What Are Keepsake Urns And How To Choose One

Many grieving relatives find that retaining a small portion of the deceased’s ashes following cremation brings them considerable comfort. In these situations, one option is to consider a keepsake urn.

In simple terms, a keepsake urn is an ornamental urn that contains a portion of the deceased’s ashes. In contrast, a funeral urn contains the deceased’s ashes in their entirety. Here, we consider the advantages of a keepsake urn and what choices and designs are available. We also take a look at how to choose a keepsake urn that’s going to be exactly right for you, your family and the deceased.

The advantages of a keepsake urn

Ashes may be shared between several family members

Because keepsake urns contain only a portion of the ashes, it’s possible to create multiple urns for a number of the deceased’s relatives. This means there’s no rivalry regarding who will take control of the ashes, and also ensures that nobody is left out or overlooked. Any ashes that aren’t placed in keepsake urns can be kept in a funeral urn, which can be buried, retained by close family or used as a container for the ashes until they’re scattered at a chosen location.

A customisable memorial

Keepsake urns come in an enormous range of shapes, sizes, and configurations. Beyond the need for them to be airtight, urns may be made of almost any durable material. They can also be decorated and/or engraved in a multitude of ways. A keepsake urn provides an opportunity for each member of the family to customise their memory of the departed as they wish. The deceased will have meant different things to different people. A personalised keepsake urn allows everyone to express their own recollections and feelings in a suitable manner.

urn with yellow flowers close up


An affordable memorial

Compared with the price of other memorials (a headstone in a churchyard, for example), a keepsake urn is a low-cost alternative. It’s a way of remembering the deceased in a dignified, meaningful and lasting manner without needing to spend an absolute fortune. If you’re looking for a cost-effective memorial, a keepsake urn is an excellent choice.

Highly portable

If the deceased is laid to rest in a particular spot, or their ashes are scattered at a specific location, visiting can be difficult if circumstances force you to move far away. A keepsake urn enables you to take your loved one with you wherever you go. In much the same way as keepsake jewellery, a keepsake urn can be easily transported wherever it’s wanted.

Environmentally friendly

Keepsake urns are small items that leave a very small carbon footprint. If you’re looking for a green memorial, a keepsake urn is ideal.

Choosing the right keepsake urn

The type of urn that’s going to be best for your needs will largely be determined by personal taste. Urns may be made of ceramic, resin, metal, timber, glass or some other option. It’s possible to have urns made in almost any shape or size. Some keepsake urns have a traditional urn shape, whilst others may be rectangular boxes, heart-shaped vessels, bottles, pots or jars. The exterior may be plain or decorated. There’s also the opportunity to print the urn with a wide range of designs, as well as print or engrave a personalised message.

Whilst there are dozens of different urns available, it’s worth bearing the following factors in mind when choosing an urn shape:

Durability – Whilst people take every care with their keepsake urn, a container that’s fragile is vulnerable to wear. We recommend a robust design, ideally from a material that won’t crack or break if it’s accidentally dropped.

Size – This doesn’t necessarily depend on the volume of ash that’s going to be placed in the urn.

Design – Many keepsake urns are decorated to remind the recipient of a particular attribute of the deceased. Modern technology means that it’s possible to print photographs onto a keepsake urn. Alternatively, some people like an urn that’s designed to showcase the deceased’s favourite hobby or treasure, be that fishing, a vintage car, a carefully tended flower garden, bird watching or any other pastime.

When considering the design, it’s worth thinking about how long-lasting it’s going to be. Given that keepsake urns are expected to last for many, many years, it’s important for the exterior design to be well-sealed to preserve it.

Storage – If your urn is going to be on display, it will be vulnerable to UV light damage, as well as changes in temperature and humidity. In comparison, if an urn is going to be carefully wrapped and stored away, ensuring it can withstand daylight and/or seasonal temperature changes is less of a priority. This needs to be taken into consideration when devising the specification for your urn.

Contact us

A Gentle Touch Funerals will be delighted to share our wide selection of customisable keepsake urns with you, as well as advice on all other aspects of end-of-life ceremonies.

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