20+ Heartfelt Photo-Based Memorial Gifts for Honoring a Loved One

Discover 20+ meaningful ways to help those you care about cherish & honor the memory of a departed loved one with these beautiful photo-based memorial gifts.

20+ Heartfelt Photo-Based Memorial Gifts for Honoring a Loved One

There’s so much we don’t understand about the pain of bereavement. Like why it leaves us numb at one time but we can’t keep the tears from flowing at another. But one thing we do know is how important it is to be there for someone grieving the loss of a loved one.

And while we can’t fill that person or pet-sized hole in someone’s life after their beloved’s demise, we can honor them in many ways. The creation of memorial gifts is one such way. Regardless of what it is, such a gift has high emotional value. It also keeps the departed’s spirit alive.

For instance, sharing photos of the deceased with everyone who loved them can be therapeutic for both their friends and family members—and you. It can also be an important step towards preserving memories through tangible items.

Group photos, especially, are a great way to tell the world about the beautiful time the deceased spent together with those who loved them most.


  • The loss of a loved one can leave people feeling alone.
  • You can express your sadness over their loss & be there for them with memorial gifts.
  • Photos of the deceased, especially group photos, are a reminder of all the good times everyone had together.

What to look forward to in this blog

  • Photo Albums and Books
  • Wall Décor and Displays
  • Functional Items
  • Personal Accessories
  • Home and Garden Décor
  • Everyday Items
  • Unique Keepsakes
  • Why Create Memorial Photo Gifts
  • Considerations While Picking Your Memorial Gift Photos

Photo Albums and Books

These make thoughtful memorial gifts for loss:

  • Customized photo albums featuring group pictures
  • Memory books with stories and images from friends and family

How do You Make One?

  • Log in to both your DropEvent & Canva accounts.
  • On Canva, begin a new project and pick the dimensions for your creation.
  • Next, decide if you want to use a preset Template or a custom one.
  • From DropEvent, select images and upload to Canva before dragging them onto the template.
  • Customize with text, design elements, icons, shapes, etc.
  • Keep creating more pages with the Duplicate feature in the left sidebar.
  • Save and download in the preferred format—PDF, jpeg, or png.
  • Share after printing or digitally!

Wall Décor and Displays

Have group photos capturing special moments with the deceased? You can gift them to their family as memorial picture frames. Those look beautiful and eye-catching as wall décor.

If it’s for someone really close to you, then consider these:

DIY Funeral Gift Ideas for Wall Décor

  • Customize old wall clocks by adding photos where the numbers go to create a functional and personalized piece.
  • Opt for hexagon-shaped wooden frames. Then, turn them into an elegant and textured honeycomb-like design.
  • Add frameless pictures to a pegboard while using it as your frame. Keep refreshing the photos to give your loved one something to look forward to!
  • Give your framed wall display even more meaning by placing the pictures around the decal of an inspiring or favorite quote.
  • Design a wooden photo board to display family pictures on. You can ask other family members to add to the gallery too!
  • Install picture ledges to make an elegant display of framed family photos.
  • Put up a sizable mirror in the hallway and arrange large prints of family photos around it for an elegant setup.

Functional Items

Something functional, like a keychain, is usually always with us. So, if you customize it with a beloved photograph, the one you’re gifting it to can easily carry it with them.

Here are several ideas in that regard:

Digital Photo Frames

Set up a slideshow on DropEvent with group photos of the departed to create one of the best memorial gifts. That way, whenever they feel like revisiting those awesome times, all you need to do is run the slide show.

Putting together a slide show on DropEvent is easy, particularly if you already have photos in your gallery.

Photo Puzzles

For unique memorial gift ideas, try services like ‘Puzzle You.’ They can use images of the entire family or friend group to create puzzles that you can put together to reveal a precious memory.

But you can also make one of these yourself:

You’ll need:

  • A high-quality photo of a touching occasion
  • Photopaper or cardstock
  • Cutters/scissors for paper & puzzles
  • Adhesive or glue stick
  • Card/foam board for backing
  • Puzzle stencils

Gather everything and:

  1. Select a clear, well-lit image—you may need to edit it—and print it on the cardstock/photo paper.
  2. Glue the printed photo to the backing and let it dry.
  3. Now, using the stencils, cut your puzzle pieces.
  4. You may want to laminate/seal them for durability.
  5. Mix the pieces so you can enjoy putting the puzzle together.

