10 innovative ways to scatter and transform cremains

Written by Director, Gareth Coles:

We’ve been getting inspired at Coles this month as we look at innovation in the funeral industry. Today we’re looking at alternatives to interring or storing ashes in decorative urns. Some of the practices are already part of our service offering, but when it comes to memorials and keepsakes using cremains (cremated remains), we are really excited to be expanding our range!

Of these Top 10 ideas, a few are perhaps taking innovation to the extreme, but some of them we think are absolutely beautiful…


  1. Moon Flights and Shooting Stars – for those interested in astronomy, or even astrology, now you can send remains into space, either as a shooting star or to land on the moon.
  2. Fireworks – firework displays are a popular feature of Celebration of Life ceremonies and now you can actually add cremains to fireworks to scatter your loved ones ashes.
  3. Reefs – if sailing or diving was a favourite past time, instead of just scattering ashes at sea, cremains can now be turned into a reef that provides protection for marine life.
  4. Trees – perfect for gardeners or outdoor enthusiasts, living urns (cremains mixed with nutrients) can be planted anywhere to grow a tree or shrub.
  5. Records – if a particular song was a big part of your loved ones’ life, now you can press their ashes into a vinyl record that plays their favourite music.
  6. Tattoos – some tattoo artists will mix a portion of your loved one’s ashes with ink to create a memorial tattoo, which you could combine with another trend of tattooing a sound wave of a favourite song or voicemail message that you can play using an App.
  7. Paintings – similarly cremains can now be added to paint which you could use yourself or you could give to a painter to use in a posthumous portrait or favourite landscape.
  8. Diamonds – turn your loved one’s hair or cremains into a diamond which you can set in a piece of jewellery to create a special keepsake that you can take with you everywhere.
  9. Glass – a less expensive option than a diamond, but still beautiful, your loved one’s ashes can be turned into a glass ornament or piece of jewellery.
  10. Plush – a lovely idea for young children, you can store cremains in a special sealed compartment within a huggable soft toy or cushion.


Of course – innovation isn’t just focussed on product development. In my next blog, I’ll be looking at the new and in some cases, ground-breaking, services that are available to support bereaved families – a subject which is close to our hearts here at Coles Funeral Directors.