Too bad that Halloween only comes around once a year! I would love a least two chances to scare the pants off the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. This year I really let my creative jucies flow and decided to do a scary Halloween scene for my yard. In this how-to guide, I’ll show you how to make a graveyard fence out of some easy to handle materials. I’ll also give you some hints on how to add your own flair to your scene.
First off, you want to plan for your graveyard scene. I advise creating 4 ft lenghts of graveyard fence – this way it’s easy to store in a basement or shed for next year’s Halloween. Also, all the materials divide easily into 4 ft. Make a sketch of your site on either graph paper or printer paper. Did you remember to measure twice? Don’t worry – you don’t have to be exact for Halloween directions. In fact, things that look a little off are even scarer, right?
So, by now you’ve determined how many 4 ft lenghts of fence you will need to build for your scene. Now you need some materials –
For each section purchase:
- 2- 4 ft lenghts of 1×2 lumber (you can buy one 8ft section and cut it in half)
- 3 – 10 ft lenghts of 1/2″ PVC pipe
- 12 – 1-1/2 in #6 screws (just get a box – it’s cheaper and you can use them for other projects)
- 2 – 12-15 inches lenghts of Rebar
You will also need:
- Spray Paint (Gray Primer and Flat Black)
- Liquid Nails adhesive (the the caulking gun kind – don’t forget to buy the gun if you don’t have one)
- Styrofoam Skulls or other items for finials (the decorations at the top of the posts)
- 7/8 in drill bit
- 1/8 in drill bit
- Screwdriver bit or screwdriver
- Caulking gun
- Hack saw or miter saw
- Protective mask
This project only takes about an hour or so to complete for each section of fence (including time for the paint to dry). First you want to gather your tools and your materials. I always start my marking everything. Mark your sections of wood to be cut in to 4 ft lenghts (if it’s not already). Then measure 4 inches in from one end and make a mark. From this mark, measure and make a mark every 8 inches until you have 6 marks. I usually mark the edge – then go back and mark an x in the center where the marks are. Do this for all of the pieces of 1X2 lumber.
Next, measure 3 ft 4 inches on one of the 10 ft PVC pipes. Cut off this piece with a hack saw or miter saw. Use it to mark all of your other PVC pipes. Once all of your marking is complete – use the hack or miter saw to cut your PVC pieces. You do have on your goggles right? If you haven’t already – cut your lumber in to the 4 ft lengths.
The last part of preparation is to drill the holes for the PVC pipe. Using your 7/8 in bit, drill holes in to your lumber where you placed the x’s. Make sure you use a clamp or vice to keep the material from slipping.
Now you are ready to assemble the fence. Using a wide workbench or the floor, slide the PVC pipes in to the holes in one of the 1X2 boards. There should be about 5 to 6 inches of pipe exposed on the top in. Use the 1/8 in drill bit to place starter holes into the edge of the 1X2 board, through the PVC pipe in all 6 positions. Make sure that you don’t go through the back side of the 1X2 board! Next, switch the bit to the screwdriver – or use a separate screwdriver to drive the #6 screws into the boards securing the pipe. Repeat this process with the other 1X2 board and PVC pipe.
There you have it – you are done! Well – you do need to paint. Go outside – or to a well ventilated area. Put on your mask and use the gray primer to paint the whole fence. Let this paint dry and then repeat with the black paint. Now you are done — wait! You need some finishing touches.
I used Styrofoam skulls I bought at Party City for my finials. To attach – use your 7/8 drill bit to remove some of the material from the bottom of the skull. Next, put Liquid Nails or some other adhesive into the cavity and then press the skulls on to the top of the PVC posts. You can use other scary items as well. On my fence, I put a plastic rat with nails protruding from inside (like it was impaled on the fence post. I put a little glow in the dark paint and red glitter glue on the “wounds” and bang – scary rat on the graveyard fence.
The rest is left to your imagination. Use more of the gray primer or some rust color to give your fence a weathered look. When you are ready, pound 2 sections of rebar into the ground at each end of the fence, leaving 5 to 6 inches exposed. Place the fence posts over the rebar and bang – you are really done!
This is truly one of the easiest projects I have done. You just need a few tools and some imagination to bring your Halloween to new life! Is that an oxymoron?