Memorial seed packets are a thoughtful funeral favor to give out after a funeral or a memorial service. They could also be used at a memorial release ceremony. There are many places you can purchase packets complete and ready to hand out or you can put together your own DIY memorial gift.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What You’ll Need Before You Start Making Seed Packets
- Steps for Making Memorial Seed Packets
- Memorial Seed Packet Ideas
Whether you’re looking to host a gathering on a budget or you simply want the opportunity to create your own memorial seed packets, this is a very simple project to complete yourself. By following several simple steps, you’ll have completely original memorial seed packets that are ready to hand out and are just right for your loved one’s funeral or memorial service.
Post-loss tip: If creating a meaningful memorial is just one of the complex challenges you're facing after losing a loved one, our post-loss checklist can help sort it all out.
What You’ll Need Before You Start Making Seed Packets
One of the most time-consuming parts of this DIY process is gathering needed materials. You can customize your packets any way you desire, so some of the supplies can be considered optional. Here are the items you’ll need:
- Seed packets
- Colored ink
When ordering your supplies, it’s essential that you have a good idea of how many people are attending the funeral or memorial gathering. There is nothing worse than having to leave people out because there aren’t enough seed packets. Have enough for one packet for each person or, at the minimum, one per couple. Keep in mind children and unaccounted-for plus ones that may also want to participate.
Where can you buy seeds for the packets?
Whether you need to order bulk amounts for a large gathering or just need enough seed for 10 or 20 packets, there are plenty of places to purchase your seeds.
Local nursery or garden center
Many local nurseries and garden centers can order seeds for you, even if the time of year isn’t ideal for the type of seeds you want. They have access to seed distributors and can often order seeds that may not be available elsewhere.
Online seed companies
Online seed distributors have seeds available and in-stock year-round. If purchasing a bulk amount of seed, some companies may offer a discount. When purchasing online, be sure to do so from a reputable and well-known seed distributor.
Steer clear from companies with poor reviews and questionable credentials. At best, you might end up with an entire order of seeds that never germinate. At worst, you might not get the correct seeds at all. You don’t want friends and family planting memorial gardens with the seeds just to face disappointment when they don’t sprout or, instead of zinnias, they come up as tomato plants.
Are you in love with the flowers grown by a favorite vendor at your local farmer’s market? Ask them whether they save their seeds or, if not, where you can purchase them. Vendors are more than happy to help you find what you need and they may be able to order them for you.
Steps for Making Memorial Seed Packets
Putting your seed packets together should be a simple and straightforward process. There are numerous opportunities to customize your packets for the occasion and we’ll provide some ideas and concepts to try out.
1. Choose seeds
Did you know that flowers and their colors have special meanings? To give added meaning to your favor, look up flower meanings and choose seeds from a flower that holds particular importance to you and your family. Consider some of the following flower and color combinations.
White carnations: Representative of innocence and beauty, these are long-lasting flowers with a subtle fragrance and look beautiful in any garden.
Red roses: Symbolic of romantic or enduring love and grief over loss. It’s important to keep in mind that roses can be very difficult to grow from seed so if you have a group of inexperienced gardeners, it might be a good idea to choose a different flower.
Sunflowers: Symbolic of friendship and loyalty. They provide a sense of joy and gladness and are especially appropriate to use when handing out seed packets during a memorial “celebration” of your loved one’s life.
Purple asters: Symbolic of royalty, purity, devotion, and faith. These flowers can be especially significant to someone whose faith was a cornerstone of their life and were known for their devotion to God, friends, and family.
Lavender: Symbolic of devotion, grace, and serenity. Use these for someone who embodies those qualities.
Wildflowers: Expresses joy and fulfillment. Wildflowers are especially meaningful during end-of-life celebrations.
As you can see from these few examples, you can choose specific flowers that symbolize something special for your loved one or your family. If you decide to pick a specific flower for its meaning, be sure to communicate its importance to your guests.
