Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Whatsapp

Would you build your own coffin?

Coffin Clubs show you how to make a coffin and open up important discussions about life and death.

Planning for the future is always a good idea. But how far would you go to make sure you get the funeral you want?

One group in Hastings, Sussex, has found a unique way to make funeral arrangements in advance – by building their own coffins.

Coffin Club UK, run by funeral celebrants Kate Tym and Kate Dyer, gives people the chance to build and design their own coffin, in an effort to break down taboos around death and make difficult conversations easier.

“Decorating your own coffin is just taking ownership and removing some of the fear,” Kate Tym told the BBC.

The six week course sees participants painting and decorating their coffin in any way they like, adding personal touches that reflect their personality. Each coffin costs £250 and can be dismantled for easy storage until it’s needed.

As well as decorating their flat-pack coffins, members of the club can talk about their funeral wishes and plan ahead for the perfect send-off. The course includes talks from experts, such as hospice workers and Funeral Directors. At the end of the six weeks, members of the club proudly display their finished coffins for family and friends.

The idea for Coffin Club came from New Zealand, where coffin clubs have become a popular way for people to build their own coffins and talk more openly about death.

The New Zealand Coffin Club even made their own outrageous music video, celebrating the importance of personalised funerals that really reflect the person they’re commemorating. The spectacular video shows members of the Coffin Club emerging from silk-lined coffins, dancing and singing – as well as proudly displaying their own decorated coffins that they made at Coffin Club.

You can watch the full video here:

Planning your own funeral isn’t always a song and dance, but the benefit of Coffin Club is that you can think ahead and make important decisions about your funeral. That way, your loved ones will know you’re getting the send-off you wanted.

Nixie James-Scott, a funeral celebrant in Devon, is launching another Coffin Club in the South West, and thinks that building your own coffin can help your loved ones when the time comes.

“The families will then just be able to celebrate that life properly,” she says, “and really honour that person’s wishes.”

If you’re thinking ahead to your final send-off, you can make arrangements in advance with a funeral plan. A funeral plan from Avalon lets you make important decisions and outline what you’d like your funeral to be like.


About the author

With a Masters from the University of Bristol, Jessica Hanson has worked in the funeral sector for several years, following the latest industry trends and writing about end of life planning. Jessica has previously written as a blogger for the Huffington Post, covering topics such as death positivity, understanding grief and how funerals are changing. You can find Jessica on LinkedIn and Twitter.