Faux Tomb and Boulder Tutorial(9 min read)

Faux Tomb and Boulder

Faux Tomb and Boulder Tutorial(9 min read)

Faux Tomb and Boulder

Welcome to Our Faux Tomb and Boulder Tutorial

Welcome, welcome, welcome to this Faux Tomb and Boulder Tutorial. Sorry, I just can’t take myself seriously while staring into my phone and having a one-way conversation. So, for your listening pleasure, I sped up all the parts in which I stuttered and said, “umm.” Generally, I consider myself a rather non-talkative person, but man oh man do I tend to blather on while I try to explain something. Anyways, by speeding up some portions of this video, I was able to cut the length of it in half. Your welcome!

Public Service Announcement:

Sorry in advance for all the times I use the term “Faux Tomb and Boulder.” It seemed a little redundant, but my SEO keeps telling me that I haven’t used my focus phrase enough.

Supplies for the Faux Tomb and Boulder

Paper bags, spray paints, t-square, elmers glue, wood glue, sissors, box cutter, clamps, craft paint, painters tape, dollar store packaging paper,wood pieces for clamping, and clamps
These are the supplies I used for Faux Tomb and Boulder

Crafting Items

  • Paper grocery bags – we used about 40 bags for this endeavor, you can adjust according to the size of your project.
  • Elmer’s glue – Elmer’s all purpose glue works great for paper mache. It is somewhat cheaper than Modge Podge, and it can cover a much larger area. You can get the perfect consistency by adding three parts water with one part glue. In retrospect, I should have bought the large gallon sized jug rather than trying to go cheap with the smaller sized bottles. Subsequently, I ended up needing more glue before the project was complete.
  • Wood glue – I prefer the wood glue for gluing cardboard together. It dries fast and it bonds well with the cardboard.
  • Paint – The spray paint and primer is optional. It’s rather expensive, but it does create a sort of water resistant barrier. I used cheap craft paint to add the stone finish to the project.
  • Dollar store packaging paper – This was used to cover the entire front and side of the tomb and it took three packages to complete.
  • Tape – I used painters tape, because I felt like the paper like texture of it would bond nicely with the paper mache that followed.
  • Cardboard – You will need lots and lots of cardboard. I have a “cardboard guy” who picks through the waste of a local business and gets me all the cardboard I need for church projects. I also scrounged up all my Amazon shipping boxes and used them to stuff the boulder.


  • Paper cutting scissors – You will need hundreds of strips of paper for the paper mache.
  • T-square and box cutterThese are used for cutting up cardboard.
  • Clamps and wood braces – A clamp can be a crafty woman’s extra hand. Rather than holding everything in its place while waiting for the glue to dry, I used these clamps several times during this demonstration.

Creating a Form for the Faux Boulder

We placed large boxes inside the globe before clamping the cardboard strips together at the top, because squeezing them through the slotted holes would have been difficult. However, we were able to crumple up paper and stuff the sphere to tighten up any loose cardboard.

This next clip shows one half of the globe already dry from the paper mache that we did the night prior. Also, the video shows how “many hands make light work,” when it comes to paper mache. We finished up the other end and did the touch up later that week. The majority of the time spent on this project was just waiting for stuff to dry.

The paper mache works best if you dip the paper in the glue mixture and then squeegee it off with your fingers. This can be a rather messy endeavor, so be sure and cover everything with tarps before starting.

Beginning the Base for the Faux Tomb

Adding Texture to the Face of the Faux Tomb with Crumpled up Bags and Paper Mache

Painting the Faux Tomb and Boulder

Funny Story

The day after I agreed to create the tomb, I came down with a killer flu bug. I found myself dragging all the way through this somewhat simple project. I think the hardest part about the whole ordeal was (perchance I would need to appear on camera) getting up, getting dressed, and doing my hair and makeup everyday.

The day of the event, we were really down to the wire as neither the tomb or the boulder had been painted. We needed to deliver it to the church and have it set up by 4:00pm. I got up and completed my routine early so that at least I would be showered before we left for the church.

Catastrophe Avoided

We had quite the wind storm that morning and it blew in a big black rain cloud just as we were finishing up the spray paint. My husband ran around the side of the house and called for everyone to come to the garage. The sixteen foot door that we had installed the day before, had just come off the track and was collapsing under it’s own weight. A half-hour later, I returned to my paint project and found that a light rain had passed over our house while we were safe and dry in the garage.

However, my freshly painted paper and cardboard tomb were directly in the line of that one ominous rain cloud I spied on the horizon. Luckily the spray on paint and primer had created a little water resistant layer on the boulder and the tomb, and the rain just beaded up on the paper. With a little pat-pat here and a pat-pat there, we were able to just towel dry it back to life.

The rest of the morning remained dry and other that the stiff breeze that kept blowing everything around, we didn’t have anymore difficulties. Nevertheless, when I arrived at the church and slipped off my shoes for comfort, I found that I had dried paint all over my feet. So much for at least being showered before the event.

The Painting Process

Since we were in such a rush to finish up, I have no videos to show the actual process of painting. For this reason, I shared a link below that shows the technique used to paint the faux tomb and boulder. We got the stone look by using a natural sponge and I can tell you that sponging this way worked great to hide a multitude of mistakes. I used three different shades of gray paint and applied the paint three separate times. Each layer revealed more and more of the stone look for which we were hoping. The brown paper peeking through just added to the natural look of the stone. Once painted, the paper got crumpled up into a ball and this increased the jagged look of the stone.

Sponge Painting Technique

Click below to see the painting technique we used to create a natural stone look.

Setting up the Faux Tomb and Boulder at the Church

After gluing the front overlay to the body of the tomb, we secured the painted paper around the edge of the overlay. We then wrapped it around the back, and attached it to the boxes we used for the tomb body. So, unless you were viewing it from behind, there was no cardboard in sight. We were careful to pucker the paper and gather it in different places. This made it look like the tomb was, for real, carved right out of the side of the mountain. Since we had no idea how it would look after it was set up, waiting for the glue to dry was a real nail biter.

Close up of Faux Tomb and Boulder
This is a close up of the completed Faux Tomb and Boulder.

We initially made the tomb as a visual aid for teaching children about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

Teaching on the Resurrection using Faux Tomb and Boulder
Faux tomb and boulder in action.

It really looked great after placing it under the three crosses and adding some greenery. We ended up leaving it up for our Resurrection Sunday Service.

Faux Tomb and stone
With a little greenery and the three crosses in the back ground, it looked great for Easter Sunday morning.
Kids enjoying faux tomb and boulder
Once the festivities were over, we let the kids experience the tomb.
Kids enjouing faux tomb and boulder
First chance to get outside for Patch Club this Spring.

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