Keepsake: Noun: a small item kept in memory of the person who gave it or originally owned it.
Throughout time, urns have been a cherished memory of loved ones – whether interred, or holding a honored place on the mantle. When shopping for urns, you will undoubtedly come across the term “keepsake” and wonder, what urn wouldn’t become a cherished keepsake for the family.
Within the funeral industry “keepsake” or “mini” urns are cremation urns in the form of a small vessel that allows your family and close friends to share the remains, and preserve a special remembrance of the deceased. In fact, the only true difference between a standard or “full-sized” urn and a “keepsake” is the size of the vessel.
Keepsake urns typically hold only a few cubic inches of cremains and are often used in addition to a full-sized urn that can be buried, interred, or settled into a special place in your home.
Dividing and sharing some of the remains with those close to the deceased is a lovely way to celebrate the life of your loved one… but the keepsake does not always need to resemble a traditional urn. Memorial Keepsakes can range from crafting a piece of hand-blown glass, planting a tree or even making a vinyl record.
“When the album that is life finally reaches the end, wouldn’t it be nice to keep that record spinning for eternity? We offer you the chance to press your ashes in a vinyl recording your loved ones will cherish for generations.”
Why memorialize with a mini keepsake urn?
Because keepsake urns are small, they can easily be incorporated into virtually any decor, take up very little space, and can easily be kept within sight. It’s a powerful reminder that although your loved one is no longer with you, your memories are kept alive through these elegant tokens of your love.
As many families are living far apart, keepsake urns can be used in a number of ways to keep the memories alive. Family members and close friends that would like to retain a small portion of cremains can each have a mini urn to hold their memories:
- A small portion of the cremains can be shared with each individual, while the majority of the ashes are spread
- Families that live apart can retain a portion of the cremains at each location
- Multiple keepsakes for each grown child to keep a part of the cherished family pet
- Unique keepsakes can be created to store a portion of the cremains in multiple locations dear to you or your loved one (such as the family garden, or cabin, or even interred in a park bench)
Traditional Keepsake Urns
Most funeral homes, and urn stores provide standard urns in various sizes, including keepsakes. And, many full size urns come with matching keepsake vessels to unify the sharing of your loved one’s remains. Typically, traditional keepsake urns only hold a small portion of the cremains, and do not have any options for customization, or adding additional mementos to the memorial. Some metal keepsake urns can be customized with engraving, but be sure to check with your engraver regarding size of the urn, and ability to engrave on smaller areas.
Artistic Keepsake Urns
While traditional metal urns are a suitable memorial for some, others may seek a more unique keepsake. As with full sized urns, you can create a one-of-a-kind mini urn from a vast collection of materials—carved wood, resin, ceramics,and hand-painted metals are just some of the options we offer when creating custom artistic urns. Unlike traditional urns, artistic keepsakes can take on nearly any shape and appearance. The mini-urn can be a fully custom piece unique to the individual saving the cremains, or a set of identical pieces shared with each family member.
Some possibilities include:
- Hobby themed urns that help you reminisce on times spent crafting with your mother
- Hand painted portraits that become a loving memory of fishing trips with your uncle
- Suitcases, or travel momentos, to pay tribute to adventures with your loved one
- Sports gear for the avid fan
Creating a Custom Mini-Keepsake Urn
As with creating custom full-sized urns, the key is sharing your vision so the artist can create something that truly expresses the beautiful life of your loved one.
When we are working with a client on a new urn, the process is very streamlined as we do everything we can to take all of the burden off of your shoulders:
- We discuss the size, colors, theme, shape, budget, and even delivery time with you;
- We then work with our artists to create concepts for your approval;
- Finally, the urn is created and delivered.
It really is that easy to create a custom keepsake memorial, and many of our clients find solace in the process, as they are able to focus on the joy they had with their loved one.
Each piece is unique and can vary greatly, but the inspiration for many are sparked from considering the following possibilities:
- Selecting an urn from our gallery and embellishing it to make it your own
- Engraving an urn or attaching a plaque
- Selecting a custom size or color that speaks to the memory of your loved one
- Crafting a new design for a uniquely personal and fully custom urn
This custom car keepsake urn was created for one of our customers as an enduring memorial to her father.
10 hand-painted urns were created, and shared with family members.
Artistic Keepsake Urns to Honor a Beloved Pet
So many of us consider our pets part of our families, and remembering a beloved pet with an artistically unique mini urn is a suitable option. As with human cremains, pet cremains can be placed in either a traditional or custom piece—the only difference is the size of the vessel.
The amount of cremains resulting from a cremation is based on the body weight prior to cremation. With the smaller body mass of some pets, the smaller mini or keepsake urns are often more appropriate for the smaller amount of cremains.
One of our customers loved ”Here Kitty Teal”, but the existing piece was too large for her cat’s cremains. Since we work directly with all of our artists, we were able to create two identical kitty urns in smaller sizes – each to hold a portion of the ashes for the daughters who grew up with kitty as a beloved family member.
If you have something particular in mind, you can design the perfect custom urn for your pet from a variety of materials and finishes. Please contact us and one of our urn curators will be happy to discuss your idea and assist with planning a design that brings you comfort and peace.
Memories Keep our Loved Ones Alive
Keep your loved one close in your heart and share that love with those who were closest to him/her by creating a keepsake of your time together…a daily reminder of joy and a celebration of a beautiful life.
Creating a symbol of your loss can ease the pain of passing and can be the source of a lasting memory, connecting you forever. We hope you’ll draw inspiration from some of our current designs and invite you to reach out to us with your vision of the perfect memorial mini urn to share with your family and friends.
Please contact us to consult with an urn curator for a keepsake that expresses your love and brings you a measure of comfort that comes from preserving positive memories.