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Wooden Halloween coffin with lights and decorations
Do it yourself

How to Build a Wooden Coffin for Halloween

Build this coffin to spook up your front yard this Halloween. No expert skills needed: in fact, bad workmanship will make this wooden coffin even creepier!

Difficulty level: Easy
Duration: 3 hours
Download the plan
Before You Start
Don’t have a mitre saw or circular saw? Use a good old handsaw. It will take a bit longer but will get the job done.

For this project, select mismatched planks only (crooked, scratched, or stained ones, or ones with large knots). It’s a Halloween decoration, not living room furniture! The uglier the better.
Person cutting plywood with a circular saw

Cut the Base

  • 1.1 - Using the plan , trace the coffin’s shape onto the plywood sheet.
  • 1.2 - Using the circular saw, cut along the lines.
Person screwing wood planks together

Attach the Lid Planks

  • 2.1 - Lay out six 1” x 4″ x 6’ planks side-by-side.
  • 2.2 - Place three or four 1” x 6” x 4’ planks perpendicular to the first six planks. There’s no need to straighten them out.
  • 2.3 - Secure the planks together using 1” pan head screws.
Person cutting wood with a circular saw

Cut the Lid

  • 3.1 - Place the plywood coffin base on top of the planks assembled in the previous step. Using a marker, trace the same shape.
  • 3.2 - Using the circular saw, cut along the lines to create the coffin lid.
Person damaging wood with a scraper

Damage Your Project

  • 4.1 - Damage all the planks using a wood chisel, wire brush, scraper with a pointed tip, sledgehammer, etc. If you’ve had a tough week, now’s the time to let it all out!
Person cutting wood with a mitre saw
Person assembling a wooden Halloween coffin

Cut and Secure the Side Planks

  • 5.1 - Cut the 2” x 2” planks to create ten lengths of 10”. Secure these vertical supports to the plywood base using 2 ½” screws (from beneath, where all edges intersect).
  • 5.2 - Cut all the 1” x 6” planks that make up the sides. Secure the planks (two planks high) on the vertical 2” x 2” planks. Be sure to leave an irregular space between the planks to let the light through.
Person securing black hinges onto a wooden coffin

Assemble Your Project

  • 6.1 - Secure the coffin lid onto the base using two decorative hinges.
Personne installing LED light inside a wooden Halloween coffin

Decorate Your Coffin

  • 7.1 - Muck up your coffin by applying dark-coloured paint with a wet cloth.
  • 7.2 - Install LED string lights inside.

Pro Tip

Let your imagination run wild for the final touches (chains, fake blood, spiders and spiderwebs, plastic hand, smoke machine). The challenge is on.

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