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Ideas For Ashes

What To Do With Cremation Ashes

Ideas for Ashes

Cremation ashes once collected can be kept, buried or dispersed in numerous ways – it’s not an easy decision to make and one that may take weeks, even months to come to. Burying or scattering all the ashes can be such a final farewell, that many people are unable to do it, leaving the bereaved unable to carry out their loved one’s final wish and often exacerbating their pain with guilt.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available (see below) to help you make the right decision. As the average cremation ends up with 2-3kg of ash, many people choose to do more than one option – some disperse or bury most of the ashes, but keep some back as a keepsake in either a mini-run or incorporated in jewellery. By looking at some of the options below, it can eliminate the finality and resulting emptiness of losing someone close, enabling multiple memorials to be made for distribution amongst family or friends if desired, whilst allowing the bereaved to lay the deceased to rest in their chosen place.


  1. Keeping in an Urns

  2. There is a huge variety of urns to choose from, and no need to limit yourself to just those offered by the funeral director. They can be made from just about anything – metal, wood, glass, ceramic, stone or plastic… the list continues.

    They can be customised from a personal belonging of your choice, or incorporated into specially designed soft toys for young children to hug.

    They can be everlasting or biodegradable, big enough to hold all the ashes of one, even two people, or small enough to hold just a bit back individually or for family members to share (see Keepsakes).
    There are hundreds of urns available, follow the links below, and if there’s nothing that really takes your fancy, see our collection of unusual urns for ashes to get a little more inspiration.

    www.urnsforashes.co.uk – a beautiful collection of urns or choose to make your own

    www.commemorativeceramics.com – individual ceramic sculptures incorporating some ash in the glaze

    www.ecopod.co.uk – green and eco-friendly urn


  3. Ashes into Glass and Jewellery

  4. By using special glass blowing techniques, a small amount of cremated ashes can be fused with molten glass and made into a truly bespoke and personal memorial.

    Memorial Glass as it is known, can hold thoughts, feelings and more importantly to some, something physical of a loved one, close to them, every day. A multitude of one-off unique, mini memorials can be created – pendants, rings, cuff-links, bookmarks, vases, bowls, and paperweights to name a few.

    Check out some of the beautiful designs and colour options below.

    www.evrmemories.com (personalised keepsakes in both traditional and contemporary designs)

    www.ashesintoglass.co.uk

    www.bathaquaglass.com


  5. Create a Diamonds from Ashes

  6. Similar in concept to ashes in glass, and again involving heat, but this time under a huge amount of pressure, using a patented process, carbon can be removed from a small amount of ash or even hair, and certified, high-quality diamonds can be created. Each one is unique and can become a memorial to the life of a loved one, or as a symbol of your personal and precious bond.

    Costing anything from £2000 to several thousand pounds, they are certainly one of the most expensive options, but as each one is unique, and according to one companies website “molecularly identical to natural diamonds found at any high-end jeweller”, for anyone who wants a bit of “bling” that will last forever, they are certainly hard to beat.

    www.phoenix-diamonds.com – UK-based company trading worldwide, specialising in the manufacture of ‘Memorial Diamonds’ created in a laboratory from both ‘cremains’ and hair.
    (Get a £125 discount voucher if when you mention Funeral Inspirations.co.uk)

  7. Around the World Trip

  8. I love this idea because its something I can imagine a few of my friends would love. Taking them around the world for one last time and scattering just a piece of them in each location or each country we visit. A great idea if you had wonderful memories together whilst travelling.

  9. Painted Ash Art

  10. Not so popular just yet, but increasingly so, more and more people are asking to get some of their loved one’s ashes incorporated into painted artwork – be that a portrait of the person, a landscape scene that was memorable to them, or a contemporary piece.

    www.theperfectfarewell.com/cremation-art

  11. Create a Vinyl with Ashes

  12. Take some of the ashes, send them to ANDVINYLY and they will compress your ashes into a vinyl record of your choice so that your family and friends can listen to your favourite song, knowing you aren’t far away.

  13. Made into a Pencil

  14. Carbon Copies are pencils made from the carbon of human remains. 240 pencils can be made from an average body of ash – a lifetime supply of pencils for those left behind.

    Each pencil is foil-stamped with the name of the person. Only one pencil can be removed at a time, it is then sharpened back into the box causing the sharpenings to occupy the space of the used pencils. Over time the pencil box fills with sharpenings – new ash, transforming it into an urn. The window acts as a timeline, showing you the number of pencils left as time goes by.

  15. Teddy Bear Remebrance

  16. Special bears are made fitted with a small pouch in the back whereby some ashes can be stored. This is a lovely idea for the loss of a child so you can have a cuddle during difficult times and keep their memory with you forever.

  17. Garden Sculptures

  18. If your loved one enjoyed the great outdoors, maybe they had a green thumb, then storing their ashes in the garden is a perfect idea. From sculptures that are made to holds ashes, to custom made pieces that have the ashes built in – the options are endless. We even saw a service here you can get the ashes added into concrete slabs for placing in the garden. Genius!

  19. Create a Bird Feeders

  20. Made from either solid castings of bird food, beeswax and ash, or rotationally moulded with the ash encased inside – encourage birds to either eat and naturally purge the ash or peck through the edible exterior and allow the ash to be released over a period of time. Along with the ceramic urns mentioned above, Jarvis tries to redress conventional methods of commemorating the deceased, ultimately removing the responsibility of ash scattering by allowing external factors to decide when to lay someone to rest.

    As of yet, however, we have not been able to ascertain whether these very intriguing concepts are commercially available or not. If you are interested though, take a look at her website on the following link for more information:

    bird feeder urn

  21. Memorial bird bath for ashes

  22. Following on from the garden and bird theme, we have found this lovely bird bath for cremation ashes that are hand made in the UK. Perfect for someone who loved their garden. These memorial ornaments are stunning and can be moved if the owner ever decides to move house.

  23. Dove Release

  24. On the subject of birds, why not hire a dove release ceremony to carry the ashes away into the beyond.

  25. Cremation in Space

  26. You may have lived on Earth but dreamt of the worlds beyond the skies. You can jet into space, after your time on Earth is done. NASA, Celestis and Elysium Space are the companies that can make space burials possible for you. The cost of space burials depends on the type of burial you want. Usually, encapsulated ashes are sent into orbit. Since 1992, more than 450 people have had space burials. 

  27. Ashes into a Tatoo

  28. A new one on us but apparently this is quite a popular idea. Tattoo artists can now place your loved ones ashes into ink to be inscribed on your flesh forevermore, so you will never truly be apart from your memories.

  29. Tree Burial

  30. If you prefer to grow trees rather than chop them to make coffins and caskets, then burying the ashes to grow into a plant or tree will suit you. The bios urn is made with special soil so that you can combine the ashes into a tree and watch it grow over time.


  31. Scattering the Ashes

Scattering the ashes at a garden of remembrance is just one option – there are numerous things you can do and places you can do it if you don’t plan to keep the ashes.
There are loads of options to help you make the scattering ceremony far more personal and memorable. From scattering on the water and burying in your garden to dispersing from an aircraft or placing it into a firework. We have outlined a number of options if you do not plan on storing the ashes.