Card Board Box Toe Pincher Coffin



Halloween party decoration, Card board box toe pincher coffin Halloween prop

At Christmas time we got a new TV and of course a new TV stand to go with it. The family and I were all stoked to have a nice new piece of equipment for our viewing pleasure but it seemed that only I was stoked to have an empty card board box.

Ah, a large empty card board box… What should I do with it besides leave it lying around under foot much to my wife’s chagrin. Then finally the $20 Halloween prop building contest a came to my rescue and gave me a reason to transform that empty box into a haunted Halloween party decoration.

This is a contest that invites forum members to build a Halloween prop for $20 or less. So, with my empty CBB (Card Board Box) and the following tools and other material, I figured I’d give it a shot. It was either that or be forced to toss out my CBB (which by this time I’d grown fond of) because we all know there is only so long your better half will let you hang on to a large, space taking, “useless” CBB.

See more Halloween Props by Screaming Scarecrow.

The first thing we did with our CBB was to “open-up” the corner joints of the box’s bottom. This CBB was simply glued together with a softer glue so it was actually pretty easy to separate.

Card board box toe pincher coffin Halloween prop

Once the bottom of the box was flatten the outline of a Toe Pincher Coffin was traced onto it. The trick here is to get the proper angles for the dimensions of the box. This CBB was 55 inches long and 21 inches wide so the angles had to work for those measurements and as you can see from the photo it took more than one try to get them to look ok. Always remember that a Toe Pincher Coffin is called a Toe Pincher because the bottom is always narrower than the top. Note: The trace outline of the coffin should start & stop at the original folds of the box – meaning where the “wall” and “floor“ used to be a 90 degree angle.

toe pincher coffin Halloween prop made from a card board box

Next, carefully with a utility knife, we cut along the original fold from the edge of the flatten box to the traced outline of the top & bottom of the coffin. The same kind of cut was needed for where the two side lines meet at where the cadaver‘s shoulder would be. All these cuts were completely through the CBB and were done for both sides.

Card board box toe pincher coffin Halloween prop

The next lines that we cut were the side lines. These were 40 inches by 16 inches and we used a four foot level as a straight edge guide so that we would end up with straight cuts.

Do NOT Cut All The Way Through The Card Board For These Cuts…

This is because these cuts will be our new fold lines for the bottom sides of the Coffin.

Card board box toe pincher coffin Halloween decoration

After the new side lines have been folded, we stood them up along side the top and bottom folds. Again we used the four foot level as a straight edge guide to trace a line from where the top & bottom folds start to the corner tip of the side line. See the pictures for this explanation because it does a better job than my writing about it! Once the lines were traced the resulting excess triangle was cut off with a pair of scissors.

Card board box toe pincher coffin Halloween decoration

With all the cuts made it was time to break out the Packing Tape Gun and tape all the folds together. We taped outside and inside and from outside to inside. The Tape came from a dollar store so we were not afraid of using too much. NOTE: Where the two sides met (the 40 & 16 inch pieces) the angles had to be cut straight before taping. When all top, bottom and side folds were completely taped up solid we had the base of a very respectable CBB Halloween Coffin!

How to make a Halloween prop, Card board box toe pincher coffin as a Halloween decoration

Because the coffin was intended to be a Corner Ceiling Hanging prop, the next step was to install the hanging mechanism. What better thing to use for hanging than a coat hanger.

We un-twisted the hanger, straighten it out and then put two 90 degree bends in it, each 4 inches off center. Next we cut a piece of card board which we folded together with glue and tape. Then glued and taped the folder piece to the bottom of the coffin at a point where the extended coat hanger ended when placed at the top of the coffin. The extra piece of card board was for extra strength & support so that the hanger would not pull through the bottom of the coffin while hanging.

Finally, for this stage we drilled two nice holes through the support and pushed the hanger through. Before completely pushing it through, another couple of short 90 degree bends were placed on the hanger so that the part sticking out the back would be pointing up towards the top. One more gentle bend to the hanger at the back of the coffin, so that it hanged forward, and the hanging mechanism of this prop was complete.

How to make a Halloween prop, Card board box toe pincher coffin as a Halloween decoration See more Halloween Props by Screaming Scarecrow.
How to make a Halloween prop, Card board box toe pincher coffin as a Halloween decoration See some zombie props that may go well with this coffin decoration.
How to make a Halloween prop, Card board box toe pincher coffin as a Halloween decoration

Because we knew that this Halloween prop was going to have red LED lights inside it and because we wanted to make sure that there would be as much inner glow as possible – We Tin-foiled the interior of the coffin.

First, we drizzled glue around and then we installed pre-cut pieces of aluminium foil. We placed the foil in sloping curves instead of sharp 90 degree corners, that way more light would be bounced back. And you can see from our test run that things were looking promising.

Halloween prop with red Led lights

To install the lights, we simply made a hole in the bottom wall of the coffin and then fed the lights through the hole. To hold the battery pack we made a quick little pouch by folder a piece of card board and then gluing and taping it to the bottom of the coffin.

