When thinking about cremation urns for our loved ones, most of us have a few built-in notions about what they should look like or where they should go. Most of us are only familiar with the ones we’ve seen in homes or those destined for a grave.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Types of Outdoor Cremation Urns for Human Ashes to Display
- Types of Outdoor Display Urns for Pet Ashes
- Places You Can Buy an Outdoor Cremation Urns
Outdoor cremation urns, however, let you stretch your mind a bit to consider the materials and durability and how you want them to look. When we put this list together, the intent was to expose a few new ideas and inform you about the unique options available today.
Types of Outdoor Cremation Urns for Human Ashes to Display
Will your loved one rest in a mausoleum, a family garden, or a woodsy location? That answer can change some important factors like size, sustainability, and visual appeal. Read on for some ideas to help you on the journey of discovery.
1. Pressed leaf urns
Some wood or biodegradable paper urns can look “quickly assembled” you might say. But there are other, more artsy options if your loved one’s request is to return to the earth sustainably—without looking like the urn was made from hodgepodge.
Look for pressed leaf sculptures using moss, hemp, and stone for support, then place the ashes deep in the woods to slowly meld with the other natural elements around them.
2. Sculptural bronze urn
Bronze acquires a glorious oxidation patina over time, which is not dissimilar to how humans age, though a person’s patina is more about wrinkles or scars.
Couple that idea with a one-off handmade sculptural bronze urn, and you’ll have a beautiful reminder of any loved one, suitable for a garden and as a testimony to the journey of life.
3. Chartreuse raku ceramic urn
Look for shapely Japanese-inspired ceramic urns suitable for any outdoor solarium, plant house, or other covered space you use for gardening.
Choose a noticeable and distinctive color, like chartreuse, so that when sunshine holds it in reverence, you can’t help but notice.
Stately hand-blown glass cremation urns are suitable for outdoor places of memorial such as glass cremation chapels, plexiglass niches, and crystal mausoleums.
Remember, glass is such a delicate material that you’ll want to make sure the resting place is covered and sealed to avoid issues.
5. Fire bowl
Your loved one can still attend every outdoor gathering with friends and family. As the sun sets or the air chills, start a fire in an artisan-crafted fire bowl, then bring everyone closer to the warmth.
These fire bowls are made from durable crafted stone, and the artist can alter specs or refine the concept to suit any backyard location.
6. Zen garden rock urns
Suppose your loved one enjoyed rock balancing or creating cairn sculptures so much that you decided a replica cairn makes the best and most unique urn choice for them.
Options include the modern and minimalist version that looks like two actual rocks stacked atop each other and a traditional urn with a real-rock cairn sculptural lid.
Tip: With Parting Stone, you can even create stones made out of your loved one's ashes. If you send in all of the ashes, Parting Stone will solidify them to create between 40 and 60 unique, natural-looking cremation stones.
7. Angel of bereavement
If religious beliefs inspire you, choose an urn made from durable metal or sculpted marble with a grief-filled angel draped over the lid. It may be unsuitable for a vegetable patch, but you could make it work in a well-groomed flower garden or another place of honor if on a pedestal.
8. Commissioned companion urns
Many artists can bring your vision to life if you’ve got a good sketch and a way with words. Search online marketplaces or review Internet images for names of individuals that can help you achieve this vision.
Pro-tip: Communicate clearly, verify pricing, determine what size urn you’ll need, and ask for a mockup beforehand.
Types of Outdoor Display Urns for Pet Ashes
Typical pet urns for ashes can be as standard or as unusual as you like. In the list that follows, we looked for concepts that spark new ideas and challenge the norms. But we also included a few spins on the traditional urns commonly seen.
9. Rock-like granite urn
Because granite is the customary stone used for headstones or gravestones and holders for bronze markers, it makes sense that an urn made from granite would be durable.
Although granite is an igneous rock, the rock urns available today look like chunks of stone natural to a place instead of polished, pretty, and intentional. Add a bronze plaque if it suits.
10. Memorial wind chime urn
Wind chimes make beautiful sounds any time of the year, calling you away from life inside four walls to enjoy nature and her breeze in a limitless expansion.
Urn chimes hold a portion of your loved one’s remains in cast metal just below the top, where no one will notice.
Biodegradable, sustainable, and eco-friendly urns make brilliant choices for your pet’s ashes.
Entirely above-ground urns are made of bamboo, wood, salt, and other materials that eventually become one with the earth. Partially above-ground urns can house seeds or saplings, which blossom into giant trees over time.
Sit with your memories on a cremation urn bench, situated in your backyard beneath your favorite tree.
You can bring a book, art supplies, a laptop, or even a glass of tea. Then enjoy the memories for your little one while the space of time narrows over your thoughts.
13. Steel orb
Yard globes or gazing balls were invented many centuries ago and have graced backyard spaces since.
If you choose this modern urn for your cat, imagine the delight you’ll take by setting it in the center of a giant birdbath. You might smile thinking about how they’d love that perfect perch.
14. Sculptural birdhouse
Not any birdhouse will do. Look for an artist’s creation using natural elements for a one-off art piece suitable to nestle into any tree or shrub.
Perhaps you might choose this for the birder in your life, but it seems more fitting to the housecat who sat by the window chirping and twitching its tail at untouchable wildlife.
Places You Can Buy an Outdoor Cremation Urn
Take a look below for places and people who can help you find the best urn for your loved one. It’s no longer unusual to buy urns from locations outside of funeral homes. Now, artists who’ve been affected by grief and pain help others through this natural process of life. There’s also ease in letting the person caring for your deceased loved one help you find the best urn.
Artist’s shop or online store
Before you speak with an artist whose work you appreciate, like a glassblower or mason, have a few questions jotted down so you remember what to ask. For example,
- How much does an urn cost?
- What is the down payment?
- How long is the turnaround time?
- Can I make changes to your design to suit my needs?
- How many mockup drawings do you offer at no charge?
- Do you have any guarantees?
- How long will my product last?
- If needed, does it come with instructions for care?
Tip: If you want a truly unique urn to display outdoors, you can have one created with Foreverence. Foreverence creates 3D-printed, one-of-a-kind urns made of a ceramic material that may be durable enough for an outdoor space, depending on the shape you choose, the weather where you live, and other factors.
You could turn just about any bronze or marble sculpture you find in an antique store into something suitable as an outdoor urn. All you need is a creative mind and maybe a few tools in your garage.
Funeral homes are the easiest, most hassle-free locations to discover urns for your loved ones.
With that, funeral homes are increasingly turning to online resources wherein you can sit in the comfort of your own home to peruse their website. Once you’ve decided on the best urn, click, submit, and then the additional stress is off your hands.
After a significant loss, grief can have a terrible kind of amnesia effect (and for months). So, bring questions along and write down the answers. That way, you and your family can decide from the better available options.
You may choose this direct route if your property is large enough for a granite cremation bench or another spectacular memorial in a loved one’s honor.
Wholesale companies big enough to mass-produce cremation urns sell products in bulk to box store retailers. That means you can find less expensive options at those chosen retailers.
Buy from them or go directly to those wholesale companies for a preferred service profile.
Last but not least. Online marketplaces are a great place to find original pieces from global artisans both far and wide.
Although you may not be able to alter the finished urn, you’ll receive personalized attention and excellent customer service.
Outdoor Cremation Urns that Stretch Your Mind
As our society continues to embrace the full journey of life, we see more and more interesting cremation urns. Hopefully, after reading through this list, you’ll know how you’d like to honor your loved one and where you can go to realize those ideas.