Hummingbirds, according to Ted Andrews, author of Animal-Speak, represent in Native American culture, “timless joy and the Nectar of Life. It’s a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.”
Whether because of the symbolic meaning of hummingbirds or because a departed loved one had always found them irresistably intriguing and beautiful, the hummingbird is a wonderful subject for memorial cremation urns. Continue reading Hummingbird Cremation Urns
Cremation urns are both functional and decorative. Most people prefer a traditional, standard urn shape and construction, in a box or vase shape to hold the cremains, with minor customization on the exterior such as a butterfly design and an engraved inscription. This makes for a simple and functional urn with enough decoration to be attractive without being outlanding.
Others, however, prefer to honor their loved one with a fitting memorial that is unique in shape and design so as to reflect the unique personality of the departed. At Urns Northwest, we have a variety of these specialty cremation urns.
Our wooden companion urns can be designed with or without an interior divider. This option allows the couple to choose to have their remains co-mingled inside the urn as a symbol of their unity in life and in death, or, alternately, to keep their ashes separated to represent their individuality while still being united forever in a beautiful wood companion urn as a token of the depth of their love.
A companion urn is a timeless way to memorialize the enduring love of an inseperable couple. Also known as a double urn or an urn for two, companion urns make a lasting and beautiful memorial.
The wooden urn box is built to hold the cremains of two individuals in oak, walnut, or maple wood, and can be designed with or without an interior divider. This option allows the couple to choose to have their remains co-mingled inside the urn as a symbol of their unity in life and in death, or, alternately, to keep their ashes separated to represent their individuality while still being united forever in a beautiful companion urn as a token of the depth of their love.
The various scenes for the Companion Urn with 3 Dimensional Scene are crafted using various exotic and domestic hardwoods in their natural colors, cut and laser engraved then inlaid like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle to produce an intricately detailed image with a delightful sense of depth.
The many enchanting scenes available for this double wood urn include:
Idyllic outdoor scenes – A lighthouse against a rocky seacoast, a cowboy riding his trusty horse through the desert towards the setting sun, a farmer riding his tractor home to the farm one last time.
Enchanting animal scenes – An elk in the woods, dolphins leaping through the crest of a wave, a hummingbird or butterfly fluttering near lush flowers.
Bucolic pastime scenes – A rustic cabin nestled against a lake, a golfer finishing his final round, a sailboat rounding the final bend toward shore.
These fine companion urns and many more are available at Urns Northwest. As with most of our wood cremation urns, these double urns can be personalized with laser engraved inscription.
Since most people are not in the market for urns on a daily basis, it can be very hard to even get started. Sometimes there are more questions than answers and with the emotional turmoil, this only adds more stress. Here are some tips.
Keep in mind that you are free to use any container you like
Determine the size of urn you need
Decide where the urn will be kept
Decide what type of material you would like
Decide what design, theme, or style you would like
Other considerations: Scattering, sharing, traveling, lasting
How to Choose a Cremation Urn
1. REMEMBER: ANYTHING GOES
MAIN POINT: You are free to choose and use any container you like, and you are not required to purchase an urn from the funeral home or crematorium.
First off, you can legally keep the remains in almost any container you would like. People have used vases for centuries and recently we have heard the stories of coffee cans, ziploc bags, mason jars, and more. You can modify a violin, a guitar, or a brewing barrel to make an urn if you so pleased. You are not required to purchase an urn from the funeral home, or from anyone else.
There may be some restrictions based on what you intend to do with the urn; for instance, burial in a cemetery requires that the urn either be a vault-style urn, or that the urn be placed inside a burial vault designed for holding an urn. But if you’re keeping the urn at home, anything goes.
2. DETERMINE URN SIZE
MAIN POINT: Generally cremated remains will take up about 160-220 cubic inches of space. Most cremation urns have a capacity of 200 cubic inches.
The basic rule of thumb is that each pound of the person’s body weight will require one cubic inch of space for the ashes. In other words, 1lbs body weight = 1 cubic inch of remains. For example, if someone weighed 185 lbs, the resulting ashes will generally be about 185 cubic inches.
Most cremation urns you’ll find will be standard sized 200 cubic inch “adult” urns. There are also smaller versions known as keepsake urns, and double-sized ones at 400 cubic inches called companion urns. We’ve helpfully tagged all our urns that hold larger-than-average volume as large capacity items.
To calculate with a little more certainty and determine the size urn you need, we have the ultimate resource to help you answer this very question here: What size urn should I get?
3. DECIDE WHERE THE URN WILL GO
MAIN POINT: If the urn will go in your home, choose an urn that is beautiful and represents your loved one in a special way. If it will go in a niche or be buried, you may want to choose something a little simpler and more affordable.
The next main question is – Where will this urn be kept? If you plan on keeping the urn in your home then you have more freedom in the choice than if you want to place it in a niche at a cemetery. Many niches are 11″ x 11″ x 11″. which limits your choice to a cremation urn under 11″ in all directions, so the converted-violin-urn idea is out of the question unless you build a miniature violin.
