Graves – A great beginner project


Hello, fellow Halloween enthusiasts! As the spookiest night of the year approaches, it’s time to transform your table into a creepy graveyard for all those ghouls and ghasts. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create realistic-looking graves that will send shivers down your player’s spines. This craft is quick, easy, and cheap – making it a perfect option for beginners in foam craft and TTRPG terrain.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

To get started, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Foam board (Ready Board – Dollar Store – be sure to get the white stuff with the paper that peels away easily.)
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spray Mod Podge
  • Play sand
  • Crafting rocks
  • Mod Podge
  • Acrylic paint (Brown, tan, black, and white)
  • Paintbrushes

Step 2: Crafting the Graves

  1. Cut the foam board into rectangles slightly shorter than two inches long and one inch wide. Bevel the edges to give them the appearance of heaped dirt.
  2. Cut a variety of headstone shapes to your liking and texture with foil.
  3. Use a ballpoint pen to press designs into the foam headstones to resemble grave markings.

Step 3: Texturing the Dirt

  1. Place the foam board graves in a bowl or other catch basin.
  2. Spray them with spray Mod Podge to create a tacky surface.
  3. Sprinkle play sand over the graves, ensuring it sticks to the Mod Podge. Add some crafting rocks as desired for a more varied appearance. Try not to get much dirt on the headstones.
  4. Allow the graves to dry, and then gently pry them off the catch basin. If you’re worried about them sticking, carefully transfer to an alternate surface to dry.

Step 4: Strengthening Your Graves

  1. Apply a coat of black paint mixed with Mod Podge to the graves. This not only adds structure but also prevents the dirt from falling off and makes for a nice, dark base coat.

Step 5: Base Painting

  1. Begin by applying a dark gray base coat to the graves headstones.
  2. Paint the dirt areas with a dark brown color. (If you’re short on paint choices, mixing red/green/black, or even just red/black paint makes brown. Go easy on the black – a little goes a long way.)

Step 6: Dry Brushing

  1. Dry brushing is a technique that adds depth and highlights to your graves. Use a lighter gray color to dry brush the headstones, emphasizing the raised surfaces and edges.
  2. For the dirt, use a tan color to add some depth. If desired, drybrush headstones with tan to make them appear weathered and dirty.
  3. Lightly dry brush both the graves and the dirt with white to make them pop. Use a light touch – it doesn’t take much.
Dry brushing TTRPG terrain graves

Step 7: Admire Your Creepy Creations

And there you have it! Your Halloween graveyard is ready to send chills down spines and make a perfect backdrop for your spooky celebrations.


Creating a Halloween graveyard is a fantastic way to add some eeriness to your Halloween game night. These DIY graves are not only simple to make but also highly customizable, allowing you to create a unique and spine-tingling display. Stay tuned for our upcoming tutorial on building a mausoleum to complete your haunted scene! Until next time, happy crafting!

PS: If you like necromancy and undead, you might enjoy my novel! It features plenty of zombies and a particularly nasty necromancer… available here!

Tethered by Zenia Platten Cover art

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