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Headstone Ideas for a Moving, Memorable Memorial

Whether you are responsibly planning your own memorial or are faced with the loss of a loved one, you can design a beautiful, meaningful headstone as a monument to the unique life you are memorializing. 

At Legacy Headstones, we put our century-plus experience creating personalized headstones entirely at your service as you strive to capture the essence of the life you honor in your gravestone design. We will alert you to regulations you need to be aware of, and offer our own headstone ideas to help you every step of the way. But we bow to your personal knowledge of the individual you are commemorating.

There are many options for customizing a headstone, including the size, shape, material, decorative engraving, and the epitaph and other text you include. There is a lovely selection for every budget. Let’s explore these options, and see how they may be used to realize your headstone ideas to commemorate someone’s life.

Gather Your Headstone Ideas

Before exploring the many options for personalizing the gravestone, sit down and think about what part of your loved one’s life you wish to celebrate. For example, do you want a religious theme to the grave marker overall? Or do you prefer to center the headstone design on a facet of your loved one’s personality or a favorite pastime? What statement about this person do you wish to make? 

Consider these questions as you contemplate your headstone ideas. Then, once you have decided how you wish to commemorate your loved one’s life, we can find a beautiful way to express your vision that will fit into any budget.

Religious or Personal?

For example, if you want headstone ideas that explore religious themes of comfort and homecoming, you might choose a flat grave marker engraved with hands held in prayer, an image of Christ embracing your loved one at the gates of Heaven, or a simple cross. Or, you might choose an upright headstone in the shape of an angel cradling your loved one’s identification information. 

To celebrate your loved one’s unique life or personality, you might choose an engraving or headstone shape that speaks to their love of basketball, affinity for animals, or their dedication to fishing. For the last, you might choose an engraving of a fishing rod, dock or boat, or even a headstone carved into the shape of a rising trout! Then, complete the grave marker with a simple epitaph, “Gone fishing…” 

Whatever your headstone ideas, we can make them a reality for you.

Gravestone Size and Style

The first decision you’ll make in designing a headstone is the size. Whether you choose an upright headstone, a flat, grass-level gravesite marker, a slanted gravestone, or a pillow-style marker, this choice will impact the material that can be used to make your vision a reality. 

An upright headstone gives you the most flexibility for incorporating various headstone ideas, particularly in terms of shape. Still, each style allows you to engrave it with an image in addition to text, so you can fully personalize the grave marker.

Before committing to the gravestone size or material, please contact the administration of the cemetery you plan to use. Most cemeteries have restrictions on the size, shape, and style of the grave markers they allow, either cemetery-wide or in specific sections. Before exploring your favorite headstone ideas, be sure they will be welcome in the grave’s final resting place.

Headstone Ideas: 4 Features to Consider

1. Headstone Shapes

If you have decided upon an upright headstone, you’ll have many options for the overall shape. If your preferred grave headstone ideas run toward the traditional, you’ll choose from several subtle shapes, whether the sides are straight, tapered, convex or concave. The top of the headstone’s tablet also can be shaped to be flat, curved, or come to a point (the upright part of the headstone is called the tablet, while the base is the part the tablet rests on).

If your headstone ideas call for a more dramatic effect, upright headstones can be carved into nearly any shape you can imagine. Popular headstone shapes include hearts, angels, horses, flowers, butterflies, trees, crosses, bibles, and more. 

2. Material

Once you’ve decided on the shape of the headstone you want, your selection of material may well be made for you. Today, headstones are primarily made of granite or bronze because they can be easily carved or engraved, and they withstand the elements beautifully. In fact, we offer a 500-year guarantee on every headstone we create.

Bronze is used primarily for flat headstones and plaques applied to flat stone supports, while upright headstones are typically made from granite. When you choose granite, you’ll also have several colors, like gray, black, pink, blue, or green to help bring your headstone ideas to fruition.

3. Decorative Engraving

While our upright headstones in a colorful granite may be the most dramatic statement, we embellish all styles of gravestones with beautiful decorative engraving. Our expert stonemasons use machine-assisted technology to etch the most detailed designs into granite or bronze as we make your headstone ideas a reality. From small flowers to highlight the name and dates, to fully realized scenes of lighthouses, nature, hobbies, or religious observances — we look forward to creating your ideal headstone. 

4. Engraved Epitaphs

The final form of personalization to bring your headstone ideas to fruition is your choice of epitaph. In addition to the deceased’s name and dates of birth and death, will you include a favorite quote? A Bible verse? A bit of poetry, or a song lyric? 

5. Double Headstone Ideas

If the deceased you are memorializing is a member of a devoted couple or a larger family group, you might consider a companion headstone. These are headstones designed to mark a double plot and are available in every style, from flat gravemarkers to upright headstones. You can also use a double headstone to mark a family plot, with the names of each member buried nearby engraved on the main stone.Whatever choices you make, Legacy Headstones will be honored to make your specific headstone ideas a reality. Explore our website and design your own gravestone, or please feel free to call us at (800) 611-1340. One of our friendly team members will be happy to assist you.