Of all the casket options available while you are funeral planning, perhaps one of the most nontraditional is the do-it-yourself casket. With options ranging from full casket kits to blueprint plans that you can download right onto your own computer, caskets can come in literally any shape or size.
While this option certainly isn’t for everyone, you can save money and even work through some grief issues when you build a casket at home.
Why Build Your Own Casket?
The number one reason to choose a do-it-yourself casket is money. Traditional caskets cost thousands of dollars, which can be a hefty price to pay all at once if you haven’t put any money aside or done any funeral pre-planning. When you purchase the materials at home, you can actually end up spending just a few hundred dollars, and if your skills as a carpenter are high, the result could be very beautiful.
Of course, it’s not all about money. Many of the discount caskets you buy online or through a funeral home aren’t always a strain on the pocketbook – and you can get beautiful colors, liners, and even stainless steel or other metals to add a polished finish through these types of vendors. But if you want the rustic look of local hardwood, or if you’d like to create a casket that doubles as a coffee table or bookcase while you’re still alive to enjoy them, building your own is a great way to do it.
This is also a great way to create a more green funeral, in which you eschew the traditions in favor of eco-friendly practices that aren’t as harmful to our planet. And if the deceased was a carpenter or environmentalist during his or her lifetime, there is perhaps no better way to honor his or her career than to continue it through death.
Working with your hands can also be a great therapy—especially if you’re facing a terminal diagnosis or just watched a beloved parent die. While it isn’t the right kind of grief therapy for everyone, you may find that building your own casket helps you come to terms with your impending death, or that it helps you to say goodbye to someone you loved.
How to Build Your Own Casket
The practice of building your own casket isn’t mainstream enough that you’ll be likely to find local resources telling you how to get the job done or providing you with all the materials you need in one location. A quick search online should direct you toward the more popular online resources, and you might also be able to purchase books on woodworking—caskets and coffins in particular.
Of course, building a casket that meets burial regulations and your own expectations may take time, so it’s not always a good idea to do it if time is an issue you’re working against. You’ll also need to consider storage (especially if you are building the casket awhile in advance), since it will need to be kept in a dry, covered area. The casket-bookcase and casket-coffee table are popular options if you want to create furniture for your life as well as a coffin for later on.
Although it might seem like a joke at first, do-it-yourself caskets are a growing trend in the funeral planning industry. Whether you have a macabre sense of humor or you want to stay true to your roots, building a casket can be both affordable and therapeutic.