Small Papercraft Coffin and Headstone Desk Ornament.




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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.

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Step 1: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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    34 Discussions


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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

    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?

    2 replies

    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?

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

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