By Susan Fraser -August 19,2020
It is customary for many people to use wood as a last home for their loved ones' earthly remains. Wood is sturdy and designed to protect against most of the risks in life. Hardwood is long-lasting with beautiful tones that can be brought out by the right color or stain. With proper care, wood cremation urns can stand in good condition for hundreds of years.
As such a popular material used in people's final resting place, there are so many options to choose from. Finding the right one can be a labor of love, and the result a loving testament to the power of family. This journey takes families through hundreds of choices in wood urns, with advice on how to select an urn and care for it after purchase. Our most popular wood urns give families comfort and a constant reminder that their loved ones are always with them.
Where to Use Wood Cremation Urns
People think of wood as a timeless material. The oldest organism on Earth, in fact, is a bristlecone pine tree in California's White Mountains. Scientists believe it's 5,000 years old. So, it's safe to say that wood is forever, but not in every environment. Once cut and shaped, wood requires at least a little care. Otherwise, it can wither or even rot.
Although wood urns can be appropriate for most purposes, they may not be ideal for all places. People who plan to keep the urn inside a home, or other building that controls for heat and humidity, should consider a wood urn. In many cases, wood can also be a good choice for a columbarium niche, assuming that the dimensions of the urn fit. Wood might also work well placed in a grave, although it may need an urn vault to protect it.
The one place where wood urns probably aren't going to work is outside in the elements. Even in places with relatively mild winters, wood needs protection from rain and wind. Most urns, besides those intended to decompose quickly for something like a water burial, are built to last. Families who intend to keep the urn outside may prefer to select something made out of metal or stone.
Many families choose wood urns to suit the décor of the space where they plan to put it, as well as create a fitting sendoff for a loved one. Deep shades can contrast with a lighter room, creating a beautiful focal point. Wood, as just one type of material in dozens, offers such variety that it's easy to find something to complement any home design.
How to Buy Wood Urns
Wood is one of the most common materials used for urns, so there are literally thousands of options. In The Light Urns features over 300 choices on our site. It can be quite easy to get overwhelmed by the selection, especially for those who aren't sure exactly what they want. People choosing wood urns for themselves or a loved one can help narrow down the list by asking these questions:
- What size do I need in cubic inches?
- Which dimensions work best for the space I intend to place the urn?
- Do I want a smooth or rough texture?
- What colors do I like best, darker or lighter?
- Do I want the urn to look like wood, or painted to imitate something else?
- Would I prefer an all-wood urn, or one with elements made from different materials like stone or glass?
- Do I want a picture printed directly on the wood, or space to put a picture that I can change?
Size and volume may be the most important decisions people have to make, before they can start to select colors and styles. The average urn holds about 200 cubic inches of ashes. Some, especially those designed to be companion urns, can hold up to 400 or more. As far as dimensions, the sky's the limit. If someone wants to put it in a niche in a columbarium, they'll need to measure the space to make sure it will fit.
When considering stains and designs, the options are also virtually limitless. We construct our urns from quality woods like birch or walnut, with color choices to suit almost anyone's preferences. Licensing contracts from talented artists provide hundreds of choices that lovingly showcase a person's career, hobbies or favorite things.
Keep the Memory Urns
When people think about a wood urn, they may imagine a durable material, shaped by hand with a high-quality finish. This is the look offered by the Keep the Memory Urns, exclusive to In The Light Urns. These urns measure 7" tall, 7.5" deep and 11.5" wide. The stain creates a deep color that beautifully contrasts with the design on the front. The full-color imprinting process on these urns is really unique. Although customers can choose one of the more than 100 existing designs, they can also add a picture for a truly custom look.
Art by Al Agnew
Many families find comfort in images of nature, and Al Agnew brings the outdoors a little closer to them. Agnew's oil paintings are famous, featured in places like Bass Pro Shops. His eye for the natural allows him to create a full and luscious landscape in two dimensions, with wild animals proudly featured. An eagle in flight or a deer standing over a gorgeous vista showcase his gift. In The Light Urns is delighted to license many of his most iconic works in the Keep the Memory Urns and Journey of Love Urns lines.
