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How to Make a Grave Blanket

unknown soldier grave in verdun cemetery image by ALLAN GROSSKRUEGER from


Discuss your wish to place a grave blanket on your loved one’s grave with the cemetery manager to ensure that there are no rules in place forbidding or limiting this practice.

If you decide to put together the grave blanket on site, make sure to pick a day when the weather is calm. Strong winds could make this project difficult to complete.

If your family pet rests in a pet cemetery, why not make a smaller version of a grave blanket to adorn its gravesite?

Grave blankets are a tradition that likely began in the Midwestern states. These grave decorations are now also popular in other regions of the country, where the winter months make it impractical to leave fresh flowers on a grave. The blankets vary in size and shape, although generally they are long and wide enough to cover the entire grave area. Florists and evergreen nurseries in cold winter locales tend to offer grave blankets for sale. Learn how to make a grave blanket yourself to add a very personal touch to your loved one’s grave décor.

Sketch your grave blanket design idea on the pad. Grave blankets can be oblong or rectangular, but you might also see them in the shape of a Christian cross. Size your blanket to measure 3 1/2 feet in width and 6 feet in length for a standard gravesite.

Choose an anchor medium and shape the grave blanket. Fashion a rectangular frame from wood, such as cedar. If you want to avoid working with wood, cut a length of chicken wire in the shape and size of your grave blanket.

Pick out evergreen boughs and attach them to the chicken wire with florist wire. They make up the bulk of the grave blanket. Opt for balsam, pine, spruce or artificial evergreens. Attach the boughs to your anchor medium with multiple pieces of florist wire. Remember to face the cut surfaces of the boughs toward the middle of the grave blanket so that other boughs cover them up. Do not worry about keeping your coverings hydrated because the snow and rain during the winter will provide the needed moisture and preservation.

Use florist wire to fasten decorations to the grave blanket. Manufacturers of grave blankets commonly use a large bow in the center of the grave blanket and then attach a few smaller ornaments, such as pine cones, artificial snowflakes or plastic doves. Personalize the decorations to suit your sentiments; you could use holiday decorations, laminated photos, small toys or silk flowers.

Place the grave blanket over your loved one’s grave. Depending on the size and weight of the finished blanket, you may need a helper to lift it in place. Secure the blanket by weighing it down with a few bricks in the center and on the edges; this may protect your grave blanket from being lifted by strong winds. Hide the bricks under the green boughs.

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