Introduction: Small Papercraft Coffin and Headstone Desk Ornament.

Picture of Small Papercraft Coffin and Headstone Desk Ornament.

I couldn't let the season pass by completely unmarked, so I created these little models you can use to decorate your cubicle or workstation.

The templates I have provided are blank - colouring them by hand saves expensive printer-ink, and allows your creativity to flow. Just who is going to be named on the headstone?

It also means that this project can be used with children - I've done the hard part, they can do the creative part.

New for 2009! At no extra cost! I have now added an A4 pdf of the headstone, and, attached to this step, a half-size template of the whole grave - coffin and headstone on a single A4 pdf.

The model in the photos is being made with a copy of my hand-drawn original. Once I knew it worked, I scanned it and tidied it up on the computer.

Step 1: General Instructions

Picture of General Instructions
For both the coffin and the headstone;

  • Print out on paper or light cardstock. You can use coloured paper to save ink.
  • If you don't use software to add a design, colour with pencil crayons, paint or markers before you cut it out.
  • Cut along solid lines.
  • Score and crease sharply along dotted lines.
  • Use gluestick or PVA to get a little "fiddle time" - you will be able to slide joins over each other to line them up properly.
  • Glue the tabs, then press firmly for a few seconds.

Step 2: The Coffin Body.

Picture of The Coffin Body.

The templates for this project are all attached as JPEG images, CorelDraw files and SVG files. I've even added a PDF file for gmjhowe. Use whichever version you like to produce and print a copy on A4 copier paper or light cardstock.

You can colour the plain template with pencil crayons, sharpies, or whatever you like, or you can use your favourite graphics software to add texture to the template - woodgrain for the coffin, stone for the headstone.

Cut out both pieces along the solid outer lines.

Crease along all the dotted lines. Practice-fold the pieces into shape before gluing.

Glue the triangular tabs, and fold into shape - each tab glues under the next quadrilateral.

Step 3: Coffin Lid.

Picture of Coffin Lid.

Essentially just a shallower and slightly wider version of the coffin body, the lid drops on top of the body of the coffin, and gravity hold it there.

Step 4: The Headstone.

Picture of The Headstone.

The headstone is made from a one-piece net.

As with the coffin, it needs decorating before making, either by hand, or with your image software.

Again, cut out, crease and practice-fold.

All the dotted lines need creasing the same way, and the whole thing folds, fist-like, into a stereotypical tombstone shape.

Be careful to glue the tombstone squarely - if the joints are wonky, the whole thing will stand crooked, and fall over very easily.


FrozenIce (author)2010-10-24

when my hamster dies- god forbid- i whant to make one for her

Kiteman (author)FrozenIce2010-10-24

You might need to scale it up, unless she's a dwarf hamster...

FrozenIce (author)Kiteman2010-10-24

My hamster Claymore is Syrian but im pretty sure i can squish her in she wont mind when she is dead
ps: i see you know youre hamster breeds
pss: search Claymore the hamster on facebook and you will see her fan page
she has 50 fans! but u probably dont care

Kiteman (author)FrozenIce2010-10-24

A hamster with fans?

Isn't the internet a wonderful place :-D

FrozenIce (author)Kiteman2010-10-25

the best!

keikothemeowmeow (author)2009-10-23

I was thinking of making something like this big enough to house a few knits that I made for a cousin who lives on the East Coast.You think these things are mail safe or should I pack it in another box?

Obviously I will be using cardboard, but I was just wondering if odd shaped things like this could be mailed or would I have to put the coffin box inside a larger regular box?

Kiteman (author)keikothemeowmeow2009-10-24

Heavy card, strong glue, make the glue-tabs larger and pack the contents well and it should* be OK.

I have had all sorts of shapes of package in the post - as long as they were firmly packaged inside (bubble-wrap, screwed up paper or packing peanuts filling all voids), then they arrived safely, although sometimes with the corners a little squished.

At the same time, it also depends on the mail-man - my contact lenses arrive in a good strong rectangular box, which happens to be a fraction of an inch thicker that the height of my letter-box.  Our usual postie pretty well mashes the box to get it through the hole.

*insert disclaimer of choice.

scoochmaroo (author)2009-10-06

This is exactly what I was looking for! MWAhahahahahahahaah. .. . . .

Kiteman (author)scoochmaroo2009-10-06


Jdogg095 (author)2009-03-03

does any one listen 2 System Of A Down

LePyro (author)Jdogg0952009-07-15


Jdogg095 (author)LePyro2009-09-10

System of a down is awsome

cookie_chris (author)2009-08-24

I saw something like this on

Jdogg095 (author)2009-03-03

kiteman can u use duct tape

Kiteman (author)Jdogg0952009-03-04

It won't look nice if you do.

matrix828 (author)2008-12-24

no PDF for step 4?

Kiteman (author)matrix8282008-12-24

Oops! After Christmas - I'm away from my files at the moment.

matrix828 (author)Kiteman2008-12-28

kk i can w8 lol

Nibor (author)2008-12-24

I'm gravely concerned about what my boss might say.

footer0 (author)2008-11-27

This is one where you look at the picture, and you just know Kiteman is going to make a BUTT-LOAD of puns...

Kiteman (author)footer02008-11-28

Which picture?

footer0 (author)Kiteman2008-11-28

The one where you click it, And it takes you into the Instructable.

gmjhowe (author)2008-10-25

Great work kiteman! no pdf files though?

Kiteman (author)gmjhowe2008-10-25

*rolls eyes* I'll see what I can do.

Kiteman (author)Kiteman2008-10-25

Done - see step 2.

gmjhowe (author)Kiteman2008-10-25

Nice one, I have no problems opening the svg in illustrator, but most people are used to PDF files

Kiteman (author)gmjhowe2008-10-25

And I have now learned a new skill as well!

Bartboy (author)Kiteman2008-10-26

for tombstone too? I made it!!!!! I really made it!

Shadowmang (author)2008-10-25

great :P more stuff for me to do (and more stuff to go next to the paper catapults I made

Chicken2209 (author)2008-10-25

i would fold the design so all the lines aren't visible other than that, nice!

Kiteman (author)Chicken22092008-10-25

That's easy to do - just fold it the opposite way - but I'm more interested in the making than the decoration, so I like to see the construction lines. Plus, if you decorate it, the lines become much less visible.

Chicken2209 (author)Kiteman2008-10-25

oh, well i just usually make a habit with my paper craft to hide the lines or else its obvious that i don't know how to follow them with my scissors.

Kiteman (author)Chicken22092008-10-25


About This Instructable




Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
More by Kiteman:Fallen Astronaut 2Custom laser cut metal business cardsDashboard Phone Stand
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