I Would Very Much Like to Build My Own Coffin

Illustration for article titled I Would Very Much Like to Build My Own Coffin
Image: Wellcome Collection

As someone who has spent hours watching YouTube videos of Trappist monks building coffins and once hoped to eventually decompose in a monastic toe pincher, I now realize that I did not dream big enough.


Coffin making clubs are currently all the rage in New Zealand, with hundreds popping up in the last decade. Here’s how it works: for a fee, members join the club, where they learn to make coffins at a cost of around $250-$500 per, depending on size and style. From there, the possibilities are boundless. The Washington Post piece focusing on the clubs features delightful video of handpainted cats on one catsket (see what I did there), another has a lovely feather motif.

And if you’re thinking “I dunno if I need to join a club to build a coffin when I can pound out a death box in the privacy of my own garage,” well, then you would miss out on learning about important coffin trends and ultimately be buried in an out-of-style loser cannister:

“For those short of ideas, a poster in the club’s meeting room presented some of the latest trends. A popcorn-box-shaped coffin. A coffin transformed into a bright red London phone box. And in an option unlikely to find many takers in New Zealand, a coffin painted as a giant U.S. flag.”

The article mentions that there are spinoff clubs in the U.S., and I demand to know where. I have not joined a club since student council in the 11th grade, which I got kicked out of due to an election scandal, but I’m ready to try again.

“Why spend $5,000 on a coffin and go out ordinary, when you can spend $500 and go out fabulous?” one coffin enthusiast tell the Post. Why indeed?



God, am I glad my body is getting cremated.