There are many reasons you may want to decorate the grave of your loved one. You may be doing it as a part of your grieving process. Maybe you want others to know that your loved one is still missed and loved. Perhaps you feel that your family member knows when you visit the cemetery, which is why you clean the headstone, place a grave blanket over the plot, or decorate the area.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Grave Decoration Ideas for Mom and Dad
- Grave Decoration Ideas for a Child or Baby
- Christmas Grave Decoration Ideas
- Easter Grave Decoration Ideas
- Day of the Dead or All Saints’ Day Grave Decoration Ideas
- Fall or Halloween Grave Decoration Ideas
Whether your loved one is in a grave in a cemetery or entombed in an above-ground burial spot, here are some creative ways to decorate his or her grave.
Share your final wishes, just in case.
Create a free Cake end-of-life planning profile and instantly share your health, legal, funeral, and legacy decisions with a loved one.
Grave Decoration Ideas for Mom and Dad
Losing a parent is extremely difficult. Here are some ideas on how to decorate the grave of your mom or dad.
Consider decorating your mom’s or dad’s grave with flowers. This traditional decoration is allowed at almost every cemetery and mausoleum. You can choose flowers that were important to your family member or blooms that match the season.
Make sure you understand grave flower etiquette and the cemetery’s rules regarding grave decorations before you make any purchases.
2. American flag
You may consider placing an American flag near your loved one’s headstone, especially if he or she was a member of the military or they were presented with a military flag at their funeral.
Do this on Memorial Day, Independence Day, or Veteran’s Day. Consider adding matching flowers to the grave as well.
3. A religious symbol
If your mom and dad’s faith was important to them, consider placing a religious symbol near their headstone. This symbol can be made of wood or flowers.
4. Decorative flag
If your loved one’s cemetery allows you to insert items in the ground, consider purchasing a small flag holder to display decorative flags that you can change throughout the seasons. You may also choose to hang a banner depicting your mom’s or dad’s favorite sports team.
5. Wedding photos
If both your parents are gone, you may consider celebrating their anniversary by placing a copy of their wedding photo near their grave. Laminate the picture to preserve it as long as possible. Include an anniversary message if you can.
Grave Decoration Ideas for Grandma and Grandpa
If you are missing your grandparents, consider visiting their graves and leaving something special behind. Think about items that would have brought them joy in life.
Perhaps your grandparents were immigrants from another country, and they took great pride in their homeland. Purchase a flag from the land of your ancestors and insert it in the ground near your grandparents’ graves.
7. Greatest grandma or grandpa sign
Search Amazon for a Greatest Grandma/Grandpa sign that can be inserted in the ground. This will tell the world that you loved your special grandparents.
Some cemeteries will allow you to place small birdhouses next to a grave. This may be an especially appropriate gift since you may remember watching birds with your grandma each winter.
Whether you are decorating for Christmas or Halloween, you may be able to find a wreath that celebrates the appropriate season. Make sure to remove the wreath when the holiday is over.
Visiting a cemetery is a pleasant experience if you hear wind chimes softly blowing in the breeze. Do windchimes remind you of sitting on grandpa’s front porch during hot summer days? This would be a perfect gift to leave on his grave.
Grave Decoration Ideas for a Child or Baby
Losing a child is one of the worst things that could happen to a person, especially if the child was extremely young. Here are some ideas of grave decorations for a person who is gone too soon.
11. Plush toy
Although a stuffed animal will not weather the elements well, some find solace by placing a small plush toy on the grave of their infant. This toy may have been important to the child, and placing it on the grave may feel like the right thing to do.
12. Signs or letters
You may want to leave a small sign, expressing how you feel about the child you have lost. Let others know that you miss your son or daughter every day.
13. Small toys
Consider leaving small toys for your child near his or her headstone. You may see this practiced as you visit your local cemetery. Toys may range from rattles to Matchbox Cars.
