How to Make a Paper Coffin

Written by alina mckee
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A paper or papier-mâché coffin is simple to make and can be an unusual Halloween decoration or a creative decoration for a Halloween-themed party. A pale-faced dummy---or a friend disguised as a zombie---can lie in the coffin to complete the illusion and frighten unsuspecting visitors. The items needed to make a papier-mâché coffin are easy to find and inexpensive---cardboard boxes, stacks of newspapers and a bag of flour are probably sitting on your shelves right now.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Refrigerator box
  • Duct tape
  • Box cutter
  • Newspapers
  • Warm water
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Long stick or paint mixer
  • 2.27kg. white baking flour
  • Brown or black spray paint

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  1. 1

    Prepare the refrigerator box. Use duct tape to tape the flaps of the box shut and tape over any holes in the box.

  2. 2

    Lay the box on the ground.

  3. 3

    Using your box cutter, cut a line across the top panel of the box, down one side of the box and around the bottom panel. The box should open like a book, with the uncut panel acting as the spine of the book.

  1. 1

    Make papier-mâché to cover the coffin by mixing one part flour to one part water inside the 5 gallon bucket. Mix the flour and water with a long stick until the paste is the consistency of thick cream.

  2. 2

    Separate the newspaper into individual pages and rip them into 1-inch-wide strips. Each strip should be as long as each page of newspaper.

  3. 3

    Dip each strip into the papier-mâché paste, then run the strip between your middle finger and your index finger as you remove it from the bucket to remove excess paste.

  4. 4

    Lay each paper strip on the box with each strip slightly overlapping the last. Smooth out the strips with your hands as you work. Cover the entire box.

  5. 5

    Leave the box to dry in a dry, cool place. This could take a few days, depending on local humidity. You can speed up the drying process by using fans or blow dryers.

  6. 6

    Spray paint the box.

Tips and warnings

  • Decorate the coffin by gluing on metal hinges, old-fashioned locks or strips of metallic foil.
  • Only adults should use box cutters.

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