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Alternative ideas for a loved one’s ashes

People watching a cremation ashes fireworks display

Cremation has increased in popularity in Australia in recent decades, with two in three Australians now saying they would opt for it, according to research by national social researchers McCrindle. Unlike traditional burial, cremation offers a huge range of options when it comes to memorials. While some people choose to bury cremation ashes or scatter them in a special place, you might want to do something a little different.

Here are just a few ideas for what to do with cremated ashes to give your loved one a beautiful and fitting tribute. Remember, you can always speak to your funeral director about any ideas or wishes you have.

Make cremation glass art

Yellow, blue and pink glass memorial domes Photo by Memorial Glass

One of the most creative innovations in recent years is the art of turning cremation ashes into glass. Artisanal glass blowers, such as Victoria-based company Memorial Glass, can incorporate small portions of your loved one’s ashes into glass, creating a beautiful, colourful piece of art.

Put on a fireworks display

Mourners watching a cremation ashes fireworks display

As celebrations of life have increased in popularity, people have been looking for ways to make funerals more uplifting. Pyrotechnics companies who specialise in spectacular fireworks displays are now beginning to offer ashes scattering services.

Companies such as Ashes to Ashes and Howards Fireworks will incorporate cremation ashes into fireworks for a scattering ceremony unlike any other.

Turn the ashes into jewellery

Cremation ash pendants Photos by Keepsake Jewellery

Memorial jewellery is a historical practice, but it’s been given new life in recent years by jewellers offering modern pendants that can be filled with small portions of ashes. Australia-based companies such as Keepsake Jewellery and Memorial Jewellery have a huge range of designs, including fillable lockets.

Some memorial jewellery companies also offer to turn ashes into glass pendants and rings, with a range of different colours and styles available.

Create a real diamond

Single white diamond made with cremation ash

This might not be the most affordable memorial, but it certainly is one of the most impressive. Heart In Diamond uses carbon extracted from your loved one’s ashes to grow a real diamond. You can choose from a range of different colours and cuts, with prices ranging from $3,135 to over $30,000, depending on the kind of diamond you want.

Get some ink done

Young woman with tattoo

Recently some tattoo parlours have been offering unique and very personal memorials in the form of cremation ash tattoos. A small amount of ashes is mixed with tattoo ink and used in any design you want.

Beware though – the health risks involved are uncertain and many tattoo parlours won’t offer this very special kind of custom ink. Perhaps in a few years this technique will be safer and more widely available.

Plant a tree

Bios Urn Photo by Bios

The rise of green funerals has got many Australians thinking about how to give back to the earth after the death of a loved one. Biodegradable urns for cremation ashes allow ashes to be dispersed into the earth without harming plant life and can be the perfect tribute to any eco-warrior or environmentalist.

The Bios Urn has a special design that incorporates a seed so that your loved one’s ashes directly nourish the growth of a tree, making a living tribute that will continue to grow and flourish.

For more ideas about what to do with cremation ashes, or to make arrangements for any of the memorials listed here, your funeral director should be able to help you with anything you need.