YOU may like the idea of handing out favours or keepsakes at the funeral or memorial of a loved one, and while there are many which can be purchased readymade, you may prefer to make them yourself.
Whether you’re on a budget, you or your deceased loved one were fond of crafting and DIY, or because you want to make something unique and personal, here are some ideas that you may want to use.
There are many items that you can personalise or print to use as a memorial keepsake, the most important thing to think about is to make your choice something that reflects the tastes or hobbies of the deceased.
If the deceased was a fan of crossword puzzles, there are plenty of pages online from which you can generate your own crossword puzzles. For the clues, you can use words which reflect the life, traits, personality and hobbies of your loved one. Once you have completed the puzzle, you can print as many copies as you need to give to the guests and completing it will be a nice way for young and old to reminisce about the person’s life.
Another printable idea which can be personalised is to make labels. Even if you have very basic programmes and design skills, you may want to try your hand at making personalised labels on your computer which can include photos or just an attractive design. If you don’t trust your skills for the design and simply want to personalise a template with the name and relevant dates of your loved one, there are plenty of readymade labels available online which you can download, personalise and print to put on all sorts of items. You could put them on matchboxes, in order to light a candle or even a bonfire, campfire or barbecue for the deceased; or they could be placed on plant pots containing seedlings, saplings or even a little container of rosemary, a herb which symbolises remembrance.
If your loved one was a bookworm, how about a bookmark? Again, there are many templates online to personalise and print, but if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you could design your own. You could write or copy a poem or quote with significance to the deceased, and you could add a photo too. If you don’t have many guests, or if you have children who would enjoy helping with the project you could make and colour them by hand. In either case, if you like, a tassel can be added once the bookmarks have been laminated and cut out.
You could personalise seed packets by getting little envelopes, putting some seeds in them, especially something like forget-me-nots, and then print a label or hand write whatever you think appropriate on the envelopes. The seeds don’t have to be for planting, another idea is to do this with bird seed, especially if the deceased was a keen birdwatcher.
Another project which can be nice for children to make is memorial stones which can be given to guests. Take flat stones and with the appropriate pens, decorate them with an attractive design.
Younger children may also like to make pompoms, which can be turned into keepsakes or put on keychains. Bracelets, necklaces or chains to hold glasses or masks can also be quick and easy for them to make and attractive to give to guests.
The more creative may like to write a little story or poem about their deceased loved ones, or maybe draw or paint a picture, which can be scanned and printed to give to guests.
All of these and any other types of memorial keepsakes can be handed out before, during or after the service, but make sure that everyone gets one, maybe by arranging them on a table near the guest book.
Think about the keepsake you are giving, as some may not be appropriate to hold all throughout a memorial service so you will be better giving them afterwards. Doing this will also give you the opportunity to explain the significance during the service.
In any case, given a little keepsake as a sign of appreciation allows guests to know that you are grateful for the time they have dedicated to being with you at a difficult time.