Art by Abraham Hunter
As an artist, Abraham Hunter sees things as they are, and as they ought to be. His landscapes and portraits create a snapshot of a moment in time, whether in this century or in those past. He depicts the beauty of nature and the importance of a love that transcends time. This young artist extends his boundless enthusiasm into every piece. In The Light Urns proudly licenses Hunter's work for Keep the Memory Urns. His ability to extend the sky into eternity represents the endless memory of a loving family.
Popular Wood Cremation Urns
Since we have so many wood urns to choose from, we love to feature some of our customer favorites. We are always looking for the latest trends and ways to meet families in their time of grief. Our most popular wood urns are graceful, a pleasant tribute to an important person. For example, the Family Coat of Arms Cremation Urn uses an intricate engraving process to imprint a family crest on a stately walnut base. We also delight in finding unusual solutions to customer requests. This means that shoppers will find choices ranging from the most somber to the most whimsical.
International LoneStar Truck Cremation Urn
The International LoneStar Truck Cremation Urn is a way to celebrate someone who spent long years on the road. Like many of our products, it features a variety of materials designed to look perfectly authentic. Once loaded with up to 220 cubic inches of ashes, it can roll back and forth. The cargo container is made of wood and painted black or silver, with clear lines of engraving. At 30" long, it is considerably larger than the average urn. But the 4" depth makes it a perfect choice for the mantel or other narrow shelf.
Sports Cremation Urns
Many people spent a lifetime enjoying the game, and they deserve an urn that shows off their commitment to the team. We offer many urns with a special sports emphasis. This includes the Baseball or Softball Mitt Cremation Urn, most famously chosen by Yogi Berra's family. Some urns feature a wood base on which families can place an autographed ball, even a basketball. Others use laser engraving or imprinting for a classic style. Our Baseball or Football Cremation Urns set a small helmet suspended above a wood base, with perfect illumination and a slow rotation.
A well-lived life is like a well-organized toolbox. Everything has its own time and place. The Toolbox Red Cremation Urn has all the details, from a handpainted wood structure made of poplar to metal hardware. Beautiful details and latches that really open and close complete the package. Although the dimensions are perfect to go on a mantel, the 420 cubic inches of volume is large enough to function as a companion urn. The urn also comes in a bright green, or as a keepsake in red.
Fishing Tackle Box Urn
Fishing is a popular sport for people of all ages. Spending time out on the lake or in the river creates years' worth of beautiful memories captured within an urn. The Gone Fishing Tackle Box Cremation Urn includes functioning front hardware and leather for a handle. Intricate details on the top feature the best of the boating experience, in a design that remarkably resembles an old-fashioned tackle box. Family members will see it and remember fond days, perhaps imagining their loved one getting the perfect catch.
Picture Cremation Urns
Pictures always feature a little bit of a person's life. As they were in childhood, in their prime or as people will remember them. This is why many of our wood urns for ashes show a picture in a prominent place. Families love to create a design that surrounds a loved one in a setting with their favorite things. Our custom process includes a mockup that families can see before it is imprinted directly on the wood. The result is a perfect finish that will please and comfort everyone who sees it.
How to Care for Wood Cremation Urns for Ashes
Caring for wood cremation urns is relatively simple. It starts with the placement of the ashes. Most of our wood urns have a sliding wood plate located at the bottom, including a bag to fill with the ashes. Families can remove this base and place the flexible bag containing the ashes inside. It is easy to replace the plate and seal the box using a screwdriver. This approach makes it simple to remove the bag or add a second one, if the urn is large enough to hold the remains of more than one person.
