Can I personalise a coffin?

Is it possible to personalise a coffin?

Recent times have created a shift in public interest towards personalisation. And with the need to properly celebrate the life of a loved one, more and more families are looking to add a personal touch to funeral and cremation services.

Funerals were once a very traditional affair, with a formulaic feel. Yet the concept of the funeral as a final journey for the deceased makes it an important ceremony, meaningful for everyone involved. Saying goodbye can help family and friends come to terms with what has happened, and it can be helpful to make the funeral individual and personal so that everyone can say goodbye to their loved ones in their own way. This approach, with more discussion and planning before the event, has meant that the concept of decorating or personalising the coffin or casket has become a popular consideration.

Different ways to personalise a coffin or funeral

When looking to personalise a coffin, it’s important to select the type of coffin that will allow you to create your vision of your loved one’s final journey. There are many types available and each will lend itself to decoration and personalisation in different ways.

Personalising a coffin with engraving

Some more traditional coffins will allow for engraving, perhaps with a name or a motif on the coffin itself, but it is always good to check with your funeral director that this is an option for the choice you’ve made. If engraving directly onto the coffin isn’t possible it may be worth exploring engraved plaques, with designs and motifs to reflect the deceased’s personality. You can often request a replica of the plaque as a keepsake. We offer complete personalisation on our plaques, including shaped plaques, and our design service can help you create the perfect plaque for your loved one. Plaques can be attached to the lid and the foot of the coffin.

bamboo plaque engraved with sail boat and name Butterfly shaped bamboo plaque with name engraved Bamboo plaque engraved with garden scene and name

There are alternative options such as engraved or hand-written wooden tags which can be tied to woven coffins. When personalised with a message, these tags are a perfect way to say goodbye and as they are made from uncoated wood, can easily be written on or decorated by adults or even children. Hand-written or decorated message tags can be a wonderful way for children to say goodbye to a much-loved family member in their own way.

Coloured coffins to reflect their personality

If your loved one had a favourite colour, or you are considering a colour-themed funeral, coloured coffins may be a perfect choice. The coffin can reflect the personality of the deceased and make the funeral feel more individual. Many kinds of coffins, including woven, can be painted. There is no limit to the choice when choosing one of our coffins; any colour of the rainbow is possible! Your funeral director may ask you for a colour reference so we can get a perfect match and ensure that the coffin will be exactly what you had in mind. Having a coloured coffin can beautifully accentuate your choice of flowers or other decoration and turn what might be a sombre occasion into a vibrant celebration of your loved one.


woven willow coffin swatches in pastel colours        woven willow coffin swatches in pastel colours          woven willow white coffin in a field of bluebell flowers


Photos, letters and drawings

If you have lots of wonderful memories captured in photographs you may wish to consider a photo coffin. These can be printed all over with your chosen images. If you’d prefer a woven coffin, photos and letters can still be used, tied to the coffin with ribbon, twine or even incorporated into the floral arrangements. Speak to your florist and funeral director who may have creative ideas and guide you as to what’s possible. It’s also good to take into consideration whether your loved one is to be cremated or buried. Some green burial sites, for example, will have restrictions on materials that are permitted to be buried in their plots.


White willow coffin decorated with photos and letters          White willow coffin decorated with photos and letters          White willow coffin decorated with photos and letters


Flowers – a timeless way of personalising

Aside from the coffin, flowers are synonymous with funerals. Florists can help select the perfect flowers and colours to complement the person and the coffin you choose. Some families choose to embrace a theme with specific colours for mourners to wear. Flowers are not only a beautiful and touching form of decoration, but can help tie all aspects of the chosen theme together.

If you are a keen gardener or very creative you may wish to manage the flower arrangements yourself, or give specific flowers to your chosen florist so they can help you. When decorating with flowers it’s important to liaise with your funeral director so the flowers will look as fresh and beautiful as possible on the day. Your funeral director will suggest a time for you, friends and family to decorate the coffin, so organisation and planning is key. This can be a wonderful moment, bringing family and friends together with a shared purpose at a difficult time.

We hope you have found some inspiration for how to personalise a coffin. If you are interested in using any Tributes products as part of your plans, please speak to your local funeral director.


woven willow coffin decorated with autumn leaves and garland           woven willow coffin decorated with flowers and ribbons        woven bamboo coffin decorated with gardening gloved boots and flowers


We hope you have found some inspiration in this article. If you are interested in any of the services we provide, please speak to your local funeral director.



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