Making Your Own Tombstone or Grave Marker

How to make a beautiful and meaningful tombstone or grave marker, including restrictions, if any, as to the placement of your memorial.

If your family has chosen to bury your deceased animal on your property then you may want to consider a final act of love by making your own tombstone or grave marker.  First and most importantly if you want to bury your animal within city limits even though it is on your own property, call your city and find out if there are any restrictions. If you live in the country or you have a very small animal there are usually no restrictions. Also, burying a cremated animal usually requires no permission whatsoever. You can still put down a tombstone or grave marker, and plant flowers, some rose bushes, or beautiful flowering plants surrounding it. Pet cemeteries usually do not permit you to put down your own tombstone or grave marker and pet cemeteries are a greater expense.

Avery elegant tombstone can be made from a craft concrete found at most hobby and craft stores. Or, you can buy a small bag of cement from a hardware store or lumber yard, follow the directions, mix in a plastic pail and pour into a flat disposable aluminum cake pan the size you want, which you have coated generously with a thick layer of Vaseline. Before it sets, you can push a memento, beautiful stones, small colored tiles, an animal sculpture, a photograph you have had printed on metal or plastic, one of your animal’s toys, into the damp cement.  You may want to use a chopstick to put your animal’s name on the surface as well. When it has set properly you can flip it upside-down to release it on to a flat clean surface. Turn right side up and apply two or three coats of clear, glossy varnish over your decorations and art work, to seal it, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. You can also use enamel paint, {found in small jars at art supply stores} to hand paint leaves or flowers or designs on the surface. Even gold or silver enamel paint touches looks wonderful as part of your original masterpiece, that I am certain will be a work of art when it is finished. Helping to make a tombstone is especially meaningful for children. It helps in their grieving, which can be intense and overwhelming. The grave will be a special comforting place that the whole family can visit. In the event you decide to purchase an animal sculpture or a ready-made professional grave marker, I suggest looking up pet headstones or pet sculptures on Ebay or other discount websites for substantial savings.