Halloween Vignette with large gold skull and DIY black and gold coffin decoration, lined with black velvet

I have an eerily easy DIY for you today, that’ll give you a great looking seasonal decoration to last you for many Halloweens to come.

Or, if you’re like me, a stylish (if rather macabre) year-round home accessory for your burgeoning Victorian Gothic dining room.

What can I say?

Skull with red eyes in a DIY black and gold mache coffin box, lined with black velvet

This skull and coffin decoration started life as a plain old paper mache coffin box that Beloved spotted during one of our recent trips to Hobbycraft.

He’s a keeper.

As is often the case, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it when it jumped into my basket of its own volition… but it had Gothic dining room slash Halloween decoration written all over it.

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Unfinished Paper Mache Coffin Box from Hobbycraft

  • Black paint – once again, that left over silk emulsion from the Guest Room has come in very handy
  • Gold Metallic craft paint – This project used Splendid Gold from Decoart, also from Hobbycraft
  • Wooden frame embellishment – I had some Trimcraft frames from one of my random craft buying outings
  • Gold or brass embellishments – My two were from a selection I bought from Wild Orchid Crafts for my Handmade Spell Books
  • Paint brushes
  • Black velvet
  • Cotton wool
  • Skull
  • Red gems – Mine are adhesive-backed ones, but you could try something like these
  • Glue

Skull with red eyes in a DIY black and gold mache coffin box, lined with black velvet

How to make Mache Coffin Halloween Decoration

Start by painting the frame and coffin black. Depending on your paint, it might need a couple of passes. Let the paint dry between coats.

When the black is dry, edge the lid of the coffin and the embellishment in gold metallic paint. I find gentle “dabs” of paint using a brush work brilliantly to help  create just the right aged effect.

Glue the frame onto the coffin lid.

Glue on your embellishments.

Skull with red eyes in a DIY black and gold mache coffin box, lined with black velvet

Lining a coffin in velvet

If you’re good with a sewing machine or needle and thread, you could go all fancy and fashion a small pillow out of black velvet, with proper pillow-like filling.

Personally, sewing is not my forte (she says, staring woefully at the neglected and lonely sewing machine to her right), so I made it up as I went along.

No change there, then.

I just happened to have a black velvet sleeve left over from the charity shop find I massacred to line the inside of the Harry Potter Keepsake Box. As it turned out, the sleeve was the perfect size, so I stuffed it with cotton wool and sewed the ends.

Sew simple.


If you have neither the will to make a pillow, nor a random black velvet sleeve lying around, then there’s an even simpler solution.

Tuck it in like a duvet!

Fill your coffin almost to the top with cotton wool (or some other padding) and cover it with a piece of black velvet, big enough to fully cover the cotton wool so you can’t see it.

I mean.


And that’s it.

Skull with red eyes in a DIY black and gold mache coffin box, lined with black velvet

Not too difficult at all, right?

All you need now is to pop in a skull and you are set. I dug mine out of last year’s Halloween haul. For extra effect, I added some red gems for the eyes and a few creepy crawlies.

Well… he’s been in that coffin a very long time!

Don’t fancy re-creating this project? No problem!

Why not get your craft on and make something entirely different? All you really need to craft a stylish Halloween coffin decoration is the box and a few supplies. Why not have a go and see what you come up with?

Have fun with it and don’t forget to take some photos and share them with the Crafty Crew over on Facebook.

As always, I hope you like this fun idea. Let me know by dropping a comment below.

A hui hou,

@SuzyHomemakerUK Signature - The World of Suzy Homemaker: www.suzyhomemakeruk



Make your own easy Halloween Decoration, using a Paper Mache Coffin

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