Urn for ashes

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 02-11-2009 03:16 AM 1654 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

02-11-2009 03:16 AM

Don’t want to sound like a sad sack – but I had to put my friend Lucy to sleep last week. She got horribly ill and, while I could have treated her to an extent, the vet told me her quality of life would have been very poor. Keeping her going would have been more for me than her. So I had to make a really hard decision.

I decided to have Lucy’s remains cremated and so I’ll be needing to make her a nice urn or box. I had a couple of questions about this issue though.

Do I need to seal the box lid somehow to keep the ashes from deteriorating further? (Sounds morbid doesn’t it?)

I’m thinking I’d like to put her picture on the front – but was not sure how I would do that since it would not be a typical frame and it would still need a glass plate to keep the picture nice.

So now I need to make the box, big enough for her ashes, her pictures and the brass plate I’m having made (Lucy; 1997-2009 ‘You changed my heart’).

Any input would be appreciated. I want to get this right.


-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

14 replies so far

View woodyoda's profile


117 posts in 3481 days

#1 posted 02-11-2009 03:45 AM

Personally,, if it were me, with either a box or urn…..I’d hot glue it shut, after the ashes go in….
I’d probably go with the turned urn… can decoupage a picture of her on the box or urn and it’s permanent.
Plus no glass… can also put any memorial you might want to write on it.
I don’t believe ashes can deteriorate much more, but if someone opens it, and breathes it in…..not good.
sorry about your loss…...............yoda

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

#2 posted 02-11-2009 03:59 AM

decoupage is an interesting idea. I have done some of that in my distant past and it just might work. Thanks yoda.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3822 days

#3 posted 02-11-2009 05:09 AM

I can not help you with any ideas for your urn, but I do want to offer my condolences. I can actually say I REALLY understand as I too, have had that decision to make. I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers.

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3465 days

#4 posted 02-11-2009 05:30 AM

Sorry about the loss. When my dad died we had his ashes in an urn that was lined with a plastic bag and a tight fitting lid, I know that sounds clinical but thats all thats needed.The lady, who was a turning student of my dads, got the dimensions of the ashes from the crematoriam 4months before the cremation and he fitted perfectly, I know he would have laughed at that one. No ones gunna open it if they know what it is. Even though my dad was a woodturner we put him in his favourite fishing lake high in the southern alps of New Zealand I,m sure he,s happier there than in a box. Let Lucy run free and just let the urn be a memorial.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View lew's profile


12101 posts in 3779 days

#5 posted 02-11-2009 05:47 AM

No, it is not morbid. Twelve years of love and companionship deserves the best.

McKeever rests on the dresser in our bed room. He was a basset and loved the bed.

Ours is sealed and has his name engraved on a brass plaque and his favorite neckerchief is draped over it . Your idea of a picture is so much better, though.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3909 days

#6 posted 02-11-2009 06:08 AM

Sorry we know first hard how it is to loose pets….they are part of the family.
We buried my mother’s ashes next to my dad’s grave in a Tupperware type bowl that the funeral home charged $200+ for.
I think I would seal the container the ashes come in in a “Ziploc Bag” varnish the urn (box) inside and out and seal it with hot glue as suggested above then you could get the box back open if need be.
Please keep us informed on your progress with pictures….........PLEASE?
I like the idea of a brass tag and picture.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3737 days

#7 posted 02-11-2009 06:15 AM

first my heartfelt condolences. I’ve had to do the same and it always hurts even when its the kindest thing you can do. a plastic bag inside a container. what ever shape and size you want. commercial ones often have an arrangement for a picture, and if not exposed to the outdoors I wouldn’t think that putting it under glass is necessary. Have you found a replacement for Lucy, ( why not, Lucy would want you to. and it helps )

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4087 days

#8 posted 02-11-2009 08:21 AM

I’m sorry to hear about this, Betsy. We all got to know her through your story about the critter in your house, and I know she was an important part of your life. I think rtb is right on the ticket. I think there has to be a new shop-mate at the nearest shelter that needs an interview. I’m sure Lucy would want you to train a new assistant.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

#9 posted 02-11-2009 03:24 PM

Thanks for the condolences and suggestions all.

I’m still working on a design in my head and hope to have it done on paper (SU) soon. The crematory will put her ashes in a cedar box which will be OK for now and will give me time to get the perfect box ready.

I like the hot melt glue as a sealer – because it could be reversed if for some unknown reason I’d want to add to it. (The thought occured to me that I may end up cremating the cat when she passes and since they cuddled and slept together all the time – it makes sense.)

I’m not sure if I’m ready for another dog quite yet. But I have been thinking about it.

Thanks again – I’ll keep you posted.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 3752 days

#10 posted 02-11-2009 03:48 PM

So sorry for your loss Betsy.Good luck with the box.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3511 days

#11 posted 02-11-2009 04:34 PM

Sorry for your loss Betsy. The loss of a pet leaves a hole in your heart that never completely heals. I remind my clients that euthanasia is the final act of love, that our pets don’t have to suffer in the end.

I have the ashes of two dogs and a cat that were part of our family. When they were cremated, they returned their ashes in a little bag, I just put that inside the boxes I made. That way if curious grand kids should open the box, there won’t be an issue.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#12 posted 02-11-2009 05:20 PM

My condolences, Betsy. Whatever you decide to do with the box will be the right choice, because it will be made from the heart.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

#13 posted 02-13-2009 07:04 AM

Thanks guys. I actually got lucy’s remains tonight so I know have sizes to work with. Will keep you posted.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18286 posts in 3699 days

#14 posted 02-13-2009 07:46 AM

I would like to offer my condolences too. We had to put Lady Bird to sleep about 6 months ago. It was hard after 15 years. Only letting Duchess go after 18 was harder. I’m sure they are waiting just beyond the Moon for me.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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