This may seem like an odd DIY project but this is something that is really important to me and I had to do a lot of research to learn about the dos and do nots of jazzing up a loved ones resting place. So let me save you from the hassle!
The first thing you must do is talk to the cemetery – as in the people who work there. There are rules and regulations for every cemetery as well as the different sections of a cemetery. This is important to know because you don’t want to waste your money and hard work just to have your tribute thrown away.
I’ve been lucky enough to have virtually no limitations on my décor on my grandparents graves as well as my sweet Logan’s. My grandparent’s are buried in a small town so there are pretty much no rules. This gives you more creative freedom to decorate the entire space and just not the top section. For example a flower blanket! As for Logan’s I was told no glass and it must be kept as close to the top as possible or else the mowers will destroy it.
Immediately after someone is buried all they have is a nametag until a headstone is made, sometimes they don’t even get grass right away. It makes me really sad because people deserve so much than that. Important factors you need to account for are weather, wildlife, and which way the grave faces.
If you experience all kinds of weather like I do, you need ziplock bags and a laminator. Being a student I can’t afford a laminator so I found these great self-laminating sheets at the dollar store! Depending on the headstone or if there even is one, you’ll need flower vases! You can get them from any flower shop or the cemetery itself! If you spend more than $10-$20 dollars, you’re spending too much! I’ve included pictures of what they look like! If they have weak stake, just fill them with rocks, this works great for fake flowers to keep them in place but if you want to leave live flowers you will need to find styrofoam to stick the flowers in and keep them watered. You can get these from any flower store or craft store! I got mine from Michaels. (MICHAELS ALWAYS HAS 40-50% OFF COUPON ON THEIR WEBSITE) Finally, you’ll need lights. Heavy ones with fake candles or solar lights that stick right into the ground! I was warned people steal from graves so I bought mine from the dollar store and they actually work great!
Initally, I left a picture frame enclosed in TWO ziplock bags (remember the elements can be harsh) until I got the rest of my crafting done! If your loved one faces the sun most of the day like Logan, you are going to have to peridoically change the pictures because they will fade. Black and white works better than color and real pictures will last longer than ones printed on paper.
Something I’m really proud of is my picture wreath. I went to the craft store and picked up a wreath skeleton (I don’t know if that’s what they are actually called) and I found a roll of burlap at the dollar store that I wrapped around it using a hot glue gun. From there, after all of my pictures that I wanted to use were laminated, I hot glued them to the burlap. Super simple and super beautiful! Just make sure you stake it to the ground!
As holidays and seasons come and go, you can change the décor to match a theme! Logan’s sister and I used sharpie’s to make little pumpkin faces and then we wrote messages on the back. I had a lot of fun decorating Logan’s grave because it’s a way I can honor him and for other people to feel close to him when they come to visit his grave.