Wooden Urns: Sustainable Alternatives for the Environmentally Conscious

Wooden Urns: Sustainable Alternatives for the Environmentally Conscious

Ceramic urns are usually the first image to come to mind when picturing an urn for ashes, but there are other options available. Wooden urns are a great choice for those who are looking for a more sustainable vessel made from natural resources.

Before your dismiss wood urns as old-fashioned or boring, take a look at some of the gorgeous compositions available, using handcrafted techniques, modern forms, and sustainable materials. You’ll be impressed!

"Remembrance" wooden urn for ashes by Pulvis Art Urns

The Timeless Beauty of Natural Materials

Wood has been used to craft everyday items and luxury pieces for centuries. Easy to work with and endless in possibilities, natural wood urns are always one-of-a-kind, simply because of the unique composition of the material.

Wood grain is similar to a thumbprint – it’s always unique. This yields a singularity to wood urns that can’t be claimed with other materials. Every wood urn is distinct, with a precise color and grain composition that gives it character. Designers then take those distinct qualities and craft them into something absolutely striking – and fitting for memorializing your loved one.

Walnut Cremation Urn - Suitable for Any Interior

Walnut wood, derived from the walnut tree genus Juglans, encompasses several species, with American black walnut (Juglans nigra) and European walnut (Juglans regia) being the most common. Here are some specifics about walnut wood: 

Color and Appearance: Walnut wood typically features a rich, dark brown color, sometimes with purplish or reddish undertones. It's known for its beautiful grain patterns, which can vary from straight to wavy or curly. The heartwood (inner part of the tree) is darker than the sapwood (outer layer).

Density and Hardness: Walnut wood is moderately hard and dense, ranking higher on the Janka hardness scale compared to some other domestic hardwoods. It's durable and resists warping and decay, making it suitable for various applications.

Workability: Walnut wood is prized by woodworkers for its excellent workability. It machines well, allowing for clean cuts, shaping, and carving. It also holds screws and nails firmly and finishes beautifully, whether stained or left natural.


Natural wood has a warmth to it that can feel nostalgic, comforting, and timeless. The allure of wood has lasted through the ages, making it a particularly symbolic material for crafting into a cremation urn. Wood urns express a beauty that transcends time – just like the memory and legacy of your loved one.

Wooden Urns Provide a Sustainable Option

Wooden urns are also desirable because of their eco-friendly qualities. Wood is a natural resource that is renewable when harvested sustainably, making it a great choice for people who are conscious of their carbon footprint.

Not only is this approach better for the environment, but it also captures the symbolic nature of coming to terms with mortality. We come from the earth, and we return to the earth – it’s a beautiful thought to consider after losing a loved one and going through the grieving process.

Wooden Cremation Urn "Eternity" - Premium Plywood Urn

Wooden Urns with Awesome Designs

Just because it’s a raw material doesn’t mean that it has a simple or subdued design! On the contrary, raw wood can be crafted into beautiful cremation urns through a number of skilled artisanal techniques.

Pulvis’ art urns showcase a variety of different styles available with wood, including smooth looped shapes that show off the exceptional beauty and intricacy of natural wood grain. Two-tone designs that combine rich brown colors in dynamic stripes and checkers offer a contemporary spin on this traditional material.

Plywood, walnut, beech – Pulvis works with a variety of renewable wood types to create gorgeous handmade cremation urns with sustainability in mind. It’s a simple material with stunning results!

How to Make a Wood Urn Last Longer

Considering their natural composition, wood urns are surprisingly easy to care for! A soft, dry cloth can effectively clean the surface of wood urns and help them maintain their appearance. Furniture polish or wood cleaner can also be used sparingly to give the cremation urn extra brilliance.

Even though this natural material is biodegradable, wood urns can last for ages under the proper care. To help preserve the natural beauty of a wood urn, it should be kept indoors only. Protecting the cremation urn from water, humidity, and direct sunlight can also help preserve its original beauty and unique color quality. Thus, a living room or bedroom may be a better place for a wood urn than a bathroom, kitchen or sunroom.

Timeless in character and sustainable in composition, wood urns are an excellent choice to consider.



Wooden Pet Urn "Neko" - Pet Crematon Urn


Join us in helping families honor the memory of their loved ones and pets through art!

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  • Can u make a German Shepherd or Golden Retrieve to hold human ashes??? Please let me know. That would be perfect for me.

    susan j spear-webster on
  • Good day
    Thank you for an informative article. I am a cabinet maker and would like to expand my woodwork career. I intend making Urns with Pine. Do you have plans and for manufacturing and beautifying the end product? I live in South Africa and would appreciate metric measures.
    Most kind regards

    Karl Terry on

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