How to Make a Pet Grave Marker

Three Methods:Brick grave markerReady-made garden decorations as a markerCement grave marker

When a beloved companion crosses the rainbow bridge, many a person ends up burying the pet in the yard. Grave markers are a useful way to memorialize your buried pet, so that you can contemplate the love you held for the pet for years to come. Making it can also be a lovely way to help children learn about the processes of life and death, and the importance of remembering lost loved ones.

Method 1
Brick grave marker

Although simple, this hefty weight will mark the grave space for years to come and the pet's name can be readily repainted when it begins to fade.

  1. 1
    Go to your local hardware store. Purchase a nicely colored and intact brick.
  2. 2
    Decide whether or not you'll add the pet's name to the brick. If you do, paint the animal's name onto one of the long sides of the brick. Use outdoor paint, so that it endures.
  3. 3
    Place the brick at the head of the pet's grave.
  4. 4
    Place flowers on the brick if wished. Another alternative is to glue a small vase to the brick, so that fresh flowers can be placed in the vase regularly. Remember to add water as well.

Method 2
Ready-made garden decorations as a marker

This is a quick-and-easy solution for a marker if your kids are wanting to get a ceremony underway. You could perhaps use this one as a stop-gap solution for the pet's funeral, then make the more substantial marker suggested in the following method for longer term.

  1. 1
    Go to your local hardware store. Go to the garden decoration section. Here you're bound to find a wide array of possible items that would make ideal grave markers. Some examples include:
    • Statues, figurines and metallic cut-outs of animals (you could even match the animal to your loved pet's own species)
    • Flowerbed decorations such as flower cut-outs, mushroom statues,
    • Solar lights
    • Baubles, glass beads, wind chimes, etc. If the items need hanging, you'll need either a post or tree branch to hang the items from.
  2. 2
    Place at the head of the grave. If the decoration has space and the surface is appropriate, you might consider painting or marking the pet's name onto it.

Method 3
Cement grave marker

This method will create a decorated and named cement grave marker that will last for many years. It's a little more work than the brick but it looks like a proper grave marker.

  1. 1
    Find a suitable mold for forming the marker from. This could be a silicone mold from a dollar store or something as simple as a leftover disposable cake container. Select a suitable shape that will leave plenty of space for writing the pet's details on and adding some decorative effects.
  2. 2
    Place the mold onto a suitable surface. It is recommended that you put down a few layers of newspaper, to catch any cement slops as you work with the cement; it's much easier to throw out the paper than scrape it off the ground.
    • Put old clothes and shoes on. If cement slops onto these, it won't matter.
  3. 3
    Prepare the cement for the mold. Place sufficient cement mix into an old bucket. Add water according to the manufacturer's instructions and mix to combine. It should have a thick consistency when it is ready to use.
  4. 4
    Transfer to the mold, filling it to halfway. While it is possible to simply pour the cement from the bucket straight into the mold, this can be messy if you have an accident. It's best to use a yogurt or dip container that can be disposed of after use and dip this into the cement, transferring small portions of cement to the mold at a time.
  5. 5
    Lay down the piece of chicken wire when you've half filled the mold. Once in place, continue scooping in the remaining concrete mix until you read the top of the mold (or wherever you'd like it to end).
  6. 6
    Make the top layer of cement smooth by using a cement trowel. You can also use your hand provided you're wearing rubber or latex gloves.
  7. 7
    Set aside to allow the cement to set. The setting time will depend on the manufacturer's recommendations, the humidity and warmth. The important thing is to not let it completely set, as you're going to write in it but it also needs to be sufficiently set to ensure that the writing doesn't just disappear. Wait at least half an hour to an hour, then try writing.
  8. 8
    Use a craft stick, twig or end of a cheap artist's brush to write the details on the cement. Write your pet's name as a minimum. If wished, you can write the date of birth and death, a favorite word/saying or something else meaningful.
    • If you make mistakes, just use the same method for making the top smooth as you did before, then start over.
  9. 9
    Add decorations. This is optional but can add character to the whole design. Things such as glass cabochons, small plastic toys, or the pet's favorite something (make sure it will weather okay) can be included in the cement.
    • You could make a border using small tiles, beads, etc. around the edges, if wished.
    • A laminated photo of the pet could be included. Cut down to size, such as making it circular or a square.
  10. 10
    Allow to set completely. Once it is properly set, you can either stop here or you can paint the writing using acrylic paint suitable for outdoor use. If you do paint the letters, allow them to fully dry before sealing the whole marker.
  11. 11
    Finish off the marker by sealing with an outdoor waterproof sealant. Polyurethane sealant added thinly in about five coats should protect the marker well. Allow to dry completely between each coat and before using as a marker.
  12. 12
    Done. Place the marker at the head of the pet's grave. It can also be propped up using a large pebble or a small log behind it.


  • Another possible approach is to have a headstone maker make a special grave marker just for your pet. Be sure to ask about the cost first, as it's likely to be considerably more than making your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Methods 1 and 2
    • Brick
    • Garden decoration
    • Outdoor paint or markers
    • Paintbrush
  • Method 3
    • Newspapers
    • Concrete mix (quick drying)
    • Old bucket
    • Stirring stick
    • Plastic container such as yogurt or dip container
    • Plastic cake container (disposable) or a cheap silicone mold from dollar store
    • Old clothes and shoes
    • Chicken wire or wire mesh
    • Craft sticks
    • Acrylic paint for outdoors
    • Paintbrush and water container
    • Suitable outdoor sealant, such as polyurethane
    • Decorative elements, such as glass cabochons, laminated pet photo, trinkets, etc.

Article Info

Categories: Pet Loss | Death Funerals and Bereavement