Custom Blankets and Pillows

These will make heart-touching memorial gifts for the loss of a son and are readily available from services like Get Photo Blanket & on Etsy.

Personal Accessories

Check out these useful ideas for condolence gifts that will always be within reach:


Think about customizing jewelry with photos of the loved one you’ve lost. If, for instance, you opt for a pendant, the engraved image will remain close to the wearer’s heart at all times.

DIY Photo Pendants with Mod Podge:

  1. Print out a good-quality photo before trimming it to the pendant’s size.
  2. Place the pendant right side up and glue the image onto it.
  3. Add embellishments, like sequins, gemstones, glitter, etc.
  4. Let everything dry for several hours before filling the pendant with Dimensional Magic.
  5. Give it more time to dry—at least 24 hours.
  6. Attach the finished pendant to a necklace or bracelet.


Another useful object that most of us won’t leave home without. Whether you customize house keys or car keys, the image will be visible to the person carrying them.

Engraved Accessories

You can also use services like Erinn Souvenirs PH for sympathy gifts. Send them a photograph of a treasured moment, and they will engrave it on wood. The final shape of the product depends on you, i.e., you can choose to have them make clocks, plaques, phone holders, etc.

Home and Garden Décor

You can present your loved one with thoughtful condolence gifts that can double as home and garden décor. Not only will they be able to see it all the time, but they will also think of you fondly every time they look at it.

Consider these:

Garden Stones

Garden stones can also make beautiful condolence gifts when painted with images meaningful to you or the receiver. You can also customize them with photos of the person they’ve lost.

Holiday Ornaments as Personalized Memorial Gifts

If someone you care about has recently lost a loved one, occasions like the holidays can be pretty hard on them. The absence of that person and a sense of loss may crowd them as they mourn. Be there for them and use personalized holiday ornaments to remind them of all the good memories they created.

Photo-Embellished Serving Trays and Coasters

Present your loved one with serving trays or coasters in remembrance of the cuppas and drinks shared. Customize them with photos of the departed person or the whole family.

Make Your Own Coasters


  • 4.5" wood squares
  • High-quality mirrored prints of favorite photos
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge, brushes, and rags


  1. Resize the photos so they’re the same size as the wood squares.
  2. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the photo’s printed side before pressing it onto the wood.
  3. Remove any bubbles with a credit card before allowing it to dry.
  4. Gently wipe away the top layer with a damp rag.
  5. Apply another coat of Mod Podge to seal in the image.

Everyday Items

The best bereavement gifts will always be everyday objects that your loved one can use and serve as tangible connections to the person they’ve recently lost.

Some ideas in that vein:

Phone Cases

Most of us own a phone and it never strays too far from our hands. So, consider a personalized phone case with photos of the departed loved one—and other family members—for a truly unforgettable bereavement gift.


Photo-Themed Tote Bags

A receiver will be carrying more than their stuff in these tote bags. Since they’ll have the sketch or image of their lost loved one, they’ll be carrying memories!

The DIY Version

You’ll Need:

  • A plain tote bag
  • Favorite image—or images—printed/mirror printed on fabric transfer paper
  • Iron & board/towel
  • Scissors
  • Parchment paper


  1. Trim the images, leaving behind a small border
  2. Position your tote on a smooth surface before placing the image on it face down.
  3. Cover the image with parchment paper before pressing a preheated iron over it.
  4. Remove the iron after 20-30 sec/image and let them cool.
  5. Now, peel off the backing and check the result.
  6. Repeat the ironing process over any portions that still require it.


