The Funeral Rule allows you to provide the funeral home with a casket or urn you purchase or obtain elsewhere. It states that the funeral provider cannot refuse to handle a casket or urn you provide or charge you a fee to use it. They also cannot require you to be there when the casket or urn is delivered to them.

Coffin, urn and shroud Makers in Maine:

Kenneth Copp, in Thorndike, makes traditional Amish coffins. 207.948.9663,
Lew McGregor Down to Earth Classic Wooden Coffins in Bangor. (207) 542-8668
Chuck Lakin, in Waterville, makes the coffins shown on this website. (207) 873-7854,
Trundy Urns, in Bangor, will use your wood to make an urn.
Miek's Clayworks, in Skowhegan, produces elegant, simple pottery urns.
Nancy Rosalie, in Thorndike, makes unique shrouds from recycled materials using a treadle sewing machine. (207) 568-7597

Compostable coffin

Any funeral home or crematory can sell you what they call their “composition material alternative container,” basically a stiffened cardboard box. They are used primarily for cremations, but can be used for burials. Their cardboard tops invite decoration. Expect to pay between $25- $100 for the container. Here’s a list of Crematories in Maine.

Coffin BUILDING Workshop

Ever thought about building your own coffin? If so, here’s your chance to do your heirs a favor. After all, there’s only one other thing besides taxes that you can count on. During this workshop we will help you build a coffin. We’ll provide the material, the tools, a place to work, and the guidance you’ll need. The basic design will be pretty much a plain pine box, but you’ll have a number of choices within that basic design: Straight or flared sides? Rough-cut or finished wood? Assembled with or without any metal fasteners Imagine the fun you’ll have going to work on Monday, just waiting for the first person to ask how you spent your weekend. Some experience with hand-held power tools will be helpful but not required.

The cost of the workshop  includes all coffin materials and expert guidance in the assembly process. Be sure to bring a roof rack or a truck to transport your coffin home. We’ll provide everything else. Expect to spend 5 or 6 hours on this project. If you have questions or want to sign up for the workshop, please call Chuck Lakin at (207) 873-7854 or email 


Click on the images below to download plans for building your own coffin.

coffin building resourses

Learn How to Build a Handmade Casket is a 2003 article from Mother Earth News about building coffins. It shows several options and while it might be short on detail it is very encouraging.

And here’s another version of the toe-pincher coffin from the Northwoods Casket Company.