More and more people are eschewing traditional wooden coffins in favour of colourful one-offs, tailor-made to reflect the characters, tastes and achievements of their loved ones. Custom coffins can be custom made, and/or customised. They can take any practical form you can think of, or standard coffins can be decorated and detailed how you wish.
Nottingham-based coffin manufacturer Vic Fearn and Company began specialising in custom-made designs in response to what it saw as a growing demand for more individualised funeral services. In the past few years, it has produced dozens of so-called “crazy coffins”. Miniature spaceships, aeroplanes, guitars and bells are among the more different designs to have been commissioned so far, costing anything from a few hundred to a couple of thousand pounds, to specifications dictated by customers.
According to director David Crampton, “we decided to branch out into making unusually shaped coffins, because we were finding a growing demand among grieving families for ones that genuinely reflect the personality of the people being mourned. But people are now starting to realise you don’t have to wait until you die to have your coffin made – you can order one in advance that genuinely says something about your life.”
He added: “Some people almost seem to see their future coffins as fashion accessories. We had one man who was mad about his motorbike, so we made him a coffin shaped like a sidecar which he clipped to the frame and took on a tour of the country, and another young chap ordered one with a glass top that he has been using as a coffee table in his lounge.
Check out some of the designs HERE
or go to there web-page for more details
Alternatively, bespoke coffins have been popular in Africa for many years, with designs in basically anything you want. The ones here are made by skilled Ghanain craftsmen and so may be cheaper than ones made in the UK, but then you must add shipping costs, and if you don’t like it when it arrives, you won’t have much come-back. Still, they are pretty amazing, and will definately be original one-offs!
Lastly, UONO – a company from Germany, make highly bespoke “cocoons”. These are beautifully designed and hand made, and come in a choice of high gloss colours. The material used does bio-degrade over time and is finished with water based varnishes so should be suitable for cremation and burial. Although not available in the UK at present, there’s nothing to stop you picking one up in Germany if you happen to be passing.
Obviously you or your family can decorate your coffin yourselves (using only water-based paints and varnishes if a “green funeral” or cremation is desired), – but if you want something a bit special, there are a number of artists out there who specialise in one-off bespoke designs that they will paint onto your coffin for you. Taking as little as a few days, some will also supply the coffin as well.
www.wealdencoffins.co.uk (stylish handmade curved design, can be hand painted or left natural)
As well as all the above, coffins made of many different materials can be custom printed. Some of the companies mentioned in Cardboard Coffins section can also design and print almost any design you would like on materials such as wood as well.