Just like Christmas lights in the winter, people go out in search of the best haunted Halloween houses in the neighborhood. That’s why if you’re decorating your yard for Halloween, you need to go all out. We know there are plenty of Halloween decorations you can buy, but there are times when you don’t want to have the thing that everyone else has. That’s why DIYing your very own decorations is the answer.
There are a few staples every haunted Halloween yard needs. One of those things is a graveyard. Cemeteries are the center of so many scary movies, so they should be incorporated into your lawn decorations. Tombstones, spiderwebs and crows are all good things to have around in your scary display. But the centerpiece should be something even creepier. Something like an unearthed coffin.
Put your DIY skills to the test this Halloween by creating your own lawn coffin to put on display. Follow the steps below to find out how to make one!
Materials you will need:
- 1” x 4ft x 8ft Rigid Foam Insulation Board (available at home improvement stores)
- Bamboo Skewers
- Stainless Steel Wire Stripping Brush
- Electric carving knife (a long serated bread knife will work too)
- Permanent Marker
- Large Paint Brushes
- Glidden Universal Color sample 217 ml- Flat CEDAR BROWN
- Glidden Universal Color sample 217 ml- Flat CASTLE WALL GREY
- Downloadable Assembly and Measurement Diagrams
- Optional- Halloween Skull Mask, Tealights, Masking Tape Hands
Step 1. Use the measurement guide to draw out all the parts for the coffin on the foam board. I placed the pieces close together on the board to create as many “common cuts” as possible.
Step 2. Cut out all the pieces using the electric knife. It’s ok if the pieces are not perfectly even, you want the pieces to resemble weathered uneven wood.
Step 3. Use the wire brush to make long rough strokes on each of the foam pieces. This step should be done outside because of the fine dust it produces. Rough up the whole surface of each piece, front and back.
Step 4. Next, make long lines in the foam by pressing hard with a bamboo skewer. The lines can be uneven, and you can make circular lines to form “knots” that mimic real wood.
Step 5. Paint each piece, entirely, with the cedar brown paint. To conserve paint, I chose not to paint the back of piece D, because this will be mostly hidden in the end. It may take 1-2 coats of paint to cover the all the pink foam.
Step 6. Let the pieces sit, until the paint is dry to the touch. Use a large stiff bristle paintbrush and a very small amount of gray paint to apply very light streaks to all the pieces. This is just to highlight the lines and texture on the pieces.
Step 7. The pieces should look as shown in the diagram.
Step 8. Break a bamboo stick into 3 equal parts.
Step 9. Place piece A on the top edge of piece D. Flip over piece D and from the back, use the sharp end of a long skewer to punch a hole going through both piece D and A. Remove the skewer and press one of the shorter pieces back through the hole.
Step 10. Use a hammer, or the back of a wooden spoon to press the skewer piece all the way into the foam. You can add a small amount of hot glue to keep the piece from sliding back off the skewers. Attach 2 more skewer pieces along the edge to secure piece A to D.
Step 11. Next, attach pieces C to either side of the coffin (piece D) using the same technique with the skewers. Refer to the assembly diagram to ensure the pieces are lined up in the correct direction.
Step 12. Prior to attaching piece B, you may need to trim down one edge of the piece, so that it will wedge into the opening between piece A and C. Once the piece is the right size, attach it with the skewers. Trim the last remaining piece, attach and touch up any of the paint.
Step 13. The main part of the coffin is now complete.
Step 14. Cut 2 wedge pieces based on the diagram.
Step 15. Attach the wedges to the back of the coffin, as shown. Once attached, the coffin should sit up on its own at an angle.
Step 16. To make the coffin lid, cut another piece of foam, based on the measurements of piece D. Cut long, vertical gouges into the foam, making it look like the wood split apart.
Step 17. Cut a long piece of foam and attach to the lid to serve as a cross piece. Use the steel brush and skewer to rough up the coffin lid. Use the skewer to carve the letters RIP in the lid.
Step 18. Paint the lid the same as the coffin, use the black marker to make the letters darker.
Step 19. The lid gently rests on the coffin at an angle. Place in the dirt or grass in your yard to scare your neighbors.
Step 20. You can stuff a skull mask with newspaper and add tealights for the eyes. Use a piece of foam to prop the mask up inside the coffin, so that it’s peaking out from behind the lid. For added creepiness, you can make and add the DIY masking tape hands.
Once your lawn coffin is complete, it’s time to add it to your yard. Paired with the rest of your creepy decor, you’ll have a scene that might just haunt your neighbor’s nightmares even if you don’t live on Elm Street.