If you plan on burying the urn in the cemetery, you’ll want to choose something simple, affordable, and durable. Marble urn vaults can generally be buried, and you won’t be required to purchase a protective outer shell vault, since the marble urn won’t biodegrade (as wood urns will) or be crushed by the weight of the ground (as ceramic or metal urns can be).
Or perhaps you’d like the urn to go in a niche with a glass door, so that you can still see the urn. In that case you’ll probably want something that looks nice yet still fits within the confines of the niche – usually something rectangular is ideal, such as a wood cremation urn, perhaps one with an inlay art design.
For display in your home, you’ll want to choose a cremation urn that looks beautiful, reminds you of your loved one, and makes sense with your finances. When keeping the urn in the home some people don’t want to draw attention to the urn as an urn. This is where the design can fool people. Many of our urns have been mistaken as jewelry chests others we offer are actually clocks. There are countless options available, so read on for further considerations.
Another factor is personal choice. Some people prefer brass or granite while others love the richness of walnut wood. This is a personal choice which is sometimes chosen in advance by the deceased, or an easy choice based on a known preference. Let the urn be something that represents your loved one to you, don’t let the salesman sway you by trying to convince you to buy a thousand dollar urn because “he would’ve wanted the quality”, but instead find the most fitting urn to remember them by.
Just about any theme imagineable has been made into a cremation urn. From popular film and TV characters to sports teams, angels to zebra-stripes, simple silk slip covers to ornate replicas of an ancient Han tomb, you can find just about anything and everything for your loved one. Colors, wood types, shapes, nature themes, religious themes, music themes, and more.
6. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Here are some links to other important considerations when choosing an urn:
One last question that comes up often is “how long will the urn last?”
If you are keeping the urn in your home, than how long will similar items last? If it is wood, how long does your hardwood furniture last? How old is that antique that has been handed down for generations? The hardwood urns are built from the same wood as those antiques and with the same high quality finishes that are used on cabinets and furniture sold today.
If you plan on burying the urn, most cemeteries will require a burial vault that can be sealed and are made from high grade polymers or metals.
For those who will place in a niche within a mortuary, the conditions are usually that which are dry enough and sealed to protect wood or metals from corrosion and rot.
I hope that this will help you in deciding what cremation urn will work best, but always keep in mind that it is your choice. Don’t let anyone make you choose some old ugly looking urn because that is all the crematorium offers. Also, keep things within a budget, by not being forced, even if it is merely by guilt, to buy something that can’t be afforded.
The one question we had been asked about many times over the years is “how do you open the urn?” Most of our pages will display (albeit at the bottom) information to the effect that the urn opens with 4 screws from the bottom. This is how most wood cremation urns are opened. However, since many don’t read all the way down to the bottom of the page, they don’t always see the information and so would call us up and ask.
To simplify the answer we made a short video demonstration on how to open an urn:
There are a few exceptions to this, of course, and most of the urns that are different the product page mentions the way to put the cremated remains inside the urn. Some are designed with smaller holes and with others the the top is hinged. Vase style ceramic cremation urns tend to have the standard opening on top with a lid that can be sealed in place or that is threaded. Many stone (cultured marble and granite urns) open from the bottom with a threaded stopper or a plug.
Since making and posting this video years ago, it’s received thousands of views on our cremation urn website and on our YouTube channel, and we’ve made several more videos showing how to open and fill a variety of styles and designs of cremation urns:
If you have any question about how to open a cremation urn, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to help.
In coversations about life and work or when getting to know people, the question I seem to get asked a lot is – Why cremation urns?
When I am asked what I do for a living and I mention that I sell cremation urns, people seem to react with a somber, “Why?” Well, it wasn’t because my family ran or owned a funeral home, which seems to be more of a common answer among funeral professionals. For me it was because of my dad’s old golf ball display company.
You see, I worked for my dad’s company Golf Treasures for a few years and back in 1998 before I worked for them we had started a business called Northwest Gifts (which is still going strong). That company started by selling locally manufactured golf gifts, such as hole in one award trophies, collectible golf ball cases, and other sports-related display cabinets. Many of the golf items we sold were made by Golf Treasures, so when Golf Treasures started manufacturing a small line of 5 different hardwood urns, I figured we could create a website to sell those urns as well.
So, the history of my involvment in selling urns isn’t glamorous or very interesting, but now it has become part of my daily life. I speak to many of our customers and feel their pain as they’re dealing with heartache, memorial arrangements, and costly funeral expenses. The loss of a young child is always the hardest to hear, I can’t imagine the pain of those who have lost a child, but that is for another post.
Now you know the unglamorous history, the present and the future of Urns Northwest is still to serve at a time of great loss. It is always appreciated, yet humbling, to receive the many “thank you’s” from our customers. We will continue to do our best to provide premium, personal customer service to help you get the right memorial, beautifully made, delivered at the right time.