How To Fill Cremation Jewelry

Before you fill cremation jewelry

Identify an area in your home that:

  • has a flat, level surface
  • is well ventilated
  • an area without wind
  • an area with good lighting

Materials you will need to fill your jewelry urn

Gather and arrange the suggested items listed below.

  • a thin towel
  • a small sheet of clean paper
  • toothpick (included)
  • small funnel (included)
  • small flat-head screwdriver (only needed for some urns)
  • small sieve (optional – to sift clumps from fine ashes)
  • liquid adhesive or glue (optional)
  • small plastic spoon
  • clothespin (this can be useful to aid in propping up the bottom or side-loaded cremation pendants)

Expect that the cremated remains will come from the funeral home or crematorium contained in a thick polyethylene bag that is inside a sturdy cardboard or plastic box or an urn. The box will be labeled for proper identification and accompanied by a certificate of cremation.

Consider removing a small amount of ashes from the bag and place them in a smaller container for ease of use. Cremation jewelry requires careful handling to fill and secure the ashes.

It is helpful to remember that ashes can vary from a fine sandy powder like sugar to a gravelly texture such as kitty litter.

Follow these easy steps to fill your jewelry urn

  1. Place the thin towel on an ample workspace. This ensures that all urn parts are visible and close at hand.
  2. Lay out the tools, supplies and urn jewelry with ashes on the towel.
  3. Lay the piece of paper on top of the towel. Take a small portion of cremains and place them on the paper. Use the spoon to separate large bits (if any) of ashes from fine ashes. (You can also use the small sieve to separate any larger bits from the fine ashes). The paper will also collect stray ashes while you’re filling the urn.
  4. Locate the screw cap on the jewelry. Sometimes it is necessary to open the ash chamber using a small screwdriver . Be careful not to scratch the jewelry.
  5. With the plastic spoon, scoop a small amount of the fine ashes from the paper.
  6. Place the small funnel into the compartment opening. If the jewelry doesn’t lie flat, use a clothespin to hold the jewelry upright with the opening at top. (Or, consider having a family member or friend help you.)
  7. Pour a small amount of ashes from the spoon into the funnel. Gently shake the ashes through the funnel. If needed, use the toothpick to gently push ashes through the funnel. Be sure not to fill the chamber to the top. There needs to be room to easily put the screw back without disturbing the ashes.
  8. Use the toothpick to clear away any cremains from the threads. The cap should easily screw back in without obstruction.
  9. At this point, you’ll close the urn with the screw. If you wish to permanently seal the urn, use the liquid adhesive. Close the screw only about 80%. Then spread a dot of the adhesive under the screw head using the toothpick – close immediately to 100% before the glue dries. Allow 24 hours for the glue to dry.
    Note: if your jewelry has a twist-off top, be sure the cap is in a position to lie flush when worn and in alignment with the flat side of the jewelry.
  10. To finish, wipe your urn necklace or cremation bracelet with a fine cotton cloth to remove any stray ashes or fingerprints. It’s recommended not to submerge the jewelry in water.

While the thought of transferring cremated remains can be intimidating, it can also help to provide closure. If you are uncomfortable performing this task alone, ask a close friend or family member to help. Creating a personal ritual around the transfer could be helpful in the grieving process.