DIY Remembrance Pillows

Follow these simple instructions for making your own remembrance pillows from old shirts.

remembrance pillow

A remembrance pillow made out of a loved one's button-down shirt is a great way to honor a person's memory.

Photo by Amanda Barnwell

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A great way to honor a loved one who has passed away is to make a remembrance pillow out of one of his or her button-down shirts.

Even if you’re not an experienced seamstress, this is a simple project. If you don’t have a sewing machine, and you don’t want to invest in one, you can purchase a handheld sewing machine for less than $30.

Supplies:

• Button-down shirt
• Scissors
• Iron
• Throw pillow
• Pins
• Sewing machine

Sewing Machine Directions:

1. Make sure the shirt is buttoned, and then cut the sleeves off. Iron the shirt, and turn it inside out.

2. Place the pillow inside the shirt, and position it how you want it. This is especially important if your shirt has a pocket; make sure the pocket is positioned where you want it. Also, you’ll want to make sure the pillow is low enough so the collar won’t get in the way.

3. Pull the bottom of the shirt, both the front and back panels, together tight, and pin along the edge of the pillow, starting in the center and working your way out.

4. Trim off the excess fabric, leaving about an inch overhang.

5. Pin and trim the other three sides, and then unbutton the shirt and remove the pillow. Sew along the pins, removing them as you go.

6. Turn the shirt right-side out, and put the pillow inside. Button the shirt.

Handheld Machine Directions:

1. Button the shirt, then cut off the sleeves. Iron the shirt, and turn it inside out.

2. Place the pillow inside the shirt, and position it how you want it.

3. Pull the bottom of the shirt, both the front and back panels, together tight, and pin along the edge of the pillow, starting in the center and working your way out.

4. Trim off the excess fabric, leaving about an inch overhang. Now stitch along the pins, removing them as you go. When you get to the end, secure the seam. Pick up the shirt and shake it a bit so the pillow rests against the sewn seam.

5. Starting with the top of the shirt, repeat the pinning, trimming and stitching process. Do the same with the two remaining sides.

6. Unbutton the shirt and remove the pillow. Turn the shirt right-side out, and put the pillow back inside. Button the shirt.

Note: If desired, you can add a patch with an embroidered saying or name, or some other design, to the shirt to personalize it even more.