Here is a shortened list of items you can personalize with a family photo:

  • Greeting cards
  • Calendars
  • Notepads
  • Address labels
  • Stamps
  • Postcards
  • Envelopes
  • Stickers
  • Bookmarks
  • Invitations
  • Journals
  • Thank-you cards
  • Address books
  • Desk pads
  • Stationery sets
  • Business cards
  • Sticky notes
  • Book covers
  • Paperweights
  • Magnets
  • Clipboards
  • Note card sets
  • Puzzles
  • Wrapping paper
  • Bookplates
  • Planners

Unique Keepsakes as Memorial Gifts

Sometimes the simplest of gifts can be a great way to let those fond memories live forever. In this section, we’ve discussed some souvenirs you can create as memorial gifts.

Puzzle Cubes

CanvasChamp offers different ways of displaying your favorite images. One of them is through a Rubik’s Cube bearing your family photos. The cube’s fully functional, so you can twist the sections and align them to reveal the complete image.

Crystal Keepsakes

When planning to give memorial gifts for the loss of a husband, check if you have wedding pictures of the couple. If you do, consider turning them into beautiful crystal keepsakes that they will cherish looking at.

Mosaic Art Pieces

This is a variation on the puzzle cube we’ve mentioned above. Whether you make one yourself or have it commissioned, mosaic photo-based art makes a good memorial gift. The recipient can use it as a wall hanging or frame it.

Recipe Cards

If you’re looking for memorial gifts for the loss of a father, think back on the activities they liked to do together. Did they love to cook? Then immortalize their recipes by transforming the recipe cards into a gift the recipient can themselves enjoy and then pass on to their offspring!

Custom Silhouette Art

Brainstorming what memorial gifts to give to someone who has too many photographs on display already? Then opt for stylized silhouetted wall art. As you can see above, it involves turning a photograph into a simple outlined image. You may want to pick the picture & frame style or background color yourself. We’d recommend adding a meaningful or favorite quote to the images.

A Piece of their Craft

If the deceased was a creator, such as a sculptor, writer, or lyricist, you can use their crafted pieces to create a very personalized gift. Take a picture of it and have it turned into jewelry, keychain, etc. That way, the receiver can always have it on them.

Why Create Memorial Photo Gifts

If you’ve been wondering what makes memorial photo gifts so special, here are several reasons:

Preservation of Memories

These gifts help keep precious memories alive and make them readily accessible, particularly in the form of everyday-use items.

Triggering Happy Memories

In addition, when the recipient uses your gift, it can often trigger a happy memory of the person they’ve just lost. So, even though, that person may not be around physically anymore, you’re actually gifting the person a way to connect with their loved one!

Honoring the Departed’s Life and Memory

Another benefit of bereavement gifts is that they can be used to honor the memory of the passing of someone dear to you. And they don’t always have to be objects. For instance, you can achieve the same objective if you donate to a cause close to their heart.

Acting as Tangible Links to the Past

Your memorial gift can be a tangible link to the past for someone. This is very important in the case of children after the loss of a parent or grandparent. Often they haven’t spent much time with the departed, which makes it difficult for kids to connect with them. Your gift can help smoothen that process.

Making them Feel that They Belong

As we said before, fostering a sense of connection is important. Losing loved ones can leave us feeling isolated. When you give them your gift, you’re also expressing they—and the memories they value—are important to you.

Helping them Continue

Another side-effect of grief is how it can make us feel stranded. It may seem like everybody else but you is going on with their lives. Your thoughtfully curated memento can help those in mourning rediscover the meaning and purpose in their own life. It also shows them that you feel the loss of the departed as keenly and haven’t forgotten them!

Helping the Bereaved Heal

It’s healthy for people mourning the loss of someone to be allowed to feel their grief so they can gradually begin to move on. When you give them a memorial gift, you provide them with a positive way of connecting with their grief and speeding up the healing process.

Strengthening Ties through Shared Memories

Families who have experienced a loss need to come together. Memorial gifts are one of the best ways of getting them to focus on their shared experiences. In fact, if you’re putting together a photo-based memorial, such as a collage, involve them in the choice of pictures.

Ask everyone who knew the deceased to send the best photos to your DropEvent account. That way, they’ll all be able to connect with the memorial once you’ve finished it.

Strengthening Relationships through Conversations

Having conversations about shared memories does much more than making people feel good. It also helps strengthen their relationships. Your gift can be the catalyst allowing them to connect on a deeper level.

