DIY Memory Pillow from a Shirt

When a loved one passes, we cling on to the memories that we have of them. They live on in our hearts and memories. With a memory pillow, a small part of that person you loved can be added into your home. When my husband’s grandfather passed away in 2015, my mother-in-law held onto several of his shirts. She finally parted with one and asked for me to create something to remember her father by – a memory shirt pillow.

Memory Shirt Pillow

I was very hesitant to cut up a terribly important memento but I finally did it. I am very pleased with how this DIY memory shirt pillow from a shirt has turned out!

This is my first real sewing tutorial so if something is not clear or if you would like further clarification, please leave a comment and I will fix it!

What you need for your memory shirt pillow:

  • Freshly washed shirt
  • Coordinating thread
  • Pillow form
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors


1- Take the shirt you are using for your memory shirt pillow and lay it flat. Cut along the seams so that all parts of the shirt are flat.

2- Measure your pillow form. Mine is 16″x16″. Lay the front of the shirt over the pillow form to see what part of the shirt best fits. For me, I wanted the pocket and buttons showing.

3- Do the same for the back, but add 4″ to either side. If you do not have a very large shirt to work with, you can use a coordinating fabric.

4- Cut the back panel of the pillow into halves.

5- Fold and pin 1″ over to make a hem. Sew at 3/4″ allowance and 1/4″ allowance.

6- Place the front panel right side up and layer on the back panels with the front side down. The back panels will overlap. The overlap creates the opening for the pillow form to go into. Pin around the edges.

7- Sew a 1/4″ seam allowance around the edges of the pillow cover.

8- Turn the pillow cover right side out and insert the pillow form.

Memory Shirt Pillow

9- Enjoy the memory of your loved one with your memory shirt pillow!

Memory Shirt Pillow

Love handmade things? Check out my Etsy shop!

Need help decluttering sentimental items? View my post here on why letting go can be hard.

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