How to Make a Life-Size Coffin Without Wood

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You can make a life-size coffin.
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Sure, a life-size wood coffin would be incredible to have for Halloween, but let's face it – this just isn't practical. Don't despair, though, because making a cardboard coffin is possible without too much effort or expense. It certainly weighs a lot less than the real thing, and in the dark, it won't look all that much different.

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DIY Cardboard Coffin for Halloween

For a cardboard coffin box DIY, you will need two large boxes that are the same size, such as two super-size empty diaper boxes. Mark the boxes, cut them down with a box cutter and secure the top about 3/4 of the way down with a piece of masking tape. One end of the box is saved, and the ends are cut off. Then, make another mark on the middle of both sides of the box.

Next, the sides that are on the shorter side of the masking tape border are sliced with the box cutter and pushed back. Mark angles on the front extended part and trim it. This tapered part will form the head of the casket. Then, all the pieces are taped together. At this point, it should look like a small, open casket. You can cover the outside with a roll of shelf liner. See if you can find one that looks like wood.

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Trace the coffin's outline on the shelf liner and cut it out. Trim as needed, remove the adhesive and cover the coffin. To make the lid, trace the outline again and cut out another piece, making it slightly larger. Stretch it out over the top and stick it on. You can decorate your casket with dollar-store crosses and angels. Spray paint them silver or black. Since this DIY is on the smaller size, it makes a great cardboard coffin decoration.

Making a Life-Size Cardboard Coffin

You can make larger cardboard coffins out of empty appliance boxes, but these can be harder to find. You can follow the same directions using a box cutter or utility knife. Remember that one end of a box has to be tapered to resemble a coffin. Use duct tape to put it all together.

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Tape mostly from the inside if possible to hide your work. Cut out a lid to fit on top and attach it with more duct tape. Instead of getting several rolls of fake wood shelf liner, you can just paint the coffin black or brown.

Decorating the Coffin

If you are feeling creative, paint some swirls to make the coffin look more like real wood and add some fake hinges on the sides. Feel free to decorate the coffin with dollar store crosses and other decorations, like fake cobwebs. Various online retailers sell premade cardboard coffins that need to be assembled. They come in different colors and can be laid out flat or stood up to scare trick-or-treaters.

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For added fright appeal, you can dress up as a vampire and hide inside the coffin if you can fit in there. Pop it open at the right times and you are sure to hear some screams. You can also put a fake skeleton inside with the lid partially shut. Bats, spiders and ghouls also go very well with coffins.

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