Chances are, you’ve never given much thought to “coffin waste.” But former medical examiner Vidal Herrera has found a use for unused and unwanted coffins. He turns them into couches.
Herrera, owner of MorguePropRentals.com, said the idea came when a set designer asked him to turn a coffin into a couch for use on the television show, “True Blood.” After the couch was delivered, the set designer suggested that Herrera sell them. However, it wasn’t until he displayed a couch at the Monsterpalooza convention in California that he realized a coffin couch business was possible. After that convention, demand for the unique couches came in high volumes.
These coffins don’t come from under the ground, though. Coffins that have been used briefly at funeral homes cannot be resold and are typically thrown out. Some new coffins are slightly damaged during delivery and are also typically thrown out. Herrera buys these coffins, not only saving them from the landfills, but also reusing them in a new and creative way.
Coffin couch construction includes reinforcement with steel rods and the addition of anything from chrome legs and brass plating to drink holders. The 200 couches he has sold can be found at tattoo parlors, miniature golf courses, and hair salons, but mostly in private homes. Herrera plans to turn Coffin Couches into a non-profit that will fund scholarships for future funeral directors and embalmers.
To see pictures of the coffin couches, visit the company’s website at www.coffincouches.com.