Calculating the Right Urn Size

What Size Urn is Needed For a Person or Pet?

Though this can be a sensitive subject, it is one that an individual shopping for an urn would want to be aware of to assist in making the proper urn size selection.

If you are not in the funeral/cremation business it is likely one would not know what size urn is needed for what size person or pet.  More and more people are shopping for urns outside the funeral homes and crematories to have a greater selection and more unique choices.  In this case, it is important to understand urn sizing for your needs.

Urns come in various shapes and sizes, but when shopping for an urn you will hear the term “cubic inch capacity”.  This is how remains/ashes are measured.

It is really a fairly simple rule of thumb. One pound of body weight yields one cubic inch of ash.  The size of the urn is basically the size of the deceased.  Approximate weight person or pet is the approximate urn size needed.   A 100 pound person would require a 100 cubic inch capacity urn to comfortably accommodate their ashes.

If one wanted to get very technical, it is really the amount of bone and bone density of a person which really constitutes the ashes, as organs, tissue, fat and fluids burn away during the cremation process.  Again, the basic calculations above are quite suitable in most cases by using ones weight to determine urn size.

An urn cannot be too large, but it can be too small.  Sometime larger urns than needed are purchased because aesthetically that appealed to the buyer and that is fine.  However if dealing with too small of an urn size all ashes may not fit, thus presenting a problem.

At times ashes are divided among family members, other times some of the ashes are spread, whereas smaller keepsake size urns are then suitable.

In the world of urns it is staid that “the standard” urn for an adult is 200 cubic inch capacity.   Evaluating your individual functional needs when buying an urn is important.

We hope this has been a helpful and educating article to offer more ease during this often emotional decision.


Each Urn is Like a Thumbprint 


7033599When you purchase an urn from Appalachia Urns or from most hand-crafted artists
each item is “unique & special”.  Wood-turned urns are much like a “thumbprint”, no two are alike. We do not remove natural occurrences in the wood such as small markings, spalting, small cracks that were part of the growth of the tree, lines created by insects, mineral deposits in the wood (things that would not affect the functionality or longevity of the product). It is that same thumbprint that makes each product truly one of a kind with its own character.  Each hand-crafted item is as unique as the loved one you are memorializing.  Each piece is special!  You do not get this individuality when your product comes off of  “an assembly line”.   Retail cost for hand-crafted items are not necessarily any higher than an assembly line product, as the mark up on those urns at most funeral homes is quite considerable.  This is another good reason to purchase an item as special as an urn from an independent artist or a funeral home that supports local artisan.  Shop wisely for this special purchase.


Pointers &Things to Know Before Choosing an Urn


Choosing a cremation urn can be a challenging and confusing experience.  Most often, emotions are tender during a time in which an urn is needed and even the simplest decisions can seem daunting.  Here are a few tips to hopefully simplify the process.It is very helpful if you know the size of urn needed in cubic inch capacity.  Your funeral home/director or crematory will be able to assist with this information.  The standard adult size urn is approximately 200 cubic inches.  However, a larger urn may be required for a very large size individual and vise versa for a small person or child size urn.  Some prefer to have their ashes co-mingled with a spouse or partner or family member, in which case a companion size urn is advisable, 400-450 cubic inch is usually suitable.

Sometimes, ashes/cremains are divided among family members into “keepsake urns” which can be small to miniature.

If you are in the market for a pet urn, a very small urn may be fitting, such at 50 cubic inch or less for a small pet such as a cat and obviously bigger for large breed animals, sometimes requiring the same size as for a human.

Something to consider is… will the urn be a burial urn, placed in a niche or in a home or will the remains be spread?  This will help you decide if you want a more basic less expensive variety perhaps, or a more ornate, decorative urn to be displayed.

There are many styles of urns from simple to more opulent designs.  When choosing an urn it is nice to take into consideration the style of the individual you are memorializing and what he/she would like.  If the urn is to be displayed in a home it will blend best if the urn is comparable to the style of the home.  For example you would likely not want an Asian style urn in a rustic log cabin and vise/versa.

