inside. It can make it look really eerie! Tip: if you want to have the lights low for your session, but are finding that your whole mausoleum glows, insert bunched tissue paper around your LED to soften it’s light.

Conclusion: Congratulations! You’ve successfully crafted a mausoleum for your TTRPG adventures, adding a spooky element to your tabletop gaming sessions. I hope you enjoy creating this DIY scatter terrain mausoleum and impress your players with your haunted graveyard setup. Happy crafting, and have a spine-chilling Halloween!

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