When you leave a decorative item on your loved one’s grave, it won’t be there forever. The decoration can blow away at the first strong gust of wind or a member of the grounds crew will remove the item as a part of routine clean-up.
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Even if the grave decoration stays put, most things lose their beauty after being in the natural elements for any length of time.
While you want to remember your loved one, you know that spending a lot of money on grave accessories is a bad idea. Here are some budget-friendly decorative grave items to consider.
Practical Grave or Cemetery Accessory Ideas
Was your family member not one for frivolity? Perhaps you tend to be more practical as well. Since you probably wouldn’t consider leaving a full bottle of booze or a dozen long-stemmed roses on your loved one’s grave, here are some other ideas.
Not a groundbreaking idea, no, but leaving artificial flowers at your loved one’s grave is extremely practical. Flowers secured in a cemetery flower holder stay put.
Artificial flowers also last a long time. While they may fade and become damaged after spending time in the elements, you can still leave them in the headstone’s vase for months.
Consult the cemetery’s policies before purchasing artificial flowers. Some eco-friendly cemeteries have banned their use and require that only fresh cut flowers are left at graves.
2. Solar-powered grave lights
Is the cemetery where your loved one is buried not well lit? Consider purchasing solar-powered grave lights to help you find your way to the gravesite. Solar-powered lights are the perfect practical accessory for your family member’s grave.
Solar-powered grave lights come in a variety of styles. Even though the lights are practical, they look pretty, too. Purchase lights shaped like a butterfly, praying hands, or fairies. Many lights can be programmed to change colors periodically.
3. Shepherd’s hook
Are you the type of person who likes to change grave decorations with the seasons? Make it easy on yourself by purchasing a shepherd’s hook to place into the ground near your loved one’s headstone.
You can hang a variety of decorative items from a shepherd’s hook. Hanging plants and decorative lanterns can be switched out in a matter of minutes. You may consider suspending a bird feeder or wind chimes from the hook as well.
This item only needs to be purchased once, but it can be used to hang decorations for your loved one for years.
Let other visitors to the cemetery know that you are thinking of your loved one on a special day.
Balloons (consider using an eco-friendly ballon) are inexpensive and can be easily removed by cemetery staff. Placing a balloon on a loved one’s headstone also makes you feel as if you are doing something to commemorate the event.
5. Flag holder
Much like a shepherd’s hook, a flag holder is a very practical purchase. Once you insert the flag holder in the ground near your loved one’s headstone, you only have to return a few times a year to replace the actual flag.
You may be able to purchase a flag for each season and rotate through them for several years. This shows that the grave is attended, and you won’t have to buy something new every time you visit.
Outdoor flags are usually very durable. While they may fade over time, you may be able to stretch their use for several seasons.
6. Decorative rocks
If the cemetery allows, consider placing an ornamental rock garden near the headstone of your loved one. Rocks will never need to be replaced, and you may be able to find them for free.
7. Empty alcohol bottle or can
Some people leave full containers of alcohol on loved one’s graves. While this gift to your loved one in the afterlife may make you smile, it is not practical. If you want a more suitable alternative, consider enjoying the beverage yourself while toasting your deceased family member. Then leave the empty bottle or can near the headstone of your loved one.
Before purchasing any of these practical grave accessories, please consult the cemetery’s policies to make sure they are allowed. No matter how practical the purchase is, it would be a waste of money if the cemetery staff removes the decoration within hours.
Decorative Cemetery or Grave Accessory Ideas
Have you ever seen an item at a store that immediately reminds you of a family member who is gone? While the practical side of you would think that it is a waste of money to buy something to place on a grave, your heart may say something different.
Here are some other inexpensive cemetery decorations that are more frivolous and less practical.
8. Stuffed animals
Stuffed animals do not last long out in the elements, but you may be inclined to leave them at the grave of someone you love.
People tend to leave this and similar comfort items, especially on the graves of children.
9. Grave blankets
Grave blankets are not popular in all areas of the country. They consist of artificial or real boughs of greenery and are placed on the gravesite during the winter months. Grave blankets can provide comfort to those grieving a loss.
10. Holiday decorations
Some people like the idea of buying inexpensive decorations for every holiday.
For example, you can buy a floral arrangement in the shape of a cross for Easter and a small decorated tree for Christmas.
Would you feel better getting some of your emotions off of your chest?
Consider leaving a sign at the grave of your loved one. It may be a simple message, such as “forever in my heart” or “you are not forgotten.” If you have more to say, you may decide to write a letter to the person you are missing and leave it by the grave.
12. American flag
Your loved one did not need to be a veteran for you to place an American flag on his or her grave. I
f he was proud of his country, place a small American flag in the flower vase or the ground near his headstone.
Laminate a copy of a special photo and leave it at the grave of your loved one. This would be an inexpensive way to show others that you are still celebrating the special moments of the past.
Was your loved one obsessed with a particular action hero? Place a figurine of the action hero on his grave.
Maybe your dad always dreamed of purchasing a classic car. You may place a model of a Corvette or a keychain displaying the logo on his headstone.
You know that these trinkets may be removed by a visitor or staff of the cemetery, but you may leave them behind anyway. The gift may not be practical, but the best gifts usually aren’t.
If buying such trinkets gives you pleasure and makes you feel closer to the one you lost, do it.
Other Inexpensive Ways to Remember a Loved One
You may feel like having a big birthday party for your deceased loved one every year. This may assure you that others still remember your husband, sister, or aunt.
Start a scholarship fund for someone you lost. You may like the idea of having an event every year where you announce the winner. In this dream scenario, you would be able to talk about the person you lost and keep her memory alive.
If you want to have a party, consider having a kite-flying event. Meet at a local park and share memories of the deceased as you watch the kites dance in the breeze.
Or you can remember your loved one by volunteering at a charity event that was important to him or her. This doesn’t cost anything, but it honors the person you are missing.
The most important way to celebrate a person’s life is to keep his or her memory alive. Share stories and photos on social media and ask others to do the same. Memories don’t cost anything, but they are certainly priceless.