36 Cremation Ashes Ideas: Unique Options to Consider

Unsure what to do with cremation ashes? Here are 36 unique cremation ashes ideas to create a lasting tribute. Get tips for choosing the perfect idea for your loved one.

Many families choose cremation as a dignified and flexible way to honor the memory of their loved one. But with cremation comes the question of what to do with the cremated remains, often referred to as cremation ashes.

This can be a daunting topic to navigate, filled with mixed emotions and a desire to find a meaningful way to say a final farewell.

But you aren’t alone — we’ve compiled a variety of cremation ashes ideas, from traditional methods to unique and personalized options.

Remember, there's no single "right" way to honor your loved one. Take your time, explore the options, and choose a path that feels most comforting and brings you peace.

36 unique cremation ashes ideas

1. Plant a living memorial

For the nature lover, create a lasting tribute by planting a tree with a bio-urn. This special urn combines ashes with nutrients, nourishing a sapling and allowing your loved one to become part of something beautiful and ever-growing.

2. Wind chimes

Incorporate ashes into a set of wind chimes. Every time the wind blows and the chimes sound, it can serve as a gentle reminder of your loved one's presence, connecting their memory to the calming force of nature.

3. Custom snow globes

Have a snow globe made with the cremains included in the design. This can be a comforting and whimsical way to remember your loved one, especially if they enjoyed collecting or had a fondness for a particular theme or place that the globe can represent.

4. Capture memories in glass

Craft a mesmerizing and comforting keepsake by encasing a portion of your loved one's ashes within a beautiful glass orb. The swirling design reflects both their memory and the impermanence of life.

5. Memorial bench

Install a bench in a favorite park, garden, or community space with a plaque that includes your loved one's name. You can place an urn beneath it or incorporate ashes into the structure. This creates a lasting tribute where friends and family can gather and reminisce.

6. Biodegradable urns for water burials

There are many unique urn ideas too — you can choose a biodegradable urn designed for water burials, allowing the cremation ashes to be gently and respectfully released into a body of water. This eco-friendly option can be particularly meaningful if your loved one felt a strong connection to the ocean, a river, or a lake.

7. Memorial diamond

Transform a small portion of cremation ashes into a dazzling memorial diamond. This permanent and exquisite gem allows you to keep your loved one close, forever sparkling with the brilliance of their memory.

8. Keepsake candles

Incorporate a small amount of ashes into a hand-poured candle. You can choose scents that evoke fond memories of your loved one, creating a warm and comforting presence every time the candle is lit.

9. Custom jewelry creation

Ashes can be sealed within pendants, rings, or other pieces of jewelry, allowing you to keep a piece of your loved one close. This personal memento serves as a subtle yet powerful reminder of their presence that you can carry with you.

10. Handcrafted pottery

Cremation ashes can be mixed into clay used for pottery, creating functional items like bowls, vases, or urns. This option offers a daily reminder of a loved one's legacy in a form that blends seamlessly into everyday life.

11. Library of memories

Create a custom bookshelf or a small library nook in your home, dedicating it to books and items that were cherished by your loved one. Include an urn or a decorative object that discreetly incorporates their cremation ashes, turning the space into a cozy corner for reflection and remembrance.

12. Time capsule

Create a time capsule with mementos, letters, and a small portion of the ashes. Bury it in a meaningful place or keep it to be opened on a significant date in the future. This can be a personal journey of remembrance and reflection for you and future generations.

13. Launch a celestial send-off

For the stargazer, embark on a unique journey by launching a portion of the ashes into space. Partner with a celestial ash scattering service and let their memory become part of the vast and eternal universe.

14. Customized hourglass

One of our top unique ideas for cremation ashes is to have an hourglass made with a portion of the cremation ashes replacing sand. This poignant symbol of time can serve as a reminder to cherish every moment, just as your loved one did, and can be a unique heirloom for generations.

15. Adventure club memorials

Start an "adventure club" in honor of your loved one, where friends and family take turns traveling with a small portion of the ashes to places the departed dreamed of visiting. Document each journey with photos and stories, creating a collective memoir.

16. Craft melodies of remembrance

Create a unique musical tribute by pressing a vinyl record containing your loved one's ashes and a chosen song. Special companies can create these records, allowing you to cherish their memory every time the music plays.

17. Commission an artful farewell

Keep your loved one's memory visually alive by commissioning a beautiful work of art that incorporates their cremated remains. Several companies offer this service, transforming ashes into stunning portraits, landscapes, or other artistic creations.

18. Create a literary legacy

Honor a writer or literature-lover by creating a commemorative book filled with memories and stories. This literary tribute can be further personalized by incorporating a portion of their ashes into the paper itself.

