Construct a gorgeous coffin-shaped field for spooky storage

An outdated good friend from highschool wished a customized marriage ceremony card field. However hers had a twist—she was getting married on Halloween, so she wished it to be within the form of a coffin. As a woodworker, I’ve made packing containers earlier than, however by no means one formed like a coffin. It introduced some distinctive challenges and strategies I’d by no means used earlier than, so I took it on. 

The ensuing coffin can simply be used as a marriage card field, jewellery storage, or perhaps a creepy ornament for Halloween. It’s stained darkish, just like the smears of chocolate on my youngsters’ faces on the finish of the night time, and lined with pink velvet. 


Time: 6 to eight hours

Price: $50 to $100

Issue: average


1. Design the field. You may draw it on paper, however I designed mine with the free model of Sketchup, a computer-aided design (CAD) software program. The trick with this challenge is making the field large enough to carry a 6-by-8-inch card whereas sustaining the relative proportions of a coffin. 

  • Professional tip: By designing in Sketchup, you’ll not solely have a to-scale, adjustable rendering of your field earlier than you construct something, however the software program will present the entire lengths and angles. This helps writers like me keep away from attempting to recollect trigonometry. 

2. Minimize the wooden right down to dimension. For those who purchased wooden that’s already the fitting thickness, minimize it to width and tough size (about 1 to 2 inches longer than you want). I did each of those with my desk noticed—an everyday rip minimize for the width, after which I used a crosscut sled to chop to size. This strategy offers me essentially the most management and precision with my cuts. You too can simply do that with a miter noticed. I used reclaimed wooden, so I additionally used my jointer and planer to completely sq. and dimension the lumber.

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3. Calculate the miter angles. As soon as the field sides are minimize to dimension, you’ll want to begin engaged on becoming a member of them collectively. The angles you chop on every bit of wooden is not going to be the precise closing angle of the joint. They are going to be half that. If you put the 2 sides collectively, they may mix to kind the complete, completed angle.

That’s not the top of the mathematics, both. These half angles are measured from 0 levels, however your desk and miter saws measure from 90 levels. So that you’ll must subtract the half-angle from 90 to seek out the precise minimize angle. 

Right here’s an instance: Considered one of my angles wanted to be 101 complete levels. I halved that to 50.5. From there, I subtracted 50.5 from 90 to seek out the 39.5-degree minimize angle to set my desk noticed to. You probably have a magnetic angle gauge, you may connect it to your blade to maximise your precision.  

4. Minimize the miters. I used my desk noticed for this as nicely, with a chunk of flat wooden clamped to my miter gauge. For those who’d desire to make use of a miter noticed, you may. 

I began by chopping one aspect of the board on an angle, then chopping the opposite on the closing size. Sneak up in your closing size—don’t attempt to hit it in your first strive. It’s higher to depart it a hair too lengthy than too quick. When your whole items are minimize, dry match them to verify the form is appropriate.

  • Tip: Be vigilant about monitoring and labeling which piece is which, and what edges go collectively. I label each joint on the field alphabetically, and minimize all the identical angles on the similar time. It’s simple to lose observe of the order when you don’t label and set the noticed blade in another way when you travel between angles. 

5. Put together to connect. Gluing miter joints might be difficult, significantly when you’re making an odd-shaped field. Painter’s tape may also help. 

Lay your whole items end-to-end on a sheet of plastic or different glue-friendly materials like paper with the within faces down. Quadruple-check that every one the items are within the appropriate order and that bottoms and tops are aligned. There’s nothing worse than gluing up a fancy field after which realizing one in all your sides is backwards… ask me how I do know.

Use about 4 inches of painter’s tape on the skin faces of the boards to safe every board to its companion, with the perimeters of the miters simply touching. It’s vital to maintain them in a wonderfully straight line. Stretch the tape only a bit as you adhere it. 

  • Professional tip: Place one other piece of tape alongside either side of the angle valley (however not within the valley) to catch the glue squeeze-out. This may make cleansing up and sanding later a lot, a lot simpler.

6. It’s time to connect. As soon as all of the items are taped collectively and also you’ve checked (sure, once more) that they’re straight and in the fitting order, flip the entire unit over so the within faces are up. Squeeze wooden glue into every angle valley and unfold it with a scrap of wooden or your finger, so it coats your entire angle. Then fold your entire unit into the coffin form, and glue and safe the ultimate joint with one final piece of tape. Double-check that your whole joints are tight and safe, and add extra tape as wanted. 

7. Take away the tape. As soon as the glue has dried—test the producer’s directions for a way lengthy that can take—strip off all of the tape and make sure that the whole lot adhered correctly. Then take away the glue squeeze-out with a chisel and an orbital sander with 80- or 120-grit sandpaper.

8. Minimize the field prime and base. The simplest technique to make these items is to hint the field onto the wooden you’re planning to make use of. You may simply hint the skin when you’re planning to maintain a flat base, or the skin and the within when you’re planning on doing an inset base—extra on what meaning later.

Use the software you’re most comfy with, like a round noticed, jigsaw, band noticed, or one thing else. I personally used the Dremel Extremely Noticed. Minimize to the skin of your traced line—you may all the time trim the highest and base down a bit along with your sander or a flush trim bit in your router, however you may’t add wooden again on.

