Inexspensive Long-lasting Gravestones

By Charles T. Jackson

After a nice,  relaxing couple of months, I got ready for the start of our community’s theatre season with a Fall High School production of “A Christmas Carol”. I pitched re-using the painted back wall for the Scrooge’s bedroom scenes. With the school year just getting started, and all the craziness involved, she said that sounds great. IMG_1324
For this scene I built a “four poster” bed out of 2″ x 3″ lumber in anticipation of it being mostly covered in fabric, but the fabric covering fell a bit short on covering the squareness of the construction. It wouldn’t matter due to the fact that all of the bedroom scenes were done in lighting conditions that were low enough that details like that would go unnoticed.  All of the furniture, other than the bed, transferred right from the set of “Little Princess”. Not to bad for furniture removed right from the curb on trash night in many cases!!
I went back to the foam core for the headstones in the cemetery scene with the Ghost of Christmas Future. I wanted to get a lot of impact out of the scene when the ghost directed Scrooges attention to the stone, So I cut out the lettering and we back lit it.
I think it turned out great, and it looked awesome both in the garage and on the stage.
I had a lot of fun with the rest of the headstones. I made them out of the thickest foam core available at the Home Depot, and the bases ore made from scrap 2″ x 4″ and scrap 1″ x 3″. They are very stable on the simple bases and are also light weight, easy to set, but at the same time hard to knock over. The Office scenes consisted of two sided flats on rolling dollies that on one side were stark wood plank walls for the office, and on the other side a simple yellow for the Christmas party scene.
All of these flats had been made for an earlier play, and as I have have saved and stored everything I have ever made, my wife and I were able to donate these set pieces and save the school a boatload of budget money. In my next posts I enter a stage of my career that is sadly short on photographs. This is the time where my wife and I got “smart phones” that take awesome pictures that I could post right to Facebook. I unfortunately got out of the habit of getting my camera out and taking pictures as I had so often done. It’s an example of where our access to “advanced technology” has actually damaged our ability to progress as effectively as we once had. Thanks for stopping by!!