25+ Weird Things to Do with Ashes

Looking for weird things to do with ashes? You’re in the right place. ’cause I’ve seen it all as someone with years of experience in the funeral world.

Whether you are hoping to find some (respectfully) weird ways to honor your loved ones, or are future planning for yourself—way to think ahead!—there is no shortage of fun and strange ideas to incorporate into your final resting place.

Let’s take a gander at some of the more bizarre things you can do with cremated remains. And don’t worry, nothing on this list is outside the law!

Weird Things to Do with Ashes

Before we begin, I’d like to point out something important: cremated human remains are just that. They are ashes. Cremains are essentially pulverized bone matter; they do not contain any bacteria and in most cases, no DNA. All organic matter reduces to “ash.”

I hope that brings you a little peace of mind before you handle your loved one’s remains for any of these ideas…just in case you were worrying about it.

Weirdest Idea
Scattered from an Airplane

You won't look at planes flying over the same way again.

See How It Works

This first idea is way up high on my list! (Pardon the pun.) This is a beautiful yet quirky way to scatter your ashes over a larger area. There are many pilots out there, like these guys, who will have your remains scattered from far above, straight from their airplane.

They travel all over the world for their work, from Maui to the Mediterranean. With some luck, you may also be able to charter a local pilot to scatter human cremains by plane.

Soaring Up to the Heavens in Helium Balloons

Cool Facts about the Balloons:

  • go up to 5 miles high
  • reach -40 below zero
  • pet and human cremation friendly
See How Eternal Ascent Works

In a similar vein, Eternal Ascent can have your remains placed inside a large helium balloon that floats up into the atmosphere.

The balloon travels to a height of 5 miles, at the temperature of -40 below zero, where it crystallizes and bursts, scattering ashes to the four winds.

Just think about it – this would be the perfect way to end a memorial service for someone who would have wanted their going-away to be as fun and memorable as possible.

Stained Glass
  • Unique
  • Handmade with Care
  • Offers Other Products
  • Fragile
See Bliss Glass' Art

There isn’t much that can compare to the enduring beauty of stained glass…especially when compared to a traditional-style urn.

Luckily, Bliss Glass offers to have your ashes mixed into a stained glass window. Since ashes are generally a boring, light gray color (so not you or your loved one!), this idea will have them transformed into a beautiful memorial rather than a regular ol’ urn.

Place it in a window and watch your loved one continue to shine!

As a Pencil

Would you write with your loved one's ashes?

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This artist uses a special technique to incorporate cremains into the lead of a set of pencils. To be honest, it’s a pretty clever idea, especially for the more colorful and animated among us.

If you or your loved one were an artist, having a special pencil made with their ashes will make the art you create that much more special and unique. It will give the phrase “memorial art” a new meaning!

Victorian Mourning Jewelry

While wearing old hair from loved ones (or their cremated remains) is a little weird, this was actually a very common Victorian mourning practice!

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I have a feeling you won’t think this next idea is weird at all…but perhaps more comforting than anything.

As you may already know, Victorian mourning jewelry was used as a tribute to remind the wearer about their love for the person they lost. With prevalent diseases such as scarlet fever and cholera, death was always close.

To Victorian-era people, mourning was more about memories than suffering, and their memorial jewelry reflected those feelings. If you feel the same, a special piece of mourning jewelry, made with cremated remains, may be just what you are looking for to give new life to your loved one’s memory.

Pen Ink & Journal

Again, would you write with your loved one's cremains? If not as a pencil, maybe in ink form?

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03/26/2024 05:05 am GMT

Or, you could always mix some of those ashes into pen ink and write a memorial tribute to your loved one. All you need is:

Besides, journaling is a great way to help process your grief. Here is an inspiring collection of grief journal prompts.

Biodegradable Turtle Urn
  • Perfect for beach & turtle fans
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Made with recycled paper
Check It Out

Turtles are a little weird, right? In a sweet and adorable kind of way? If you think so, you make like this Biodegradable Paper Turtle Water Burial Urn. Even though it’s a little different, it is also an environmentally friendly way to say a final goodbye to your loved one. This scattering urn is constructed from recycled paper using non-toxic glue.

Biodegradable urns are unique memorials for those who loved the water, turtles, and the mystery of the ocean floor.

In a Frisbee

Be like Morrison and have your loved one's ashes made into a Frisbee! (Well, he invented the frisbee so he gets a break for this weird idea ... right?)

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Want to know something cool? The creator of the Frisbee, Walter Morrison, had requested that his remains be mixed into a batch of Frisbees, and distributed amongst his close friends and relatives.

