REGISTRATION BEGINS: January 13, 2022 at 12:00 pm

One of seven courses available for the May 12 – 15, 2022 MCA Weekend Workshop @ Haystack

Coffin Making, Green Burials & Home Funerals

Instructor: Chuck Lakin
Haystack Studio: Wood
Materials Fee: see below 
Enrollment Limit: 10
Level: All levels

Class Description:

During the workshop, you’ll have the chance to build one or more of three coffin designs. The Toe-pincher (the traditional coffin design), the Bookcase, and/or the Green Coffin. The Bookcase and Green coffins may be built with no metal in the finished coffin. You may see pictures of the coffins on the Last Things website. You’ll probably have time to decorate your coffin, too. Tools and supplies for that will be available. Over the weekend, I’ll fit in talks about Green Cemeteries and Home Funerals. Sounds like a fun-filled weekend to me.


Materials will be provided by the instructor and at Haystack upon arrival. Please note, that due to fluctuating cost of materials and inflation we have provided a materials cost range. While the cost of these materials may seem on the higher side, the cost of a casket provided by a funeral home would be in the thousands.

Students should bring a cordless drill and, if possible, an orbital sander.

Materials Costs:

Toe Pincher Coffin: $210.00 – $260.00
Green Coffin: $240.00 – $300.00
Bookcase Coffin: $265.00 – $340.00

About the Instructor-

“I’m a retired librarian, a woodworker, and a home funeral educator. My father’s death was a very personal experience right up to his death; he was in his own bed with his wife and four kids touching him when he died. I wanted to be part of what would happen next but had no idea of what I could do, so we called a funeral director, who whisked Dad away, and four days later we got a box of ashes in the mail. When I learned what I could have done, I started talking about home funerals, not trying to convince anyone but to give those interested the information they would need to have the experience I wanted. Eventually I developed a website and I continue to share what I have learned about funerals in general and home funerals in particular with anyone willing to listen. As a woodworker, I of course make coffins and I actively assist anyone who wants to create a green cemetery. With my librarian background, it’s no wonder that I love answering questions: I’m very good on the details, and I know how to find any answer I don’t already know. Don’t be shy about contacting me – you can’t possibly ask too many questions.”—Chuck Lakin