Updated at: 05-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

After the death of a loved one, everyone has their own unique method of remembering them. You may re-enact a pastime that you and the dead enjoyed together. Sharing recollections of a deceased loved one with family and friends may provide you some consolation. Creative outlets, such as crafts or art producing, can help you deal with your emotions.

A particular type of memorial craft will be the focus of our investigation today. We’ll take a look at how to make a memory cushion with a collar — a shirt with a collar. An item you’ll cherish will be the product of a simple sewing project that requires only basic abilities.

What You’ll Need to Get Started on Your Memory Pillow

A deceased loved one’s belongings might be difficult to let go of, especially if you have a close connection to them.

If you have a collared shirt that you adore, you can make a memory pillow out of it. With some basic sewing machine abilities, you should be able to get up and running quickly. A job like this necessitates a detailed breakdown of the materials it requires.

Memory Pillow Made From Shirt Pillows Made From Loved Ones - Etsy

A collared shirt that belonged to your late loved one

Shirts with collars are the focus of this tutorial. Polo shirts, blouses, and formal shirts all fall within this category. Make a pillow out of your dog’s collar for a unique memorial craft project.

Your emotional attachment to a shirt is likely to be the driving force behind your decision to turn it into a body pillow. However, there are several additional considerations to bear in mind.

Try to choose a shirt that doesn’t have any seams or darts, as that can be tough to work with. For this project, a shirt that falls straight down without a waistband is ideal. The clothing should be free of tears or stains that may necessitate an additional layer of protection.

A square pillow insert

Plain square decorative pillow inserts are readily available at most craft stores for do-it-yourselfers. You can buy pillow inserts online from sites like Amazon. The size of the shirt you’re dealing with will determine the cushion you choose.

A pillow 18 inches by 18 inches in size should be adequate for a small or medium-sized shirt. Large or extra-large shirts may require a pillow that is 20 inches by 20 inches or more.

A sewing machine

Because this is a basic craft, you don’t need a special sewing machine to do it. You should be able to get by with whatever you already have on hand.


Stitching your memory cushion shut will require thread. Make sure to choose a color that either complements or at least blends in with the fabric you’re working with.

Fabric scissors

Fabric scissors are essential for everyone who sews even on a casual basis. Because of their sharp angle and lack of serration, they are able to cut through the fabric with ease and precision.

Tailors’ chalk, pins, and a ruler

All of these tools will help you keep track of your progress as you go.

Steps for Making a Memory Pillow with a Collar

It’s time to learn how to assemble this do-it-yourself memorial present now that you know what supplies you’ll need. To make a collared memorial cushion, simply follow these steps:

1. Set up your workspace

In order to be creative, you need to be in the right place at the right time. As long as you have enough area to stretch out, a large table will be ideal. You can even spread out on the floor in a pinch.

Positioning yourself near a window or other light source is always a smart idea. Finally, assemble all of the above-mentioned goods and arrange them in an orderly method in your selected workspace.

2. Measure twice, cut once

Place the cushion insert inside your shirt and lay it flat on your work desk. This will give you a better idea of how much t-shirt you’re going to need.

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Trim away any extra fabric at the shirt’s bottom hemline. When in doubt about how much to trim, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can always take more cloth off in the future, but once you’ve cut something, you can’t get it back. Now is a good time to set aside the fabric you removed because you’ll need it later.

Next, remove the shirt’s sleeves. Cut about an inch beyond the shoulder seams, leaving the seam and a little bit of fabric in place. The sleeve fabric can either be discarded or saved for future use.

3. Pin down the collar

Sewing the collar into place can make your memory pillow shirt look much more professional in the long run. If your shirt’s collar isn’t already tacked down, you’ll have to accomplish it by hand. After you’ve pinned the collar into place the way you want it, use your sewing machine to sew it in place.

4. Prepare to close up the neck

Cut a huge square out of the cloth you removed from the bottom of the garment earlier. The collar’s hole will be sealed with this. An 8-inch square will normally work, but you may have to make adjustments based on the shirt you’re using. To prevent it from unraveling, sew a rough hem around the entire square. Because the corners will be covered, you don’t have to worry about getting it flawless

Pin the fabric square to the shirt, which you may do by unbuttoning it. The bottom of the square should be aligned with the collar hem and extend over the shirt’s hem. Sew the rectangle, removing the pins as needed, once you’ve placed it. This is going to cause a flap of sorts.

