Hey all. In advance of our Halloween party this year, I resorted to this forum for ideas on fog chilling and theme props. We did a haunted Hollywood hotel theme inside, and celebrity cemetery outside. I may have more pix to share, but I definitely wanted to share the really simple coffin cooler.
We ended up ditching a staffed bar and doing a self-serve coffin cooler, inspired by this site as well, so I thought I should share what we came up with.
1. A real (unused) casket from Craigslist, from "scratch and dent" inventory of about 40 caskets. It was literally stamped "DAMAGED" on the bottom and was complete with creepy white lining and a pillow. $200. (The next cheapest option for a real casket would have been renting it from a prop shop).
2. Foam Lining: Lightweight foil backed foam board from Home Depot. It was one 4X8 sheet cut into pieces to line the bottom and sides, silver foil side up, over the cloth lining, letting only a few inches of the cloth peek out over the top. About $20.
3. Lights: I cut three holes out of the bottom piece of foil board and dropped in round, remote controlled, submersible LED lights from Amazon. I had to dig a little once it was filled with ice to get the remote to communicate with the lights. About $20 for 3
3. Waterproof Lining. A huge clear tarp from Walmart.com. which I draped over the foil board on all sides. Approx $25
4. Ice. The casket was apparently "plus-sized." It was stamped "OVERSIZED" on the bottom. So, took 300 lbs. of ice. Approx $80 delivered
5. Base. 8 CMU Blocks, turned on their 16" ends. Around $ 12. Covered with a rectangular party tablecloth. It was actually a little nicer than a plastic cloth. It was lightweight fabric and pleated, so looked the part. I already had that.
5. Drainage. None. The casket was surprisingly effective as a cooler, the ice lived for days. I used our utility pump to pump out all the liquid water, and then we lifted out the lining and chucked the rest of the cubes. I would imagine any pump (sump, aquarium, pool cover) would work, or even a syphon.
IT WAS A MASSIVE HIT!!. After the party, we moved it out front, put bride and groom poseable skeletons inside, holding up the lids, and an acrylic party tub with tiny little water bottles for the kids. SURPRISINGLY, IT WAS A MASSIVE HIT WITH THE KIDS, TOO.
Thanks for this site and the generosity of the posters for your ideas. (PS. I now have a casket to sell, so if you're interested and near LA ... PM me)