Patrick Kilby will teach you how to make your own casket

Kilby's caskets can double as morbid furniture items before you die.
Kilby's caskets can double as morbid furniture items before you die.

Before you end up in a box, Patrick Kilby wants you to think outside of it.

Kilby is owner of "A Simple Pine Box," a store in New York Mills, Minnesota that teachers customers how to make their own caskets at a discounted price.

Depressed by the idea of having the casket you'll spend eternity in chilling in your garage? Don't be. Kilby says customers often use them as tables or bookcases before they kick the bucket.

Kilby came up with the idea for "A Simple Pine Box" after his mother died five years ago. He and his sister began looking at caskets, but were shocked to learn that the price tag for a nice wooden one was about $3,500. A longtime woodworker, Kilby decided to make his mom's casket himself.

"It was relaxing, but to be perfectly honest with you, I stood there and cried too while I made it, because you realize that it is final," he told Alexandria's KSAX.

An example of Kilby's work.
An example of Kilby's work.

Kilby sells caskets for as little as $500. "You can buy a $1,000 casket from us, and it does exactly what a $5,000 casket will do," he said. He also teaches classes where customers learn the woodworking skills necessary to make their own.

"Our objective would be to educate [customers] on what their rights are, to help them accomplish what they need for that end of life situation, to give them a sense of ownership and to have them learn a new set of skills," Kilby said.

So will Kilby someday make his own casket? Maybe, he says, but he's actually leaning toward donating his body to science. That way, not only could your corpse be of educational value, but you won't have to worry about buying a casket at all.

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