5. Mark and sew

Turn your shirt inside out, then button it back up. Draw straight lines along either side of the shirt using tailors’ chalk and a ruler. As a starting point, you can use the arm seams.

Pins can be used to keep the shirt’s front and back sides perfectly aligned. Create the pillow’s side seams by sewing along these lines.

6. Close the bottom

You can insert the cushion insert via the open bottom of the shirt once you’re satisfied with its side seams. The pillow should be snugly fitted. Before sewing the bottom seam, use chalk to define where you want to sew and remove the insert.

7. Complete the cushion

Unbutton the shirt and flip it right side out once the three seams are finished. Fold the rectangular flap down to cover the opening in the cushion insert and place it inside. Take it off and admire the end product!

Memory Pillow Ideas and Inspiration

Making a memory pillow from a sentimental shirt is an excellent way to give it new life. You have the option to further customize this prize if you so desire. The pillow can be further personalized by adding an embroidered message.

For simplicity’s sake, you can have the message sewn onto a patch and then sewn onto the garment. The best memory pillows are those emblazoned with phrases that evoke the spirit of your deceased loved one. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

“Life ends. Love doesn’t.”

This is a condensed version of a Mitch Albom quotation. It serves as a constant reminder that even though someone you care about has passed away, their memory will live on.

“Holding you in my heart.”

One of the reasons why memory pillows are so special is that they provide a tangible reminder of the person you’re missing. Embroidering this message near your heart on your shirt’s left lapel would look stunning.

“All that we love becomes part of us.”

Quoted from Helen Keller, this is an abbreviated version. When you do good things, it shows that your deceased loved one lives on in you.

Why our pillowcases need special attention

Throughout the course of the day, our bodies accumulate dirt and grime. Once we’re done playing, we head home and fall asleep on our beds. We sleep with our faces on our pillows, allowing our skin to touch the covers for several hours at a time. Our bodies produce oil and dead skin cells as we sleep. Even if we wash our faces, hands, and teeth before going to bed, we still leave behind a certain amount of body oil and dead skin cells when we wake up and walk out of bed each morning.

Even if we wash our faces before going to sleep, the oils and allergens on our pillowcases can lead to clogged pores, skin irritations, acne, unclean hair, and other issues. Plus, why waste all that time and effort on a dirty pillowcase when we’ve spent the day and night diligently following tight cosmetic regimens? Instead, let’s figure out the best technique to keep our pillowcases clean at all times..

Tips for Cleaning Pillows and Pillowcases

Cleaning pillowcases

Remove pillowcases and wash them separately from the pillows. Because they come into contact with your hair and skin, pillowcases tend to yellow more quickly than other linens. Using a firm brush, scrub the pillowcase with liquid dish soap before cleaning it. Vinegar can be used to remove stubborn body oil and other stains. To get rid of the last of the residue, wash the pillowcase in hot water for a few minutes to bring it back to life.

Washing pillows

The particular composition of pillows necessitates a higher level of cleaning attention. Do not panic if you can no longer find the pillow label, as most synthetic and down pillows are machine washable. Check the label on the pillow for cleaning instructions. Add some hot/boiling water, some dry laundry soap, and a little bit of bleach to the tub of your washing machine and let it sit for 30 minutes to boost the cleaning capacities of your machine and detergent. After that, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wash your pillow in hot water with a liquid detergent. The filling of pillows can trap detergent, so run a second rinse cycle to get rid of it.

Drying pillows

A low heat setting or an air drying option is recommended when drying pillows in the dryer. Throw some socks into the dryer to fluff up the pillows while they’re drying to prevent them from becoming lumpy. After washing, air-drying your pillows is a great way to keep them fresh as well as prevent mold and mildew from forming inside them.

Maintaining freshness

To maintain the freshness of your pillows, clean them a few times a year to remove any built-up residue and stains. Change your pillowcases to clean once per week and consider showering before bed to remove makeup, hair products, sweat, etc. Pair your clean pillows and pillowcases with professionally cleaned and ironed bed linens for a truly restful night’s sleep.

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Crafting Your Way to Inner Peace

You should clean your pillows a few times a year to eliminate any accumulated dirt and stains that may have built up. Once a week, wash your pillowcases and consider taking a shower to get rid of any remaining makeup, hair products, or perspiration. In order to ensure that you have a good night’s sleep, make sure that your pillows and pillow cases are in good condition.

Taking back control of your life is easier when you have a goal to work toward. When you create something beautiful, it has the power to heal and restore you. Making memorial crafts for the bereaved is a tiny but significant way to honor their memory.