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27 Best Types of Wooden Urns for a Loved One’s Ashes

This is part of Cake's collection of Funeral planning articles. Create a Cake profile for free to discover, document, and share your end-of-life wishes.

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Some extraordinary artisans have been hard at work, creating rare and distinctive urns for your loved ones. If you’re looking for a way to memorialize a friend or family member who passed away in a beautiful piece of artwork, a wooden urn may be a perfect choice.

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If you’re looking for something personalized to finish the product, be sure to communicate your needs and seek proof for review. Most artists are happy to provide you with one to make sure you’re happy before the product is mailed to you.

Below you’ll find a wide range of one-off expertly crafted urns made from exotic woods and materials from which to choose. Take a look below for some of the most exceptional choices available for your loved one.

Wooden Urn Types for Human Ashes

Below is a short list of handcrafted artisan urns for ashes to include secular, religious, and even military or patriotic options. Each one is expertly crafted to suit both personal styles and budgets.

1. Wooden lantern urn

Sitting atop a handcrafted urn is a small glass hurricane that is large enough to fit a votive candle. With squared-off edges, this old fashioned lantern-style urn has a beautifully finished look. It’ll work for those who want to pay homage to their loved one by candlelight.

2. Religious icon adhered to a wooden urn

If your loved one was religious or spiritual in any way, there are icons and symbols you can have affixed to the outside of an urn. Choose from several finishes for the wood along with an appropriate image for a fitting spiritual tribute.

3. Hand turned juniper root urn with mineral inlay

Online marketplaces provide a central location where artisans of any skill level can showcase their masterpieces. Inlays consist of various colorful minerals and may include a precious raw stone on top. The urn is equally understated and classy.

4. Companion hand-turned segmented urn

Companion urns are for two people who want their ashes joined together in one urn. Segmented urns consist of many glued wood pieces that are then hand-turned to form a beautiful shape. Look for small shops that can help you customize and receive exceptional service.

5. Mango wood urn

Not only is mango wood beautiful to finish, but it is also very sturdy. Plus, mango wood is also sustainable. Most trees take between 50-100 years to fully mature, while the mango wood only takes 15 years. While mango growers used to burn the trees after they reached maturity, now it is a secondary income.

6. Padauk, guatambu and ebony urn

Red, black, and cream segmented wood are expertly glued and then turned to create an impressive craftsman urn. Care instructions include keeping the wood out of direct sunlight to maintain the red color. Both chic and modern designs will come to mind when you look at this striking urn. 

7. Tree of Life wooden urn

When searching for a tree of life urn, you’ll discover numerous options regarding wood, stains, carvings, or inlay, plus inscriptions and plaques. Search for images to narrow down your choices and then contact the artist for personalization options.

8. Celtic knot wooden urn

Like the Tree of Life urn, searching for images of Celtic knots wooden urns will help you find one that’s right for you. You’ll discover a bounty of artists whose interpretations include carving, laser etching, and even staining the wood green to give it even more of an Irish feeling.

9. Spalted birch burl urn with inlay 

Natural voids in the burl allow for the inlay of Belgian Blackstone and Calcite, creating a one-off artisan masterpiece. Each angle of the urn is unique and inspired, plus you’ll feel like you’re looking at an art piece.

10. Geometric wooden urn

Considered modern, artistic, and distinctive, this creative urn will look differently from every perspective. Some will give you the optional stained glass inlay while others will offer a small potted succulent or cactus section.

11. Burr elm urn with epoxy

Burr elm has light and dark coloring in unusual patterns. By adding bronze or turquoise epoxy into the places with voids or imperfections, the urn becomes a featured piece in any room. Stains range from a pale finish to reddish hues.

12. Military emblem on wooden urn

For those who served in the military, you can choose emblems from your branch to showcase the pride, commitment, and sacrifices they made for this country. Urns like this will not be showy or bold. Instead, they will have an elegant understatement.

