The loss of a loved one can be full of challenging moments, and one of these may be how to handle his or her ashes or cremated remains. Here are some suggestions to make filling an urn a little easier for you.
This can be a very emotional experience for some. We encourage you to reach out to a trusted relative, friend or funeral professional for support as needed during this process.
How to Fill a Cremation Urn - Quick Guide
We’ve compiled a quick guide on how to fill a cremation urn with human ashes.
1. Remove the lid from your new cremation urn.
2. Place a funnel inside the opening of the urn.
3. Carefully cut a corner of the bag containing the human ashes.
4. Pour ashes through the funnel into your urn.
5. Replace the lid or threaded closure on your urn.
Keep scrolling for more detailed instructions on transferring human ashes to a new container.
Check out our helpful video: How to Fill an Urn
Choose your Filling Method
There are three methods for transferring the ashes into an urn after cremation:
1. Pour Ashes Directly into the Urn - Most Common
Take the cremated remains from the plastic bag directly into an urn for ashes.
2. Bag Transfer - Fastest and Easiest
Transfer the entire bag from the temporary container into the urn.
3. Bag to Bag - Common when sharing ashes
Pour ashes from the plastic bag into a new plastic bag inside the urn.
Gather Necessary Supplies
Correct size urn*
Temporary container from the funeral home or crematorium**
Sheet of newspaper or a towel
Large funnel (or piece of paper shaped into a funnel)
Mask and gloves (optional). Though cremated remains are non-toxic, you may wish to use a mask as some of the particles are fine and wear gloves to keep your hands clean.
Glue (optional) - If you plan to seal the urn, you'll need glue appropriate for the material of the urn.
Prepare Your Space
Lay out your newspaper or towel on a flat surface.
Put on the mask and gloves.
Place the urn on your covered surface with the funnel within reach.
How to Fill a Cremation Urn - Pour Ashes Directly into the Urn Method
1. Remove the lid from your new urn.
2. Place the funnel inside the opening of the new urn.
3. Open the temporary container and remove the plastic bag holding the ashes. (Keep the metal ID tag with the ashes).
4. Cut a corner of the bag containing the remains, creating an opening through which you can slowly pour the cremated remains into the funnel. (Similar to squeezing frosting out of a bag.)
5. Lift the funnel slightly upwards at the urn fills to create more room for ashes.
6. Replace the lid or threaded closure once you have placed all of the ashes into the urn.
7. If you want to seal your urn visit our How to Seal Your Urn article
How to Transfer a Bag of Cremated Ashes to another
If you choose to transfer the entire bag, simply take the top of your new cremation urn and maneuver the bag with the contents into your urn. You may have to move the bag around a bit (or open it) so it fits into the urn.
Things To Know Before Transferring Human Ashes
* Make sure you have the correct sized urn to hold the ashes. Each pound prior to cremation is equal to a cubic inch of ashes-- when selecting an urn for someone who weighed 190 pounds, you will need an urn with a capacity of 190 cubic inches or larger.
** The ashes will come from the crematorium with a metal ID tag inside a plastic bag within a temporary container--typically a cardboard or plastic box. It is a good idea to keep the tag with the ashes when you transfer them from the temporary container into a cremation urn.