Filling a cremation urn with ashes

How do you fill a cremation urn with the ashes?

Once you have selected an urn, it is time to transfer the ashes.

Once the cremation process is complete, the ashes are placed into a temporary plastic bag. The ashes are then transferred into the final resting place, which is typically a cremation urn.

If you are then intending to memorialise the ashes in a cremation urn, please read on.

Additionally, if you wish to retain some as a keepsake in cremation ashes jewellery, you can also read our instructions on filling cremation jewellery.

What you will need

  • The urn unpacked, cleaned and dry
  • A funnel, a simple kitchen funnel is fine
  • An under-sheet:
    • towel,
    • cloth,
    • wax paper,
    • aluminium foil, or
    • a piece of A4 paper
  • Superglue (optional)

How to prepare to transfer the ashes

It is important to handle the ashes with care, as they are fragile and can be easily scattered. We recommend closing all doors and windows, plus place a plastic sheet down.

Have everything you need in one spot before you start. It is also advisable to have a support person in place as it can be an emotional process.

How do I transfer the ashes?

Ensure the urn is very stable. You don't want it being accidentally knocked during the process. In particular, if you have a teardrop urn, or an urn with a bottom opening, you should use a second helper person to hold the urn upside-down securely.

This can be done by using a funnel or by gently pouring the ashes into the urn. When using a funnel, only transfer small portions at a time and tap gently, raising the funnel as the urn fills. For many cremation urns, the opening is large enough to place the entire plastic bag inside. This can be a useful option if you are considering relocating the ashes at some time in the future.

Remember to leave enough space for the lid to close!

Should I seal the urn?

Once the ashes have been placed in the urn, it can be sealed with a lid or closure of your choice. You can elect to place some fixative or glue on the seal to ensure the ashes remain safe. If you think you may scatter or relocate the ashes at some point, skip this step.

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