Introduction: Memorial Pet Urn

I have had pets all my life most notably dogs. In my life I have had the absolute pleasure of calling these wonderful animals part of my family for the past 10 years (my adult life thus far) I had my dog Ruby, ruby was a small feist mix dog but what she lacked in size she made up for in love. she was there with me in meeting my wife, meeting my son, and becoming Husband and Father. sadly earlier this year she got sick and on June 4th I had to make a tough choice and say goodbye to my best friend. I as many pet owners decided to have her cremated, after which the place that did it for us gave me her remains in a small basic urn. which dont get me wrong is nice and I could display proudly but me being me with the skills I have decided my friend needed better (which gave me a great distraction over the mourning of my dog)and I hope it can help you if the need should be present.

My Plan

For the project I wanted something to keep my Ruby safe as well as still know its her so I decided to make something to hold the simple plastic urn. So for my idea I decided I wanted it to hold the container have it stained close to the color of her hair, I thought for a while what else I could do to make it stand out and be something I was really proud of I started looking through my wood supply to start on what I knew I wanted when I found a piece of purple heart ive had for the longest time that was meant for a friends project that he hasnt decided on yet when it hit me I will always remember Ruby for 3 things her large ears, her loving spirit, and her purple collar so I thought what if I made the urn look like it had a collar. So I got the ok from my friend to let me use some of the purple heart for it which he gladly agreed to and I had my plan.


the supplies I used are as follows

wood i\I used oak and purple heart (please note purple heart is considered an exotic wood and can be pricey I had some for a different project you can use what ever you want ill explain in a later step on what to do to give yours a similar effect)

wood glue

sand paper

tack cloth

modge podge

foam brush

a picture of your pet

a dog tag with your chosen info (you could use your pets actual tag I opted for getting a new one with her name the day she was born and the day she passed)

eye hooks

t shirt cloth or staining brushes

pre stain

wood stain

polyurethane or lacquer

and maybe some screws or nails (i used a nail gun but only because I have one and I am impatient

tools you may not need all these they are just what I used (note most of these you wont see being used in the pictures im the only one building this project and I didnt feel it was safe using power tools and taking pictures at the same time I also dont want to be responsible to be the one to teach you how to use said tools there are far superior resources to learn such procedures this ible is just how I made the project)

miter saw

table saw

router table

hand saw


drill bit


tape measure


ratchet clamp

painters tape

nail gun (least necessary tool for this project)

also proper ppe I actually remembered to use my safety glasses the whole time I was using tools

Step 1: Wood Prep

The piece of oak I chose was 6in x 36in x 1/2 in thick

First I am going to make the top cover for the urn for that I knew I wanted it to be slightly bigger than the plastic urn it was going to hold to I measured about a quarter inch bigger, the one I had was not an even size so 2 walls were wider than the other 2 also make them another 1/2 inch taller for the bottom later

I cut out pieces 2 for the left and right walls and 2 for the front and back walls making sure they all had 45° angles as to prep it to be a box

to allow for the lid i used my router and a 3/4in straight bit to cut out a 1/2 inch channel on the bottom of each piece make sure to go less than half the thickness of the wood so you dont take away too much of the walls

for the purple heart due to the cost i did not want to use allot so i cut out a thin strip on my table saw it ended up being about an inch wide and like 1/8 thick (if your not using purple heart you can do this with oak or whatever wood you want ill address the coloring for this in the staining step)

next on my 4 main walls I measured about 2 inches from the bottom and put in a 1 inch channel to hold my purple heart inlay make sure its on the side facing out and line the router bit with the strip you have so it is deep enough i did this on a scrap piece to make sure my inlay fit in the channel before i did it on my oak

at this point my purple heart was fairly brittle and my miter saw was just shattering it so I cut out 4 pieces with a hand saw, (just do straight cuts we will add miters later but if you wanted to you could cut miters to fit)

Step 2: Gluing the Walls

gluing the walls together is pretty simple lay all 4 walls out (if your sides are different make sure to go big small big small) and put a strip of blue painters tape across them and test how they go together. it it all foes together well go ahead and put a thin layer of wood glue on all your joints and roll it up making sure all the corners meet up well use the tape to help hold it together a ratchet strap at this point I found extremely helpful have a wet paper towel handy and wipe off ant glues that squeezes out and let it sit for the recommended time I did overnight

Step 3: Rounding the Edges

After it was glued I sent all the edges (except the bottom edges) through my router with a 3/8th round over bit

Step 4: Making the Lid and Base

Cutting the top and bottom are very similar just cut them to the size you need making sure the bottom is a loose fit so the top can come on and off easily and the top you want to be a snug fit so you can glue it on

for the base i just set the top on a piece of wood I was going to use and make it about a half inch bigger on each side and run it thru the router with the same 3/8 round over bit

the bottom piece and the base I just lined up the edges the pieces of the collar seemed to be a good gauge for making it even so i just went with that and and glued it to the base you can just clamp it down if you want but I decided to put 4 brad nails

Step 5: Staining

first thing i did was sand ill the edges you they wernt rough before sanding make sure to go over them with some tack cloth to get any dust off before staining

go over the whole project with a coat of prestain with a t shirt cloth this ensures you will have a good even coat of stain and will help avoind any blotches mine had to set for 10 minuets before I could apply stain

next apply the stain all over i did not put stain where the collar was going i wasnt sure if the stain would effect the wood glue and i didnt want to test it on this project after it has the recommended time to set wipe off any extra stain on it to give it an even finish let the stain set (i did overnight again) then lightly sand it with 220 sand paper go over it again with tack cloth and do a second coat of stain and let it set again till its dry to the touch (over night again for me)

Step 6: Fitting the "Collar"

part of this step may have been easier to do before staining but I only had a slight issue that I was easily able to touch up

with all the collar pieces I didnt have the right kind of saw to cut the miters without shattering the wood so with sand paper I sanded it down to a 45° angel on them all trying to make them have a tight fit I clamped them on and also sanded where them met to try and match the outside box if it goes out a little thats ok it just adds to it looking like a actual collar

at this point if you didnt use purple heart is when I would paint or stain your collar pieces a different color to match what you wanted

Step 7: Adding the Picture and Collar

cutting your picture to the size you want I used a exacto knife if you had some kind of straight slide cutter that probably be allot easier but just take your time it will be fine

apply a thin even layer to the back of your picture and place it where you want I put the base on it to apply pressure on it till it dried

after it dried i attached the collar pieces putting a thin layer of glue in the channel and on the back of the collar pieces apply pressure using clamps to hold them in place till the blue dries

Step 8: Finishing and Adding the Tag

go over it all again with tack cloth just to get any dust or debris off

put on a layer of polly or lacquer on the top and base and allow to dry

with the tag i wanted it on an eye screw so using 2 pliers i opened the screw and put on the tag ( I probably could have gotten a size bigger but it worked )

after the lacquer dried I drilled a small hole blow the collar in the center to attach it ( I did a test hole on some scrap to make sure it fit right)

Step 9: Closing

thank you for taking the time to look at this instructable it is defiantly one of my favorite projects to date

id love for this to help others I know it helped me be occupied when I was upset I loved that dog and am going to miss her im glad I am able to give her some where nice to be remembered.

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