If you roll up your sleeves or give it a little ingenuity, you can come up with some original ideas for celebration of life party favors. If you prefer collaboration with artists, local and online marketplaces are a great option, too.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- DIY Celebration of Life Favor Ideas
- Celebration of Life Party Favor Ideas
- Inexpensive Celebration of Life Party Favor Ideas
To get you started, we created a list that will run the gambit. Whether you like to reduce and reuse or put someone else in charge of the artistry, you’ll find some great ideas here to get you started.
If you want some additional help navigating the entire complicated process of loss, including planning or attending a service, check out our post-loss checklist.
DIY Celebration of Life Party Favor Ideas
When grieving, you’re not likely to want to make time-consuming party favors. So, here’s a few that take more planning than preparation. Plus, if you give yourself a to-do list, you can shave off some minutes on the completion end.
1. Painted stones
Paint a few dozen rocks and leave them on a table at the celebration of life ceremony with instructions for your guests. You could ask your guests to go to their favorite places and leave the rocks there. Once someone finds them, they’ll find a hashtag on the back of the rock so they can leave photos and stories, making this party favor about sending happiness into the world.
Alternatively, you could recycle some oyster shells and then paint the inside for display on a shelf.
2. Drawer sachets or holiday ornaments
Old flannels made into sachets make great keepsake gifts because they’re a fantastic way to put memories in places where loved ones will see them every day. If you’re like me, you also have your favorite holiday ornaments.
Every year, those ornaments come out of the box, ready for that same special place somewhere. And every time, they give you nothing but positive and happy memories
3. String art hearts
If you’re looking for celebration of life party ideas, here’s one that works as a group project. You’ll want to prep the nails ahead of time to prevent a lot of banging or sore thumbs when people have gathered to share memories and listen.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
Suggestion: Make the first one as an example for your guests. You can even go so far as to tie the first string to the nail so that little fingers don’t have too much of an issue.
4. Recipe cards
Sharing meals help people bond. So, consider making a booklet of your loved one’s favorite recipes. This way, when friends and loved ones gather around the table, they’ll continue to include the decedent in the mealtime laughter and stories.
Make this more special by planning an annual dinner party on their birthday or memory day.
5. Life story bookmarks
A laminated bookmark would make an ideal party favor if your loved one was an avid reader. Use different stories, favorite quotes, and pictures on all of the markers so that when people share which version they have, your loved one’s life story becomes kind of a living novel.
Alternatively, you could ask the guests to prepare their bookmark favors in order to trade for a new one. That way, the stories come from different times and perspectives.
6. Cologne or perfume candles
Do you have the makings for candles at home? If so, use their favorite perfume or cologne as the scent. Personalized matchbooks add the final touch.
Additionally, you can create some sticker labels using an at-home printer.
Celebration of Life Party Favor Ideas
Start with online marketplaces where you’ll find artisans far and wide to help you with your project. However, if you know some local professionals, you can choose to support your hometown economy.
7. Professionally engraved stones
If your painting skills are a little dusty, there are agencies and online marketplaces that will engrave small stones. Options include things like names and dates, or anything else you might prefer. Stick to one message and buy in bulk so you can save some money.
Alternatively, if you design multiple options, then the attendees can choose their favorite.
8. Personalized photo frames
Whether you choose to use your local framer or click on an artist from an online marketplace, the options here are endless. The three basic things you’ll need to consider:
- Picture size—an 8x10 is a good size to start
- Mat color—chose something neutral to fit in everyone’s homes
- Wording—a quote or names and dates
If you get stuck on ideas, ask for some advice from the service you’re using. Most sites are excited to help you find the perfect way to honor your loved one.
9. Fingerprint charms
If you’re seeking funeral favors for the immediate family—parents and children—consider fingerprint charms. Check out your favorite online marketplace for customization options, too. You will find options for metal choices, gem colors (if you want them), and also size variations.
These same places can make nose print and paw print charms much the same as a fingerprint charm for all your pup owners. Just ask.
10. Personalized wind chimes
The possibilities here are endless. A few online marketplaces get you started perusing options so that you start to get some ideas about how you’d like the end piece to look. Apart from the following styles I found, you can also add personal touches to remind you of your loved one.
- Copper with colorful glass balls
- Standard metals
- Stained wood
- Stained glass
Note: plan to with at least a couple of weeks’ notice as this is a more time-consuming project for some artists.
Sunshine, in the right window, will scatter light all over. Open the window to let in a breeze, and you’ll have rainbow-colored light floating around your room. With a quick search online, you’ll discover artisans from all over the world that make beautiful designs.
Note: if you’re buying in bulk, then ask for a discount. They may shave a few percentage points off the top.
Inexpensive Celebration of Life Party Favor Ideas
If you’re on a budget, we’ve found some more great ideas to fit your needs from tree seedlings to artisan-made items.
12. Custom wildflower or birdseed packets
This is a two-part process. First, go online to a marketplace to discover which artist makes the best seed packets to fit your design ideas. Second, you’ll want to consider the seeds you’ll be putting in those packets.
If most of the attendees for the celebration of life are local, then choosing a wildflower that will grow well in your area is easy. If your choice is birdseed, then choose something that suits a variety of species. Not sure what to get? Call a park office and speak to the staff there.
13. Tribute tree seedlings
When choosing the right memorial tree, head out to the local park to see what naturally grows in your area. When you’ve discovered your favorites, stop by a local nursery to buy seedlings in bulk. Local nurseries will be very happy to help you make the best decision.
A small burlap sack with colorful twine around the roots will make a lovely presentation. It’s finished when you make a card identifying the tree with clear planting instructions on the back.
14. Beach at home
Did your loved one decide on a coral reef burial? Then consider collecting various shells, tiny bits of driftwood, and little vials of sand, just pay attention to the beach rules regarding the collection of various items. Here are some ideas on how to display them:
- Mason jars using washed up, clean fishing nets for the ribbon
- Placed inside a candle mold and filled with environmentally friendly wax
- Separated into recyclable bags for display on a tray or shelf
Clearly, your loved one wanted to do something beautiful to help the ocean, so if you can include the GPS of their location on a card, people will have the option to visit them one day.
15. Stuffed bears
Using old clothing for this project is ideal, primarily if your loved one was known for living in specific apparel. Whether you have a bunch of golf shirts or flannels hanging in the closet, choose something sturdy, and get out your sewing machine.
Alternatively, artists that you can find online will sew for you. If you have a local sewing center, you could put up an ad for some local assistance.
Do you live in a place that allows you to have Independence Day sparklers? If so, consider adding these items to your celebrations. After a day of grilling out and enjoying family and friends' company, you can bring out the sparklers for everyone to light.
Should you decide to have a designated camera-person taking some nighttime shots of the event, you’ll be doubly impressed with the photos afterward. They’ll be a hit on whatever social media page you have for your loved one—or your own!
Celebrating With Loved Ones
Although it’s a celebration, it’s still a solemn occasion to gather and remember someone. So that means it’s less about the party favors themselves and more about the time you can all spend together being part of these life experiences.