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Halloween Graveyard Gate

A rickety graveyard gate sets the stage for mayhem and mischief. The more dilapidated, the better - making it the perfect project for beginner woodworkers.

Graveyard Gate

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Paint Brush
  • Foamboard scrap
  • Craft knife
  • Drill
  • Permanent marker


  • 1 corner post # 239129
  • 1 section of 42" x 96" Gothic Top Spaced Picket Panel fencing #202842
  • Plant hanger #149731
  • Chain link #62782

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Position this graveyard gate alongside your sidewalk to create a spooky entry. We used leftover foamboard for the sign, but you can use scrap wood or even hefty poster board. Don’t worry about making perfect cuts or measurements. The more rickety-looking, the better.

Step 1

Disassemble the picket fencing by removing the pickets from backer rails.

Step 2

Using the circular saw, cut 3 or 4 of the boards so they are of varying lengths.

Step 3

Using the circular saw, cut approximately 4 to 6 inches off bottom of the end post at a slight angle (so it will lean slightly).

Step 4

To give the gate a weathered look, paint the boards and the end post using watered down gray paint (2 parts water to 1 part paint). Let dry.

Step 5

To create a rundown, dirty look, paint the bottom of the boards and end post using watered down brown paint (2 parts water to one part paint).

Step 6

For the sign, attach a plant hanger to end post.

Step 7

Using a piece of scrap foamboard for your sign, carve "Keep Away" using a craft knife. (Other options: "Price Reduced," "Enter at Own Risk," "Beware of Dad.")

Step 8

Paint foamboard sign with brown paint then fill in carved letters with black permanent marker.

Step 9

Drill small holes in the foam sign and attach to plant hanger using 3 or 4 chain links.

Step 10

Using the square end post and two of the picket fence boards, create a sturdy three legged support. Secure the picket fence boards to the end post using 1-1/2- to 2-inch-long nails.

Step 11

Re-assemble the picket fence alternating shorter pickets with longer ones. Re-attach the pickets to the backer rails at different angles to give the gate a rickety look.

Step 12

Attach the reassembled picket fence to end post/tri-pod using nails, rope, or duct tape (remember, rickety is good).

Step 13

Secure to ground as needed using garden stakes.

Good to Know

Decorate your graveyard gate with traditional pumpkins and gourds or up the spook factor with skulls, black crows, skeleton parts or spiders.