Of course we made sure to leave enough slack in the wire to be able to remove the battery pack from the pouch in order to change out the batteries. We also taped the lights down inside the coffin so they‘d stay in place while hanging up in the corner.

Halloween prop with red Led lights

At this point the bottom part is done (till later) so we turned our attention to the top. The first thing to do was flatten the top part of the CBB just as we‘d done with the bottom before. Then we cut the flaps off at the original fold lines.

Then we cut the “folds“ in half which happened to be 3.5 inches. Once again we used the four foot level as a straight edge guide.


If you cut a piece of card board along a straight edge, but don‘t cut all the way through, you can fold the cut back and then finish the cutting job from the other side.

Cutting the top sides of the toe pincher coffin Halloween prop decoration

Once we had the 3.5 inch strips cut to length: 41, 16, 12 & 8 inches – it was time to attach them. For this part we wanted to specifically leave spaces between the bottom part of the coffin and the new piece that we were attaching so that the red light from inside could shine out.

We placed three small pieces of tape on a strip and then held that strip above the bottom while pressing the tape firmly into place. Next we let the 3.5 inch strip hang down and we then placed a length of tape on its bottom side. Next we lifted the 3.5 inch strip up and we pressed the latest piece of tape firmly into place on the inside of the coffin.

Once we were sure these spot tape jobs were holding we then liberally taped the whole 3.5 inch strip inside and out. The concept here was that not only would the tape hold the card board strip in place but it would also act as a window pane for the interior light.

Taping on the top sides of the toe pincher coffin Halloween prop decoration

For the top, bottom and side angles we simply held the pieces up, side by each, and marked off the angles that the looked best to our eyes. Again the excess triangles were cut off and the remaining pieces were liberally taped into place all the while focusing on leaving space between the pieces so that the interior light could shine through the “window panes“.

Halloween Decoration, How to build a toe pincher coffin Halloween prop

To finish off the structure of this card board box halloween Coffin we just needed to add the top piece. So we measured the opening that was left and then traced and cut out the top piece accordingly, remembering to cut it a bit smaller so there would be cracks for the light to shine out.

Next we marked off lines to represent wooden slats. After that we drew and cut out a cross at the shoulder wide point. Finally, we then cut the top into individual strips to mimic the wooden slats.

Halloween Party Decoration, coffin prop

Once we had the “wooden slats“ all cut out we taped them back together. Only this time we left various sizes of cracks in between the pieces, including no space in some areas. In other areas we cut out small chunks to make it look like missing wood. Again everything was taped together using the tape as little window panes.

To put the top in place we put pieces of tape on the inside of the top side walls and then some more on the top-side of the top piece and then lowered one corner into place at a time. As the top was lowered we’d firmly press the tape down as we progressed along. Once we got to the end we had to stick our hand through the cross and finish off the inside tape that way.

And that was it we were finished the structure – the only left to do now was to apply the finishing skin.

Make a Halloween coffin prop, Party Decoration

Even though our Toe Pincher Coffin prop was looking not too bad at this point it still wasn‘t what we had envisioned. To give it the appearance we wanted we still needed to skin it in what some people refer to as “snot rag mache“.

We used paper towels instead of tissue paper implied by the name. We simply thinned white school glue with water, (about 70/30) and mixed in a generous blob of black craft paint. We then dipped the paper towels into this grey mixture and then applied then soaked gluey towels to the outside of the coffin.
Make a Halloween coffin prop, Party Decoration
Make a Halloween coffin prop, Party Decoration

We also painted the card board sides with mixture before applying the towels. Of course for the top “wooden slats” the paper towel was pre cut into strips of various sizes. The trick here is to have the towel a little bigger than the piece of card board that you’re trying to cover so that you can bunch up the towel as it was applied.

We tried mostly to keep the wrinkles running the same way. NOTE: Because the tape window panes are supposed to let light shine through we had to wipe off any paint and glue that we got on them. Also note, where the glue didn‘t hold particularly well we just spot glued with full strength glue after the fact.

Once the new skin on the coffin dried it was time to paint/detail the new skin. Because of the grey base we only had to add some black splotches here and there making sure to leave some of the grey. This was done with a combination of wet and dry brushing so that the black somewhat faded into the grey.

Next, we then dry brushed all the wrinkles with white paint. We attempted to only do the tops of the wrinkles to really define them. After that was done we subtly painted in some “board lines” and did further light weight dry brushing with the white paint.

How to Make a Halloween coffin prop, Party Decoration
How to Make a Halloween Party Decoration
Then finally as a finishing touch we lightly outlined in white the cross and the main angles and shape lines of the coffin and then super lightly outlined the “wooden slats“. All this extra white was to define the shape of the coffin under Halloween lighting because as everybody knows white bounces back light.

Well in more detail than you probably wanted, that is how we built our Card Board Box Toe Pincher Coffin prop decoration.

