It would be an interesting study to see if casket styles mimicked home decor trends. When dark cherry dining room tables were the rage, did more people buy dark cherry caskets for their loved ones?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s a Barnwood Casket?
- 7 Different Types of Barnwood Caskets
- Other Things to Consider When Buying a Simple Casket
If this pattern did exist, it wouldn’t be a surprise if barnwood caskets were popular right now. You don’t have to watch hours of HGTV per week to know the popularity of the “farmhouse” style — using distressed wood furniture that may or may not have weathered naturally.
We’ll discuss the features of the barnwood casket and the different types of casket available on the market. We will also give you ideas of similar styles if barnwood caskets are not immediately available in your area.
What’s a Barnwood Casket?
Barnwood caskets are made from reclaimed wood that was once originally a barn or some other outdoor building. While some companies brag that their barnwood caskets are made from original wood, others mimic the look and create old-looking barnwood caskets.
Check out our list of different types of barnwood caskets. We will also give you other search options to consider when trying to find a company that makes coffins of this style.
7 Different Types of Barnwood Caskets
Most guides on how to plan a funeral do not consider that the deceased may have wanted a particular type of casket. If you are having an open-casket visitation or funeral service, time is of the essence. You may not have a significant amount of time to look for a casket made of such a specific material.
Barnwood caskets are a relatively niche market, so do not expect your local funeral home to have any in stock.
If you want a casket made of old barn wood, consider pre-purchasing it before it is needed. If that is not possible, look for companies that can promise speedy delivery to your area. Expecting a custom-made barnwood casket within a few days is probably out of the question, so you may have to be happy with the items that are already in stock.
Since each barnwood is unique, you may want to make sure you see the exact casket that you will receive before ordering. The wood may vary in coloring and level of distress, which may increase this type of coffin’s appeal. But if you are particular about having a specific look, ask for several photos before you order.
1. Vintage coffin
This description isn’t what you think it is. Sure, if the word “vintage” is used in an ad, most people understand that this means that the item is used. Vintage coffins, on the other hand, are caskets made of used, weathered wood, not caskets or coffins that had previous occupants.
Besides the material looking old, vintage coffins are usually shaped differently than modern caskets. Instead of being rectangular-prism in shape, they taper in at the head and the legs. These may be called “toe-pinchers.”
Some vintage coffins may be made with rope handles. They may also have lift-off lids instead of hinges.
2. Reclaimed barnwood coffin
Instead of searching for a vintage casket, you may have more luck looking for a reclaimed barn wood coffin. Some companies scour rural America in hopes of procuring materials from falling-down barns. They reuse the wood to create caskets.
One such company offers reclaimed barn wood coffins in shades of weathered red, gray, or brown. While some companies use the old wood to make vintage-looking coffins, other companies use rough wood to create a modern, rectangular casket.
Through your online search, you may also come across a company that will make a rocking chair out of the same material as the casket. This piece would be a lovely heirloom to help remember a beloved family member.
3. Eco-friendly casket
If you would feel better being laid to rest in an eco-friendly casket, you may consider purchasing a barnwood coffin. No currently living trees are cut down to make the product. Some companies that specialize in barnwood caskets are so proud of reusing materials that they plant new trees with every sale, so your purchase has double the environmentally friendly impact.
While reusing materials and products is noble, consider all ecological ramifications of your purchase before making a decision. Most eco-friendly caskets are made of untreated, unpainted lumber. Many of them are made without metal hinges, handles, or nails.
While your barnwood casket may be made from reused material, the wood probably has been painted with toxic oil-based paint. Take all these things into consideration before making your purchase. Barnwood caskets may also be made with metal hinges and nails.
4. Rough wood casket
Rough wood refers to lumbar that has been left with rough, unfinished surfaces. It’s cheaper than lumber that has passed through a planer. A planer creates smooth surfaces and produces wood with a neater texture.
If you want the look of a barnwood casket, you may consider looking for a coffin maker who will create a simple one out of rough wood. This type of casket can be extremely inexpensive and members of the family could construct it. A rough wood casket tells others that you value life’s simple things and choose to use your resources elsewhere.
5. Amish barnwood caskets
While visiting Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio, you may have seen Amish people driving horse-drawn buggies. The Amish have been living in these areas for generations, and they are known for living simply without using modern conveniences.
If purchasing a casket made by these revered craftsmen is vital to you, go directly to the source. After all, the Amish probably do not sell their products online.
Other companies may advertise Amish barnwood caskets, but an Amish person may not have made them.
6. Pine casket
If you are a fan of American western movies, you may have heard characters discussing how someone needs to “cut down an old pine tree.” This generally means that a character is close to death and that the wood from the pine tree will be needed to make a simple coffin.
Even though a pine casket is not the same as a barnwood coffin, they are similar enough in style that you may like both styles.
Pine caskets can also be relatively eco-friendly options. The pine used in the casket can be untreated, and it may be assembled without metal. These caskets are sometimes referred to as kosher caskets, as Orthodox Jews often use such caskets in their burials.
7. Barnwood coffin
You may have noticed throughout this article that the words “caskets” and “coffins” are used interchangeably. Most of the time, the two terms can be treated as synonyms, even though modern English speakers often use the word “casket.”
But if you are looking for a simple box made of humble materials, whether they are reclaimed barn wood or pine, you may also be interested in choosing the shape of the box for burial. Most of the time, modern-style caskets are rectangular. If you want one that narrows at the head and the legs (or just the head), you may search for a “coffin.”
Although it may be disconcerting to some, this older style of coffin may also be called a “vampire coffin.”
This style, since it may be made with less material, may weigh less than a modern casket. If the burial box’s weight is important to you, read more about how much a casket weighs to help you make your decision.
Other Things to Consider When Buying a Simple Casket
Many people like the idea of purchasing a rustic casket made of barnwood for their final resting place. While it could be that the wood came from a structure significant to the deceased, others simply like using repurposed materials.
If you are interested in having a simple funeral, you may need to research the regulations in your area.
Burial laws vary from state to state. Also, cemeteries in the same area may have different rules.
If you would like your body and casket to return to the earth as quickly as possible, you may want to find a cemetery that does not require that the casket be placed in a vault inside the ground. You may also want to find a cemetery that limits the use of plastic flowers and grave decorations.
But if you want a barnwood casket simply because you like the look, you may have to be willing to pay a premium. After all, you will be competing with all the home interior specialists who are filling homes with farmhouse decor right now.