When a loved one passes away, planning a memorial or funeral can help you work through grief. Cremation is often part of those plans, and when it is, what do you do with the cremains? Here are 8 cremation ashes ideas for you to consider in 2022.

First off, What Are Cremains?

The cremains are the cremated remains of a person. After the cremation process is complete, the cremains are usually placed in an urn and given to the survivors of the deceased. You can keep the cremains at home or look at the many other options to keep your loved one close to your heart.

Option One: Keep Them at Home

If you keep your cremains at home, you have a few options for storing them. You can place them in an urn, on a shelf, or mantle. There are many beautiful urn options to match every decor. If you display the urn, make sure it is in a safe place where children and pets cannot get to it.

When keeping cremains at home, you can also bury them in the ground or scatter them anywhere on your own private property in North Carolina. However, to scatter ashes on someone else’s private land, “North Carolina law requires that you obtain written permission from the landowner and give it to the crematory.” (1)

Consider planting a tree or other plant in your yard along with the ashes to create a beautiful growing tribute to your loved one. Keep in mind that when you move from that home your access to that memory will have to be left behind.

Option Two: Scattering Ashes on Public Land

As long as no one lives on the public land, you can generally scatter ashes there.

North Carolina law allows the scattering of ashes on “uninhabited public land.”  You can check out city or county regulations and zoning rules for more information. However, it is unlikely you will face any backlash for just moving forward with your plans.

According to NOLO, “You should request permission before scattering ashes on federal land. As with local or state land, however, you will probably encounter no resistance if you conduct the scattering ceremony quietly and keep the ashes well away from trails, roads, facilities, and waterways.”  (1)

Most federal parks have a process in place for you to obtain a permit for scattering ashes. Look your chosen park up by name online to find out how to get a permit to scatter ashes there.

Option Three: Scatter Ashes at Sea

According to the Clean Water Act, you can place cremains in ocean waters as long as they are further out than three nautical miles from shore. The MPRSA general permit authorizes the transportation and burial at sea of cremated human remains in ocean waters without a special permit. However, by law, you must give the EPA notification within 30 days of the scattering of ashes at sea.

If you’d like to scatter ashes in a river or lake, contact the state agency that manages the waterway for information about permits.

Option Four: Place Them in a Cemetery Plot  or Niche Inground or Above Ground

If you choose to bury the cremains in a cemetery plot, many cemeteries have areas specifically for cremated remains. Talk to your desired cemetery about the options for cremains which often include:

  • A particular area for scattering cremains on their property
  • Large decorative urns on the property
  • Burial in a small plot
  • A niche in a mausoleum
  • Green burial plot

Option Five: Create Memorial Jewelry

If you don’t want to keep the cremains at home or bury them in a cemetery, you can always create memorial art with them. Consider turning them into diamonds, glass beads, or other art. A few companies offer this service, and it can be a beautiful way to keep your loved one close to your heart.

Option Six: Have Them Made into Vinyl Records

Another option for cremains storage is to have them made into vinyl records. A vinyl record can be a unique way to remember your loved one. 

One such company, Vinyly, will convert ashes into a vinyl album for a bit more than $4,000. You can even listen to the album and hear how the ashes play “popping and cracking.” Or, you can choose to add music or other sounds to the album. You can even help design the jacket cover with details of your loved one’s life. (2)

Option Seven: Turn Them Into Blown Glass Art

If you are artistically inclined, cremains ashes ideas can include turning the cremains into blown glass. These beautiful works of art can be a lovely way to remember your loved one and keep them close by.

According to Spirit Pieces, who create blown glass works of art from cremains, their work only needs a small amount of cremation ash. “Cremation ash mixes into the still molten glass, so it’s permanently, safely, and beautifully suspended for easy viewing and handling.”

Option Eight: Scatter Ashes by Air

Why not take a plane ride over North Carolina and scatter ashes from thousands of feet above the earth? Scattering ashes from the sky is a creative way to honor someone who loved to fly or was interested in model airplanes.

“In North Carolina, ashes may be scattered from a plane. Federal aviation laws prohibit dropping objects that might cause harm to people or property, but the U.S. government does not consider cremains to be hazardous material. All should be well so long as you remove the ashes from their container before scattering.” (1)

Consider a Funeral or Memorial Service

When a loved one passes away, you will feel a myriad of emotions, normal reactions to losing someone you love. Planning a funeral or memorial service can help your family grieve your loss together. 

No matter what cremation ashes ideas you choose, take time to remember your loved one and celebrate the life they lived. Grief is a personal process. There is no right or wrong way to mourn. By choosing to honor your loved one’s memory, you can begin the grieving process in a way that feels right for you.

There are many cremation ashes ideas to choose from when it comes to cremains. However, don’t underestimate the importance of time with family and friends to remember your loved one and celebrate their life’s legacy.

We Can Help

At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we create beautiful and memorable events to honor a life. Our services bring family and friends together to cherish each other and their memories together. If you are looking for cremation ashes ideas or funeral and memorial services, please contact us today. We would be honored to help you create a service that celebrates your loved one’s life. 



  1. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/burial-cremation-laws-north-carolina.html#7
  2. https://www.epa.gov/ocean-dumping/burial-sea 
  3. https://www.andvinyly.com/
  4. https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2016/03/21/your-cremated-remains-can-be-burned-into-a-vinyl-record/ 
  5. https://www.spiritpieces.com/pages/blown-glass-with-ashes