How to Make a Cardboard Coffin

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There are few better props for a Halloween party than coffins. Decaying corpses are hard to do convincingly, spiderwebs are hokey, and flashing strobe lights and special-effects tapes only get you so far. A well-made cardboard coffin says death with class and style. Add a fog machine and the right lighting, and you've got the B-movie vibe that makes for the best Halloween parties.

Things You'll Need

  • Marker
  • Pen
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Brushes

Draw a coffin shape with a marker or pen on cardboard. Although real coffins come in different designs, the classic, simple 6-sided design is the most iconic - especially for haunted houses and Halloween parties.

Cut out the coffin with a pair of scissors or a craft knife. Don't worry about leaving lines on the cardboard - you are going to paint over it anyway.

Tape the piece of cardboard to another one. Cut along the boundary of the coffin top to make an identical coffin bottom.

Use a piece of string to measure the perimeter of the coffin. Following the edge of the coffin, tape the string to every corner as you go around. Then, add a few inches for good measure.

Cut a rectangle as long as the string. It should be as wide as you want to coffin to be tall. About 1/4th the length of the coffin should be a good measure. So, if your coffin is four feet long, your rectangle should be about one foot wide.

Attach the rectangle between the top and bottom pieces of the coffin. Use tape to hold it between them, and bend it at the corners until it goes all the way around. Cut off any extra cardboard at the end. Glue the pieces together. When the glue dries, remove the tape.

Paint the coffin black. Use yellow paint or some other light color to write the names of the denizen of the coffin such as "Dracula," "Ima Gonner," or whatever else comes to mind.

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