Tombstone Tutorial Graphic by Trilby Works

First, let me just say that I am in love with Tim Holtz. He’s just totally awesome – I love everything he makes and I really admire his entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve bought many of his products and have had great fun and success using them. My new favorite is grungepaper, a flexible paper that can be crumpled, stamped, painted, stitched, and otherwise distressed. It looks like this:

grunge paper image
Click on this graphic to go to Tim Holtz’s website

As soon as I found out about this stuff, I immediately hit my local craft stores to buy some but I struck out – no one carried it. I finally bought some online. When it arrived, I opened it up, examined it, and then stuck it in my drawer and forgot about it.

A month or two later, while creating a spooky Halloween shadow box, I found myself in need of a tombstone. I looked online and in my stock images folder and didn’t find anything suitable, so I decided to make my own. Hey, grungepaper! I remembered my pack of grungepaper and grabbed it out. I thought it would be perfect for my tombstone and it was. Here is my finished piece and how to make it:


  1. Take a regular sheet of paper and cut it to about the size of the tombstone.
  2. Fold the paper in half vertically.
  3. Draw the outline of the tombstone on one half of the paper and cut it out, keeping the paper folded as you cut. Now you have a template.
  4. Lay your template over the grungepaper, trace around it and cut it out. Now you have a tombstone.
  5. Make a wash of black paint by mixing equal parts water and paint in a small dish. Dab or wipe the paint across parts of the grungepaper tombstone.
  6. Take a distress stamp, ink it with black ink, and press it down across parts of the tombstone to create cracks.
  7. Flick tiny drops of black paint onto the piece by rubbing your fingers across a loaded paint brush or tooth brush. Let dry.
  8. Print out the letters R.I.P. from your computer onto regular white or gray paper or hand letter them onto a small piece of grungepaper. Distress this as above and glue to your tombstone. I used matte medium but any white glue will work. Don’t use too much glue or your paper will buckle.
  9. Take a gray permanent marker and run it along the outer and top edges of your tombstone to add dimension to the shape.

That’s it! You have a tombstone! Add this to any shadow box creation or scrapbooking page.


  1. […] How To Make A Tombstone From Grunge Paper […]

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