2. Order seeds and supplies
Once you know how many people you expect to attend the funeral or memorial, order seeds for your packets. In general, you should plan for a teaspoon of seeds per packet. By providing more seeds than necessary, you’re giving your guests a greater chance that the seeds will germinate and grow when planted. Some seeds will never germinate, so the more you add to a packet, the better their chances.
When ordering seeds, double-check to ensure that the package will arrive on time. If ordering other items such as the packets and labels, check these shipping dates, as well. Most companies offer expedited shipping if you need to rush the order. Give yourself plenty of time to put the packets together without having to rush the day before the memorial gathering or funeral.
If you’re unsure of how much seed to order, give the company a call and talk to a representative. Flower seed companies will be more than happy to help you figure out the right amount for your needs before you place the order.
3. Print labels
Print labels to paste to the front of your seed packets. These should contain a simple phrase such as, “Plant these seeds in memory of” and the name of your loved one. You can also add their dates, a quote, verse, or a meaningful ”in memory of” saying that holds meaning for you and your family.
Most labels come with a premade template you can adjust and customize on programs such as Microsoft Word. In addition to the wording, add floral designs or other elements that help communicate what is inside. Make sure you print them in color for the design you choose to take full effect.
4. Print instructions
If the seeds you chose need special instructions, print these out on a second label and place it on the back of the seed packet. Instructions should be kept simple and are only needed if the seeds you purchased require special planting conditions.
5. Attach labels and instructions
Depending on how many seed packets you have to label, this might be the point where you want to enlist help. Ask a friend or family member to help you complete the final steps to get the packets ready for distribution at the funeral or memorial service.
6. Fill packets
If you purchased a bulk packet of seeds, the easiest way to fill the packets is to take a teaspoon measure and dispense one scoop of seeds into each packet. After you’ve placed the seeds inside, hand off the packet to your helper to lick and seal, or seal with a sticker.
7 Decorate packets
This final step is completely optional and is simply a matter of time and preference. Wrapping twine around the packets will contribute to a rustic look whereas ribbons add refinement. A plain package with nothing but the labels is appropriate, as well.
Memorial Seed Packet Ideas
While memorial seed packets don’t necessarily need a theme or dressing up, you certainly can add to the presentation by incorporating special symbols or phrases that were meaningful for your loved one.
Forget-me-nots are both flowers and a seed packet theme. While it’s understood that the person who passed away will not be quickly forgotten by friends and family, using this flower adds another layer of meaning to your memorial gathering.
If your loved one was a Star Trek fan, they might appreciate Leonard Nemoy’s quote, “Life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had but not preserved except in memory.” Add his classic blessing send-off by writing out, “Live long and prosper” or by using the abbreviation, “LLAP.”
Life is beautiful
Encourage guests to celebrate the beauty of the life of your loved one through the beauty of the flowers you give them to plant. Use a special quote or poem to emphasize the comparison such as, “May these beautiful flowers remind you of the beauty of a life well-lived.”
Memories like seeds
Encourage guests to take home your seed packets and plant them by making the connection between flower seeds and memories. Consider placing a quote or phrase somewhere on the packet such as, “Memories, like flowers, only grow sweeter with time.”
Did your loved one have a particular affinity for a favorite color? Did they wear purple as much as they could or decorate their house in various shades of blue because they couldn’t get enough of the hue?
Celebrate this part of their personality by creating memorial seed packets with blue forget-me-nots or morning glories. Print labels in color with blue flowers to further emphasize the connection between the flowers and your loved one’s favorite color.
We know that flowers have meanings. However, there’s nothing more important than representing your loved one’s life by including things they particularly enjoyed. If they had a favorite flower, consider including their favorites in your seed packets.
Rather than using traditional funeral flowers, get seeds from their favorites such as sweet peas, snapdragons, or zinnias. Encourage guests to plant the flowers “in celebration of” your loved one’s life.
Seed packets provide a lasting tribute to the memory of loved ones. Whether you choose flowers for their meaning or because they’re a favorite of your family member, guests will have a visual reminder of the life of the one they’ve gathered to celebrate.