You Don't Always Have to Buy a Headstone

One of the most important expenses for a funeral is the headstone. You can get some beautiful grave markers from professionals, but there are times when you may wish to make a headstone yourself. No matter if it’s for a family member, a pet, or yourself, a DIY headstone is sure to make a unique statement and stand apart from other headstones in the area.

Gather the Materials You Will Need

First, you will want to gather all the materials you will need. You need mortar mix as well as a wooden frame for the shape of the headstone and a plastic sheet to lay underneath it. You need rebar or mesh reinforcement for standing headstones and a tub to mix the mortar in. You will also want a hammer, trowel, and wooden letters for stamping in the name and other words.

Mixing and Finishing the Mortar

The process begins by mixing the mortal until it is thick and shovel it into the wooden frame. When properly mixed, the mortar should not be able to be poured. Once the frame is filled, hammer the sides. This should dislodge any air that was trapped in the frame and mix. You can then use the trowel to smooth the surface of the mortar to prepare it for letter stamping.

Stamp the Letters and Let Dry

It is a good idea to spray down the stamps with cooking spray so they don’t stick to the mortar as you go. Use your letter stamps to inscribe your desired message. Many headstones for graves include the name of the deceased, birth and death dates, and a special saying or memorial message. You will need to stamp the message before the mortar dries, usually within 45 minutes.

Plan Ahead for Your DIY Headstone

If you make your DIY headstone design plans in advance, the process will go smoother. You can incorporate all kinds of unique designs when you make your own headstone, and you are likely to save a lot of money in the process. Be sure to check with the cemetery to make sure your headstone will follow their requirements before you start.