Grave blankets are customary headstone coverings during winter months and the holidays. The cemetery arrangements cover a portion or most of the plot and are highlighted with a series of holiday-themed ribbons or flowers.
Finding Grave Blankets
Fresh and artificial grave blankets can be found through your local florist or through an online floral company. They come in a variety of sizes and styles:
- Wreaths and More has two styles available: A two-foot by three-foot cross with a velvet ribbon (color varies), and a three-foot by six-foot blanket that comes with a red velvet bow.
- Dayton Nurseries offers only a few grave blankets and pillows (smaller versions of the blankets) for shipping. However, they do make the following grave blankets for pick-up or delivery in the Dayton, Ohio, vicinity (call or e-mail for shipping restrictions):
- Standard -- 3 1/2 feet by 6 feet decorated with pinecones and miniature bows)
- Cascading -- 5 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet high with cascading greenery, streamers, bows, pinecones and a single dove are added
- Traditional -- 3 feet by 6 feet by 18 inches high and is a flat bed of spruce with white pine tips cascading downward; bows accentuate the design.
- Double wide -- 4 feet by 8 feet and made for two adjoining graves; similar in style to the standard blanket.
- Northern Evergreen offers one style of grave blankets made from fresh balsam and measuring 42 inches long by 26 inches wide.
- Wolf Creek Botanical Gardens makes an artificial grave blanket or saddle anywhere from 36-40 inches long, 24-30 inches wide and 8-10 inches high. It is made from decorative ornaments, pine cones and artificial greenery.
Making Your Own
There may come a time when you can't find the exact blanket you want. In this case, with the help of a florist or craft store, you can make your own:
- Find long sprays of greenery or flowers and place them low to the ground; there will be less of a chance of them blowing away in the wind.
- Artificial greenery is cheaper and will last longer than fresh sprays.
- Use bricks of dry floral foam glued into a plastic or wooden container as a barrier between the headstone and the arrangement; it will also serve as the weight to hold your blanket close to the ground.
- Make sure you push the stems of the greenery a few inches into the brick foam; you can also use a hot glue gun to secure them.
- Cover the brick foam with sheet moss to blend it in with the greenery.
- Attach ribbons or flowers with glue as well to prevent them from coming loose over time.
- An alternative to this design includes using a large piece of chicken wire and weaving the greenery (Evergreens in this case) through it to create a blanket.
- For a sturdier grave blanket, you can also build a four-sided frame from wood (with an X in the middle) and cover it with chicken wire. You can then weave the greenery through the wire.
Make sure you check with your local cemetery association or manager regarding the rules and regulations surrounding grave blankets. Find out how long you may keep the headstone covering at the cemetery and the manner in which it will be disposed. Some cemeteries only allow artificial arrangements during certain times of the year, so make you inquire about this as well. When you order one from an online site, ask if it can be shipped directly to [[Images Arlington National Cemetery|cemetery]].