13. Patriotic emblems on wooden urn

Those who were especially patriotic in life can option for national pride symbols to have adhered to the outside of any urn. Alternatively, carvings and inscriptions can take the place of symbols. You’ll have some bolder options from which to choose, including brass eagles and draped flags.

14.  Viking sail ship urn

Have you ever considered a biodegradable Viking burial at sea? If so, eco-friendly wood, paper sails, and hemp tie-down strings will float with your loved one’s cremains for a time before submerging in the sea.

Types of Wooden Urn for Pet Ashes

The love of a perfect being has inspired you to seek a fitting tribute for their ashes. Whether you require a biodegradable urn or something more majestic for the mantle or another place of honor, you’ll find many options. See below for some customizable selections.

15. Photo and engravings on wooden urn

Personalize your pet urn with a photo of your little one and an inscription. Just find your favorite photo and then communicate with the artist for character length regarding the engravings. Some artists use brass plaques, which means there will be less room for wording.

16. Portrait and engravings on wooden urn

Laser portrait engraving takes the place of a photo but still makes written inscriptions available. You may be able to work with the crafter on extra options like font and font size. Communicate with your artist to see if they'll email a mock-up so you're confident about it.

17. Biodegradable bark urn

Are you looking for inexpensive things to do with ashes? Consider a biodegradable bark urn. They will eventually be absorbed by the earth, leaving no trace. You’ll find some very rustic options which might be perfect for that outdoorsy pup who hiked and camped by your side. 

18. Carved paws inlaid on wooden urn 

While many animal paws are generic templates, it’s possible to find an artist able to use your little one’s actual paw prints. Just communicate with the artist ahead of time to see if they have the right tools for your request. Look for artists who use laser engraving or wood burning as a tool.

19. Spalted maple urn

The term spalted means that the wood has already had some black fungal decay. Artistically, the result makes for unique markings and beautiful wood grain patterns. To search for unusual shapes, add “torus" or "square" to your search query.

20. Black locust burl with inlay minerals

Burlwood typically has some natural voids that become smooth and ornately textured when filled with minerals or epoxy. As a pet urn, this will become something of an art piece—nobly honoring your little one. Follow the instructions provided by the artist to make sure the coloring of the minerals won't fade fast.

21. Carved dog bone wooden urn

A dog bone replica will sit atop your little one's urn, ushering in warmth and beautiful memories every time you gaze upon it. Customize the urn with a name and quote if desired and nestle it in honor someplace inside your home.

22. Wooden urn for horse

Regal bronze busts or personal photos can adorn a full-sized wooden urn, large enough to hold all of the cremains for your beloved “Trigger” or “Secretariat.” Add personalized plaques or engravings for a special touch.  

23. Zebrawood urn

Gorgeous striped growth patterns are the signature design of this wood. You can choose between colors ranging from brown or bronze to golden. Select an option that will allow for a personalized photo of your little one to honor their best days.

24. Sleeping cat wooden urn 

Cats look so warm and cozy when snuggled tight in a ball. So, this may be the perfect way to memorialize your little one. You can leave it atop their favorite blanket or nestled atop their happiest location to remember them right where they belong.

25. Brass incense burner atop wooden urn

Combining the ability to burn incense with memorializing your little one may bring you added peace during mourning and meditative practices. Read through the dimensions provided to make sure there's enough room; otherwise, you may need an extra urn to balance ashes.

26. Birch driftwood urn

With actual driftwood, these crafted urns will be perfect for the adventure partner in your life. Whether you both liked beach running or snowshoeing, these natural urns provide that outdoorsy, rustic flare. Look for options that include a candle holder or a tiger’s eye adornment.

27. Pebble shaped wooden urn

For those water lover pets comes a lookalike worn river rock with unique patterns that mimic wood grain. As a biodegradable option, this sustainable urn begins as a masterpiece for your mantle. When you are ready, it can then be returned to the earth for safekeeping. 

Honoring Loved Ones with Distinctive Urns

Several exceptional choices for wooden urns have been highlighted here. Many of which are customizable to a certain degree. Hopefully, you’ve discovered some new ideas along the way, guiding your search to honor your loved ones appropriately.