Granddad’s Memory Pillow Tutorial

easy sew Memory Pillow Tutorial

It can be hard to know what to do with a loved one’s clothes after they’ve passed away, especially those items which they wore so often that the clothes are well connected to them in our memory.Memory Pillow Tutorial

Turning a special shirt or sweatshirt into a pillow, quilt, or stuffie not only gives you a visual reminder, but also something to hug and hold onto.

My Granddad passed away about a year and a half ago, so last Christmas I used quite a few of my Granddad’s old western shirts to make quilts for my nana, mom, and uncle, but I still had a thick quilted jacket of his hanging in my closet.  It wasn’t the right texture for a quilt, but I thought it would make the perfect memory pillow for my Nana.

You may have to make a decision about whether or not to wash the clothes.  Granddad’s jacket had a few slightly dirty spots, but since it still had his lingering smell, I thought Nana would prefer it left as is.  We can always wash it later.

A memory pillow is really simple to make, especially if you’re working with a button-down shirt.Memory-Pillow

Supplies for Memory Pillow Tutorial:

Memory Pillow

Instructions for Memory Pillow Tutorial:

Start by turning your shirt inside out. We’ll cut out the front and back layers at the same time, so that way, once it’s cut, we can immediately pin it everything will stay lined up. You’ll want to be sure to avoid any buttons when you cut your square out, so I marked the backs of the buttons with some pieces of tape.  That also helped me center them in the pillow.Memory Pillow

You’ll want to cut your square out 1-inch larger than your pillow.  I was using a 16-in Pillow Insert, so I cut out 17-inch squares.Memory Pillow

Pin your squares together, so they don’t slip during sewing.Memory Pillow

Sew with 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Initially, I just sewed the square shape, but my fabric was so thick, I actually found I got a better finished result by rounding the corners.  Trim the fabric in the corners.Memory Pillow

Unbutton the shirt from the back.  Memory Pillow

Turn right side out and stick your pillow in.Memory Pillow

My granddad used to have a collection of teddy bears that he distributed to his grandkids a while ago…so now the pillow will keep his bear company until I take it to my nana next week.  Memory Pillow

You can see Granddad’s Memory Quilts here and my Sock Snowmen stuffies here.  You can tell from the pictures that he loved blue and maroon…at least to wear.

Happy Pillow Making!

~ Polly from Pieces by Polly


165 thoughts on “Granddad’s Memory Pillow Tutorial”

  1. Kathy Haynie says:

    Polly, what a beautiful way to keep the memories alive!

    1. rachel fantarrow says:

      I so love this idea. My daugher is really struggling with her grandads death and i would so love one of these. Does anyone know who makes them as i really couldnt sew x

      1. Niki Meiners says:

        You can do an internet search for sewists in your area.

        1. Jean Brown says:

          Id love one of these. This Maw Maw has a grandson who would really appreciate it

          1. Robin Dann says:

            please send us photos of the one you make for him. you can share them on facebook

        2. Rob hance says:

          If you are in the UK I would be happy to make it for you. I am making them for my wife and her sister who lost their father this week. Along with making the grand children one each as well.

          1. Abbie says:

            Hi how much would you charge please? I’m in the west midlands

      2. Deb M says:

        Let me know . I know a wonderful lady who is making a pillow for my mom . We are in Shelbyville Indiana.

        1. Greg A says:

          Please Email Info For A Sewist In Shelbyville. I Would Like To Have One.Made For My Fiance That Lost HeR Dad. Mak.Midwestxxxxxxxxxx

          1. Niki Meiners says:

            Greg, Please check your email we sent their addresses.

      3. Nancy says:

        I would be happy to make your grandaughters pillow. Please vivid my fb at I also embroider the poem on it. I hope this helps. Take care

        1. Christy says:

          Hi my name is Christy Moore. I was wondering how much you charge to make these pillows? I would love to have one made. My email is xxxxxxxx

          1. Niki Meiners says:

            Hi, we do not make these for individuals. Check your local fabric store, craft show, etsy seller or quilt shop. Someone there might be able to help you.

          2. Please check out my Facebook page I am making theses

        2. Bonnie says:

          Memory pillow I would like one or two.

          1. Melissa says:

            I can make these. Not sure where you are located but email me and we can discuss price and shipping.

        3. Sue Sorritelli says:

          I am looking for someone to make a pillow out of my husbands fannel shirts with the poem on it.
          I live in Cincinnati, OH

      4. Annie says:

        There are a few people on Etsy who make these pillows too. It’s a lovely idea.

      5. Veronica says:

        I make these types of memory shirts and more….share my link for your friends to see… Thank you

        Simply-Veronica on Facebook.

      6. Dawn says:

        I can make one for you, if you still need one

      7. Nana says:

        Have you found anyone to make your memory pillow yet. What city and state do you live in. I’ll check shipping prices. My name is Nana.

