Build your own Halloween Coffin with a sheet of plywood



  • 4′ x 8 ‘ sheet of 3/8” thick plywood
  • 3 pieces of 2” x 2” x 8′ wood
  • 2” nails (or wood screws)
  • Construction adhesive or carpenters glue (optional)
  • Paintable caulk (optional)
  • Black paint


  • Power saw
  • Straight edge
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Paint brush


  1. Cut out pieces A, B, C and D.
  2. Measure 13” in from two diagonal corners and connect points. Cut out E & F.
  3. Flip over E, stack, align and temporarily secure E & F together with clamps or nails. From now on, all cuts will be through both thicknesses of plywood.
  4. Measure the 17” x 5” sides of G and cut out. Do not discard.
  5. Measure 1 1/4 ” up from bottom of the same edge as G was cut. Cut out narrow triangular piece at bottom (H). Distance along the long edge between these cuts should be very nearly 52”. Measure it.
  6. Measure 52” (or actual distance measured in step 5) up from the bottom along the OTHER long side. Flip piece G over, and position G with its point at this spot. Make sure the right angle of the piece is along the outside of the coffin. Trace its full outline.
  7. Draw a line from the top of the place where G was cut off to the corner of its traced outline. Cut along line.
  8. Cut off traced triangle.
  9. Stand the main piece up, and see if the top is fairly parallel to the floor. If not, then trim the bottom at an angle so that the top is level with floor. Make small corrections with each cut!
  10. Pieces of A, B, C and D will go around the coffin as the walls. To better fit the wall pieces together where they meet each other at an angle, set the circle saw blade at an angle before cutting them to final length. With a straight-cut through the walls, you get gaps on the outside of the coffin where the pieces meet, because the coffin corners are not 90 degrees. See explanation of angle cuts in last drawing.
  11. Before securing the wall sections to the coffin bottom, attach short lengths of 2”x2” to the walls with glue and nails. These 2”x2” “brace” pieces give a more substantial thickness to nail the bottom into, instead of just into the thickness of the plywood walls. The 2”x2” pieces don’t need to be the full length of each wall section.
  12. Cutting the wall/brace assemblies to length so as to fit around the coffin is shown in the next drawing. Measurements are only approximate.
  13. After the wall/brace pieces are in place, add 2”x2”x8” up-right pieces where the segments of the coffin walls meet each other (6 places). At each ‘corner’, glue one segment of the wall to the vertical piece of 2”x2”, and then angle nail the adjoining piece of wall. The adjoining piece will be at an angle to the 2”x2”, and there will be a small gap between this wall and the vertical piece. This is because the two adjacent pieces of wall do not meet at a right angle, which is the shape of the 2” x 2”.
  14. Glue a scrap piece of the plywood (the “G” pieces) to the inside of the 35” and 17” wall segments that make the 52” sides so as to give them more strength.
  15. To cover up gaps at the corners, caulk everywhere. Paint everything black.




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Some action shots: