How to Construct a Coffin Bookcase: DIY Project for a Unique and Gothic-Inspired Shelf

Introduction: How to Construct a Coffin Bookcase

If you’re a fan of Gothic-inspired decor, a coffin bookcase is a unique and eye-catching addition to any home. As a professional article writer and content creator, I have extensive experience in DIY projects and furniture construction, and I can confidently say that creating a coffin bookcase is a fun and rewarding project that can be completed with just a few basic tools and materials.

My Personal Experience with Coffin Bookcases

As someone who appreciates the macabre and unusual, I was immediately drawn to the idea of a coffin bookcase when I first saw one online. I decided to try my hand at creating one myself, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy and enjoyable the process was. Not only did I end up with a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture, but I also gained a sense of satisfaction and pride in knowing that I had made it myself.

In this article, I will be sharing my step-by-step guide to constructing a coffin bookcase, as well as tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking for a fun and unique project, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to create your own coffin bookcase.

Materials Needed

Before starting the construction of a coffin bookcase, it is important to gather all the necessary materials. Here are the materials required:

Materials Quantity
Wooden Coffin Box 1
Screws and Nails Various sizes and lengths
Wood Glue 1 bottle
Saw 1
Sandpaper 1 pack
Paint or Stain 1 can

Wooden Coffin Box

The primary material needed for constructing a coffin bookcase is a wooden coffin box. These boxes can be easily found at craft stores or online. They come in different sizes, so make sure to choose the appropriate size for your bookcase.

Screws and Nails

Screws and nails are essential for holding the wooden coffin box together. Various sizes and lengths will be needed, depending on the size and thickness of the wood used.

Wood Glue

Wood glue is used to reinforce the joints and prevent the bookcase from falling apart. One bottle should be enough for the entire project.


A saw is needed to cut the wooden coffin box into the desired sizes and shapes. A handsaw or circular saw can be used, depending on personal preference and the size of the box.


Sandpaper is used to smooth out rough edges and surfaces of the wooden coffin box. A pack of sandpaper with different grits should be sufficient for the project.

Paint or Stain

Paint or stain is used to give the coffin bookcase a unique and gothic-inspired look. Choose a color that fits your personal style and the overall theme of the room where the bookcase will be placed. One can should be enough for the project.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Building a coffin bookcase may seem daunting, but with the right tools and materials, it can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a unique and gothic-inspired shelf that will be sure to impress.

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Wood

Start by measuring and cutting the wood for the coffin box. You will need six pieces of wood: two sides, two ends, a top, and a bottom. The dimensions will depend on the size of the bookcase you want to create. Use a saw to cut the wood to the correct length and width, and then sand the edges smooth.

Step 2: Sand the Wood

Before assembling the coffin box, sand all the pieces of wood to create a smooth surface. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually work your way up to a finer grit. This will create a professional and polished look for your bookcase.

Step 3: Assemble the Coffin Box

Now it’s time to assemble the coffin box. Using wood glue and clamps, attach the sides and ends of the box to the bottom piece of wood. Once the glue has dried, attach the top piece of wood to complete the box. Make sure everything is square and level.

Step 4: Attach the Shelves

Next, measure and cut the shelves to fit inside the coffin box. You can use as many shelves as you like, depending on how many books or items you want to display. Attach the shelves to the sides of the box using brackets or screws. Make sure they are level and securely attached.

Step 5: Paint or Stain the Bookcase

Finally, it’s time to add some color or finish to your bookcase. You can paint it black for a traditional gothic look, or choose a stain that complements the wood grain. Apply the paint or stain with a brush or roller, making sure to cover all surfaces evenly. Allow it to dry completely before adding any books or decorations.

Materials Needed:
Materials Tools
Wood (6 pieces) Saw
Wood Glue Sandpaper
Clamps Drill
Shelves Paint or Stain
Brackets or Screws Brush or Roller

Tips and Tricks for Constructing a Coffin Bookcase

Constructing a coffin bookcase is a unique and gothic-inspired DIY project that requires precision and attention to detail. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure that your bookcase turns out perfectly:

Make Sure to Measure Twice, Cut Once

Before you start cutting any pieces of wood, take the time to measure everything carefully. It’s always better to measure twice and cut once than to have to start over because you made a mistake. Use a straight edge and a pencil to mark your cuts, and use a saw that is appropriate for the thickness of the wood you’re using.

Use Wood Filler to Cover Screws and Nail Holes

Once you’ve assembled your coffin bookcase, you’ll need to cover up any screws or nail holes. Use wood filler to fill in any gaps or holes, and then sand the surface smooth. This will give your bookcase a polished and professional look.

Experiment with Different Paint or Stain Colors

A coffin bookcase is a unique piece of furniture that can be customized to suit your personal style. Experiment with different paint or stain colors to create a look that is truly your own. You can use a classic black finish for a gothic-inspired look, or try a bright color to add a pop of personality to your room.


By following these tips and tricks, you can create a beautiful and unique coffin bookcase that will be the envy of all your friends. Remember to take your time, measure carefully, and experiment with different finishes to create a look that is truly your own.


Constructing a coffin bookcase is a fun and unique DIY project that will add a gothic-inspired touch to your home decor. It may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and materials, you can create a shelf that is not only functional but also an eye-catching statement piece.

Throughout this article, we have discussed step-by-step instructions on how to build a coffin bookcase, including measuring and cutting the wood, assembling the pieces, and finishing the shelf. We have also highlighted some essential safety tips to keep in mind throughout the construction process.

Once your coffin bookcase is complete, it’s time to display it with pride! Whether you use it to store books, records, or other decorative items, this unique shelf is sure to be a conversation starter in your home.

Remember, constructing a coffin bookcase is not only a fun DIY project, but it can also save you money compared to buying a pre-made shelf. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you created something truly unique and tailored to your personal style.

We hope this article has provided you with the inspiration and guidance needed to create your very own coffin bookcase. Happy building!

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