How To Make Halloween Coffins

Halloween Coffin Container Asst. (1 count)Coffins are associated with the dead and are featured in scary movies, old and new. So, they make for great Halloween props to complete your holiday decorating scheme. There are many ways to do that and they’re all easy to carry out. Here are two simple-to-make options.
Miniature Coffins

As tiny props around the candy bowl, hung on the front door frame or sitting in a window sill, coffins only six inches long make a great decoration. They can be filled with flowers, candy or dolls to complete the picture.

They’re also super easy to make. Just use your favorite drawing program on the computer and make the classic coffin shape. This is the ‘toe pincher’ style in which the overall shape narrows at the bottom and top, with a wider section in the middle.

Use the software to help you get the angles right (slightly larger than 90 degrees at the base and top, about 150 degrees at the ‘elbow’ section). The sides, foot and head section are rectangles.

Then just print out the results on stiff, black cardstock, using bright lines for the outline of the pieces. Cut out the shapes and use ice cream sticks or toothpicks with a little household glue to put the coffin together.

Full-sized Coffins

5' Deluxe Wooden CoffinFor a life-size prop the effort is a little greater, but the plans are basically the same. Acquire a few slats of plywood for the base, top, sides, foot and head sections. With careful planning three 4′ x 8′ pieces of plywood will be plenty.

Here, a protractor can help you get the angles right. Or, you can use large sheets of plain wrapping paper or blank newsprint to make a template. You could draw lines directly onto the plywood, using a protractor and tape measure. Or, you can make an outline of the piece on these large sheets of paper then tape them onto the wood.

Then, just use a standard power saw to cut out the pieces you need. A handsaw would do, but that’s a lot of work for eight sections. To assemble the result into a safe, sturdy prop L-braces and hinges are the easiest way to go.

With a power screwdriver/drill you can attach L-braces to the base in a few minutes. Then attach the foot, head and sides by using screws to connect those parts to the base. Now all you have to do is attach the lid or top.

Standard, kitchen cabinet hinges work best. Screw four of them along one side on the inside of the coffin, near the top. The hinge center should protrude just above the rim of the side piece. Then flip the hinge ‘open’. Get someone to hold the lid above the ground or benchtop and insert screws into the lid through the hinge flange.

Paint the coffin black using standard black primer. Spray paint would work, but that method takes a long time and a lot of paint.

Go to your favorite Halloween site and decorate your coffin with a skeleton, or a stuffed dummy, blow-up doll, or whatever ghoulish figure you can dream up!

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