Building your own coffin is a positive way to face your own mortality and improve your woodworking skills at the same time.
Back in February of 2017, the New York Times ran a news story about a group of senior citizens in New Zealand who started a D.I.Y. coffin club. Many other such clubs have since sprung up around the world. They bring people together to build their own burial containers, which they playfully call “underground furniture.”
People aged from their 70s to their 90s get together weekly to drink tea and do woodworking to make their own coffins. Coffins are a bit more challenging to make than caskets. Coffins are six-sided boxes, wider at the shoulders and narrower at the feet. A casket is a rectangular box.
The coffins can be used as aboveground furniture, such as book cases, coffee tables and as seating when covered with blankets and padding. The original members of the group show off their creations and their current uses in this fun musical video.
UPDATE: New Video!
Here’s a beautiful story about New Zealand’s Kiwi Coffin Club and the caskets they make that reflect the personalities of the people who will eventually be laid to rest in these incredibly personalized caskets.