Considerations while Picking Your Memorial Gift Photos

It can be difficult to pick photos that will be perfect for a memorial gift. Besides the emotional toll, you’d also want to choose the best images to create your heartfelt offering. So, make the selection process a tad easier by focusing on these:

Personal Connection

Choose group photos that hold special meaning for you and the person you’ll be gifting them to. So, start by looking at important events, such as weddings, graduations, & birthdays. Then move on to pictures that best reflect the lost loved one’s personality. For instance, if they were outgoing, pick images of them attending family gatherings, and so on.


You can also create photo-based gifts for someone who lost a loved one around a theme. Some suitable themes include the deceased’s favorite:

  • Vacations—spots and memorable trips
  • People—can include family and friends
  • Things to do—activities they loved, hobbies, and interests
  • Fur babies—their pets’ pictures, paw prints, etc.
  • Words—did they have a favorite quote or saying?
  • Events—can be about weddings, graduations, births (their own or a family member’s), etc.
  • Music—beloved songs or albums with the original cover art or something like this
  • History—add images of their hometown, traditions, stories, etc.
  • Moments—like that memorable day y’all spent at the beach

Having a theme will make it easier for you to select the right images. Regardless of what it is, just make sure the photos mean something to the gift’s recipient. Include ones that will remind them of the full lives they lived together and the good times spent with their favorite person.

Customization and Personalization

Personalize it by adding these to your gifts:

  • Text, poems, & quotes that mean something to you and the loved one, inside jokes, etc.
  • Their favorite shades in the color scheme
  • Symbols & icons representing something important, such as trees/flowers for plant lovers.
  • Names & dates of events in the photos.

Picture Quality

Only choose original high-quality pictures for the best results. You can ask others to share original pictures with you through DropEvent within minutes without compromising on picture quality.


It’s important to preserve the memory of a loved one with everyone who loved the person. You can do that by creating group picture-based memorials of the deceased and sharing them with their friends and family. Such pieces also honor their loved one's legacy.

Learn how you can use DE to compile group photos of the deceased to make your memorial gift.


1. How do I memorialize my mother?

Some suitable memorial gifts for the loss of a mother include:

  • Creation of a memorial website or page on social media sites
  • Planting a garden with her favorite flowers or trees along with commemorative memorial plaques
  • Donating to causes she cared about
  • Setting up a fund/scholarship in her name
  • Cooking & sharing her favorite dishes with family & friends
  • Commissioning a song.

2. What can be given as the memorial?

Things that can be given as the memorial include:

  1. Customized photo frames engraved with touching messages.
  2. Candles scented with the departed’s favorite fragrance.
  3. A tree planted in their memory.
  4. Clothing or quilts made from the deceased’s fabrics.
  5. Handwritten, heartfelt notes to those in mourning.

3. What is a memorial gift?

Memorial gifts are heartfelt tributes crafted and gifted in honor of a loved one who has passed away. You should pick something that resonates with the personality of the departed and brings solace to their loved ones.

4. How do you gift someone a memory?

Below are unique ways to gift someone a memory:

  • Create a memory jar with notes, tokens, and inside jokes, important to you both
  • Plan a special day for them, such as a day trip, concert, cooking class, etc.
  • Craft a map of places you’ve journeyed to together

5. Do you give a gift at a memorial?

Usually, people offer their condolences at a memorial service in different ways, such as:

  • Sending flowers or sympathy cards
  • Providing food
  • Supporting by being in attendance

But you can also bring a thoughtful gift.

6. What gift to get someone who has lost a loved one?

You can take memorial gift ideas from this blog. Alternatively, you may send a bouquet or cards, prepare a meal, or donate to a charity in the deceased’s name.

7. How do you honor a dead person?

You can honor a dead person with memorial tributes, remembering them, talking about them, doing something they loved, or donating/planting a tree in their name.

8. How do you make a memorial gift?

When you make a memorial gift, ensure it’s meaningful to both the deceased and their loved ones. It’s meant to reflect your thoughtfulness, and the deceased’s personality & interests, while providing comfort to the bereaved they left behind.