Great Tips for Designing a Funeral Program

If you’ve been assigned the duty of designing a loved one’s funeral program, you may be unsure where to start. That’s understandable, and we’re here to help. Creating a unique printed tribute to a person’s life doesn’t have to be difficult, if you follow these five tips for designing a funeral program.

Design a funeral program

Choose the Format for Your Program First

It’s easier to decide what to include in the funeral program if you know how much space you’ll have in the printed piece. Will you use a simple bifold/single fold funeral program layout or opt for a multipage program?  What size paper will you use?  Will you have a standard fold, or an offset fold?  See our article on funeral program layouts for more information.

If you don’t have experience creating a folder or brochure, you’ll find funeral program templates helpful. Make the program even more personal by selecting a program template with colors and graphics that best represent the person who has passed away.

Research the Details

Writing the details that are normally included in a funeral program involves doing some research. Here are some of the items you may want to use:

  • Full name of the deceased, dates and places of birth and death
  • Place, date and time of funeral or memorial service and internment
  • Names of pallbearers or honorary pallbearers
  • Person officiating the service
  • Special music: names of performers and titles of songs
  • Names of individuals doing special readings
  • Suggested charities for donations in honor of the deceased

These details can be used to write the funeral order of service (here’s a sample funeral program) and also used as appropriate to write the obituary.  Read this article for more information on what to put in a funeral program.

Write a Personalized Obituary

Rather than a run-of-the-mill standard obituary, why not honor your loved one with a unique record of their life? The obituary you include in the funeral keepsake can be more personal than one that appears online or in a newspaper. You could, for instance, include one of your loved one’s favorite poems or quotations. You may also want to add a short summary of the person’s life.

Here’s an example:

“Joe H. Thomas loved animals and supported animal rights organizations all his life. He shared that passion with his beloved wife, Elizabeth, and passed it on to his children, Joe Jr., Emily and Richard. Donations to the following animal rights groups can be made in Joe’s memory.”

Here are some of the other details commonly included in a funeral program obituary:

  • Spouse or partner names, length of relationship
  • Children or grandchildren’s names and their spouses’ names
  • Schools attended, educational achievements and degrees
  • Profession, place of employment, professional honors
  • Charitable interests, involvement with churches and other religious organizations

Photographs Create a Unique Tribute

While words can convey the life of your loved one, adding special photographs will make their funeral tribute even more unique. Look for photos in family albums or cellphones and on social media sites like Facebook. Focus on finding clear, uncluttered photographs that convey their personality and interests. A more formal photo taken by a professional photographer will suit the program cover best, but try to also find candid shots portraying your loved one in beloved places, receiving special honors or spending time with friends and family.

Add Frames, Borders and Clipart

With readily available frames, borders and clipart, you can enhance the appearance of photos and add a professional look to the funeral program. The goal is to design a funeral bulletin that paints a picture of the person’s life while also conveying the details of their final service.

A well-planned funeral program can become a treasured keepsake that brings to mind a friend or loved one’s life in years to come. Take the time to follow these five tips and the program you design will reach that goal as well as reflecting the care you’ve taken to complete the task.



Trifold Funeral Program Sample

trifold funeral program sampleThis funeral program sample is the Trifold Mountain Memory Funeral Program.  It prints on 8 1/2″ x 14″ Legal sized paper, double sided, and folds twice giving 6 panels available for information on both the front and the back.  The funeral program design is a blue background with an inset picture of mountains and a lake.  This template is perfect for someone who enjoys nature or the outdoors.  This sample has a funeral program cover photo and a photo collage to display friends and family.



Trifold Funeral Program Sample Outside Cover

sample trifold funeral program

This outside cover of this trifold funeral program sample has a blue background image with images of a lake and mountains.  It has a cover photo, first name, last name, funeral service information and birth and death date.  You can choose to leave some of this information off in you prefer.  The middle panel (which is the back of the program, once it is folded, has a scripture on the back, as well as the traditional information pallbearers and flower bearer information.  There is an thank you note (also called an acknowledgement) that publicly thanks friends and family for their support and prayers.