14. Sand bucket and shovel
Perhaps you miss the simple things in life after you lost your child. Maybe you remember taking your child to the beach to dig in the sand. Commemorate those special moments by placing a child’s bucket and a shovel near the grave of your baby.
Before you leave a balloon on the grave of your child, make sure you understand if this permitted by the cemetery. Although you may have seen balloons on graves before, they may have been removed as soon as you left.
Christmas Grave Decoration Ideas
Some cemeteries only allow you to decorate a loved one’s grave around the holiday season. If this is the practice in your area, you may want to go all out on Christmas decorations for your loved one.
16. Grave blanket
Some find comfort when placing a decorative grave blanket over their loved one’s cemetery plot. These blankets are made of greenery, and they are usually left on the grave throughout the winter.
Poinsettias are beautiful plants that most people associate with the holiday season. Decorate your family member’s grave with either the red or white variety.
18. Christmas lights
If your loved one’s cemetery has few rules, you may consider decorating your family member’s grave with battery-operated Christmas lights. Most cemeteries would not allow this type of decoration, so make sure you check to make sure it is allowed before you purchase them.
Many people decorate with lanterns during the winter months. Hanging a lantern near your loved one’s headstone may give you solace and help you through the grieving process.
Decorate your loved one’s grave with Christmas ornaments that were important to your family members.
Easter Grave Decoration Ideas
Holidays may feel especially difficult if you are missing an important member of your family. Let others know you are thinking of your loved one during those special times of the year by decorating his or her grave.
21. Easter tree
Easter trees are bare branches that are decorated with Easter eggs. Most of the time, the eggs are plastic, but you may consider using blown-out eggs, so you are not leaving plastic items out in a natural environment.
22. A floral cross
If your loved one was a Christian, consider decorating his or her grave with a floral cross.
23. Easter flag
Celebrate the Risen Savior by decorating your loved one’s grave with an Easter flag. Those who do not celebrate the holiday for religious reasons may choose a flag depicting spring-time images.
24. Easter lily
Whether you purchase a real or artificial Easter lily, it is sure to look beautiful on your loved one’s grave Easter morning.
25. Easter basket
You may consider leaving a small basket of eggs on your loved one’s grave. These brightly-colored decorations will remind others of resurrection and rebirth.
Day of the Dead or All Saints’ Day Grave Decoration Ideas
It has become more popular over time to celebrate the Day of the Dead, or All Saints' Day. Decorate your loved one’s grave on this November holiday.
People often decorate graves with candles on the Day of the Dead. Of course, do not leave a lit candle unattended.
27. Orange marigolds
It is customary to decorate graves with orange marigolds on Day of the Dead celebrations as these are known as the flowers of the dead.
Some choose to leave bottles of tequila or another favorite liquor on the graves of their loved ones.
29. Pillows and blankets
Some families leave out small pillows and blankets on their loved one’s grave on the Day of the Dead. This allows the deceased to rest during his or her spiritual journeys.
It is customary to leave items on graves that the deceased may have enjoyed while living.
Fall or Halloween Grave Decoration Ideas
While some decorate their loved one’s graves for Halloween, others find this practice disturbing. Make your own decisions and consider using one of these ideas.
Rust, yellow, and orange mums are the traditional flowers of fall. Consider buying silk or real flowers to decorate your loved one’s headstone.
Whether you purchase real pumpkins or artificial ones, leave one on the grave of your loved one at the start of the fall season.
33. Fall leaves
Perhaps your loved one enjoyed watching the leaves change each season. If fall leaves remind you of your family member, decorate their graves with artificial or real leaves.
34. Fake headstones
If you visit a cemetery around Halloween, you will see that some families choose to decorate their loved one’s headstone with a fake one. Others may find this choice of decor odd.
Those celebrating the Day of the Dead or Halloween may choose to decorate their family members’ graves with fake skeletons and skulls.
Remember, before you invest a lot of time and money in grave decorations, make sure you understand the cemetery’s rules. Your decorations may be removed immediately if they don’t adhere to the guidelines the cemetery has published.