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Tombstone Decorations for Your Lawn

Set out a few tombstones in your yard and let them work the graveyard shift on Halloween. These are made by trimming gray paper bags. They bear an eerie resemblance to real gravestones when lit with mini lights. 




Paper luminarias are often weighted with sand; these are reinforced with cardboard and staked in place. The light seems to rise up from the ground.

Resources: Flat paper shopping bags, in Gray; LED tea lights,



  • Tombstone Template
  • Epitaph Templates
  • Gray paper bags, 12 by 15 inches
  • Cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Sponge applicator
  • Craft paint, in black
  • Cardboard, cut to fit bottom of bag
  • Garden stakes, 4 inches
  • LED tea lights


  1. Step 1

    Print the tombstone and epitaph templates.

  2. Step 2

    Place template on top of a bag, and trace around the top edge. Cut along that line to create stone shape. Tape epitaph template to cutting mat, and use craft knife to cut out letters to make a stencil.

  3. Step 3

    Place epitaph stencil on the bag you just cut. Using sponge, dab with craft paint to transfer letters. Let dry. Open bag, and insert cardboard piece to reinforce the bottom. Place in desired spot, and drive garden stakes through the bottom of the bag into the ground. Add lights, about 3 per bag.



Reviews (11)

  • Tracy1977 5 Oct, 2013

    I haven't tried this yet as I have found it a bit confusing. I'm going to try it with a regular brown bag first, maybe a coat or 2 of modpodge
    will make them more durable.

  • Lllllsamiamlllll 23 Oct, 2012

    I don't understand this. So both the top of the bag and the bottom are open?

  • gmicle 10 Oct, 2012

    I found the bags here for QTY 25, couldn't find them anywhere else , less than 500.
    Trying to find gray plastic, so its more rain proof.

  • pineywoods 14 Sep, 2012

    can i take the pattern for the witch to kinkos printing they can print the whole thing so i can lay it on the plywood please answer me

  • karin1973 10 Oct, 2011

    vkays, I just went to the link for bags & now you can buy 25 for 3.95. I didn't look at shipping charges, but that's much better than being locked in to 500. They're under M.S.Living Bags.

  • whitewitch7 5 Oct, 2011

    To Clanini,

    I make my outdoor tombstones out of flat sheets of Styrofoam that can be 1-2 inches thick. You can usually buy it in a hardware store or maybe Home Depot or a craft store. Cut out the tombstone shape with an electric meat carver. I'm sure you can use a knife if you use a sawing motion. Spray paint them with white & black paint to make shades of gray. When dry, use a small sponge dipped in paint to dab on your epitaph stencils. Glue a yardstick on the back to insert into the ground.

  • ClaudiaBDesigns 5 Oct, 2011

    The photo looks very badly photoshopped!

  • vkays 4 Oct, 2011

    Seriously! Don't know about others but when I went to the link the minimum order for bags was 500. Can't MS offer a more reasonable source for supplies.

  • clanini 1 Oct, 2011

    Seriously how can something made of PAPER be an outside decoration?? It won't hold up in the rain and it usually rains in the month of October. Any suggestions for something rain proof?

  • Georjajim 26 Sep, 2011

    Epitaph template link now included. Was not printed in mag, though....just the one for headstones.

    Ordered bags and they arrived. Just know that they are not gusseted, so when placing cardboard in bottom of bags, the bag will twist and torque, making it difficult for it to retain its' "headstone" shape.

  • Georjajim 20 Sep, 2011

    Templates do not include epitaphs as indicated in article!