Last Updated on January 7, 2021
Over the years we’ve come across a number of these lists on the web: unique and interesting ways to store or disperse cremated remains. How one person decides to have their remains handled may seem strange to another, but in the end, it is a personal thing. Here is a list of some of our favorite things to do with cremated remains.
Scattering the ashes is often the first thing people tend to think of in regards of what to do with cremated remains. It is one of the most popular ways to say a final goodbye to a loved one.
We’ve written this post about choosing this option, and the things to be aware of when choosing a place to scatter remains.
Burial is another popular option for interring cremated remains. See here for guidance on how to bury an urn.
There are some advantages to choosing burial. For instance, urn burial sites are usually significantly cheaper than casket burial sites.
A columbarium is similar to a mausoleum, except that where a mausoleum is for casketed remains, a columbarium is for cremated remains. They are both sacred buildings used to house the remains of loved ones.
If you don’t have a stable place to house an urn, and want family and friends to have the freedom to view it, a columbarium might be a great choice.
4. At Home
We’ve discussed having the remains interred at a cemetery, but often times people will choose to have the remains buried at home. There are no added costs when burying the remains in your backyard, though there are some things to consider when you choose to bury ashes.
You can keep the remains at home in an heirloom cremation urn. Urns Northwest is a great resource for finding such premium-quality urns. If you’re new to this idea, you might want to read The 5 Minute Guide to Choosing a Cremation Urn.
5. Planted as a Tree
Whatever your motivation, the Memorial Tree Urn is a beautiful idea that combines burial and scattering with new life; thus, “living memorials.” The cremated ashes are placed into the urn, which is then “planted” in the ground to aid in the growth of a beautiful tree seed. Knowing that the remains of your loved one are being used to nourish the young sapling as it grows into a majestic oak, willow, cherry or one of the other 15+ trees that are available here, will bring you great peace.
6. Launched into Space
Have your ashes launched into space! Celestis offers several packages for journeying into the final frontier. From a trip into orbit and back to earth, to a more adventurous journey into deep space.
For the person who was never able to live that childhood dream of space travel, this could be just the ticket – even though a one way ticket 😉
7. In Fireworks
Angel Flights can turn your cremated remains into an amazing light show for all to see.
Their unique service includes 200 fireworks shells modified to hold and scatter the remains while lighting up the night sky.
8. In Helium Baloons
Eternal Ascent can have your remains placed inside a helium balloon that floats up into the atmosphere.
The balloon travels to a height of 5 miles where at the temperature of -40 below zero – it crystallizes and bursts, scattering the ashes to the four winds.
9. As a Coral Reef
Eternal Reef is helping rebuild coral reefs by creating cement structures that the coral can latch to and grow on.
The process involves inserting your remains into the cement mix before it is poured into the form which the coral grows on.
10. As an Hour Glass
Just follow the simple directions to have your remains inserted into an hourglass.
11. As a Diamond
Eterneva offers the service of having a lock of hair or some of the cremated remains of a loved one turned into a certified diamond.
They offer several different colors, carat sizes and gem cuts, which you can put on display or set into a piece of jewelry. Find out more here.
12. Mixed in Paint
Through Art in Ashes, an artist will mix ashes with paint to create a beautiful portrait.
I suppose you could have this done locally (though it may be difficult to find someone who will work with this unique medium), or maybe even do it yourself.
13. In a Teddy Bear
The Cami Bear can provide you with a more snuggly urn. These bears will hold a portion of your loved one’s remains, allowing for a sentimental memorial. Some people find it strange, others find it very comforting. A surprisingly popular option.
14. As a Pencil
This company has the idea to put your remains into the lead of a set of pencils.
A set of 240 specially-filled pencils come in a case with a custom inscription on each pencil.
15. Hand Blown Glass
Have a unique piece of art created from your cremated remains. Artful Ashes will have your ashes put into the glass of a beautiful blown glass piece.
16.Put into a Vinyl Record
This plucky UK based shop will have your ashes pressed into a set of vinyl records.
You pick the artwork and the music, or you can have a spoken word recording to leave a final message to your loved ones, with that vintage popping and hissing of vinyl goodness.
17. Tattoo Ink
We came across a number of articles about this practice. Have a portion of the remains mixed with the tattoo ink before it is applied to your body. Reportedly there aren’t any health concerns.
But you may want to run it by your personal tattoo artist first. Here are some memorial tattoo ideas.
18. Stained Glass
There isn’t much that can compare to the enduring beauty of stained glass. This shop will have your ashes mixed into a stained glass window.
Have a unique piece commissioned and displayed on the wall or in a prominent window in your home.
19.Put Into Bullets
This is how you want to be remembered isn’t it?
What could be a more practical memorial than a box of ammo?
Your body may be gone, but you don’t have to miss next years hunting trip. Holy Smoke can have your remains put into shotgun, rifle or pistol ammo.
20. Creepy 3d Bust
For me, this was the oddest of them all. Have your likeness formed into a 3 dimensional bust urn.
This urn will not only hold your remains, it will also keep a watchful eye on everybody in the room.
21. From an Airplane
Scatter your ashes over a larger area. These guys 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.
22. In Wine
When Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan’s mother passed away in 2003, he wanted to help her travel the world (she’d been paralyzed since 1975) – so he scattered her ashes across his vineyard, Caduceus Cellars and named a wine in her honour, saying, “she gets to travel the world now”.
23. In a Frisbee
The creator of the Frisbee, Walter Morrison, had requested that his remains be mixed into a batch of genuine Frisbees that were distributed amongst his friends and relatives.
24. In a Pringles Can
While we are on the subject of last wishes of innovators, the creator of the Pringles can had his ashes interred, in a Pringles Can.
His family decided to use the Original Flavor.
25. Memorial Jewelry
You can have a portion of the remains encased in a piece of jewelry. Carry the memory of your loved one around with you wherever you go in a vessel of pure Sterling Silver or 14k Gold.
26. Glass Paperweight
We’ve posted several other options for infusing your cremated remains in glass. Paper weights seem like they could be a fun idea, though it does make one wonder how many of these end up in garage sales. Eeeck.
27. Ask Keith Richards
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 a 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 knows?
Interested in browsing through some more final disposition options for cremated remains? See our post on Memorial Ideas Made From Cremated Ashes.