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Garden of Innocence Cremation Urn

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I received an email from a gentleman informing me of a non-profit organization based in California named Garden of Innocence. He told me they are looking for volunteer woodworkers to make caskets or urns for abandoned and unidentified children. He decided to make one, but also contacted me and asked if I was interested in making one as well. I put together the below tutorial in case somebody out there would also like to make one but doesn’t know how. It’s a very simple design and the organization likes for them to be made out of pine.

Here is my finished urn…..it is for a child so I decorated it. I’ve always loved the idea of flying off to Neverland, so I chose to decorate it with Peter Pan.

That’s Captain Hook and Smee. Peter guiding Wendy and her brothers to Neverland. Then Tink sprinkling her fairy dust.

Here is the related YouTube video I put together:

Here are the plans they provide for their urn.

1) I grabbed two scrap pine 1xs from my lumber rack and first lined out all the pieces that will make up the urn.
2) Then I used my table saw to cut them.
3) I tilted my blade to 45 degrees and beveled the ends of the two side pieces, as well as the two end pieces. Tip: To make joining these easier, I laid down some painter’s tape (sticky side up) and then laid all my pieces down in the order they needed to go. I smeared glue on all the bevels then rolled it up.

4) I put some glue on the top surfaces, then grabbed the cap and put it in place.

5) While all that glue was drying, I took the base piece and used my router with a Roman Ogee bit to make it more decorative.

Note: If you do not have this bit, then feel free to use whatever you have. If you do not have a router, then you can use sandpaper to go over the edges and round them over slightly just to take away their sharpness. Remember, it isn’t about being absolutely perfect, it’s about the love that goes into it.

6) After waiting a bit longer for the glue to dry, I took a 1/4 cove bit and again, used my router to make it more decorative.

7) After taking off the tape, I took the base and put it on the body of the urn where I wanted it. Then flipped it over and first drilled pilot holes, then used four 1 1/4″ wood screws to attach it. (When they go to use the urn, they will just remove the screws)

8) I gave it a coat of paint

9) Then I created my own stencils to draw on Peter Pan characters. Note: I used an oil base paint pen. These can be found at Hobby Lobby, Walmart, or even Home Depot (paint section).

The organization buries every child with a homemade blanket, so a girlfriend who crochets made a blanket to send with my urn. If you also know of somebody who knits or crochets, maybe they can make a small blanket while you make a urn. Please note that they need to be no bigger than 10″x10″.

The circumstances break my heart, but it makes me happy to know I can help in a small way.
Here are some photos pulled off their website: The top is showing the field, called Potters Field, where the ashes were buried before this organization was formed. Then below it is a shot of one of the garden’s in California where they are now put to rest.
Then here are two other urns with decorations on them.
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