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Hi everyone! This year has be tough money wise but I still wanted to build props for Halloween and make the haunt look great. Everything here was made from wood scraps and an old cedar wood fence that I got from a friend so there was really no cost. If you don't have wood scraps laying around the garage, a wood pallet would work just as good. And there is no big machinery needed. I did the whole build with a hand saw, circular saw and a screw driver. Even the circular saw can be set aside for this build if you don't have one, but you'll feel the burn from sawing everything in the morning :)
I made this coffin to look like its coming out of the ground at an angle, but a more traditional coffin can be made in this style for very little money as well.


Time: 3-4 hours

Materials: 5-10 cedar fence pickets. Craigslist is a good place to search for old fences
2 long plywood strips about 6" wide
a few short plywood strips about 4" wide
a bunch of scrap for bracing
gorilla glue - $3

First step is building the face of the coffin. I used 5 boards then braced them together with plywood, glue and screws with the 2 boards getting 4 additional small reinforcements. Make sure to keep the plywood strips at least the thickness of the fence so it will fit flush with the coffin box. Then used a circular saw to cut it to shape.




Second step is building the backbone. I used 2 strips of 5/8 plywood about 6" wide for the sides and connected them together with wood, screws and glue. Then cut it to the same shape as the top of the coffin. 2x2 braces were placed in key positions for reinforcements.



Third step is probably the hardest. This is the part where you connect the top and bottom with one side and make sure the angles are starting to look ok I used some foam scraps to help keep the top in position while gluing and screwing the side on. Start with the top board and work down while keeping the board edge flush with the top of the coffin. This will keep the boards parallel with the top. Now carefully flip the coffin over and trim off the excess boards from the first panel so it will sit flush with the ground




Forth step is finish the sides. Now that you have it upside down, start at the bottom and start attaching boards. Having the coffin upside down will make it easier to keep the boards parallel with the top. Trim off the excess boards with a hand saw and you're done! I used extra braces inside to make things more sturdy and used lots of glue. The only place I didn't use glue is the side where the head would go. I only screwed that one so I could get in and out of the coffin in case I wanted to put a fogger inside, or a skeleton clawing it's way out. There's also the big holes in the backbone for getting things in and out.

 

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That looks great! I will have to try that for next year. It would be fantastic if you had one of Freddys bladed hands coming out of the coffin like he is opening it up from the inside!
 

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Where wolf?
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Quite nice. I got soooo lucky this year when my neighbor took apart about 200 feet of 1x4x6 weathered treated fencing when he decided to fill in his pool. He was careful to back off all screws and not damage the boards or hangers. I walked off with every stick for free. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks everyone :) A bunch of people have said the bottom would look great with a skeleton hand or leg sticking out of it and I gotta say that's a great idea. And I do have a Freddy glove somewhere... thanks for the idea Addicted2Boo!
 

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I LOVE that.. DADDDDD.......

last year i had an ACCIDENT with my entertainment center when i was trying to move it..... even though i knew it would fall apart when i pushed it this certain direction.... I NEEDED A CASKET.... ended up nails wouldnt work.. haah, so i used packing tape. LMAO...
 

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Very cool (and cheap) project! I'm not opposed to digging up my lawn a little to make the prop even MORE realistic - especially when it's a near-freebie. Thanks for the idea!
 

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Capt o' the Mourning Star
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That looks great! I wanted to do a ground breaker coffin this year, but I just ran out of time.....:(

I am hoping to add a couple next year though....:D!!!
 

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doing ground breakers is a great way to cut costs. It requires less wood and materials to build and takes up less space in storage.
 

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I'm not sure why everyone makes their toe-pincher coffins so wide. I've got a real one I found at an antique store years ago and they were actually quite narrow--just wide enough to hold a body. And bodies were much more narrow in the 1800's! :)
 

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A friend and I built a full coffin last year with left over privacy fence planks and we haven't been able to really find a place for it. Now I need to go grab my saw....
 
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