Think about if you want a hand-crafted urn or one from an assembly line, often made in China or India.  Either is fine, depending upon what you are seeking and what you want to spend.  Many of the urns on the market today and available in funeral homes are the standard “assembly line” style.  If your preference is something more “unique”, you can ask the funeral home for suggestions.  They often have crafters/artists in their files, but may not keep their urns in stock.  Hand-crafted urns can be but are not necessarily more costly. Often individuals choose cremation as a lower cost alternative to burial, in which many cases cannot or do not choose to spend a lot on an urn vessel. Thank goodness there are many price and style options available these days. Shopping on line is a very viable way to find something special.  Of course all of our Appalachia Urns are hand-crafted, made from wood, turned on lathe by artist Robert Woods.  These are all signed originals and truly a “one of a kind resting place”.  Each urn of our urns is crafted with reverence and care.

Sometimes one may feel it is urgent to buy an urn, but that is not always the case, unless you have a date for a service in which the urn is needed.  Remains will arrive from the crematory in a temporary vessel, after which urns can then be transferred to a final resting place.  In fact it may be advisable to wait until you feel rested and clearer to really give some thought to the purchase of the urn, obtaining exactly what you want and will be pleased with for years to come.

We at Appalachia Urns hope this helps clear some confusion about choosing an urn and assist in making your process a bit easier.

Source: old blog

Cremation Urns For Two

9114948Companion urns are a beautiful way to co-mingle cremains.   These are commonly used by couples.  These urns are larger in size than a standard urn.  Standard urns are typically/approximately 200 cubic inch capacity, whereas a companion urn is more like 300 to 450 cubic inch.  Urn sizes can vary a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Some companion urns have dividers and the ashes are side by side, others are one vessel where ashes are combined.  This is typically the style made by Appalachia Urns.  The Elegance style urn pictured was an order we did for a family who wanted a companion urn.  This is one solid piece of cherry wood plus the lid, combined with black lacquer for the stripe and lid, finished in a high quality urethane to preserve the wood.   This particular urn measured 10 x 11 inches, approx. 425 cubic inch capacity and was ordered to fit into a specific niche.   Sometimes, couples will purchase these urns together in advance and have a “say so” in their own choice.  Companion urns are another option to consider.


Choosing a Cremation Urn

Choosing a cremation urn is a deeply personal and heartfelt experience.  It may be one of the hardest things a person will have to do for a loved one.  If the final wish of the deceased was to be cremated then thoughtful selection of an urn will be necessary.  Here are a few guidelines that you may find helpful.

A very important point is to not rush when making a choice in urns.  Many people assume the urn has to be available immediately after the cremation, but this is not the case.  Crematories typically package the cremains in a temporary container that is suitable for long time storage.  This gives you a window of time to carefully select your urn when you are feeling ready to do so.

There are an ever growing number of options in urns.  Remember, this is an important decision that is best not to make lightly or quickly.  It is not uncommon for people to choose their own urns or for individuals to wait a year or more when choosing an urn for a loved one.

The internet has become a common way to shop for urns, and often offers a wider variety than many funeral homes, this is now becoming a viable way for individuals to choose an urn.  Often the process of choosing is made by several family members and the internet can make that process easier as families explore the myriad of choices available. 

It is very important to know where the urn will be kept after the memorial service.  Urns that would be displayed in one’s home may be quite different of those to be buried or ashes to be scattered.

Take time to pick an urn that represents your loved ones taste and style.  Many materials are available, from wood, pewter, bronze etc… Simple to ornate.  Hand crafted to factory made and at varied price points.   Consider what your loved one would want for a resting place for their ashes.

Remember that many people purchase urns to be used for their beloved pet. There are many styles, sizes and materials of urns that cater to the remains of pets as well.

The most important thing to remember is to take your time, reflect on what is most suited to your needs and the style of your loved one and make it a sacred experience.

Source: old blog

Not Made in China

Wood Turning on the latheDeciding on how to rest cremains of your loved one is one of the most revered offerings you can do to honor someone special.

Do you know that most of the urns offered on line and sold by funeral homes are made on an assembly line in China or India?   Though some are very pretty, there is really nothing “special” about them.

Appalachia Urns encourages buyers to purchase and support hand-crafted, American made products, where much skill and care goes into the “sacred art of urn making”.  One of a kind urns are as unique as the individual you are memorializing.

You can’t get much more American hand-crafted than an Appalachia Urns.  Each piece is created by wood-turning artist Robert Woods at his workshop, in an old Appalachian tobacco barn.  From cutting a felled tree into manageable sizes, to turning/creating the urn on a wood lathe to the fine finish, these one of a kind, signed originals are a beautiful way to celebrate your beloved and crafted with the utmost care.

If you are in the market for an urn, we hope you will look at some of the hand crafted options that are available through various artists.