What do I put in my urn pendant?

There are many options when it comes to choosing what to place in your urn pendant. Factors such as how your loved one was laid to rest and what your individual comfort level is with cremated ashes or other commemorations will help you determine what works best. Here are some of the many options for filling your Keepsake Jewelry.

Cremated Ashes

One of the most common choices for the interior memorial is cremated ashes. This is an ideal option for those looking for a physical reminder of their loved one. Urn pendants will hold approximately a pinch or 1/8 teaspoon of cremated ashes inside the jewelry and the exterior of the jewelry does not reveal what is inside.

Be prepared that immediate family may not want to part with the ashes of their loved one - no matter how small the amount. They may want to keep them ‘all together’ and not share the ashes. And that is 100% okay. Exercise sensitivity when asking to share in the ashes and do not take the families response personal.


A few strands of hair

You can place a few strands of hair inside the small interior chamber of the jewelry. This still provides a physical and personal reminder of the deceased without having to use cremated ashes. The hair can be easily slipped inside the small opening and then sealed by adding adhesive to the threads and tightly twisting the bail or threaded screw.

Funeral directors, nurses or doctors can typically provide the family with a lock of hair of the deceased. However, it is important to exercise sensitivity to the immediate family members. Ask those closest to the deceased - a spouse, parents, an elder child - if it would be okay for you to have a few strands of hair. It would be inappropriate to ask hospital staff or the funeral home yourself. Respect for the immediate family and their loss is paramount and they should be consulted first.


Ground from the site of burial

Where ground from the site of burial is not a physical part of the deceased it does still provide a very personal way to remember someone who has passed. Choose ground that is sandy or loose and that does not contain small rocks or stones that could get caught in the small opening of the pendant. A plastic sandwich bag or small container can be used to hold the ground until you are ready to add to the pendant.

And you don’t have to choose ground from the burial site - it can be from any place that was special to you and the deceased or special to the deceased. Maybe they loved a particular beach, maybe it was a hiking trail they frequented or ground from underneath a tree the planted at their home. What’s important is that the place has sentimental and emotional value to you and your memories of the deceased.


A small piece of clothing

Perhaps the deceased had a favorite t-shirt that they always wore. A scarf that you knitted them. A favorite pair of jeans that they lived in. You can snip a tiny piece of that article of clothing and insert that into the urn pendant. Again, this gives family and friends a personal way to remember someone that has passed but without using a physical reminder that may make them uncomfortable.


Dried and crushed flower petals

Dried flower petals are another option for a personal commemoration for the inside of an urn pendant. The petals can be from a funeral arrangement, a saved wedding bouquet, maybe flowers that you dried and pressed from your 20th wedding anniversary or a high school prom.

To add the flowers to the interior of the pendant it is best to make sure that the flower petals have dried. You can add a fresh petal to the keepsake however because of the fragile nature of the flower petal you risk it sticking to the sides of the opening and having difficulty getting the petal into the pendant. Dried flower petals can be placed in a plastic bag and using a gentle rubbing motion with your thumb and finger, crush the petal into small pieces. Use a small funnel to slide the dried flower petal pieces into the small interior and seal with adhesive.


A Tiny Scroll

A tiny handwritten scroll can be added to your keepsake. This works best with cylinder pendants. Tear off a small piece of paper, no more than 1” by 1” and you may have to go even smaller. Write a message, initials, a phrase that holds special meaning and roll the paper into a thin tube. Slide the tube into the cylinder and twist the screw or bail to close.

One of the first questions that arises is "How do I come up with a scroll small enough to fit in a pendant?". By experimenting on your favorite word processor (Microsoft Word or Apple Pages) you may be surprised to see just how small you can print text. For example, setting the font size to 1 or even 2 often requires a magnifying glass just to be able to read the text. You can print a fairly large amount of text in a very small area. Using a toothpick and tweezers to "wrap" the scroll is helpful.


No Remembrance

Maybe adding a remembrance is simply not for you. That is perfectly okay! The idea behind cremation jewelry is to have a personal way to remember those that have died. But that doesn’t mean that you have to fill the keepsake with anything. Choose a pendant that you love, that reminds you of the deceased and brings you some comfort. You can opt to personalize with engraved text or you can simply wear as is. There are no rules when it comes to choosing the memorial or that you have to choose one. It’s a personal and private choice.

Remember that Cremation Jewelry is way to help you grieve, remember, and stay connected to your loved one.


So how do you know what to choose? What’s right for my situation? We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for each type of remembrance to give you a full picture of what some of your options are.

RemembranceProsCons
Cremated Ashes
  • Personal, physical part of the deceased.
  • Only a small amount of ashes is needed.
  • Can make some people uncomfortable.
  • Family may not want to share ashes.
A few strands of Hair
  • Easy to add to the interior of the pendant.
  • A personal and physical part of the deceased
  • Only a strand or two of hair necessary.
  • Family may not want to part with any physical part of the deceased.
Ground from site of Burial or Special Place
  • Provides a personal way to remember deceased.
  • You can choose any place of special meaning.
  • Easy to add to the interior of the keepsake.
  • Can be challenging to get the ground if choosing a location that is not local.
  • Larger portions of earth such as rocks and pebbles will not fit.
A small piece of Clothing
  • Personal to the deceased, easy to insert into the pendant.
  • Family may not want to part with the clothing or want the clothing damaged.
  • Clothing may not be easily accessible.
Dried and crushed Flower Petals
  • Easy to add to the pendant, can commemorate a special moment shared with the deceased.
  • One flower petal sufficient for remembrance.
  • It takes time for the flower petals to dry completely.
  • Petal needs to be crushed into very fine pieces which can be challenging.
Tiny Scroll
  • Any words or message of personal choosing can be used.
  • No collecting of remembrance - just need a pen and a small scrap of paper.
  • Limited to primarily cylinder pendants.
  • Can be challenging to get the scroll to fit inside the small interior of the jewelry.
No Remembrance
  • No stress.
  • No need to ask the family for ashes or anything physical or personal to the deceased.
  • Choosing a remembrance for the interior enhances the personal nature of the jewelry.
  • No remembrance for the interior takes away some of the personal and specialized nature of the jewelry.

Some tips when choosing the interior commemoration:

  • Sometimes less is more. It’s great to get ideas and help from family and friends but often what works for one person may not work for you. What you choose is private and personal. Don’t feel obligated to ask for approval or assistance with your selection if you’d prefer to keep it to yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to choose something outside the ordinary or to choose no remembrance at all. Your keepsake should bring you comfort and if the memorial holds special meaning to you and it fits inside your pendant - go for it! The more personal and more meaningful the selection, the more the pendant will help to ease the grief.
  • Set up your workstation before you fill. Have your commemoration, your keepsake and all the included tools laid out before you try to fill the pendant. Read through the instructions and understand each step before you tackle the task. Out on the coffee table with kids running around is probably not your best choice. A cleared off kitchen table void of clutter and a quiet house is always a good option.
  • Fill the keepsake when you are ready. The grieving process takes time and everyone goes through it differently. Fill the keepsake when you are ready. For some, they need to do so high away. Others may need days, weeks or even months before they are ready. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from the funeral home when it comes to filling your keepsake if it’s a task you simply aren’t capable of doing.
  • Choosing the right commemoration for the interior of your urn pendant is a personal and private choice. It takes careful thought and consideration as to what will bring the most comfort. Whether it’s cremated ashes, a few strands of hair or even no remembrance, select the option that works best for you personally.