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How To Make Grave Blankets


Ask the Expert: Grave Blankets
I was wanting to make a grave blanket for my fathers grave, only I don’t have a clue how to do this , so I was wanting to ask if you could send me step by step directions on how to make one .   Thanks for your time  Michelle

Plant Expert Reply:

I would be glad to give you  step by step instructions for creating a grave blanket. Before you create the grave blanket, check with the cemetery association to make sure grave blankets are allowed and the size they will accept.

Grave blankets can be 6′ in length with a width of 3′ to 3.5′ for a single grave blanket or 8′ in length with a width of 4′ for double grave blankets.  Some cemeteries will not allow grave blankets but will accept grave pillows.  These pillows are much smaller – 4′ x 3′ or 20″ x 22″.

You will need the following:

  • chicken wire
  • wire cutters
  • pruners
  • floral knife
  • greenery – evergreens (fir, pine etc.)
  • floral foam
  • floral tape
  • floral wire
  • hot glue
  • outdoor ribbon
  • fresh flowers
  • pine cones or other accessories

Steps involved in Creating a Grave Blanket:

  1. Cut chicken wire slightly smaller than the 6′ x 3′ size of a finished grave blanket.
  2. Take greenery and weave it through the chicken wire securing it with floral tape as needed.  This is done in a similar fashion as a lattice top pie. Shape the greenery as you go; making sure not to leave gaping holes.
  3. Once the greenery foundation has been established, you can add fresh flowers by securing floral foam at strategic points in the greenery. Then you can add the fresh flowers.
  4. Weave ribbon throughout the greenery or in areas of emphasis using hot glue or floral wire to secure it.
  5. Attach pine cones or other accessories to the greenery.  This is where you can really personalize the grave blanket.  A lady I know made a Christmas theme grave blanket for her brother who loved Christmas. She included little ornaments, Christmas bells and silk poinsettias in the design.  Make sure all accessories are firmly attached to the greenery or chicken wire with hot glue or floral wire.
  6. Transport the grave blanket to cemetery. Make sure to take some floral wire with you in case something needs to be secured after transport.

Along with these steps it might be helpful to read How To Make A Christmas Grave Blanket. I go into more detail and other people have add suggestions as well.

If you decide making a grave blanket isn’t your cup of tea, your local florist can make a grave blanket.   In fact, they are a great resource for grave blankets and accessories.  For example, you might tackle making the foundation for the grave blanket, but not the fresh flower arrangement that you want to attach to it.  Your local florist can make the arrangement and all you will have to do is attach it to the grave blanket. They can also sell you many of the items you will need.

Good luck with your grave blanket.  Please send me a picture when you have complete it.

Other Helpful Information About Grave Blankets

How to make a Christmas grave blanket.
Important information when sending grave blankets from a local florist.
Grave blanket history.

Things To Know About Sending Grave Blankets

The thought of grave blankets may not conjure up the snuggly memories that it implies, but these pretty bits of greenery bring color to wintry graves and warm the hearts of visitors. When the colorful and delicate flowers of spring and summer have faded, grave blankets (or grave swags) provide very tasteful decoration during the winter months.

Grave Blanket History

Using grave blankets was once primarily a Midwestern tradition delivered to the area by the Scandinavians that settled in the region. The popularity of using grave blankets quickly spread and is now a traditional practice in holiday decoration, especially among smaller towns. Much the same way that a wreath of pine, baby’s breath, poinsettias and more decorate doors in the winter, grave blankets provide a beautiful decoration during a time when fragile fresh flowers may not be able to withstand frigid winter temperatures.

Grave Blanket Etiquette

Communication with a local florist is very important. Often local florists are more familiar with the customs and traditions of local cemeteries. Experience with local funeral homes helps local florists develop a familiarity with the local sextons and cemetery rules that may by very helpful and otherwise foregone.

Ordering or sending grave blankets is as easy as sending grave flowers. However, there are a few things that you need to know before contacting your local florist. If sending grave blankets to a friend or family member in another town, be sure that the recipient is aware that the gift is being prepared. Grave swags are showings of respect and must be placed on the gravesite by a loved one. Because of this and cemetery rules enforced by local sextons, most florists require any grave flowers and decorations to be picked up from the store. To make sure that everything proceeds smoothly, have the recipient’s contact information ready when contacting a local florist.

Cemetery Rules

Whether buying grave blankets from a local florist for your own loved one or a friend, make sure that the cemetery allows this type of grave decoration. Many cemeteries are very particular especially if the gravesites are housed in a private cemetery. Contact the cemetery director for more information. The phonebook isn’t always the best help in finding these good people. Contact your City Hall officials for more information or further contact information before asking a local florist to create a unique grave blanket for your loved one.

See? That’s it. Sending grave blankets is that simple.

Other Helpful Information About Grave Blankets

How to make a Christmas grave blanket.
How to make grave blankets.
Grave blanket history.

Grave Blanket with Christmas Garland & Grapevine

I was wondering if you have heard of making a grave blanket out of grapevine and christmas tree outdoor garland. I am wanting to make one for my brother that passed last christmas.

These are pictures of the grave blanket made by Liberty.

Grave Blanket for Mario Picture #1 Mario's Christmas Grave BlanketChristmas grave blanket made for brother (Mario). Christmas Grave Blanket

How to make a Christmas Grave Blanket.

Ask the Expert: grave blankets i was wondering if you could email me directions on how to make a christmas grave blanket for my dad and my sister? thanks norma

Other Helpful Information About Grave Blankets

Important information when sending grave blankets from a local florist.
How to make grave blankets.
Grave blanket history.