15 Grave Decoration Ideas for Mom or Grandma


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Some people find that they feel more connected to those they have lost when they visit their graves. You may feel even better knowing that you honored your mom or grandma by bringing a decoration for her headstone.

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Before you go to the trouble and expense of gathering the items, make sure you check the cemetery’s policies. Many cemeteries have strict guidelines detailing what to leave at a gravesite. If you choose to ignore the restrictions, the cemetery staff may immediately remove it.

Tip: No matter how long ago your mother passed away, you might still be sorting through the life she left behind. Our post-loss checklist can help you work through all of your post-loss responsibilities. 

DIY Grave Decorations for Mom

Sometimes the act of creating something special for a person you love can be therapeutic. We’ve included some grave decoration ideas that you can make.

Even if the cemetery has restrictions about what can be left at the gravesite, you may want to work on a creative project anyway. As long as the item is not too personal in nature, you may consider donating it to a local nursing home or hospital. Helping others is a wonderful way to give tribute to someone you lost. 

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1. Fresh bouquet

Did you inherit your mother’s love of gardening? As soon as her favorite blooms come into season, create a fresh bouquet from the cuttings. 

You may consider wrapping the stems in ribbon and laying the bouquet on top of the headstone. Even though this decoration will not last long, it is a lovely tribute. 

2. Grave blanket

Grave blankets are not popular in all areas of the country, but they can be a beautiful way to decorate a burial spot. Grave blankets are made of evergreen boughs.

They may also include pinecones, baby’s breath, berries, and other holiday plants. You can make a grave blanket with artificial or real greenery, and they are usually placed over the burial spot before the first snow. 

3. Photo collage

Do you want others to remember your mom? Create a photo collage that includes copies of your favorite pics.

Leave the collage at the gravesite. You may want to laminate what you created to give it a bit longer life.

4. Letter

Are you sad that your mom died before you told her how much you loved her? Perhaps you have other regrets that you are trying to work through as you mourn the loss of your mom. 

You may feel better if you write a letter detailing some of your complicated feelings and emotions. The act of writing may be enough and you may come to terms with your regret. But you may feel more closure if you leave the letter on your mother’s burial spot.

Sadly, do not assume that your letter will be left unread by other visitors. Consider this before you disclose anything in the message you wouldn’t want others to know.

5. Cross or another religious symbol

If you are handy with power tools, you could create a beautiful wooden cross to leave at your mom’s gravesite. Of course, you can make a simple cross using thin leather strips to hold the two sections together.

Don’t forget to bring a small trowel to help you loosen the soil so that you can get the cross into the ground. 

Store-Bought Grave Decorations for Mom

Perhaps crafting causes you more stress than relaxation. If that’s the case, buy something to decorate your mom or grandma’s grave. 

Several different groups may bring decorations for your mom’s grave. If that’s the case, you may consider coordinating your efforts. If you are concerned about the grave’s aesthetic, you may create a schedule that assigns each person a two- or three-month interval to decorate.

Removing another person’s decorating efforts may cause hurt feelings, so be considerate.

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6. Artificial floral arrangement

The most common item to leave on a grave is an artificial floral arrangement. Many headstones can be purchased with a cemetery flower holder.

If you worry that this decoration isn’t impressive enough for your mom, consider the types of flowers you choose for the arrangement. Pick your mom’s favorite flowers or ones that hold special significance. Change the flowers to match the holidays or seasons. 

Please note that some eco-friendly cemeteries ban the use of artificial flowers. Other cemeteries remove all grave decorations on specific days throughout the year. Before going through the expense and effort of buying flowers for your mom’s grave, make sure you know the cemetery’s policies. 

7. American flag

While many cemeteries do not allow you to stick items into the ground near a headstone, you may insert a small flag into the flower holder.

Even though American flags traditionally mark veterans’ graves, they can also be used as decorations for people who simply loved their country. Whether your mom was a military member or simply had a patriotic spirit, consider placing a flag at her grave for decoration.

8. Holiday decorations

Was your mom or grandma a fan of a particular holiday? Consider using holiday decorations to honor this important woman.

You may have to get creative to figure out holiday decorations that will fit in the flower vase on the headstone. Consider decorating a bare tree branch with Easter eggs during the spring. Decorate her grave with pumpkins and orange and red leaves in the fall. Purchase a small Christmas tree or a poinsettia for the grave’s holiday decorations. 

9. Wind chimes

If the cemetery allows it, wind chimes make great, multi-sensory grave decorations. You can even purchase personalized wind chimes that have your loved one’s name and image on them. 

You may have to purchase a shepherd’s hook so the wind chimes have a place to hang. 

10. Birdhouse

Was your mom or grandma an avid birdwatcher? Encourage visits of her favorite feathered friends by hanging a birdhouse or feeder near her headstone. 

Again, you may need to purchase a shepherd’s hook to give your decoration a place to hang. Also, consider the cemetery rules, as these items may not be allowed. 

Mother’s Day Grave Decorations for Mom

Mother’s Day is incredibly hard for some people. If you dread that Sunday in May each year, consider visiting the cemetery with one of these decorations. It won’t keep you from missing your mom — you’ll honor your mother just like everyone else that day.

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11. Balloon

Some cemeteries do not allow full-sized balloons as decorations but you may be able to find a small Mother’s Day balloon attached to a stick. Insert the small balloon into the vase attached to the headstone. 

12. Sign

You may be able to find outdoor Mother’s Day signs to place at your mom’s headstone. If not, consider making your own. Show others that your mom is always in your heart by placing your creation near her grave.

13. Angel Ornament

You may be able to find an angel ornament attached to a long ribbon. Place the decoration around the headstone’s vase to show that you are thinking of your mom on this special day.

You may also be interested in a guardian angel grave stick, a small item that may sit inside the headstone vase.

14. Wreath

Most big box stores that sell artificial flowers have a large selection during certain times of the year.

Look for Mother’s Day cemetery wreaths in those stores starting at the end of April or early May. Many of these wreaths are adorned with a “Mother” ribbon.

15. Headstone flower saddle

Consider using a headstone flower saddle to add decoration to your family member’s grave. These saddles sit on top of a headstone and have wire holders on each side to secure the decoration to the stone. 

While some cemeteries may not allow this type of decor, it may meet the guidelines of others. 

How to Say Goodbye

If you recently lost your mom or grandma, you may be struggling to say your goodbyes. Mother’s Day, birthdays, and the winter holidays may be especially challenging. Everyone mourns differently, and in a small way, sometimes grave decorations for mom help. Something may happen five years from now that may cause you to miss your mom or grandma more than ever. 

Instead of “getting through” your grief, it may be helpful to think of it as an everlasting, bittersweet reminder of someone you loved. 

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