So, if you can figure out how to do that, I guess that’s an option! The main idea is that you can incorporate ashes into many sorts of materials, so if there is a product you can make, think about using that.

In a Pringles Can

More DIY Pringles Ideas:

  • Place into multiple flavored cans
  • Grow flowers from cans & ashes
  • Bury in yard
  • Use as scattering urn
Learn More

While we are on the subject of last wishes for innovators, the creator of the Pringles can have his ashes interred… in a Pringles can.

His family decided to use the Original Flavor. Not exactly a traditional urn!

Cremation Hour Glass Urn

This is a great idea for those who loved playing board games!

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03/26/2024 05:40 am GMT

Though when filled with remains this hourglass probably won’t be a reliable timepiece, it will still make for a beautiful mantlepiece and is a creative way to display your loved one’s ashes. Gothic at its core, this hourglass may be the perfect idea if you or your loved one was a romantic at heart.

Worried that you may accidentally drop such a fragile urn? Keep in mind what I used to tell clients at the funeral home: carrying a cremation urn is kind of like carrying a baby; yes, it’s possible that you may drop it. But somehow, you just kinda know that you won’t.

Scattering While Skydiving or Parasailing

Scared of heights? No worries - the professional team at Sky-High Skydiving will do it for you!

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Did you know you can scatter your loved one’s cremated remains while you are skydiving or parasailing? If they were an adrenaline junkie in life, this idea may be better than weird…it may be downright perfect.

With skydiving, you will open your parachute and descend while scattering the cremated remains on the way. 

And while parasailing, you will need to follow the “three nautical miles off of the coastline” rule.

Blown Glass Spiral Flame Keepsake

A very ... unique ... decoration for the office.

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Blown glass by itself is more off-the-wall than weird. But toss in some ashes and you have something more weird than not. So why not have a unique piece of art created from your loved one’s cremated remains?

Artist Kevin Fulton can have the ashes incorporated into the glass of a beautiful and colorful (and slightly quirky) cremation keepsake.

Memorial Painting with Ashes
  • Many designs to choose from
  • Telling people what it is
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Kind of like we mentioned above with the fun pen and ink idea, you could also commission an artist to mix ashes with paint for you, and create a beautiful memorial portrait of your loved one.

I suppose you could have this done locally (though it may be difficult to find someone who will work with this unique medium) or even do it yourself. I have a feeling your loved one would love it!

Viking Sendoff

Did you know Viking funerals can be legal?? It just depends on local laws so be sure to look up before you set a fire-filled sail!

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“A Viking’s loyalty remains unbroken even in the face of death.” Just like a Viking, your loved one lived fearlessly. So why not bestow upon them a Viking sendoff with this rare Viking ship urn? Nothing strange about that, right?!

Hand-made from biodegradable materials, with a hand-carved dragon head and tail (you read that right!), these bio urns make the perfect send-off—a unique way to scatter cremated remains at sea.

More Unique Ideas for Cremated Remains

As you can see, there are many different ways to honor your loved one’s cremains in a weird fashion.

But before we go any further, I’d like to reiterate one more point: don’t worry if you accidentally spill a little bit of your loved one’s cremains as you handle them or transfer them.

Remember, ashes are inorganic; if you make a little mess, it is perfectly okay to gather what you can, and simply and respectfully wipe up the remaining dust.

Put Into Bullets

Perfect for:

  • Gun lovers
  • History lovers
  • Military
Learn How

With that out of the way, let’s continue! For the hunter or gun enthusiast, there’s perhaps no more meaningful sendoff than your family members gathered together for a day of target practice to celebrate your memory.

Let’s face it—you know who you are. This is how you want to be remembered, isn’t it?

Your body may be gone, but you don’t have to miss next year’s hunting trip. Holy Smoke can have your remains put into shotgun shells, or rifle or pistol ammo.

Cremation Gemstones

While it's a little odd to have a gemstone made from human or pet remains, this unique cremation idea will get you a one-of-a-kind "urn".

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It’s no secret that a lot of people considered “weird” or “strange” are also into weird and strange things…like rocks and gemstones. With that in mind, a unique idea for what to do with the ashes of the person who was a gem in your eyes is a gorgeous cremation gemstone. See what we did there?

Keep your loved one’s sparkle alive, so to speak, with a beautiful gemstone memorial from the shop Petals and Keepsakes.

Scattering from a Hot Air Balloon
  • A very unique scattering idea
  • This service is in the UK, search for one near you
Learn How

What, is a helium balloon not weird enough for you? Well, what about a hot air balloon?Many private and commercial companies provide this unique service. Weird or not, aerial scattering is a rather dignified way to say a final farewell to your loved one.

