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Styrofoam Tombstones blow over? Try this!


Orville
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I found these at the Dollar General Store for $1.00 each, they are small, aproximately 4-5 foot tall metal shepard hooks.  If you cut the hook part off using a dremel tool or hacksaw to just under the size of the styrofoam tombstone, and use two inserted inside the tombstone on each side from the bottom of it, they will withstand winds and wind gusts very well.

 

I had this thought after trying using wooden stakes glued to the back of my styrofoam tombstones in 2012, along with the flimsy stakes they come with that are pretty useless in windy conditions.

 

With the cut down metal shepart hooks, the one I tested with stayed upright and barely wavered.

 

The shepard hooks I got have a two prong foot on the bottom, looks like an upside down U with the bottom line of the U being a bit more straight.

 

Sorry no pics or video yet, but will try to get some as soon as I can.

 

Yes, it's a little work to cut down the number of these shepard hooks into upright stakes you'd need {2 per tombstone}, but is well worth the end results.  It really doesn't take too long to trim them down and since they are metal and inserted into the bottom of each tombstone makes them a lot sturdier and quite bit more wind resisant.

 

Just thought I'd pass on this tip to others doing Halloween displays and looking for a better and inexpensive way to keep your tombstones upright. 

 

And you can bend them if you want the tombstone to look as it's falling over backward or forward, or put one side a littler deeper into the ground for a tombstone that looks to be sinking into the ground on the right ot left side.

 

Have fun!

Edited by Orville
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  • 2 weeks later...

I use 2 or 3 ft pieces of 1/2 inch rebar driven into the ground. Each tomb stone is attached to the rebar using a thin black wire wrap that that goes around the stone and rebar, and is not noticeable.

They survive high winds without any damage, as opposed to the base mounted pins, etc, which under winds will eventually break through the soft styrofoam.

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The Shepard hooks with the hook part cut off work just fine and no extra strapping or tie down is needed or required.   They are also thick, but thin enough they also don't break through the tombstone and is why I prefer using them, mainly because they have a better stable foot with the dual prongs in the ground connected together.   Just had one out in a harsh windy Thunderstorm and it sustained no damage, didn't blow over, it barely moved.   And I get these at the local dollar store for a $1.00 a piece, so they are cheaper than rebar and easier to cut to length with a hacksaw.  Just takes a minute or so with a Dremel Tool or about 2-3 minutes with a hacksaw.

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That's a great idea Tracy!

 

Orville, I use the rebar approach, as I have found that my 3 ft tall styro stones (that are maybe 2 inches thick if that) have had their metal Shepard hook pins work their way through the stone, given the high winds we get up here on the hill. All it takes is a little back and forth motion, and eventuall ythey wear through. Maybe not the first year, but they do eventually.

That being said I only insert my vertical points about 6 inches into the stone, to avoid it angling and coming out through one of the sides. How far in do you insert your pins, and how tall are your stones?

Since I went with the rebar and wire ties there has been no damage despite high winds.

The rebar costs me nothing, as I use only some of the pieces that I use each season to secure my many blowmolds, etc for the Christmas display, so the rebar is just sitting around.

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