Memorial Using Flowers From Dad’s Funeral

by Annette
3 Materials
8 Weeks

First, let me say, “Not my idea at all.”

While at the funeral home helping my Mom with the arrangements for my Dad, she noticed some candles, which were very nice, made from the flowers sent as memorials for the ceremony.

Mom wanted to have a use for the flowers that people sent and suggested the candles. They looked fine, supposedly lasted forever and I thought about it. I could see the candle stored on a basement shelf in a few years. I didn’t feel the $100 price tag for each candle was a good use of funeral dollars so I declined her offer--as did my other siblings.

I told Mom I would find a better use for the flowers no one took after the ceremony and so, when I got home, I looked on Pintrest and found about a dozen ideas yet only one inspired me. I’m not one for having a lot of stuff to dust around so a picture frame or a dried arrangement, though beautiful ideas, wasn’t anything I wanted to make.

After the funeral, I took any flowers that no one else wanted and the ones mom didn’t have a donation plan for. Also, dad’s favorite color was blue so I made sure to claim any blue ribbon left. There were so many flowers. Mom left some at church. She also donated some to a nearby nursing home. My siblings took some and I took what was left.

I dried the flowers, another project I never tried before, by putting the petals in a cool dry place until the rest of my supplies came. I just laid the flowers out on a couple box flats but I read if you hang them upside-down that is the proper procedure. I just don't have the room.  I turned them every day or two so they wouldn’t get moldy.  

Ornaments were the one idea I felt would pay homage to my dad and not end up in storage. These balls can be used for the Christmas tree, which is my plan or display somewhere just by hanging them up.  One idea was to use a string of pearls attached to the ornament.  

First I got online and looked for clear bulbs. I wanted bigger ones without a seam. My preference was seamless because I wanted a glass look. They’re a lot of choices online and I settled for 24 bulbs at around $27.00 including shipping.  I got mine on Amazon and here’s a link to a similar product as I can’t find the original site When the bulbs arrived, they were in pretty bad shape and I panicked. I’ve never used these before and wasn’t sure what to expect but I sure didn’t expect they’d be all crushed. I thought I just wasted $27. Then my mind started to race as I wondered what other use I could find for the dried funeral flowers. 

After that panic subsided, I took a long handled spoon and pressed the dents out of the ornaments. That worked.  A few small dents remained after I undented (that is too a word!) with the spoon handle but the bulbs sat in a box for a couple days and those disappeared.  

From the idea on Pintrest, I needed a memorial note to go in the bulb with the petals. I copied the note because it was so great. I wanted an aged look so, while I waited for the flowers to dry, I used the same words as the Pintrest idea except I added dad’s name and dates. Several generations from now, if these ornament last, I’d like the people to remember whose flowers these are.  

Once I was satisfied the flowers were dry enough, I assembled the bulbs. 

First I put in the leaves and petals which I found were perfectly fine if I rolled them just enough to fit in the opening. They unrolled inside automatically.  I filled the bulbs fairly full and then went back and put in more petals because dad got a lot of flowers. 

Then I added the memorial note. Rolling the note and then unrolling it with my fingers was a little tricky. I had to move some of the petals out of the way. 

 I had to get my skinny fingers in there and unroll the note and there was a couple times where the note crumpled. I tried to use the long handled spoon and it just creased the paper and I didn’t want that.  I made a few extra notes just in case. After replacing the lid, I tied the silver hanging string on.  The string came with the bulb.

My last step was to take the blue ribbon from the display flowers and add it to the bulb. I’m not a bow person so I made a nice knot and I just wanted enough blue to drape across the bulb and not hide it. As luck had it, I had exactly enough blue ribbon—thanks Dad! I’m sure he planned that.  

Here’s the finished ornament. I've listed a couple links where I found this idea. As I said, “Not my idea at all.” I just wanted people to know how I made it work and I find this to be a much better memorial than a $100 candle. All it took was a little time and less than $30.

Here they are in a box in wait for Christmas. I’m going to wrap the entire box and let mom, who, in her efforts to adjust has probably forgotten all about the flower project, hand the ornaments out. I made enough, one for each of us kids, mom and grandkids, plus a few extra. Hopefully it will be a little like having a bit of dad with us each Christmas going forward.  

DIY Christmas Decorations

For more festive decor projects, discover Hometalk's best DIY personalized Christmas ornament ideas, all the ways to fill clear Christmas ornaments, or this ultimate list of 59+ easy-to-make DIY Christmas ornaments.

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  • Petra Catogge Petra Catogge on Sep 14, 2019

    What a beautiful idea (weeping as I write this)

  • Vilma McLean Bouchard Vilma McLean Bouchard on Sep 25, 2019

    Was wondering if artificial flower petals could be used instead?

    My Mother, Father, Husband an Daughter all passed away over 10 yrs ago (Not at same time, over a time span of 20 odd years), So I do not have any of their flowers.

  • Deb Deb on Nov 20, 2019

    That is a beautiful project. Memories of Christmas with your dad in a ornament. Literally your dad will always be with you. Blessings of peace

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  • Tmitch5006 Tmitch5006 on Jan 01, 2020

    And I think it’s even more special because you cared enough to made it yourself ❤️

  • Shelley Shelley on Feb 11, 2020

    Love this! Had seen last year, so just acquired bulbs at Goodwill...not sure if they're big enough, but going to start gathering contents...