You can release the cremated remains yourself, or let the hot air balloon crew release them for you.

In Wine

It's not actually in the wine ... but it's still weird to think about. True love never really dies.

Learn More About Caduceus

When Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan’s mother passed away in 2003, he wanted to help her travel the world.

She had been paralyzed since 1975, so Keenan came up with an original plan to scatter her ashes across his vineyard, Caduceus Cellars, and name a wine in her honor.

With every bottle shipped out, he says, “She gets to travel the world now.”

Motorcycle Engine Bust Urn

This large engine bust urn is perfect for those who truly loved their motorcycle!

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The keepsake motorcycle engine is a must-have for any motorcycle lover. Have your beloved’s name and dates engraved on the brass plaque.

Display your keepsake at home or at the office. This is a sweet way to memorialize your loved one. As bikers will say, “Don’t fear dying, fear not living… Let’s ride!”

Fused Ashes Candle Urns
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I know, I know, there’s nothing too weird about a candle urn. They have, after all, always made for a special memorial. But this glass candle is different because it’s fused with your loved one’s ashes, making it all the more special.

Every time you light it, it will remind you of them and how they lit up your life.

Shell Ocean Scattering Urn

Perfect for:

  • Shell Collectors
  • Beach Lovers
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Another adorably weird ocean-themed urn for you to consider. This Biodegradable Shell Ocean Scattering Urn is hand-crafted from eco-friendly materials, and specifically designed for water scattering.

It’s easy, too. All you have to do is place the urn in water, and it will dissolve quickly – gently releasing your loved one’s cremains into the sea. It’s the perfect goodbye for anyone who loved the ocean…or whose own personal weirdness transcended the depths of the sea.

Backyard Burial

Is it actually legal? Continue reading to find out!

Learn How to Legally

This is my personal favorite idea on this whole list. ‘Cause there’s nothing stranger than knowing your loved one is forever resting right there in your backyard!

Keep in mind that laws concerning the scattering and burial of cremated remains on private land vary state-by-state, so it’s a good idea to brush up on your state’s laws before proceeding.

That said, you can generally bury cremated remains in an urn, or without an urn.

These wall-mounted urns are an unparalleled way to keep your beloved’s cremains safe…while keeping things a little unconventional, too. The wall-mounted urn holds cremated remains discreetly and securely.

You can choose from several designs; best of all, these urns include personalized laser engraving and arrive ready to hang.

Rock Urn for the Garden

"Put me in a rock." - You

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Was your loved one a master gardener (or a rock n’ roller)? Then these handcrafted rock and resin urns are your perfectly weird solution. Designed to display as a permanent memorial in a yard or garden, these urns are crafted to look like granite rock with a black and gray finish. 

Rest assured that your loved one’s cremated remains are secure inside, safe from the environment forever.

Mix It With Glitter

You can choose their favorite color!

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03/26/2024 10:13 pm GMT

If your loved one was always extra glam, happy-go-lucky, or simply had a sparkling personality, consider having their ashes mixed with glitter.

A good point for me to make right about now: if you want to attempt any of these ideas, but don’t want to actually handle the cremated remains yourself, it’s perfectly okay to call up a local funeral director and ask for assistance. They’ll be happy to help.

Cremation Tattoo Art

Perfect remembrance idea!

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These days, body ink isn’t really considered weird…but mixing in a little ash before applying the tattoo ink into your body? That’s a cremation tattoo, and that’s a different story.

Only certain tattoo artists offer this special service; if a memorial tattoo piques your interest, it can’t hurt to call your local shops and ask.

In a Fireworks Display

Just how they wanted to go out - with a boom!

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We’re not saying you or your loved one were firecrackers on this side of the veil. But if the shoe fits, there are a number of companies, like Heavenly Stars Fireworks, that would be happy to celebrate that with you, through a marvelous fireworks show in the night sky.

Ask Keith Richards

HE DID WHAT?? This one is definitely weird.

Learn What Keith Richards Did

Keith has been quite open about his years of wild living as a salty old rock’n roller and guitarist to the famed Rolling Stones.

He told the British music magazine NME in April of ’07 that he snorted a line of his father’s ashes through his nose… a statement that his manager later discounted as a joke.

But who really knows?

I hope you’re inspired by some new and weird ideas of what to do with your loved one’s cremated remains (or your own, one day)! Do you have any more weird cremation ashes ideas? Please share in a comment below!

Read Next: How Does Cremation Work? (and other weird questions)

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