What to do with cremation ashes
After the cremation of a loved one, you will be faced with the decision of what to do with the ashes. As cremation becomes more and more popular in the UK, there are a lot of creative and unique things you can do with cremation ashes.
Here are 20 unique ideas for what to do with ashes after cremation:
- 1. Take them on a trip around the world
If your loved one had a passion for travelling, you could take their ashes on a trip around the world and scatter them in each country that you visit. It may be that the deceased wanted to visit a specific city before they passed away but didn’t get the chance; this could be a great place to lay their ashes to rest.
- 2. Turn them into jewellery
Memorial jewellery can be a wonderful way to feel close to a loved one again. Whether you choose a necklace, bracelet or ring, you will only need a tiny amount of your loved one’s ashes to create a beautiful keepsake.
- 3. Scatter them at sea
Scattering a loved one’s ashes at sea can be a great send off, especially if they loved spending time at the beach or if they were a boating enthusiast. Most beaches and coastlines in the UK are accessible to the public and, unlike burial at sea, you do not require a license.
Find out more about the rules and regulations of scattering ashes at sea.
- 4. Let them go out with a bang
For a truly unique send off, why not strap your loved one’s ashes to a firework and let them go out with a bang?
Heavenly Stars Fireworks offers a variety of services for incorporating your loved one’s ashes into fireworks. They can help you arrange a special firework display and a happier alternative when saying goodbye to a loved one.
- 5. Bury them in your garden
Choosing to bury your loved one’s ashes at home in your garden can be very personal and a great option if you want to keep them close by. As long as you are the landowner, burying ashes in your own garden is perfectly acceptable in the UK. It’s important to be aware that if you sell your home one day, the new owner may not let you visit the spot where you buried the ashes.
- 6. Get a tattoo
Getting a tattoo in memory of someone who has passed away has become very popular but there are a few tattoo studios in the UK which will help you take that idea one step further.
You can now get body ink which actually contains some of your loved one’s ashes. Some tattoo artists will mix a portion of the cremation ashes with ink to create a unique memorial tattoo that will permanently keep someone close to you.
- 7. Shoot them into space
You can now give your loved one a fitting final journey by launching and scattering their ashes in space.
Ascension Flights uses meteorological balloons filled with helium to carry biodegradable urns to the edge of space. Once the balloon reaches 100,000ft, it bursts and scatters the ashes across the Earth.
- 8. Plant them as a tree
As green funerals and woodland burials continue to grow in popularity, you may wish to consider transforming your loved one’s ashes into a tree. By planting a biodegradable urn, you will be able to grow a tree using cremated remains; it’s the perfect way to say farewell to a loved one if they were passionate about the environment.
- 9. Release them with doves
Releasing doves after you have scattered a loved one’s ashes can be a simple but poignant way to say goodbye. There are a number of companies in the UK which offer this unique service and you may even want to write a personal message which the doves will carry after being released.
- 10. Jump out of a plane with them
You can mark an extraordinary life in an extraordinary way – scattering ashes during a tandem skydive!
Your Wings offers this unique service across the UK. You are able to take any volume of cremated ashes up with you, before jumping out of a plane and releasing them from a special ‘ashes release pod’.
- 11. Create a vinyl record
According to a study carried out by Simplicity, one in four young people would like their ashes compressed into a vinyl record.
And Vinyly will press your loved one’s ashes into a bespoke vinyl record for family and friends to cherish for years to come.
- 12. Store them in a cuddly toy
You may wish to place a small amount of cremation ashes into a memorial bear or cuddly toy, allowing you to take comfort in the knowledge that a small keepsake from your loved one is close to you. These cuddly toys usually have a concealed opening at the back with a container for the ashes and are suitable for families who have sadly lost a child.
- 13. Turn them into pieces of beautiful art
This is a unique way to keep a loved one’s ashes close by and to remember them with a lasting memorial. With Love and Light incorporates cremation ashes to create hand made memorial glass pieces, allowing you to remain close to a loved one. The pieces of art are designed to be kept at home and can be engraved with your loved one’s name, a special poem, message, or even lyrics from their favourite song.
- 14. Create a permanent living legacy...under the sea
Solace Reef will help you create an enduring living memorial for your loved one by incorporating their ashes into artificial reefs.
The ashes are placed in ‘Solace Stones’ and laid to rest on the sea bed. It is the first of its kind in the UK and the perfect option for those who lived by the coast or simply loved the sea.
- 15. Scatter them from a Spitfire
If your loved one had a passion for planes or aviation, scattering their ashes from a Spitfire could be the ideal way to pay tribute to their life.
Fly a Spitfire offers a service, subject to obtaining CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) permission, which honours your loved one in an unforgettable way. Depending on location, they are able to fly over funerals and scatter a loved one’s ashes from a Spitfire aircraft.
- 16. Lay them to rest at their favourite football club
Was your loved one a football fanatic? You may want to consider scattering their ashes at the home of their favourite football club.
The rules and regulations for scattering ashes at sports venues and football clubs can vary significantly across the UK. Some clubs now provide memorial areas on their grounds for the purpose of scattering ashes. If this is an option you would like to explore further, it’s worth contacting the club directly.
- 17. Use a radio controlled helicopter to disperse them
Angels Away offers a unique service for those seeking to scatter cremation ashes over their loved one’s favourite location. They use a highly modified radio controlled helicopter for low altitude air dispersals. Your loved one’s ashes are elevated and given a 360 degree viewing over their favourite place, before slowly being released across the sky.
- 18. Scatter them from a riverboat on the Thames
It may be that your loved one’s final wish was to have their ashes scattered on the River Thames. French Brothers offers boats for exclusive private charter for the scattering of ashes. The service includes a private vessel to take you and your guests upstream from Windsor, allowing you to scatter your loved one’s ashes among the UK’s most famous flowing waters.
- 19. Add them to a sculpture
Adding your loved one’s ashes to a sculpture can be a beautiful way to honour and celebrate their life. It is the perfect choice for those who want something a little bit different to an urn but would still like to keep the ashes at home. Casting Ashes incorporates a small amount of ashes in its sculptures, creating a memorial which you can cherish for years to come.
- 20. Keep them in an urn
Sometimes less is more. You could stick to tradition and simply keep the ashes of your loved one in a cremation urn. There are plenty of decorative styles to choose from and you can also place special mementoes inside; such as a lock of hair, a personal message or even your wedding ring.
Whatever you decide to do with your loved one’s ashes, it’s best to discuss the options with other relatives beforehand. If you choose to scatter the ashes, you will need to ensure you have permission before proceeding.
You may find our guide on places to scatter ashes in the UK helpful.