One way to save costs on the funeral and burial of a loved one when money is tight is to make a grave marker instead of buying one. A person with general carpentry skills can make a grave marker in a garage or basement. If you are strapped for cash, but still want your loved one to have a nice marker over their grave, here is how you can make one to mark their final resting place.
You Will Need:
- 2" x 4" Pieces of Wood
- Press-In Letters and Numbers
- Carpenter's Square
- Yard Stick
- Five-Gallon Plastic Pail
- Drop Cloth
You should check with the cemetery to find out what kind of regulations they have concerning the size and style of the grave markers. If you make a grave marker that doesn't conform to the cemetery's regulations, you may not be able to place the marker you make over the grave site.
Cut the pieces of 2" x 4" pieces of wood to the length you need to form the frame. Use a carpenter's square to make sure the frame is perfectly squared at the corners. Nail the pieces wood together to form the frame.
Place the frame on top of a plastic drop cloth so the cement won't adhere to the garage or basement floor once it dries. This will also help to make cleaning up afterwards easier.
Measure out on the frame where you are going to put each line for the name of the deceased, the dates of birth and death, and whatever other message you want to put on the grave marker. Place a mark on both sides of the frame to match your measurements – this will help to keep what you are writing level and even across the marker.
Lay Out Letters and Numbers
Lay out the press-in numbers on the floor above the frame in the order you want them. Take special care to make sure the name and dates are done correctly.
This will help in two ways: you'll be able to make sure all the letters and numbers will fit properly in the frame, and you'll be able to make any changes before you start pressing the letters and numbers into the cement.
Mix the cement and water in a five-gallon plastic pail. Don't use quick drying cement. You'll need time to properly apply the press-in numbers and letters, and quick drying cement could set before you can do this correctly.
Pour the cement in the frame and smooth with a trowel.
Add Letters and Numbers
Place a yard stick across the frame at the spots you've marked on the side of the frame where the name will be placed. Take one press-in letter at a time and push it down into the cement to form the letter you want in the cement, and then remove the press-in letter.
Move the yard stick down to the next markings on the frame and press in the letters and/or numbers you want for that line on the grave marker. Keep on repeating this until you have everything written on the grave marker that you had planned.
Allow Cement to Set
Remove the frame after a couple of days. You can sand down the edges of the marker at this time if you want rounded edges. You can also sand the face of the marker to make sure you have a smooth finish.
After a week or so, the cement will be hard enough so you can pick it up without worry and take it to the grave site to install it over the final resting place of your loved one.
For more information, talk to a professional like An Thiel Monuments.