Cremations account for more than half of all Australian funerals. As such, loved ones are getting creative with what to do with ashes after a cremation.

Once the remains are returned home, there are almost limitless possibilities for what to do with ashes after cremation. Many families include the ashes as part of a memorial or celebration of life. Similarly, there are endless options to scatter cremated ashes in a way that pays tribute to what your person loved in life.

This article offers some creative ideas for what to do with ashes after a cremation.

Where to keep ashes from cremation?

If you’ve arranged a cremation through Bare, your loved one’s ashes will return home in a simple medical grade PVC urn to keep them safe during transportation. Once they’ve been received, the cremated ashes can then either be scattered or placed into a decorative urn or some other keepsake.

Woman scattering ashes at sea after cremation
After a cremation, you may choose to scatter ashes at a loved one's special fishing spot or beach.

Scattering cremated ashes

Scattering a loved one’s ashes can be a wonderful tribute to return the deceased to nature, or connect them with a special place they loved.

Depending on your local council area, you may need a permit to scatter ashes on public land. To be safe, it’s best to contact the council to find out if permission is required before scattering ashes on public land.

On the other hand, if you intend to scatter cremated ashes on private property owned by someone else, you generally need permission from the landowner first.

Perhaps your loved one was a keen fisherman or had an affinity with the beach? You generally don’t need a licence to scatter cremated ashes at most Australian beaches or coastlines. However, you will need to comply with local environmental protection authority guidelines.

To make this easier, some businesses offer scattering services at sea or in nature. For example, boating companies like Sydney Harbour Escapes provide ashes-scattering charters.

For a more spectacular scattering option, consider having the ashes set skyward with a fireworks display. Ashes to Ashes can send your loved one off with a bang by creating a memorial celebration that would be hard to forget.

ashes scattering by Sydney Harbour boat charter
Boating charters can provide a seaside send-offs.

Interment of cremated ashes

After a cremation, ashes can be kept in a permanent place like a burial plot or a crematorium garden bed or niche wall. This is what is commonly called ‘interment’.

It is common for many families to inter cremated remains at the final resting place of other deceased family members.

How to plant cremation ashes

Was your loved one a green thumb or passionate about environmental sustainability? Another option is to transform your loved one’s cremated remains into a memorial tree. The ashes are planted with seedlings inside a biodegradable urn to grow a living, enduring memory.

You might even like to include a tree planting as part of the memorial ceremony service.

Keepsakes made from ashes

If you would prefer to keep your loved one close to you, there are many options to have keepsakes made from ashes. Many businesses specialise in cremation keepsakes these days.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Have a pinch of ashes made into jewellery pieces, like a pendant or bracelet by Keepsake Jewellery
  2. Have some of your loved one’s remains turned into diamonds, by Heart in Diamond
  3. Similarly, the ashes can be blown into a piece of stunning glass art, by Memorial Glass
  4. Create the ultimate tattoo by getting the ashes infused into tattoo ink
  5. Place a small amount of ashes into a soft toy or teddy bear – particularly if the deceased was a child
  6. Have the ashes pressed into a personalised record, by a company called And Vinyly.
A nemorial pendant made with cremation ashes as keepsake jewellery
Keepsake Jewellery has memorial pendants that can hold a pinch of ashes. Photo: Keepsake Jewellery

Whether you are looking for something creative and unique, or more formal and traditional, we hope this list has offered some ideas for what to do with ashes after cremation. The most important thing is to go with the option that you feel is the most befitting tribute to your loved one. Do whatever works best for you.

There is no rush to make a decision right away after a loved one has died. If you can’t decide just yet, take your time to plan a memorial that does right by your person. You might even like to pay tribute on their birthday or anniversary of death – there are no rules when it comes to deciding what to do with ashes after cremation.

If you’re after ideas for planning a funeral service or celebration of life that’s a little different, read our article 13 unique memorial service ideas.

Our team of funeral arrangers at Bare are here to help you find the most befitting tribute to a deceased loved one whether you prefer a direct cremation, a traditional funeral or help planning a fitting memorial. Give us a call on 1800 071 176 or visit the Bare Funeral page.