When someone you love dies, you must ask a lot of questions:
- Would my loved one prefer to be buried or cremated?
- If they would have preferred cremation, would they want their ashes scattered or would they want their ashes kept in an urn?
- How much does an urn cost, anyway?
- What style or design of urn should I choose?
- Should it match my decor style or their personal tastes?
- How do I know what size urn I will need? These are a lot of very important questions. Some of them are easier to answer than others.
Today, we’ll be talking specifically about skull urns.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Are Skull Urns?
- How Much Do Skull Urns for Ashes Cost?
- What Are the Main Types of Skull Urns?
- Where Can You Purchase a Skull Urn?
What Are Skull Urns?
A skull urn is essentially just what it sounds like. It’s an urn that features a depiction of a skull.
The urn might be in the shape of a skull or it may be in a more traditional face shape with a skull on it. It is not an urn made out of a skull or an urn made to keep just a skull in.
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How Much Do Skull Urns for Ashes Cost?
Just like the cost of other styles of urns, there is a vast range in the prices of skull urns. The price will depend on a variety of factors. Something that is prefab and mass-produced will likely be relatively inexpensive. An urn that is custom made will have a heftier price tag. The building materials will also have a big impact on price. A rosewood urn might cost around $100. A granite urn might cost in the $90 to $160 range but it might be even more expensive to ship because of its weight.
An engraved metal urn could be $150 or higher, depending on the type of metal used. You could spend anywhere from around $50 for a basic, no-frills urn or you could spend $300 or more on a more ornate or specialized urn. A lot depends on your personal style and taste.
What Are the Main Types of Skull Urns?
There are several different styles of urns that feature skulls on them. Urns can incorporate skulls into their design in many ways. Here are a few examples of the styles of skull urns you might encounter on the market.
1. Skull-shaped urn
Many urns are shaped like vases. But urns can really come in any shape and size. Some are shaped like boxes so they can have plaques attached to them.
Urns for pet’s ashes can often be shaped like a dog, cat, or another animal. Urns could be shaped like a heart or an angel. There’s really no limit. And some urns are shaped like skulls. You can get a smooth porcelain skull urn or one that’s been cast out of bronze or another metal.
They can be plain, or feature engravings or even be encrusted with gemstones. There are endless ways to customize this kind of urn.
2. Urn featuring a skull
A skull-shaped urn is fairly specialized, and it may be too expensive for some people to consider. But you can still incorporate a skull motif into an urn.
A wooden urn can have a skull etched onto it. A metal or stone urn can have a skull engraved on it. You can also get an artist to paint a skull on a plain urn.
3. Day of the Dead-inspired skull urns
Day of the Dead (also called Dia de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday that originated in the southern and central regions of Mexico. It continues to be celebrated by people of Mexican heritage around the world. It’s a three-day celebration that coincides with Halloween. It is thought that at that time of year, the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest.
Those of us who are still living may be able to make contact with the dead. People often bring toys and gifts to their loved ones’ graves and they will clean and decorate the gravesite during the occasion. Marigolds, which are considered the flower of the dead, are often part of the decor. People often leave sugar skulls on graves and adults.
These confections are small, colorful sugar candies crafted into a skull shape. Sugar skulls are a key element of this holiday and are frequently incorporated into the decor. An urn featuring a sugar skull is a great resting place for someone of Mexican descent who celebrated the holiday.
4. Skull urn memorial pendant or charm
Traditional urns need to be large enough to contain the cremains of an entire body. But there are also small urns that you can wear. Urn necklaces are a kind of memorial jewelry item that contains a small portion of ashes.
They are meant to be small and portable so you can always keep your deceased loved one near you. You can wear a small skull-shaped urn charm on a bracelet, as a pendant, or on a keychain. It makes a great daily tribute to the deceased.
Where Can You Purchase a Skull Urn?
Now that we know a little more about skull urns, let’s talk about where you can buy one. We aren’t listing specific retailers here, but here’s a rundown of the types of places you should look for skull urns.
A funeral home is a business that provides all kinds of funeral services to families who are grieving. A funeral director who is usually employed by the funeral home guides the family through the entire funeral process.
They can help you decide whether cremation or burial is the right option for you. They also usually have caskets and cremation urns either on-site or in catalogs. You can look through them to pick out the right vessel for your loved one. The kinds of urns you get through a funeral home will often be quite pricey. This is because the funeral home is selling someone else’s product that they have to mark up in order to be compensated for the role they play. You also might be limited in your selections if the funeral home doesn’t have a lot of manufacturers to choose from.
But it is often the simplest choice requiring the least amount of work, and that’s something that people will happily pay a premium for.
Online funeral retailer
Now that we live in the age of e-commerce, there are websites for everything you can think of. There are probably thousands of different websites that sell funeral-related products.
This can include things like caskets, headstones, and cremation urns. A lot of the time, you end up getting really good deals on cremation urns from online funeral retailers.
This is because they sometimes double as the manufacturer, so you can get an urn for close to the wholesale price. Because there are so many of these sites, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from once you start shopping.
Artists and artisans
Many artists and artisans do their best to bring an element of beauty into the realm of death. Many independent artists and artisans will either make cremation urns themselves or paint designs on them.
Many of these artists have their own websites or sell their work on sites like Etsy that feature multiple artists. Whenever you get any custom work done like this though, be sure to put in some legwork first. Take time to read reviews of the quality of the work that the artist produces. Go with the artisan who seems the most skilled and trustworthy at producing what you’re looking for.
An urn is intended to be a final resting place. But it doesn’t always work out this way. Sometimes ashes are only temporarily stored in urns before they’re scattered. Or sometimes the ashes are transferred to a different container later on.
Urns are made to be very sturdy. A good urn is designed to be sealed so that the ashes can’t spill easily and so excess moisture doesn’t get into it. So an urn that has the cremains removed for whatever reason is still likely very functional.
Really well-made and interesting urns can last for years, and may even end up in antique stores. It may take a while to find something as unusual and specific as a skull urn. But if you don’t mind taking some time, you can go on a treasure hunt for an urn that will definitely be a conversation piece.
Urns Featuring Skulls Are a Whimsical Way to Hold Cremains
With each passing year, we all begin to adjust our attitudes around death. A few decades ago, cremation was still considered somewhat controversial in some circles.
Now it’s become the most preferred burial method in the United States. Even now, many people will still gravitate towards more traditional and understated urns for ashes. But more people are realizing that they can get a little more creative when it comes to picking out a cremation urn.
A cremation urn can be used to augment your existing decor. It can become something of a conversation piece. Unique urns can also help you pay tribute to the personality of the deceased. Skull urns aren’t for everyone. But if you’re the kind of person who would find a skull urn delightfully quirky, this article should give you a great starting point.