Wood urns may need periodic cleaning, and the right way to do it depends on the type of urn. Occasional dusting or wiping with a soft, dry cloth will keep dust from accumulating, particularly for urns with a deeper engraving or raised relief. Wood urns with a stain can take a gentle cleaning with a polish or a cleanser specifically designed for wood. Urns painted with a color may need a damp cloth with a gentle detergent for cleaning. People should use a soft cloth without an abrasive edge, to avoid scratching the surface or damaging the engraving. Wiping instead of scrubbing protects the surface.
Journey of Love Urns
Some say that grief is a journey of love. The Journey of Love Urns honor this experience. There are dozens of urns in this style, designed to suit a variety of life experiences. As a contrast to the popular Keep the Memory Urns line, these wood urns stand upright. Sturdy walnut makes up the exterior, which can hold up to 240 cubic inches. A beautiful print on the front features room for a picture, as well as customized lines of text and a poem. The footprint of the base is larger than the space for the urn, to make room to place a battery-operated candle.
Custom Wood Urns for Ashes
Every person is unique, so it is important to make every urn a masterpiece. In The Light Urns starts with handcrafted woods. We add a variety of features that set the perfect scene, color or style. Every step strives for perfection in appearance. Many of our custom wood urns meant to represent a miniature item are a precise representation, and some of them work as intended. When memories are all that loved ones have left, high standards are a requirement.
Monarch Butterfly and Calla Lily Cremation Urn
Several of our wood urns feature a lovely lucite sculpture featuring beautiful, full-color images inside. Lucite is a clear, durable resin that resembles rock or glass. The Monarch Butterfly and Calla Lily Cremation Urn depicts a monarch with spread wings soaring above a calla lily. This lily often symbolizes rebirth, or a life beyond death. The sculpture is not installed as a permanent feature of the urn. This means that loved ones who want to remove the sculpture as a keepsake when they bury the urn or place it into a niche have a reminder they can place wherever they need it most.
Like family memories, music is forever. The Red Electric Guitar Wood Urn is part of the Forever Music Urn series, meant to highlight the craft of those who filled the world with sound. The base, in poplar painted black, supports a tiny instrument created with the most exacting detail. As a more classically stylish contrast, the Drum Memories Natural Wood Urn represents a drum in shape and size. Inlaid woods like mahogany and cherry complete a pattern that appears both trendy and timeless.
Wood Keepsake Urns
For people who want to scatter or bury a portion of their loved one's ashes, keepsake urns make a smaller, delightful choice. These urns hold a variable amount of ashes ranging from a pinch to about 8 cubic inches, which is around a cup. Many of our popular urn lines come in keepsake sizes. These are ideal to share with family members and friends, or as part of a memorial ceremony. Each product features the same careful construction and may be able to accommodate customization as well.
Hourglass Keepsake Urns
Love and grief are both bound up in time. Each hour contains its own memory. The Lifetime Hourglass Keepsake Urn offers a touch of whimsy in a real hourglass. Hand-blown glass fits into a polished wood base. Although these urns can be the same size as a regular urn, the nature of the glass means that they only hold a small amount of ashes, about 4 cubic inches. The ashes can pass from one side to the other, but they cannot keep exact time. Instead, they serve as an opportunity to revisit happy memories just whiling away the hours.
Wood Scattering Tubes
Wood urns make an ideal complement to a scattering ceremony. The natural composition makes it possible to place some of them in a bonfire, open them over ground or water, or seal and keep them forever as a keepsake. The Release Wood Scattering Tube holds 5 cubic inches of ashes and is large enough to hold a picture and a single line of text. This affordable keepsake urn is a perfect way for someone planning a memorial to allow everyone attending a chance to participate and say one last goodbye.
Every season, trees feature the beauty of life. Tiny saplings grow up into huge, powerful structures of nature. These living beings fight to survive, adapting with their experience into something like no other on Earth. At the end, a beautiful reminder is left behind in the wood. Wood urns represent a continuation of the cycle of life, which indicates that nothing is permanent. Only love lasts forever.