Celebrating the life of your loved one is a beautiful way to show how much they mean to you. Remembering your favorite qualities about them and recalling special memories can often be healing. Whether you’re looking for ways to honor them at a memorial service or in your home, you can find ideas that help capture your loved one’s spirit. To offer you inspiration, we’ve put together 32 celebration of life ideas. From canvas art and garden stones to catch all trays and memory boards, we hope you find something that touches you.
If you’re helping someone else plan a celebration of life, you may also be putting together a sympathy gift. Finding the right funeral thank you card wording can help you come up with comforting words during such a difficult time.
1. DIY Flower Vase
Make a 3D canvas flower vase to display fresh blooms and greenery. Choose plants that remind you of your loved one, then place the vase next to beloved photos.
2. Mason Jar Photo Frames
Transform mason jars into antique-looking frames with frosted glass paint. These mason jar frames look classic with black and white photos, but you can opt for colored ones instead. Display your favorite snapshots by placing the jars on your mantel or a shelf.
3. Antique Glass Frame
Create a timeless piece to memorialize your loved one. A vintage floating frame turns a classic moment like a wedding photo into a keepsake. Display the frame next to a candle or potted plant for a beautiful spread.
4. Garden Stone
A garden stone is a beautiful way to honor a loved one. Imprint their name or a favorite quote on the stone, then find a special place for it in your flower or herb garden. Pair with a personalized flower pot to complete the garden display.
5. Custom Necklace
Design a custom piece of jewelry that reminds you of your loved one. It could be a necklace with beads of their favorite color or one with their birthstone. Most importantly, you can wear it anytime you want to feel close to them.
6. Quote Art
Did he or she have a favorite quote, mantra or way of life? Bring their spirit to your home with quote wall art. Print the quote on cardstock or make it a framed print to keep their spirit near you.
7. Woven Photo Blanket
Bring warmth and comfort to your home with a woven blanket. Embed a photo of you and your loved one on the blanket to keep them close to you. When someone asks about the blanket, you can share a special memory of your loved one.
8. Memory Board
Gather items that represent your loved one. Clip them to a photo board made out of an empty frame and twine. Include photos, postcards, newspaper clippings and letters to make this memory board one-of-a-kind.
9. Fabric Quote
Capture the spirit of your loved one by imprinting their words or a favorite quote onto fabric. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop for decor that can be hung at the memorial service or in your home.
10. Personalized Puzzle
During times of healing, it’s often helpful to keep busy. Create a personalized puzzle with a photo of your loved one that you can put together on the days you miss them most.
11. Shadow Box Collage
Reminisce about your favorite memories with a photo collage. Fill a shadow box with candids from family trips and birthday parties. Hang the shadow box in your living room or bedroom as decor, so you’re always reminded of your loved one’s positive presence in your life.
12. Planter Box
Place a succulent or indoor plant in a cube planter box. Put your loved one’s initials on the box, so you have a daily reminder of him or her. The best part? The plant will keep their memory alive as it grows.
13. Rustic Hearts Garland
Decorate the memorial service and your home with love. Secure hearts to burlap flags, then string them on twine to build a garland. Make it as short or long as you like.
14. Tea Towel
Did your loved one enjoy baking or hosting guests? Put a photo or favorite recipe on a tea towel to remember them every time you’re making cookies or hosting friends and family.
15. Framed Photo Gallery
Gather photos from family get-togethers and friend gatherings. Arrange them in a frame to create decor that celebrates the brightest moments of your loved one’s life. Bring the photo gallery to the memorial service, or place the piece in your living room, office or bedroom.
16. Photo Cube
Choose a handful of special photos to create a photo cube that can help decorate a memorial service. After the service, place the cube on your mantel or end table for home decor with a truly personal touch.
17. Canvas Art
Memorialize a special person or memory with canvas wall art. Display the canvas at a celebration of life event, then make it your wall art in a location where it will bring peace to your day, like in your kitchen or den.
18. Personalized Wine Decanter
Customize a wine decanter with your loved one’s name or favorite song lyrics. When you’re not using it for wine, fill the vase with fresh blooms to bring beauty and peace into your life.
19. Sweet Serenity Stones
Whip up a batch of fudge treats that look like stones. Imprint comforting words like ”peace,” ”love” and ”faith” with stamps. These treats bring a sweet and tasty sentiment to any celebration of life event.
20. Paper Bag Luminaries
Decorate the memorial service with portraits of your loved one. Construct luminaries out of paper bags, polaroids, a glue stick and tea lights. Your luminaries can light an outdoor gathering or the pathway to the service.
21. Glass Frames
Beautiful and classic, these glass frames are perfect for displaying family portraits and wedding photos. Keep the style simple or choose an etched design like one with hearts or stars.
22. Handcrafted Piece
Did your loved one sew quilts or build wood furniture? Commemorate their talents by displaying a handcrafted piece at the memorial service or in your home. Not only does the piece help remind you of them, but it also showcases the beauty they brought to the world.
23. Framed Print
Wondering how to keep someone’s memory alive? Create a printed art piece using a favorite quote or song lyric. After the memorial service, you can hang this artwork in your home.
24. Metallic Print
Create a metal art print with a celebration of life quote. Include a sentiment that captures the spirit of your loved one along with a photo that represents them.
25. Christmas Ornament
Family traditions, like decorating the Christmas tree, can be emotional when you remember your loved one. Personalize an ornament with their photo so they can be there in spirit with you during the holidays.
26. Mason Jar Plants
Fill personalized mason jars with small stones and potting soil. Choose herbs, like basil or mint, to place in your jars. If your loved one was a gardener or enjoyed cooking with fresh ingredients, this is a beautiful way to honor and remember them.
27. Embroidered Photo
Frame a favorite photo, like one from an anniversary or wedding. Embroider a heart around the photo as a statement to the love you will always share.
28. Catch All Tray
Looking for celebration of life ideas that can become keepsakes? Design a catch all tray for jewelry, keys and watches. Choose a photo of your loved one, so you think of them every time you use it.
29. Tree Artwork
Whether you lost a parent, friend or partner, chances are they were deeply loved. Honor their love by drawing a tree and putting all of their love birds on a branch.
30. Fabric Photo
Print a photo of your loved one onto a piece of cotton fabric. Place the fabric in an embroidery hoop to make a beautiful, commemorative piece. If they had a humorous side, embroider a fun quote to keep the laughter alive.
31. Keepsake Box
Special items from loved ones help us feel close to them even after they’re gone. Decorate a box with decoupage to store keepsakes and heirlooms like watches and jewelry.
32. DIY Chalkboard Frame
Cover a photo frame with chalkboard spray paint. Display a favorite photo, like one of the whole family, then write a caption like ”always together” or ”forever in my heart.”
Whether it’s by displaying a framed photo of your loved one or planting a new tree in your yard, honoring them helps keep their spirit alive. Even a small item, like a custom bracelet, can go a long way to remind you of the special moments you shared with your loved one. Use this list to commemorate their life and inspire other ways to celebrate them as time goes on.