9. (Optionally available) Hint the field partitions. For those who’re planning to put in a material liner afterward, hint the within of the field onto your poster board now earlier than attaching the highest and backside.  

10. Put together to complete the field. At this level, you may merely glue your field sides onto the bottom, screw the highest on with hinges, and name it a day. Nonetheless, I took mine a step additional and inset the bottom. This includes making a rabbet groove alongside the skin fringe of the bottom the identical thickness because the field partitions, after which sliding the field on prime of it. This inset offers your entire construction extra stability and rigidity. 

11. (Optionally available) Minimize the rabbet. The simplest and quickest technique to minimize a rabbet is with a straight bit router at a router desk. Set the bit peak to take a few sixteenth of an inch. Then route alongside all six sides, improve the bit depth, and do it once more till you’ve created a groove about half the depth of the wooden. Clear up the perimeters, and slide your field excessive. It ought to match comfortable however with out outward stress on the joints.

  • Tip: For those who don’t have a router desk, you may minimize rabbets freehand with a router or take a number of passes along with your desk noticed, shifting the fence an eighth of an inch at a time. 
Build a beautiful wedding card box shaped like a coffin for some spooky storage
Use a clamp on each joint, if potential. This may make your challenge extra sturdy.

12. Glue liberally, after which clamp till dry. Be sure that to use even clamping stress alongside your entire field. If glue is squeezing out of the seams alongside a lot of the joint, you’re most likely doing nicely.  

  • Professional tip: To assist with cleanup later, use a moist paper towel or rag to wipe away the glue squeeze-out earlier than it dries.

13. Clear up the glue and begin sanding. When the glue is dry, clear off the residue with a chisel, paint scraper, or sandpaper, and sand once more utilizing 120-grit sandpaper. Examine your whole glued seams and joints. There are possible some small holes or cracks within the glue traces. That’s completely regular. 

14. Fill in any holes. Take a few of the sanding mud you’ve collected in your sander and blend it with wooden glue till you’ve a paste the consistency of wooden putty or chewing gum. Smear that paste into the entire holes and let it dry. Then sand once more with 120-grit.

  • Observe: You’ll have to repeat steps 12 and 13 greater than as soon as, relying on how good you need the end to be.

15. End sanding. Now it’s time to sand for actual. Sanding is among the main variations between a handsome piece and a great-looking piece—don’t skimp. Go slowly, sand evenly, and don’t skip grits. Transfer from 120- to 150- to 220-grit, and even past if you wish to, although I not often do—most finishes don’t adhere nicely to wooden sanded previous 220-grit. 

Lastly, use a wooden block with some 220-grit sandpaper wrapped round it to softly spherical over the entire sharp corners. This may maintain youngsters from poking themselves and cut back the prospect of the wooden splintering. 

16. End the field. As soon as the wooden is silky easy, stain and apply a protecting end. Staining is a simple course of—every kind can have particular directions. However usually talking, you wipe or brush it on, let it sit for a couple of minutes, after which wipe off the residue.

Equally, comply with the directions in your favourite end. I sometimes use water-based polyurethane, a minimum of three coats with very gentle sanding with 220-grit in between. 

17. Set up the {hardware}. As soon as the end is dry, drill the pilot holes on your {hardware} screws and set up the hinges and latches. You now have your very personal tiny coffin. 

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Add a elaborate improve

There’s completely nothing fallacious with a plain wood field. However if you wish to give your field a elaborate aptitude, line it with velvet. This seems superb, and isn’t overly tough to do. 

1. Minimize items of poster board. Be sure that they match the underside, prime, and inside partitions of your field. As a result of mine was an odd-shaped field, I traced the within of the field on the poster board earlier than I connected the bottom. For those who didn’t hint the within of the field beforehand, you may hint the skin of the field now and subtract the thickness of your sides to seek out the within dimensions.

Trim the poster board barely smaller than the field itself—you’ll want to depart additional room for the material. Velvet required that I take about an eighth of an inch off of each dimension. However use some take a look at items to seek out out for your self. 

  • Professional tip: For the partitions, you may both do one lengthy piece that bends round every nook, or one particular person board per wall. I discovered {that a} single lengthy piece appeared higher as a result of there have been fewer seams, however particular person items are simpler to handle and match. 

2. Minimize the material. Seize your scissors and make sure the cloth is about 1 inch larger than its corresponding poster board piece in each route. 

3. Glue the material in place. Utilizing spray adhesive, fasten the material to the face of the poster board, leaving these 1-inch overhangs on either side. Be sure that the material is flat on the board as you glue it—you received’t be capable to get rid of folds as soon as the adhesive units. 

Build a beautiful wedding card box shaped like a coffin for some spooky storage
Coffins should be cozy on the within, ?

4. End adhering the material. Fold the material overhangs over the again of the poster board and stick them there with spray adhesive. Pull these tight to create even, easy edges. 

5. Place the material boards in place. They could sit in place on their very own. Nonetheless, you need to use scorching glue or double-sided tape to carry them. The advantage of these over spray adhesive for closing set up is that they are often simply eliminated when you ever wish to change the material. 

And there you’ve it. A cultured, trendy coffin field for all of your spooky wants.

Rahul Diyashi
News and travel at your doorstep.

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