Pallet Halloween Coffin Decoration




Halloween is wonderful excuse for getting my hands dirty and starting up a new project.

Moving into my first home has given me and my wife the thrill of now creating larger halloween decorations and scenes. Each year I plan to make something new and exciting to add to my Halloween decor.

To start out my first Halloween in my new home I went with a creepy old coffin made from pallets.

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Step 1: Collecting Material

Everything you need short of screws or nails comes from the bounty of wood that is the pallet. For this project I wanted some nice faded ones with plenty of weathering.

There are plenty of ways to harvest the wood from pallets but the way I skinned this cat is as follows:

To eliminate dealing with most of those annoying nails, I took a circular saw and cut down both sides staying close to the edge to get the most out of the slats. Depending on the condition of the slats you can easily use a crow bar to pry up the slat or twist and bend the slats out of frustration until they come loose.

Before you know it you will have a nice hefty pile of wood. I used pieces from 3 pallets to get everything I wanted.

Step 2: Building the Front and Back Panels

Going into this build I only had one dimension in mind... height. 4.5 feet height gave me enough coffin to work with without lugging around a lot of weight. Every other dimension just fell into place to give the coffin a good look. Projects are more enjoyable when numbers aren't a factor.

With the slats of wood I selected I arranged them offset so the joint from a pair of slats were not even with those of the joints adjacent to them. This pattern should give the panels greater strength. To secure all the slats together I screwed two slats over the joints. I placed them a little askew to give them an uneven look.

With a solid panel to work with I drew out my cut lines and cut out what would be the back panel. I later added another slat across the top and bottom to help hold everything together.

With the back panel made I repeated the same process for the front panel (lid) using the back panel as a template.

Step 3: Building the Side Panels

I picked out some nice solid slats for the side panels pairing them up with some small pieces to give me the depth that looked good. I trimmed them to length for the top, bottom and the long and short side panels. Using the thicker beams of the pallets I cut up blocks to secure the inside corners where the side panels made a joint.

Step 4: Finishing Off With a Few Final Touches

I went and threw a couple of hinges to secure the lid but I would not be happy leaving it at that. I wanted to add a few more details to make it stand out just a little bit. My wife found a cheap chain prop with a painted lock I added to hold in the skeleton trying to get out. All I needed was the left leg and arm poking out from the coffin. To top it all off, for those that dare to get near the coffin during the black of night I added a green rope light to the inside back panel to give it that erie glow.

I had a lot of fun making this build and can't wait to start next years halloween build. If you have any awesome ideas let me know.

I will be submitting this into the Halloween decor contest and would be grateful for the vote if it is worthy of one. Thank you.

Make It Glow! Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow! Contest

Halloween Decor Contest 2015

Participated in the
Halloween Decor Contest 2015

3 People Made This Project!


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8 Discussions


10 months ago

Thanks for the guide, how hard is the door to open \ how heavy is the lid ? I was thinking of adding a shelf inside with a candy bucket and making the kids open the door to get the reward. I plan on adding a "screen door closer" to keep it from closing to fast and smashing little fingers, just hoping they have the strength to open it...


10 months ago

I LOVE it! I've been looking for a plan to follow and this is it. Hope it turns out as good as yours.

1 reply

3 years ago

Oh, I am so doing this! Already got some pallets laying around... Time to get my boys involved. Will also make for a great storage chest to keep Halloween decorations for the upcoming years.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

I had the same idea about using the coffin for storage. Have fun building your coffin. I would like to see what you come up with if you want to post some pictures.