How to Make Your Own Mini Coffins

By Robert Preston

A set of wooden coffins, for placing smaller models or dolls in, is a great way to add that macabre feel to a display. Ideal for making a Halloween setting, these mini coffins require minimal crafting skills and can be constructed cheaply. Once constructed, you can stain the wood for a natural casket look, or you can opt to paint the coffins to create a more weather-worn look.

Lay the doll or model you will be putting in the casket on the sheet of balsa wood, and use the straight edge to create a casket shape around the model, large enough for it to fit inside. Cut out the shape and cut around the shape on the wood again to create a second copy. These will be the bottom of the casket.

Lay the cutout on the balsa wood and draw a second casket shape around it, with one quarter of an inch extra padding on all sides. Cut out the shape and cut around the shape on the wood again to create a second copy. These will be the lid of the casket.

Glue the two pieces of wood from step 1 together and the two pieces from step 2 together, being sure the edges are flush.

Measure all six sides of the bottom of the casket. Cut one piece of wood as long as each side and tall enough to fit the doll inside for the walls of the casket, and two pieces as long as each side and one-eighth as tall as the other pieces for the trim of the casket. You should have six wall pieces and 12 trim pieces.

Cut 12 pieces of balsa wood one-eighth of the height of the walls by three-quarters of the height of the walls.

Glue the 12 pieces of trim from Step 4 to their corresponding walls, with one piece along the top of each wall, and one piece along the bottom of each wall, and let dry.

Glue the pieces from Step 5 to the coffin as vertical trim, with one piece on each end of the six walls of the casket, between the two horizontal pieces of trim on that wall. Each individual wall should now have a box of trim running along its outer edges. Let dry.

Measure all six sides of the lid of the coffin,and cut a strip as long as each side of the lid, and one-sixth as tall as the side pieces from Step 4.

Glue the six wall pieces to their corresponding sides of the casket bottoms, and the six pieces from Step 8 to their corresponding sides of the casket lid, and let dry.

Paint or stain the coffin as desired.