In honor of your furry family members, we wanted to give you ways to memorialize your beloved dog who has crossed the rainbow bridge. Sometimes, making something can help with the grieving process, so we have rounded up 12 amazing DIY ways to create a lasting memory of the dog you’ve lost.
#1 – Bookshelf Shrine
Author Alan Livingston has a special section in his home office which his visitors call his “shrine” to his late dogs. He describes:
“The top shelf features recitations of the Rainbow Bridge along with their final paw print and lock of hair. The central shelf holds the marble urns containing their ashes, each with a unique plaque with birth and death dates. Behind the urns is a hard cover copy of Dean Koontz’ book Bliss To You. If you’ve read the book, you know why. The lower shelf has a box for each with their picture on top, and inside are the collars with tags and the bandannas each wore as they died in my arms.”
#2 – Planter
When Rami Abourmahadi’s beloved Golden Retriever Cookie passed away, they planted flowers in her favorite feeder and placed it at the entrance of their house. She explains, “This way, this is the first thing we see and visitors get greeted with: Happy, Colorful and Full of Life!”
#3 – DIY Pawprint
This is an easy way to keep a memory of your pup with you, and you can do all kinds of things with the plaster pawprint. You can buy DIY kits at most craft stores. They have ones that you can use to make stepping stones, jewelry, ornaments, or tiles to hang on the wall or inside a shadow box.
#4 – Felted Dog Hair Beads
While this Instructables.com DIY is for cat hair, the same can be done out of your dog’s hair. These soft felted beads can then be made into a bracelet, necklace, ornament, key chain, etc. It’s the perfect way to keep a part of your pet with you always.
#5 – Collar or Leash Bracelet
If you use a nylon or leather collar, you can easily change it into a bracelet after your dog is gone, making it into a wonderful reminder of your best friend that you can wear every day. You can even add an engraved bar to it, or like this ingenious person, incorporate their tag into the design.
#6 – Toy Shadow Box
Tonya Wilhelm of GlobalDogTraining.com used her dog’s toys to spell out his name in a shadow box–how creative is that? Of course, she also included his paw print, collar, and photos. Even more special, she had held onto his very first toy, which she included along with his last toy.
“The first toy in the top left (bunny) was his first toy ever, and a photograph of him with it is next to it,” says Wilhelm. “The other toy (frog) was his last toy. He loved to carry soft toys around ALL the time. So, I took a few of his favorites, washed them, then cut out his name.”
#7 – Photo Collage
Ryan Vayo, President of MyPetHarmony.com, took his dog’s bandanna and used it as a center piece for a photo collage that hangs in his family’s home. Collages are a great way to keep your pup alive in your mind. Vayo said that the “family photos bring back awesome memories of him.”
#8 – DIY Photo Blanket
If you like to sew, a patchwork quilt with images of your dog and you all over it is a cozy reminder for your lasting friendship. Not a sewer? Walmart has a collage blanket you can order – you just chose your photos and border. For DIY, see this Instructables.com post.
#9 – Chain Wallet & Jewelry
Ryan Vayo, President of MyPetHarmony.com, has used the chain from his dog’s old collar (from back when everyone used chains) to make a wallet chain. He also knows someone who uses them to make jewelry. If you aren’t crafty but love this idea, check out a Voice For Tyson. These amazing people are using chain jewelry as a way to encourage people to stop using choke and prong collars. It’s worth checking out their Facebook page.
#10 – DIY Pet Headstone
Whether you are able to bury your best friend or not, a headstone in a garden can be a very peaceful way to be able to sit and remember your beloved friend long after they have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The Haunted Housewife has an easy DIY headstone that you can make for your dog (or any pet!).
#11 – Collar Candle
I think this just might be my favorite. It’s a great way to incorporate your dog’s old collar and tag, and you can light the candle each night (or use a pet-safe LED candle!) in remembrance. Just cut the collar to fit the circumference of the candle and punch holes as necessary. Nellidesigns makes some amazing candles with personalization – these make a great gift for someone who has lost a pet, or if you want to use your dog’s collar for something else.
#12 – Memorial Plate
If you like to express yourself using paint, go to a pottery painting place and design a plate (or mug, bowl, etc.) that you can use as an everyday reminder of your best bud. Maybe you’ll paint the first trip you went on, an image of your dog, or copy a favorite poem.
BONUS: Commission of Piece of Art
One of our favorite ways to create an unforgettable memory of your beloved pup is to commission a piece of artwork based on your favorite photo. Pawp Shop offers a service that takes your favorite pic, stylizes it, and prints it on Canvas, Wood, or Metal. The picture doesn’t have to be professional, anything you took with your phone camera should work just fine.