DIY Halloween Cemetery Fence
Decorating for Halloween can be a fun family event. Increase your yard’s spook appeal with this lightweight Cemetery Fence which also keeps the neighborhood kids off your grass. For this build we were blessed by Milwaukee Tools and they gave us free reign of their tools. The Milwaukee Cordless Tools we used are not mandatory for your build. Feel free to use any of your tools but we thought it would be fun to do this project with whatever we wanted to use for a complete overkill effect.
(4) 1/2″x10′ PVC Pipe
(3) 1x2x8′ Board
(1) 1x4x8′ Board
1lb #6×3/4″ Metal Stud Self Drilling Screws
Drop Cloth or Plastic Tarp
Black Spray Paint for Plastic
Copper Spray Paint
Milwaukee M12 PVC Shear
Milwaukee Inkzall Marker
Milwaukee 25′ Tape Measure
Empire Rafter Square
Milwaukee M18 Cordless Drill
Milwaukee 7/8″ Hole Saw and Arbor
(2) Milwaukee 4″ Hand Clamps
Milwaukee 1/8″ Thunderbolt Drill Bit
Milwaukee M18 Cordless Impact Driver
Milwaukee M18 HIGH DEMAND Miter Saw
7/8″ Forstner Bit
Using a Milwaukee 25′ Tape Measure, Milwaukee Inkzall Marker, and the Milwaukee M12 PVC Shear the (4) 1/2″ x 10′ PVC sticks were cut into 36″ long pieces. This gave us a total of (12) 36″ long pieces. The remaining PVC can be kept for future projects or disposed of properly.
The next step is to prep the 1x2x8′ boards. We marked one of the 1x2x8′ boards at 8″ intervals with the Milwaukee Inkzall Marker but left 4″ at the start to allow for joining 2 or more fences together and giving us the 8″ rail spacing. The marks are at 4″, 12″, 20″, 28″, 36″, 44″, 52″, 60″, 68″, 76″, 84″, and 92″. The Empire Rafter Square was used to find the center of the board at the designated rail spacing. This process will only have to be done once if you have clamps handy. If you do not have clamps repeat the process on all 3 1x2x8′ boards to make the cross-members.
Using the Milwaukee M18 Cordless Drill and the Milwaukee 7/8″ Holesaw we drilled holes at the intersections of our markings. Once this was completed we clamped the other 2 1x2x8′ boards underneath the board just drilled and using it as a template we proceeded to drill the other boards at the same time. This speeds up the process and also guarantees that the PVC rails will slide through all 3 holes easily.
When you have completed drilling out all of the 7/8″ holes in the cross-members for the PVC rails turn the 1x2x8′ boards on their edge and change drill bits on your drill. We will now be using the Milwaukee 1/8″ Thunderbolt Drill Bit in the Milwaukee M18 Cordless Drill to drill a pilot hole entering the 7/8″ hole drilled in the last step from the side that will prevent splitting the board when driving screws into the PVC rails.
Assembling the Fence
To assemble the fence lay out all 3 of the 1x2x8′ boards on edge with the pilot holes facing up. It is easier to install the PVC rails when all 3 of the boards are stacked next to each other. The PVC rails can be inserted into the 7/8″ holes. Using the tape measure leave 5″ of the PVC rail sticking out of the bottom cross-member. Now install a self drilling screw into the pilot hole and into the PVC pipe using the Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver. Repeat this process until all of the screws have been installed into the bottom rail. By using a self drilling screw the drill bit point of the screw will drill through the PVC without cracking it. Next move the 2 boards that have not been attached to the PVC rails toward the other end. The top or outside board will be the next to be attached and like the bottom board it will be screwed to the PVC rails with 5″ of PVC left exposed. When that cross-member has been attached to the PVC measure down 5″ from it and attach the middle cross-member.
Making the Fence Tops
The triangular fence tops are made out of the 1x4x8′ board. To determine the angle of the triangle we placed the heel of the Empire Rafter Square onto the board, rotated it on the pivot it until the 45 degree side is reading 20 degrees on the opposite side of the board to the pivot. Mark that line with the InkZall Marker. Next we invert the rafter square, and then repeat those steps. We continued to invert the rafter square until we have all 12 triangles marked out.
Once all of the triangles have been marked out we chucked a 7/8″ Forstner bit into the Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Drill. On the edge opposite from the top of the point we drilled a 2″ deep hole. We marked the depth of the hole on the bit with a piece of tape so we did not have to stop drilling and measure the depth of the hole. If some holes are more shallow or deeper than others that is OK. The fence should look aged, and this will aid in the appearance. The specific reason we use the forstner bit is that the hole will be wider than the board and the forstner bit will be able to drill a straight, clean hole. Once all of the holes are drilled place them on the end of the PVC rail just above the side that has 2 cross-members close to each other. The hole will keep the triangle fence top from falling off and no screws are required.
With the Milwaukee M18 HIGH DEMAND Miter Saw we made the mitered cuts to match the lines marked on the board and installed the tops to the fence assembly. Once all of the pieces are cut place them on the end of the PVC rail just above the side that has 2 cross-members close to each other. The hole will keep the triangle fence top from falling off and no screws are required.
To finish the project we laid a blue poly tarp down on the ground and placed our Cemetery Fence assembly on top of it. Using a Black Spray Paint made for plastic spray all surfaces of the assembly. If needed a 2nd coat can be applied. Once the black spray paint has dried we used Copper spray paint sparingly to give the effect of rust on the black fence. Let the paint dry per the instructions on the can of paint and you are all ready to place it in your yard.
To mount the fence in your yard you have several options. You can build multiple sections and have them arranged so they support each other, you can hammer in a thin piece of rebar into the ground and place the fence over it so the rebar that is above the ground goes inside the PVC rails or you can just remove the triangle tops and hammer the entire unit into the ground and then replace the triangle tops once it is deep enough to hold. You can also screw the remainder of the 1x4x8′ board to one of the top cross-members perpendicular to the fence and angle it to the ground to have it act as a brace or kick stand.
One of the best parts of this project is that it is a large lawn ornament during Halloween but when the season is over it can easily be stored in one piece because it is so light but if eight feet of storage space is not available you can easily take it apart by removing the screws. We suggest wrapping up all of the parts so when the next Halloween season comes around you will be able to find all of the needed parts.