Home » Holiday Entertaining Ideas » Halloween » Halloween Outdoor Decor Ideas » How To Make DIY Halloween Cemetery Pillars (The Easy Way)

How To Make DIY Halloween Cemetery Pillars (The Easy Way)

Making the right entrance to your Halloween graveyard sets the whole mood for your yard haunt. Which is why I came up with these DIY Halloween cemetery pillars to go along with my Halloween picket fence. And it’s not that hard to do!

DIY Halloween cemetery pillars

As I’ve mentioned before, every year I create a Halloween cemetery in my front yard so I’m always looking for new ways to add to my Halloween decor.

Last year, I decided to do this by creating a Halloween picket fence for my graveyard.

But what’s a fence without some brick cemetery columns at the entrance? (Okay…faux brick cemetery columns…)

The problem is that most DIY Halloween cemetery pillars are a lot of work!

They require making a wood frame.

Then getting large sheets of Styrofoam that you cut to size, carve to look like bricks and paint with different shades of gray and black to make them look old. I just don’t have that kind of time!

There had to be an easier way.

Which is when I thought of one of my favorite indoor Halloween decorating items. Plastic scene setters!

They don’t have quite the same 3-D effect that cut Styrofoam does, but they’re a heck of a lot faster to put up.

And I just happened to have a scene setter that has a gray brick pattern on it.

So I decided to give it a try.

DIY Halloween Cemetery Pillar Supplies

This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission if you buy the products from these links (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But we only recommend products we would use ourselves. For more information, click here to see our disclosures.

Materials

For each pillar, you’ll need:

  • 6 – 2″ x 2″ boards for the frame
  • 2 1/2″ wood screws
  • brick scene setter** – one package (10′ long by 4′ wide) should be enough
  • 3/16″ staples
  • 5 foot length of 2″ x 6″ board
  • picture wire

Tools

  • Miter saw
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • cordless screwdriver
  • staple gun
  • 1/2″ drill bit
  • thin metal garden stakes

How To Make DIY Halloween Cemetery Pillars

Cut The Wood

Wood being cut for DIY Halloween cemetery pillars frame

You’ll need to cut:

  • 16 – 10″ pieces of 2″ x 2″ boards – These will make the top and bottom of the pillar sections. I chose this size so that the brick scene setter will wrap all the way around without needing extra joins.
  • 8 – 4′ long 2″ x 2″ boards – These will be the vertical boards of the pillar sections. You can make these taller or shorter depending on how high you want your pillars to be. I used 4 feet because it’s the least amount of cuts (you just have to chop the 8-foot 2″ x 2″ in half).
  • 2 – 14½” pieces of 2″ x 6″ – These will create a base at the bottom of the pillar.
  • 2 – 11½” pieces of 2″ x 6″

Make The Top and Bottom Of The Frame

The first step is to make four squares out of the short 2″ x 2″ boards. These will be the top and bottom of the frames.

The end of the wood frame for DIY Halloween pillars

To do this, lay the pieces of wood out in a square.

The wood frame for the DIY Halloween cemetery columns being screwed together

Continue all the way around until you’ve attached all of the boards together.

Then repeat the same process until you have 4 squares.

Put The Frame Together

Long board being attached to the frame for the Halloween cemetery pillars

Next we’re going to attach the long boards to the squares to create a tall rectangular frame.

For this, turn one of the squares up on its side.

Line up long board of the frame with the bottom corner

Attach another long board to the other bottom corner of the square.

DIY Halloween cemetery pillars frame being put together

Then flip the square over so you can attach long boards to the remaining two corners.

I used extra scrap pieces of wood to hold the original long boards up so they stay square and the screws don’t pull out of the wood.

The bottom frame for the Halloween cemetery pillars

Finally, once you’ve got the four posts installed, attach another one of the squares to the other end of the long boards.

You should end up with a rectangular frame that’s about 4 feet 3 inches tall.

Repeat the exact same process again to create a second frame that’s the same size.

Join The Two Frames

DIY Halloween cemetery columns frame being assembled

Stack the two frames, one on top of the other and hold them together with clamps.

Then use 2½” screws to join the sections together.

I put one screw in the middle of each side, which was strong enough to hold it tightly.

The finished wood frame for the DIY Halloween cemetery pillars

You should end up with a tall frame that looks something like this.

Staple On The Bricks

Now we’re on to the easy step…adding the bricks.

Brick scene setter being added to the frame for the DIY Halloween cemetery pillars

Line the edge of the scene setter up with the top of the frame.

To have only one seam, use the width of the scene setter plastic to wrap around the column so that the length of the plastic foll covers the height of the pillar. (This will only work if the circumference of your pillar is less than 4 feet long.)

Start at one corner and staple the plastic onto the wood frame all the way around the top.

Then staple halfway down the length of the frame leaving the ends unattached for now.

Do not cover the top of the column, since the plastic will sag and rip if water accumulates on it.

Add The Base

Base being added to the DIY Halloween cemetery entrance column

Now we’re ready to add the 2″ x 6″ boards around the bottom.

Catch the plastic scene setter between these boards and the frame on all sides except one (where the join is). You’ll want to leave this side open so we can anchor the pillars to the ground later on.

Use screws to attach the two 11½” pieces on opposite sides of the base, making sure they line up with the sides and bottom of the frame.

Then add the two 14½” on the ends so that they complete the frame around the bottom edge.

The completed DIY Halloween cemetery column

The good side of the column should look like this.

Now it’s time to put our Halloween cemetery pillars up!

Put Up The DIY Halloween Cemetery Entrance

The most important part of installing these cemetery columns is to make sure they aren’t going to fall over.

To make them steady, I wanted to have posts that were driven into the ground.

Drilling holes in the column frame for stakes

Next wrap the base with an additional piece of scene setter.

I found it worked best to do this after you drill the holes, since the scene setter rips pretty easily if it is rubbed along the ground.

Then position the pillars where you want them in your yard, making sure that the free edge of the scene setter is facing in the least noticeable direction.

Staking the DIY Halloween cemetery columns

Once they are in the right place, pound metal garden stakes through the holes in the bottom frame. Try to get them at least eight or twelve inches into the ground.

Then secure the stakes to the side of the frame using picture wire.

I also added a couple of larger stakes just inside the posts, that I also attached to the frame with picture wire.

Finally staple the remaining edges of the scene setter in place.

DIY Halloween cemetery pillars make an entrance to a Halloween graveyard

And there you have it! DIY Halloween cemetery pillars that make a great entrance for your Halloween yard haunt.

DIY Halloween cemetery with pillars lit up at night

And while they look good during the day, they look really awesome at night with some spooky Halloween lighting.

Other Halloween Graveyard Ideas You Might Like

Have comments or questions about our DIY Halloween cemetery pillars? Tell us in the section below.


Pin It So You Don't Forget It!

How to make Halloween cemetery pillars

This post was originally published on September 4, 2019 but was updated with new content on July 29, 2022.


Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Comments

  1. Great simple project. Very good looking. Suggest if you can’t stake to ground?, place board across inside bottom of post and weight down with sand bag.

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Thanks for the good suggestion, Craig!