Continuing to serve our community and customers through COVID-19.

Personalizing a Headstone Design

Religious Symbol on a Headstone Cross

Religious Symbol on a Headstone Cross

Headstones are well known for the words they use to commemorate loved ones. However, the words and dates on these monuments aren’t the only things that make them a beautiful memorial to the deceased. You can further personalize a headstone by customizing it with a design that shares something significant about your lost loved one.  By sharing a small part of their story, you are helping to further memorialize their memory for all those that come to visit them.

Choosing your monument design

The addition of artwork onto gravestones is a common way to decorate them and make them a loving memorial. Headstone designs have varied highly over the centuries, with many elaborate designs having fallen out of style in favor of simpler designs that use an image or two to convey something important about the deceased person.

One of the most common forms of headstone artwork is religious symbols. These can be iconic symbols such as a cross, a star of David, a Bible or a crescent shape. Other designs include menorahs, two clasped hands in prayer, the outline of a church and other symbols that are used throughout various religions.

Another type of design is to choose an image that represents a passion that the deceased person held dear. This can be a stack of books, a musical instrument or the symbol of a branch of science or the arts. A simple outline of a drum kit, a soccer ball, a rocket or an animal can let people know where this person’s interests lay.

Nature symbols

For many families, the most peaceful symbols are best. A simple flower or bouquet is often used for women to convey a sense of peace. Leaves, vines and other plants are a nice way to add an artistic dimension to a headstone that doesn’t overpower its overall message. These symbols are often the easiest ones for families to agree on, and they all come out looking lovely and classic.

Military insignia

It is very common for families to incorporate a symbol of their loved one’s military service into their headstone design. There are many ways to symbolize a person’s military experience in simple artwork. This may include a rendering of a ship, a symbol of a branch of the military or with the outline of a soldier, sailor or another member of the armed forces.

Whether the deceased loved sports, had a deep love for their country or found great comfort and peace in their religious beliefs; personalizing their headstone design is a wonderful way to share a small part of who they were with the world.

Columbia Gardens Memorials offers custom designed headstone, gravestone, and monuments throughout the greater Washington D.C. area and our friendly staff can assist you from start to finish with creating the perfect memorial for your loved one. Give us a call at 703-527-7774 to discuss your monument design needs, we would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.


COVID-19 Update

We are continuing to practice social distancing and following CDC guidelines, to protect our community and staff. However, we are open and available to serve you. Todd and our engravers are back on premises working and we are accepting appointments during our normal operating hours. To schedule an appointment with us please call our office at (703) 527-7774 or email us at

Thank you for your understanding during this time. – The Columbia Gardens Memorials Staff