Learn how creating a custom urn for your departed loved one can help to honor their memory and bring you comfort after their passing.
John Maher: Hi. I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Victor Buonfiglio of Boston Cremation. The topic is how to create a custom urn. Welcome, Victor.
Victor Buonfiglio: Hi, John.
What is a Custom Urn?
John: Victor, what is a custom urn?
Victor: Custom urn is going to be something that’s going to be personalized to reflect the person who’s in urn in it.
John: Right. Is it usually made like in a certain style where it reflects like a person’s interests, [or] something like that?
Victor: It certainly can. Let’s just talk a little bit about that. The custom urns can be made out of metal. They can be made out of wood and today the manufacturers have so much technology and ability to do pretty much any sort of custom engraving or medallions or plaques can be put on them. We’ve seen a lot. They have staple samples that you can choose from or you can customize something and send it to them and they’ll do it for you.
John: Right, because these places have these computer-aided design type of things where they can design it ahead of time and then have a laser that just click cuts it and engraves it.
Victor: All laser edging, yes. The quality of the stuff today is amazing. It’s really high-quality stuff.
John: Is it usually a matter of picking out a certain style of an urn and then deciding what you want for like an image to be engraved on, is that typical?
Victor: Yes, and we usually tell folks, again where you’re keeping the urn, where you’re going to put the urn and then that’s where we will decide. Let’s start with that, the basics. What is the urn going to be and then we can talk about how you’re going to customize it and what you’re going to do to it.
Where to Display a Custom Urn
John: Right because if you’re going to have it on your mantelpiece, maybe you want it to look a certain way. What are some other places that people might be putting their urns that would determine like what the design should be?
Victor: Well, we’ve seen a niche at a columbarium or a columbarium wood is a mausoleum for urns. If you’re going to do something there you’re not going to be too concerned about if it’s going to match the decor in your home. These are the things that you’re going to think about.
Interesting Custom Urns
John: In that case you could go a little bit more, a little more crazy. What are some of the more interesting ones that you’ve seen?
Victor: Well, definitely the military themes [are] certainly something that’s becoming popular today. We talked earlier, motorcycle urns, the custom gas tanks. They can pick the colors where they want flames on them, eagles on them, a picture of their wife on it. The sky’s the limit. We talk customization [and] it’s anything that you can think of can be done.
John: Right and again, is it just an image or you mentioned the gas tank of a motorcycle [or is] the actual urn is shaped like a gas tank?
Victor: It looks like somebody took a gas tank off a motorcycle and just put it on a pedestal base. Some of them have really elaborate paint work on them. Like it came off a custom chopper. It’s pretty spectacular. People come into the funeral home all the time and they look at it and even if they are not a motorcycle enthusiast, everybody stops and looks at the gas tank.
John: Right and this is, “Oh wow, that’s an interesting one.”
Victor: Again, it just goes to show them that this might not be for you but whatever it is that you’re into it can be done also.
John: Right so you look at the gas tank and you say, alright he wasn’t into motorcycles but he loved golf, could we do a set of golf clubs or something like that?
Victor: You got it, exactly yes and as a matter of fact they do have that.
Designing a Custom Urn
John: Okay. Who does the design, are you just telling somebody from the company that makes the urn, “Hey I’d like a set of golf clubs engraved on it or I want the actual urn to look like a golf bag” or something like that and then they handle the design for you?
Victor: Yes, pretty much. I mean again, so you just mentioned two things. First of all, they have urns that are shaped into a golf club or set of golf clubs with the composite materials that are available today. Anything can be done, but again some people will just pick their basic urn design. Something simple and then they’ll do their inscription or their engraving or their color choice that they want to really personalize it. Sometimes it’s just as simple as a name plaque. They’ll buy the urn that they want and just a simple name and date and that’s customization enough for them.
John: Maybe a little poem or something like that.
Victor: A little term of endearment. Something that’s meaningful to them, absolutely.
Cost of a Custom Urn
John: Is that expensive to get that done, a custom urn?
Victor: It’s actually not. It’s really not. Inscriptions are around $50 for a four line inscription. Maybe up to a couple hundred dollars for something a little more elaborate, but the technology today is advanced enough that it’s not new technology, so it’s not too expensive anymore. It’s pretty much within everybody’s reach.
John: All right. That’s great information, Victor. Thanks again for speaking with me.
Victor: Thanks John.
John: For more information visit bostoncremation.org or call 781-322-0909.