One of the benefits of cremation: You don’t face time restraints when you scatter your loved one's remains. You may choose to do it the day of the funeral service or you may wait to sprinkle the remains 15 years later.
You may change your mind about scattering and decide to place the remains in a columbarium niche or inside the casket of a deceased loved one.
Jump ahead to these sections:
Maybe you keep dragging your feet because you keep asking yourself, “What can I use to sprinkle the ashes of my loved one?”
Let us help. Read through our list of scattering urns available on the online market and tips for how to make the act as meaningful as possible.
What Can You Use to Sprinkle a Loved One's Cremated Remains?
You can either purchase or make something to scatter your loved one's cremated remains, but you don’t need to have a specialty item for the act. Some families simply scatter the remains straight from the container they received from the crematorium or a standard urn.
Read through some ideas to consider if you wish to purchase a scattering urn.
This beautiful product stores and transports your loved one's cremated remains until you decide when to scatter the ashes.
The bamboo cylinder, a strong, lightweight, biodegradable, beautiful material, functions like this: You open the urn and remove the wooden pin from the lid. The top of the container twists off and the family can use a funnel to place the remains inside. Replace the cover and keep it in place by inserting the wooden pin.
The top of the scattering urn holds some of the ashes in place so they all don't come out at once when tipped. This feature works well if you plan to share this part of the ceremony with another family member or friend.
This particular product comes in three different sizes, which comes in handy if you want to distribute cremated remains among other family members. You may also want to purchase a smaller scattering urn if you intend to hold back some of the ashes for another purpose.
You can choose to add your loved one’s name or favorite quote to the Eco Scattering urn.
If you would like to personalize your loved one's scattering tube with the image of a golf course or autumn woods, you may want to check out the scattering tubes available through Passages. They come in 20 different designs and six sizes.
Like the previous scattering tube, this one allows you to store or transport your loved one's cremated remains until you release them to the world.
These biodegradable tubes require a little more work to fill. To ensure the urn doesn't open before you plan to scatter the ashes, you must use glue to secure the lid in place. Once you arrive at the scene of the dispersion, you can perforate the top of the urn. The product's design also allows you to sprinkle out a portion at a time.
However, you can't reseal the urn on site. This makes it challenging to scatter the cremated remains in a variety of locations.
This simple product available through Etsy comes with three smaller urns that can hold the divided remains of one 210-pound adult. The biodegradable product has the following verse:
"Miss me, but let me go,
This is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It's all part of God's plan,
A step on the road to home."
This simple and inexpensive product doesn’t contain a designed scattering lid, so each urn's contents must pour out instead of sprinkle. The cover does not lock in place, so you must take special care during travel.
If you plan to divide your loved one's ashes, you may consider purchasing these beautifully designed scattering tubes by Howard Miller. They come in brass and silver through this vendor and you can personalize them for an extra fee.
Each urn can hold six cubic inches. You need a 200-cubic inch capacity urn to hold the remains of a 200-pound adult, so only consider these keepsake urns if you plan to divide the remains among many family members or various locations.
Perhaps you can't find a cremation scattering tube that reflects your loved one's life or interests. This vendor sells blank scattering tubes and allows you to choose from various clip art options to personalize the item. You can also buy a "blank" tube if you wish to decorate it yourself.
Like the second product on our list, this scattering tube requires that you seal the lid with white glue before transporting it to the scattering site. Once there, you perforate the top for easy sprinkling.
You’ll notice the tube shape of all other urns on the list except for this box-shaped option. It shows pebbles in a stream, a popular site for scattering ashes.
The lid on this particular urn slides off, which would allow the family to pour the contents out of the side. You can also personalize the urn with your loved one's name.
Quick Tips for Scattering Ashes
You can find lots of online options available for scattering urns. Read through a few more tips for making the scattering ceremony as meaningful as possible.
1. Watch the weather report
If at all possible, choose a still, comfortable day to scatter your loved one's ashes. If the scheduled day ends up windy, know the direction of the gusts. Of course, spreading the remains with precipitation in the air may lead to disappointing results as well.
2. Choose an urn appropriate for travel
Some families fly to specific destinations to release their loved one's cremains. If you plan to fly with your loved one's remains, make sure you check the policy of the airlines you’ll fly on and TSA. If you pass through international borders with your loved one’s ashes, check to see if you face any particular regulations before boarding the plane.
2. Consider holding a small portion of the remains back from the scattering
You can choose to have a memorial product made with a small portion of your loved one's cremated remains. You can have the ashes used to make a beautiful piece of glass artwork. Some choose to press remains into a vinyl record. You can even grow a diamond or other type of gemstone from your loved one's ashes.
3. Consider adding flower petals to your loved one's cremains if scattering them in water
Some people choose to photograph the moment the cremains fly free from the container. If you plan to disperse the remains in a river, lake, or ocean, consider adding flower petals so you can spot them at a distance as they move across the water.
4. Know the laws regarding the scattering of cremated remains
While we would love to give you a list of specific places that legally permit scattering, we cannot. The scattering laws vary depending on each area. However, for the most part, you can scatter remains on private property with the owners' permission.
Did you know that you cannot scatter cremated remains in the ocean unless three nautical miles from shore? Did you know that you also can’t scatter remains at Disney World or at your loved one's favorite stadium? Take a look at the rules for some popular places if you want to scatter at one of those locations.
5. Plan an event
You may have already had a visitation and funeral service for your loved one, but some families choose to have a short (or lengthy) event when scattering ashes as well. You may ask an officiant or minister to speak or allow others to share stories and unforgettable memories.
Even if only a few people come to the scattering, think about how you can make the time more meaningful and unique.
It's Hard to Say Goodbye
Give yourself time to say goodbye to your loved one. Search for the perfect scattering urn, choose the most meaningful location, and decide who you want to invite to participate. Pick songs or poems for the occasion.
You get the gift of time to consider all your options carefully when your loved one chooses cremation over a burial.