Happy Halloween! DIY “Pet Sematary”

Hey everyone!

We’ve spent the past few weeks since our trip getting back into the swing of things at home, and getting caught up on projects around the house.

Our biggest home renovation news is that we finally ordered the stone for our fireplace, which is going to be an Austin white chalk limestone veneer. We are still deciding on a mantel, and have narrowed it down to a couple of choices. Details will definitely follow in another post!

This weekend’s project was putting out our Halloween decorations! We have been planning our big themed Halloween decor for a few years now, and this year we were finally ready to set it all up. Over the past few years as animal skeletons have become popular for Halloween, we have bought a few each year on discount after the holiday. We have acquired two dogs, a cat, a horse, an alligator, and a snake, as well as a bag of human bones, all with the intention of one day setting up our very own Pet Sematary.

Halloween is Jordan’s favorite holiday, and we have been waiting for the year when we would have our collective acts together enough to put out decorations and actually participate in the whole Halloween experience.

Initially, we thought we wanted to make headstones for each skeleton, and we had looked up how-to’s and DIY’s for making foam headstones. Like most of our projects, it would have required buying at least a few semi-expensive tools, and was going to be a lot of trouble for little reward.

However, when we discovered that Home Depot didn’t carry the tools that we would need and they would have to be ordered, we put our heads together and came up with a different idea.

We have several old pallets in the barn that we needed to break down, with the intent of adding them to our burn pile. Jordan realized, however, that the broken pallet slats would make excellent grave markers for the front yard. Not only was the wood free, all we had to buy was some white outdoor paint to write names on the markers. Also, as those of you who read Stephen King’s book will know, the “sematary” was made by children, so the rougher and less well done the lettering and the construction, the more realistic the effect would be.

Jordan started by breaking down the pallets into long slats using a mallet. It didn’t matter if the ends were rough since that was the effect we were going for. I would recommend wearing gloves and eye protection if you are doing this at home, to protect from splinters and other flying debris.

Then he tapered the ends of the wood that would be driven into the ground using his miter saw, to make them more like a stake and easier to pound into the ground. He used 1.5″ screws to put the grave markers together.

While he continued to assemble the markers, I used white exterior paint and a cheap 1″ brush to paint the names on the markers.

Once they were ready to set up, we went and arranged the skeletons, markers, and some cheap purple lights we bought at Home Depot out in our front flower bed.

Happy Halloween!


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