When a loved one passes away, their memory, impact, and place in our lives remain. It can be hard to grieve over the death of a loved one, but by creating a unique memorial in honor of them, it can help ease the pain bit by bit.
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One way to create a lasting sense of your loved one’s presence is through a memorial wall. A memorial wall can be a special section set aside in your own home or your own garden to pay homage to a deceased loved one. A memorial wall can be a place where you spend time each day remembering the person you loved, a place you pass by each day when you walk out the door as a way to take them with you, or a special private area that is known only to you.
Memorial walls, like other types of memorials, are meant to accomplish one main purpose: to help you remember the person you loved and honor their presence and memory.
If you're interested in other unique ways to honor a loved one, you can consider a custom urn from a store like Foreverence or even have a memorial diamond made from ashes with a company like Eterneva.
Post-loss tip: If creating a meaningful memorial is just one of many challenges you're facing after losing a loved one, our post-loss checklist can help sort it all out.
Memorial Wall Ideas for Outdoors
If you’re looking for things to do in memory of a loved one, consider creating a memorial wall outside. The best place for an outside memorial wall is in your backyard or a garden. The ideas listed below can easily be combined to create the perfect memorial wall that best represents the person you loved.
1. Laser-cut metal decor
Laser-cut metal decor is ideal for an outside memorial. Once treated, it will be rust-resistant and will maintain its shape and appearance no matter what the weather holds. This type of decor can be as simple as a person’s name or as complex as a special scene such as a mountain forest or an ocean sunset.
You can hang them outside on a wall trellis alongside some ivy, or add them to an existing separate divider in your garden. You can also choose symbols that have special meaning such as the Celtic knot, a flower, or a bird.
2. Wall garden
If you want to create a type of living memorial, consider creating a wall garden. Wall gardens can be created by mounting mason jars to wood planks and then mounting the planks to the wall.
You can also use small wood crates or wall planters that are flat in the back and rounded in the front. Personalize a prominent planter with the phrase, “In loving memory of” and include your loved one’s name.
3. Paint the wall
For those with an artistic knack, consider painting a physical wall. Paint a custom scene from a special memory you share of your loved one, paint their portrait, or create a tribute wall with quotes and things they would say.
The design can be as personalized as you want to make it and as complex as your artistic abilities allow.
4. Special mosaic design
If you want to do something DIY-oriented but you aren’t great with a paintbrush, consider creating a mosaic wall, instead.
Mosaics are crafted from pieces of tile and plastered in place. For this, you can do something simple, such as a butterfly or flower, or a little more complex, such as a sunset forest or ocean scene.
5. Personalized all-weather decals
Add all-weather decals to any of your memoria wall designs to create a look of completion.
Choose phrases such as, “In loving memory” or, “Gone but not forgotten.” Add smaller decals directly onto items such as a planter box that have your loved one’s name and the dates they lived.
6. Include a memorial bench
To create a place where you can sit and think back over the lifetime of wonderful memories you and your loved one shared, consider adding a memorial bench in front of the wall.
This can be a simple wooden bench with their name inscribed on a plaque attached to the back, or a stone bench with mosaic work. You can also place a cremation bench here, instead, where the person’s ashes are held inside safe from wind and rain.
7. Wall-mounted urn
There are many types of wall-mounted urns to hold the cremains of your loved one. An urn such as this would go beautifully on a memorial wall. Wall-mounted urns come in styles such as plaques and crosses.
Plaques are easily customizable with the name and dates of your loved one as well as pictures you want included in the design. For wooden wall-mounted urns, seal the cremains compartment and treat the wood so it will be weatherproof before placing it outside.
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8. Wall-mounted bird feeder memorial
Wall-mounted bird feeder memorials are another type of living memorial - a memorial that continues to give life to those around it.
These special bird feeders can be laser engraved with the name, dates, and picture of your loved one. If your relative or friend especially enjoyed wildlife or was a birdwatcher, this may be a great tribute to their memory.
9. Mason jar flower holders
For an ever-changing display of beauty and color in memory of your loved one, consider mounting mason jar flower holders onto your wall.
Similar to the wall garden, they’ll need to be mounted onto wood planks which can then be mounted onto the wall itself. Quart size mason jars can hold a bouquet of blooms for a week before needing to be replaced with fresh flowers.
Memorial Wall Ideas for Inside
There are many creative ways to honor someone inside your home, as well. If you’re looking for a special way to honor a loved one inside, consider combining some of these ideas.
10. Photo wall
A picture wall is a beautiful tribute to the life of your loved one. Choose as many pictures as desired and create a collage of frames. Fit them together like a puzzle or leave room for a small description below each picture.
Arrange them so they can be viewed from childhood to adulthood, or randomize their placement to provide a sense of interest as you or others look from piece to piece. Frame them traditionally or use weathered wood to go with your decor and create a timeless quality to the wall.
10. Wooden puzzle pieces
Like puzzle pieces, each of us fits into the life of another. Along with other elements on your memorial wall, consider adding a personalized wooden puzzle piece to remind you of your loved one’s place in your life.
11. Wooden scrabble wall
This idea works especially well when creating a memorial wall for more than one person. Create a scrabble wall using the names of your grandparents, aunt and uncle, or other loved ones who have died.
Link their names together using oversized wood Scrabble tiles. Connect other words that were used to describe them such as ‘caring,’ ‘loving,’ and, ‘kind’ to complete the look.
12. Handwriting on canvas
Personalize your memorial wall with a piece of your loved one’s handwriting on canvas. Take a picture of their original handwriting from a note where they wrote, “I love you! - Mom” or “I’ll always be with you. - Grandpa.” and have it printed out and framed. Every time you look at their familiar handwriting, it can be as if they’re speaking directly to you.
13. Personalized decor
Choose decor based on something your loved one enjoyed such as birds, baseball, animals, or mountains.
Add items of decor with themes special to your relative or friend to highlight their pastimes and personality. Include any items that you have of theirs that would go well to make this concept extra meaningful.
14. Quote on framed canvas or wood
Add a meaningful memorial quote on framed canvas or wood to your wall for a bit of inspiration.
Choose from a quote such as “Because someone we love is in heaven, there’s a little bit of heaven in our home” or “When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.”
15. Commissioned art
There’s nothing quite like an artistic rendering of someone you love. Have someone draw, sketch, or paint a portrait of your loved one. Frame it and place it in a prominent location on your memorial wall.
16. Angel wings decor
Angel wings have long represented deceased loved ones. If you believe that your loved one is in a better place and you think they are among the angels or are even an angel themselves, then place a pair of angel wings on your wall to remind you that they’re in a better place.
17. Poem on wood or canvas
Write a poem to have printed on wood or canvas, or borrow one from an anonymous author like this:
“I thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new. I thought about you yesterday and days before that, too. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories and your picture in a frame. Your memory is my keepsake, from which I’ll never part. God has you in his loving hands, I have you in my heart.”
18. Special saying on wood or canvas
If a special saying has been particularly meaningful during your grieving and healing journey, consider placing it on wood or canvas and hanging it on your memorial wall. Quotes such as this are a reminder that our loved ones are never too far away:
“Those we love can never be more than a thought away. For as long as there’s a memory, they live in our hearts to stay.”
Remembering Those We Love
Memorial walls are ideal to create a special spot in your home or garden to remember a loved one’s memory. Get creative and use a combination of decor that represents their personality, elements of a living memorial, and something extra special such as a bench or piece of artwork.
Your memorial wall can be as unique, creative, and colorful as the person you want to remember and keep close to your heart and home.