How to Build a Coffin for Your Halloween Skeleton

Updated on October 10, 2019
viking305 profile image

L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She makes her own prize winning Halloween decorations and shows you how here.

How to Build a Halloween Coffin From Scratch

Homemade Coffin for  Halloween
Homemade Coffin for Halloween | Source

How to Make a Coffin for Halloween

I have many outdoor Halloween display decorations that I have made myself. This year, I decided to give my skeleton, Percy, a home. So I made a wooden coffin to display him in. I have written step-by-step instructions with lots of photos so that you can make one yourself. So when the kids come trick or treating give them a scare with your own DIY Halloween coffin.

Materials Needed

  1. Wood - one large piece approx. 7 foot by 3 foot.
  2. Enough strips of wood to make the sides
  3. Screws - As many as required
  4. 2 large hooks
  5. Wood glue
  6. Wood preserve paint
  7. Fake blood

Tools Needed

  1. Work table
  2. Screw driver
  3. Hammer
  4. Saw
  5. Tape measure

Halloween Coffin

Making a Coffin
Making a Coffin | Source

Making the Coffin

  1. Cut the largest piece of wood to size. My one is seven foot down by three foot across.
  2. Place on your work top and secure it.
  3. Go to the top of the wood and measure out the shape you want.
  4. Saw off the two pieces on either side to create the coffin effect
  5. Go to the bottom of the wood and saw off some wood at an angle to give that tapered look.
  6. I did this for the first coffin I made but left the bottom of the wood in the second one alone.
  7. They are both effective. You can decide which one you prefer when you see the photos here.

Cutting the wood for the Halloween coffin
Cutting the wood for the Halloween coffin | Source

Making the Sides

  1. Cut the wood to fit the three sides on the top.
  2. Use wood glue to secure each piece.
  3. Put two screws in each piece of wood as well.
  4. Attach the wood to the sides in the same way. I made this with scraps of wood left over from my decking. If you are buying the wood new you only have to use one long piece here.
  5. Secure with wood glue and screws.
  6. Finish off by fixing the last piece of wood at the bottom.
  7. In this coffin, I pushed in some wire to make it look aged.

DIY Halloween Coffin
DIY Halloween Coffin | Source

How to Make the Coffin Secure

My display involves standing it upright so it needs to be securely attached to another wall.

  1. Turn the coffin upside down and measure two holes about twelve inches down and across evenly apart.
  2. Make holes for large screws.
  3. Attach two strong hooks with screws.

Fake Blood for Halloween

Halloween Decorations
Halloween Decorations | Source

Painting the Coffin

  1. If you plan to use this for your display every year then it is necessary to preserve the wood.
  2. Paint the whole piece back and front with wood preservative.
  3. If you have used new wood you can give it that aged look by mixing in some used tea leaves with the second coat of paint.
  4. I mixed some fake blood which I bought online with water for inside the box and spread some around the edges too.

Attaching the Skeleton Securely

Again for safety reasons your skeleton needs to be attached to the coffin securely.

  1. Lay the box flat and place the skeleton inside.
  2. Drill two holes into the box on either side of the neck.
  3. Do the same on either side of the bottom of the spine.
  4. Use strong wire to thread through the holes in both places and tie at the back.
  5. Put the box on its side and check the knots.

Now that your skeleton is fastened into the coffin properly you need to attach it to the wall securely too. Once that is done your Halloween display is ready to scare all the children when they come trick-or-treating.

Other Halloween Displays

Here are some other decorations I made for my Halloween display this year. There are tutorials of how to make each of them. I am ready to scare all the children when they come trick-or-treating - are you?

This blood soaked skull was easy enough to make and would be a good one to start with. Why not have a go and see how you do.

I also created a really scary wreath with lots of snakes that is going to have the kids screaming, especially as I am putting it next to the doorbell.

My Georgie skeleton and his boat is my favourite so far this year. You can see how I made it by clicking on the link.

This is the Annabelle doll that I made from the horror movie Annabelle

Making This Halloween the Best Ever

How to create a blood soaked skull
How to create a blood soaked skull | Source
How to make a Halloween wreath
How to make a Halloween wreath | Source
How to make a Georgie skeleton
How to make a Georgie skeleton | Source


I bought the skeleton last year online for Halloween, and we called him Percy. He is very heavy, so we were able to sit him on a bench beside the door, and the kids loved him. There were so many of them wanting a photo with him that I decided to give Percy a better home this year with his new coffin.

Percy | Source

How to Build a Coffin for Halloween

Questions & Answers


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      • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

        L M Reid 

        2 years ago from Ireland

        Thanks and happy Halloween to you too

      • MomsTreasureChest profile image


        2 years ago

        What a great Halloween decoration, and you did a wonderful job explaining how to make it with the tutorial and photos. Happy Halloween!


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