How to Fill a Cremation Urn
Receiving your ashes
When you receive your ashes from the crematorium, they will be in a sealed container such as a plastic bag which will be in a cardboard or plastic box.
Can I fill the urn myself?
Filling an urn is a very simple procedure and can be accomplished by just about anyone. However, some may find this process an emotionally daunting task. If that is the case, most funeral homes will perform this service at no charge. Or, you may call on a friend or another family member to help out.
What type of urn are you filling?
Cremation urns come in many sizes and shapes. Here are some of the most common:
Vase style urns usually have a threaded top or a compression top.
Wood cremation urns usually have a bottom panel which is secured by screws. Some wood urns open from the back or top.
Cultured marble (manufactured marble) and stone urns usually have a plug on the bottom of the urn. Depending on the urn, the plug is compression fit rubber plug or a threaded metal plug.
Keepsake cremation urns hold a small portion of the ashes.
Filling the urn
Note: Cremains are sterile and will not pose any health risks. Because of the pulverizing procedure used during the processing of the cremains, some of ashes may be very fine and wearing a mask may be desired.
Whenever possible, it is preferable to keep the ashes in the plastic bag they came in and placed inside of the urn. If you are filling a bottom-panel wood urn, you must keep the ashes in a plastic bag (either the original or transferred to another).
If you are transferring the ashes directly into the urn, prepare a working surface by covering it with paper such as newspaper. Any spillage can then be easily poured into the urn.
Use a funnel large enough to prevent the larger particles from clogging it. You may also use a makeshift funnel by rolling up some paper.
If your urn has a small opening such as a compression plug or a threaded plug on the bottom, it is still possible to insert a plastic bag containing the cremains into it. Start by placing one corner of the bag into the opening and slowly work the bag into the opening little by little.
What else can be put into an urn?
Any type of memento can go into the urn such as a locket of hair, poem, piece of jewelry, photo, or any other personal tribute.
Sealing the urn
To permanently seal your urn, we recommend that you use an epoxy resin adhesive which you can find at any hardware store.