The only left to do was hang it up, turn the lights on, enjoy and take some pictures of the finished Halloween prop.

Halloween Image: Orange Vampire Bat** The Finished Toe Pincher Coffin Prop **Halloween Image: Orange Vampire Bat

Photos of Halloween coffin prop, Party Decoration
Photos of Halloween coffin prop, Party Decoration

Photos of Halloween coffin prop, Party Decoration

More Haunted Halloween Props by Screaming Scarecrow.
Halloween Image: Jack-O-LantrenHope you found this Halloween Content useful.
Come back and visit us often!
Cheers! ScreamingScarecrow.

If you’re not done yet, Check out our 101 uses for a Toe Pincher Coffin. Or any of the other haunted Halloween content we have lying around!

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21 Responses to “Card Board Box Toe Pincher Coffin”

  1. Becky says:

    prretty cool, curiousity though on my part, did U add any support behind the tin foil to help keep its shape? curved???

  2. Screaming Scarecrow says:

    Hi Becky,
    No we didn’t, we simply didn’t “tuck” the tin foil tight into the corners.
    The coffin prop doesn’t open open so there is no need for support, the glue holds it fine.
    Thanks for dropping by! Glad you liked our card board box toe pincher coffin prop!

  3. Jim Long says:

    A great coffin! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Screaming Scarecrow says:

    No Problem Jim! Glad to have you drop by and check us out! Hope you find lots of other cool and useful Halloween related content while you’re here!

  5. Casket says:

    I like the post very much.

  6. VampyricHybrid says:

    I love this, very nice end project. Looking forward to trying this one. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Screaming Scarecrow says:

    Love your Moniker VampyricHybrid! Thanks for looking!
    Good Luck with your Halloween coffin prop! If you have any Questions give us a shout -If we can be of haunting help, we’d be happy to!

  8. Brenda says:

    this sounds awsome, we are going to try and do a haunted house for a fundraiser for the Relay For Life. we cant spend lot of money on stuff but we wont it to look real. think i will try making this now, got lots of empty cardboard out in my shop. if you have any other ideas that we can use drop me a line please. thanks alot for doing the site

  9. Lori says:

    This is sooo cool! I am having a halloween wedding this year and we were looking for a card box shaped like a coffin. I wonder if this could be made on a smaller scale???

  10. Screaming Scarecrow says:

    Hi Lori, Halloween Weddings are Awesome!! Congratulations and Best Wishes!!!
    Yes! I do believe you could make a smaller version of this coffin project. Just reduce the measurements. If you need help with the angles shoot us an email, (See Scarecrow Stuffing) and we’ll do our best to help out!
    Happy Halloween Wedding!

  11. Screaming Scarecrow says:

    Hi Brenda, Haunted House fundraisers are a great Halloween idea! We collect a “Can for the Coffin” for the local food bank. Good luck with your haunted house hope it turns out very successful.
    We have plenty of ideas and you can find some more under these categories;
    More Halloween Props by Screaming Scarecrow
    A Few Haunting Tips by Screaming Scarecrow

  12. Nina Benjamin says:

    Hello, Love your coffin, would like to know what size of tv box you had was it a 50 inch flat screen? Thanks

  13. Screaming Scarecrow says:

    Hi Nina, The box actually came from the TV stand that we got. It was about 4 feet long.

  14. alida Lay says:

    I’m on it this year, and love this coffin idea, But were did you get the lights with the battery pack? Plus,I’m working with a 58″ by 32″ CBB 15″ deep. I tried your measurements (40x16x12x8) but the box is to wide, should I lenghten the foot part? I have 15″ to work with if I do. Any ideas? allie

  15. Screaming Scarecrow says:

    Cool! We always love it when fellow haunters pick up one of our prop ideas!
    – As far as the ligths and batteries go we got them at teh Dollar store, they were in with the Christmas decorations.
    – For the measurements, Yes you’ll have to fiddle with the measurements till you get the right looking coffin from the box you are working with so don’t be afraid to experiment!
    Good Luck & Have a Sinister Season!

  16. alida Lay says:

    I want to send you a pic of my copy cat CB coffin that I finish two weeks ago by using your idea and little inspiration from other sites…. Allie from Florida
    How can I email it to you?

  17. alida Lay says:

    Ps…This CB coffin was easy to make and I love the way that the paper mache looks after it dries…Love your ideas and pictures of your home. Allie

  18. Screaming Scarecrow says:

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see the pictures of your Card Board Box Toe Pincher Coffin!
    Send any pictuers of props or Halloween decorations that we’ve inspired to
    Have a Sinister Season!

  19. farmville-secrets says:

    I love 2 read !

  20. Jeremy & Sarah says:

    Awesome! We can’t wait to build this coffin for Halloween. I’m trying to also build one to fit me in to jump out and scare the sh*t out of my friends!

  21. wood casket says:

    Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my web site thus i came to return the prefer?.I’m attempting to find issues to improve my site!I guess its good enough to make use of some of your concepts!!


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