Introduction: Decorative Prop Coffin

About: I am the wood and metal shop foreman for the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.

This small prop coffin is perfect for holding candy at Halloween and very fun to make.

Cut List

2 Pieces of 1/2 inch plywood 6 x 20 1/2

2 pieces of 1/2 inch plywood 1 1/2 x 4 1/2

2 pieces of 1/2 inch plywood 1 1/2 x 16

Wood glue

brad nails

Step 1: Layout

I started by laying out the main body of the coffin by measuring 1 1/2 inches in from both edges and making a little mark. Then measuring down 4 1/2 inches down on each side as well. Then taking a straight edge and connecting these two sets of markings.

Now change over to the bottom edge and measure in 2 inches from each side and connect the side markings to these new markings as well. This should give you the classic coffin shape.

Step 2: Cut Out the Basic Shape

I have found that if you are trying to make two separate pieces that are exactly the same, or as close as possible, then you should tape or temporarily connect the two pieces together and then cut them out. In this case I just used blue painters tape to connect the two pieces together with the markings on the top. Then I took the piece over to the band saw and cut out the basic shape. When cutting out something like this its important to cut on the outside of the line and then take it over to the sander and finish it off there. Then you can separate the two pieces and you then have two separate pieces that are very close to the exact same shape.

Step 3: Cutting the Side Rails Out and Connecting Everything Together.

This is the tricky part. To cut these angles out was a lot of trial and error (mostly error for me). I found the angles by placing the 1 1/2 inch pieces on the bottom part of the coffin and then placing the top piece on and lining the top piece up with the edge pieces. Then I would take my pencil and make marks along the edges. I would then take the piece to the table saw and adjust the blade to fit the angle. It might be easier to use a small handsaw and cut the angle to fit that way. Its really whatever works best for you. After everything is cut out and fits together well I used blue painters tape to hold the side pieces to the top, as seen in the pictures. I then applied glue to the edges of the edge pieces and placed the bottom on top of everything and used the brad nails to nail it all together. I also put some nails along the angels to help hold everything tight together. Then I took the blue tape off and started sanding everything.

Step 4: Stain and Putting the Hardware On

To stain this coffin I wanted a dark stain that looked a little faded and worn. I did this by using a black stain and letting it sit for a little longer than normal, about 10-15 minutes, before I wiped it off. I put everything outside for a about 30 minutes to dry before I started wiping everything down heavily. in areas where I wanted the black stain to look more faded or worn out I would spend more time buffing it with a shop towel. There were even a few spots where I used a high grit sandpaper to take off a little extra stain but you have to be careful with this because even with a high grit sandpaper its easy to take off to much and leave a stark light colored area.

After I was happy with the stain job I put 2 hinges on one side of the coffin and a small latch on the other side.

Now your ready to fill it with candy and put it on your porch for all the ghouls and goblins coming around on Halloween.