The strength of the trifold funeral program template layout is the panel available for photos.  This sample has a photo collage that was quick and easy to make.  Simply place the photos on the back panel and arrange them accordingly.  You can resize and crop the photos to make them fit properly.  You can also apply borders of different thicknesses to give it more design flair.

Trifold Funeral Program Sample Inside Page

sample trifold funeral program

The inside page also has 3 different panels where you can insert information.  The left hand panel as funeral order of service that tells the details and events of the service.  There is also interment (or burial) information.  The middle panel has the obituary, which gives details of the deceased’s life such as the birth place, career and hobby information and family members.  The right hand panel has a personalized note about the deceased and a poem.  You can also put any other information in this panel.

Easy Funeral Programs

funeral program template crossIf you have recently been tasked with planning a funeral for a loved one, there are many different tasks that have to take place.  One of those tasks is providing a funeral program or memorial booklet for your service.  There are many different ways you can get funeral programs made for your service, but if you are under a time constraint or if cost is an issue, you may want to make funeral programs at home.  Making your own funeral programs can be quick and easy if you use a funeral program template.

Funeral program templates are widely available on the internet, and come in many different designs and layouts.  You can also use them with a variety of software programs including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher and Apple Pages.  Once you find a template you like, simply download the template to your computer and begin editing and adding your pictures.  Professional templates should have sample information already laid out to make it easy for you to add you own personalized information.

easy funeral programs banner

Easy Funeral Programs

Here are some tips to make easy funeral programs that still look great to honor your loved one’s memory.

Use a Bifold (single fold) funeral program template

The bifold (single fold) template prints on standard letter sized 8 1/2″x11″ paper, which is easy to get and inexpensive.  There also are not fancy folds with the bifold layout.  You only have to worry about information for 4 panels of information, so completing, printing and folding  your program should be quick and easy.

Keep your program to one page (printed front and back or duplex).

Multiple pages on a program increases the time it takes to complete it.  It also increases the printing time as well as the costs associated with printing such as ink, toner and paper.

Keep photos to a minimum

Typically a funeral program will have one cover photo.  To keep the program simple, only use one photo.  If you do not have a photo, use a template that doesn’t need a cover photo.

Keep text formatting to a minimum

Once you’ve started typing in your information, you should keep formatting of text to a minimum.  Keep the standard font that comes with the template, don’t get carried away with bold, underlines, italics, etc.

Consult the internet for examples

Instead of trying to think of the funeral program wording, consult the internet for examples.  There are many examples of the funeral order of service, sample obituaries, funeral poems, scriptures, acknowledgements and thank you.  You can save hours of time getting ideas from other sources.

You an quickly and easily make and print your own programs if you use these time-saving tips.  You will end up with a beautiful funeral program that your family and friends will cherish.

Funeral Program Template Sample

Funeral program templates are guides that help you create personalized funeral programs and memorial booklets for your loved one. A funeral program template can come in a variety of designs and layouts.  Here is an sample funeral program template.  This template is a bifold (or single)fold, and has a religious theme.

Sample Funeral Program Template Outside Cover

funeral program template sampleThe right hand side of this outside page features a religious theme cover, which shows a bible and rosary bead cross.  It has a tan patterned background.  This template cover design is perfect for a religious funeral or memorial ceremony or homegoing service celebration.  The cover has room for a cover photo, and has the first name, last name, birth and death dates as well as funeral service information.   The title of this template is “In Loving Memory” but can easily be changed to something like “In Memoriam” or Homegoing Service.

The left hand side or back cover of this funeral program template has room for a poem, scripture or funeral quote.  You could also choose to put a photo or clipart on the back.   There is a thank you note (or acknowledgement) where the family thanks friends, family and other persons for attending and for any kind words or gifts.  If you are a funeral home or church creating the program on behalf of the family, client or congregation member, you may want to add your funeral home or church information on the back.

Funeral Program Template Sample Inside Page

funeral program template sampleThe left hand side of this inside page has a sample funeral order of service.  The order of service is the list of activities and readings for the funeral or memorial service.  It also lists the people who will be participating in the service.  This sample shows a religious-based order of service.  It also lists the burial or interment information.  The right hand side has a long obituary, which gives the details of the life of the deceased.  A standard obituary usually lists where the deceased was born, work and hobby information and family information.