Many people choose cremation over burial because of the various ways that ashes can be memorialized afterward. Cremation ashes can be scattered in a special place, kept in an urn, or immortalized within a keepsake object. For many, having keepsakes made from ashes is a comfort, allowing them to always have the ashes of their loved one nearby and safe. While an urn can be a lovely place to store ashes, small ashes keepsakes can be kept with you at all times or taken to different places within your home.
Keepsakes can also allow you to add an element of music, art, or writing to your remembrance of a loved one, all of which can be of comfort during a period of grief and help you feel connected to them.
Below you can explore the different types of keepsakes made from ashes.
The 10 best keepsakes made from ashes
There are many meaningful memorial keepsakes for ashes, but the important thing is to choose something that feels right for you and your loved ones.
The period after someone’s passing can be overwhelming, so there’s no rush to decide what you want to do with their ashes. You can always keep them in an urn for a while as you think about all the unique cremation options available to you. You may also decide that you'd rather leave them in an urn, which can be a beautiful focal point in your home.
If you do like the idea of a keepsake, here are a few options that you might want to consider.
An object with a sense of elegance, longevity, and strength. A paperweight can be a nice option for a keepsake if your loved one was a keen writer or academic.
2. Glass ornament
If you like the elegance of glass but don’t feel that a paperweight is quite right, your ashes can be made into a decorative glass ornament instead.
Ornaments can be made in all different shapes and designs, giving you an item that is poignant and symbolic.
Ashes can be mixed with paint to create a beautiful memorial painting.
Whether used for a portrait of your family member, a picture of their favorite place, or a contemporary piece, a painting can be a centerpiece of your home to look at whenever you want to remember your loved one.
4. Vinyl record
Music is very emotive and can be a lovely way to remember special times and people. If a favorite track or album holds fond memories of your loved one, their ashes can be pressed into a vinyl record for a musical keepsake.
With an hourglass keepsake, you can see the ashes, which helps some people feel closer to the person they have lost. You could have a full-sized hourglass to display in your home, or a small hourglass on a chain, always keeping your loved one nearby.
6. Teddy bear
Some companies will place ashes into a metal heart to be tucked inside a teddy bear. This might be a nice idea for children or grandchildren, who might find warmth and closeness with the comfort a stuffed toy can bring.
If you’d like to feel as though the person you have lost is still close by, buttons containing their ashes can be a nice option. Either stored in a safe place at home, at the end of a necklace or attached to a special item of clothing, you can have your loved one by your side.
8. Writing ink
Memorial keepsakes for ashes often come in the form of a solid object, but they can also come in liquid form as ink. Many people find it therapeutic to choose this option and use the ink for grief journaling or to write letters to the person who has passed away.
If your loved one was an artist, or if you find comfort writing to connect you to someone you’ve lost, you can have the ashes made into pencils. Coming in a box inscribed with your beloved’s name and the years of their birth and death, the pencils are used one at a time and sharpened into the box, slowly creating a box of shavings that eventually becomes an urn.
10. Stained glass window or suncatcher
One of the best keepsakes made from ashes could be a stained-glass window. The sunlight passing through the glass, creating beautiful patterns within the room, is a lovely way to be reminded of someone dear on a sunny day. If a window is too difficult, you could instead have a glass suncatcher made, which is easier to move to different places.
What are the things you put ashes in called?
Traditionally, you keep ashes in a container called an urn. They can be made from lots of different materials, such as wood, ceramic, or metal, and are often decorated or engraved on the outside. Increasingly, however, people are choosing to have ashes made into different keepsake objects instead.
What can be made from human ashes?
In some ways, the possibilities for cremation ashes keepsakes are endless. Nowadays, you can have them made into a whole range of different memorial items to remember and honor your loved one. Long-lasting and decorative objects such as ornaments can be popular, as these can be displayed in your home for you to look at every day.
Is it bad to keep human ashes at home?
No, it’s perfectly normal to keep the ashes of a loved one in your home. While some people may prefer to scatter ashes at a special place, many like to keep their loved one's ashes at home, so that they feel close to them after they’ve passed away.
Is it ok to divide cremation ashes?
Yes, you can divide up the ashes of a loved one, either between family members or as a few small ashes keepsakes. If there are a few memorial keepsakes for ashes that you like, you could choose to have the ashes made into a few different objects.
How long do cremated ashes last?
If stored in an urn, the ashes will remain for a long time, but the urn must have a good seal to keep out moisture. Having the ashes turned into a memorial keepsake usually gives ashes a longer life and keeps them safe.
When planning your cremation ashes keepsakes, you should also bear in mind how long it will take to receive the ashes after cremation.
You might decide that a cremation ashes keepsake isn’t the right option and that you would rather scatter the ashes somewhere meaningful instead.