19. Shared keepsakes

Divide the ashes amongst loved ones, allowing them to choose cremation jewelry or urns that reflect their personal connection with the person who passed away.

20. Sensory sanctuary

Create a memorial garden filled with their favorite plants and flowers, incorporating a portion of the ashes into the soil for a place of peaceful reflection.

21. Memorial music box

Design a music box that incorporates ashes in its craftsmanship or within a special compartment. Choose a melody that holds special meaning to your loved one, creating a timeless keepsake that resonates with their memory.

22. Customized lanterns

Create lanterns that can hold a small amount of ashes, meant to be lit on significant dates or whenever you wish to feel closer to your loved one. These lanterns can serve as beacons of their enduring presence in your life and special occasions.

23. Memory stones

Create small, smooth stones or pebbles with ashes mixed into the material. These can be kept in a pocket, placed in a garden, or given to friends and family as tangible reminders of the loved one's enduring presence.

24. Heirloom seed packets

Mix a small amount of ashes with seeds for planting flowers, trees, or vegetables. Package them as heirloom seed packets to share with family and friends, allowing new life to grow from the memory of the loved one.

25. Legacy tree ornaments

Create or commission holiday ornaments that can hold a small amount of ashes. These special decorations can become a cherished part of holiday traditions, bringing your loved one's memory into the celebration.

26. Heritage timepiece

Have a watchmaker or jeweler create a custom timepiece that incorporates ashes into the design, such as in the casing or the band. This timeless piece can symbolize the moments shared and the enduring nature of love.

27. Sculptural garden fountain

 Design a garden fountain that includes ashes in the structure or as part of a commemorative plaque. The soothing sound of water can offer tranquility and a sense of your loved one's ongoing presence in a serene setting.

28. Floating biodegradable lanterns

For a serene and eco-friendly tribute, use biodegradable materials to create lanterns that can float on water, incorporating a small portion of ashes. Release them on a significant date or gathering, allowing them to carry your messages of love and remembrance.

29. Support the ocean's ecosystem

Create a lasting legacy that supports marine life by incorporating ashes into an ecological memorial reef. These artificial reefs provide a vital habitat for fish and other creatures, ensuring your loved one's memory lives on while contributing to a healthy ocean.

30. Get a memorial tattoo

Among one of our more offbeat cremation memorial ideas, you can use a small amount of cremation ashes as part of a tattoo. Ashes can be safely incorporated into the tattoo ink, keeping the memory of your loved one close forever.

31. Remembrance with a fireworks finale

Celebrate a life well-lived with a dazzling and unforgettable tribute — a commemorative firework display. A portion of the ashes can be incorporated into the fireworks, creating a spectacular send-off that reflects the joy and vibrancy of your loved one's spirit.

32. A book of memories

Create a commemorative book filled with stories, photos, and memories of your loved one. Include a small urn or compartment within the book to hold a portion of the ashes, for a truly personalized keepsake.

33. Share the legacy

If your family has special places that hold dear memories, consider dividing the ashes to create individual memorials. Each loved one can then create a personal tribute at a location that holds special significance, ensuring the legacy is shared and cherished in unique ways.

34. Stained glass tribute

Commission a stained glass artist to include cremains in a custom piece. Whether it's a window, a lampshade, or a decorative panel, this option filters light through the essence of your loved one, casting colorful, comforting reflections in your home.

35. Customized kaleidoscope

Have a kaleidoscope made with the ashes included in the glass pieces, creating a dynamic and colorful tribute that reflects the multifaceted nature of your loved one's life and memories, offering a unique perspective with every turn.

36. Dedicated star registry

You can dedicate a star to your loved one and include a small urn in a personal observatory or a dedicated space in your home where you gaze at the stars and remember them.

Things to consider before choosing a cremation idea

Cremation offers a wide range of options to celebrate the life of someone you love, but it comes with so many choices. It's natural to feel overwhelmed.

Here are some thoughts to consider as you navigate what to do with ashes after a cremation:

Need help choosing an idea?

If you’re wondering what to do with ashes after the cremation of a loved one, remember, you're not alone.

Don't hesitate to consult people who specialize in the type of memorial you're considering. Ask questions, express your concerns, and seek their expertise as you make these important decisions.

At Meadow, we understand the weight of this moment. We offer a more compassionate and meaningful way to celebrate a life well-lived with customized memorial planning services.

Our team of caring memorial planners partner with you in this tender time to create an occasion as remarkable as the life it honors.

With our licensed team, you can expect:

Explore our Personalized Memorial Services.