Many people make blankets to adorn the caskets of their deceased loved ones. While these can be bought from funeral specialists, they are commonly made by the family of the deceased. The blanket is usually made from a mixture of the deceased's favourite flowers, and may include a beloved possession of the deceased, such as a piece of clothing. During the funeral, the blanket lays on the casket, covering the whole of a closed casket, or half of an open casket. Making a casket blanket is an emotional yet rewarding project.
Visit a florist to select the flowers you want to include. You will need two to three dozen of the main flower, and 10 to a dozen filler flowers.
Select the main flower in two different but complementary colours. Roses, carnations, lilies and irises are commonly used flowers which make striking casket blankets.
Choose a filler flower to complement the main flower. Daisies or chrysanthemums are common choices.
Purchase two to three bunches of greenery, such as asparagus fern.
Fill a bucket with cold water and submerge the florist's foam into this. Leave for two hours.
Place the casket saddle (a plastic base made to rest steadily on a casket) onto a sturdy surface.
Fill the casket with the wet florist's foam, securing it in place with heavy-duty florist's tape. Use enough tape to ensure the foam is held in place, as this will support the whole arrangement.
Insert greenery into the bottom of the foam. This will lie on top of the casket, and provide a natural backdrop for the flowers.
Place four or five of the main flowers into the bottom of the foam, between the greenery.
Organise the remainder of the main flowers across the top of the foam. The top flowers can stand up to three feet higher than the casket. If your flowers are taller than this, cut the stems down by a few inches.
Place the filler flowers between the main ones. Try to fill in every gap. You may also use any leftover greenery.
View the casket blanket from a distance. Check for any parts of the arrangement which don't look right, or gaps. Change these as necessary until you are happy with the arrangement.
Cut the ribbon into two 15-inch pieces.
Write your chosen word onto a piece of the ribbon, using the paint pen. This could be the deceased's name, or a term of endearment such as "Father" or "Mother." Allow to dry completely.
Clip the ribbon into the wire holders.
Push the wire holders into the bottom of the foam, so the ribbon comes over the top of the casket blanket and hangs over the arrangement.
If you have chosen to use spray flowers, use a small piece of ribbon to tie them half way up the stems. This will prevent them from 'flopping' over the other flowers. You can use silk flowers in the place of real ones if you prefer. To do this, purchase a casket saddle and florist's foam made for artificial flowers. You do not need to soak the florist's foam.
If the deceased was a member of the military or emergency services, the United States flag may be draped over their coffin. If this is the case, a casket blanket cannot be placed on the casket, as etiquette states flowers must not touch or overshadow the flag. In this case, the casket blanket can be hung at the top or bottom of the casket.