        1. I am in Massachusetts and have not been able to find anyone to make some memory pillows for me. If you could send me prices and expected turn aroun time, i would muchly appreciate it. Thank you


          1. Caren Donofrio says:

            Its very easy to do Even hand sewn I made on I’m memory of my 11 year old son who just passed

          2. Cheryl says:

            I am in Massachusetts as well and I’ve made several of these. Please feel free to email me to discuss your needs and to see if I can help you out.

      8. Karen McGallian says:

        I came across your email And thought am sure she has found some- but!! You never know till you ask. Hi my name is Karen I live in southern Louisiana- and have been quilting out for over 20 years But my grands are almost grown I find spare time. I so enjoy taking your memories and giving you a one of a kind Shirt quilt to hold them near again. My pillows are different as I use several sections to make you smile with memories I never create the same pattern twice As there shirts are as different as they were.
        Thank you Karen Mc

        1. Colleen Fredrick says:

          How do I get in touch with you about memory pillows from shirts?

          1. Robin Dann says:

            If you have questions about creating a memory pillow using the instructions on our website, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] with your question.

        2. Donna says:

          I saw your comment in the memory pillow posting on Facebook. I have been trying to find someone to make a quilt or something as I have a few articles of clothing from both of my parents. Looking for a quilt the size of maybe an over-sized XL to wrap up in on the sofa. I am sure some extra fabric will be needed as I believe I have 2 or 3 shirts of my Dad’s and a couple of my mom’s and also a flannel robe of my Dad’s. Please let me know if you are able and willing to do this and also the cost.
          Thank you!!!!

        3. Colleen Fredrick says:

          Karen, I would like more info about the memory pillows you make from shirts. Do you have pictures?
          How do I contact you?


      9. Pam Roush says:

        I make them for 25.00 each

        1. Malinda says:

          interested in graddaddy pillow! where are you located


    2. Reggie says:

      Who makes these?

      1. Niki Meiners says:

        Check in your area for a quilting and sewing store or a local guild.

  2. Shirley says:

    I am in the process of making two of them….they are so special….

    1. Polly Carlson says:

      So glad you found it useful! I’d love to see how yours turned out.

    2. Ginger says:

      I am going to make 12 of these pillows but don’t want the buttons to gap. Considering sewing it shut & creating an opening in back to insert pillow. Would you go the hard route & put in a .zipper or easy & use Velcro? Any other ideas?

      1. Polly Carlson says:

        Either velcro or a zipper would work well, so it just depends on what you’re more comfortable sewing with.

      2. Debbie Whitmore says:

        You can just leave one of the seams open most of the way across and finish it after putting the pillow form in.

      3. Evelyn Brady says:

        you could put extra velcro between the buttons of the shirt. that would keep it from gaping and still make it easy to access

        1. Niki Meiners says:

          Yes you sure could. Great tip.

  3. Linda Desi says:

    DO you know someone who makes them? I am all thumbs when it comes to sewing and I do not have a sewing machine. My husband passed suddenly in October 2014 and I would love to gift one to each of our five sons for Father’s Day.

    1. sharon wilson says:

      I would be glad to help out making them. Don’t know if could get done before Father’s Day.

    2. Niki Meiners says:

      Linda, please send us your email. We have a few people who have left their contact information for you. We will send you the information.

    3. You you make 1 for a man here who can’t sew? I want to give one to my sweetie, she still lives in CA, and I’m in Ohio

      1. Niki Meiners says:

        Thank you for asking. We do not do any sewing for individuals. You can search the internet for sewists in your area.

      2. barb horr says:

        hi i can help you out if you are still looking for someone to make a pillow for you

  4. Linda Desi says:

    Can this be done with t-shrts?

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Yes it sure can.

  5. You could also make memory pillows from T-shirts, although the method you’d need to use would be different.

  6. Merle bennett says:

    Would love this for my passed a year ago. Don’t have a shirt because he always wore coveralls could u make with that for me

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Sorry, we do not do custom work. You could make a pillow from them yourself or look for someone local to help you.

    2. Carolyn M says:

      I’d be happy to make you a pillow from them if you have not yet found anyone. Email me…

  7. Amy says:

    I sure wished I had one of my dad’s shirts to do this with but he passed 33 yrs ago.

    1. Polly Carlson says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Perhaps you could find a shirt similar to one your dad used to wear and make a pillow in honor of him.

  8. Angel Whelan says:

    This is lovely. I have asked my family to send me some of my beloved grandparents clothing to turn in to some cushions and maybe a quilt. I am dreading it though because… how can you make the first cut? Cutting into an outfit, a cardigan or dress or shirt, that was worn so often you can remember the hugs and the way it felt against your cheek, and the way it soaked up your tears when it was time to go home after a visit because you never wanted to say goodbye? How do you cut something so precious? I think it will break my heart to do it, but I really want some way to keep them close…

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Angela, we hope the pillows turn out great and you enjoy their memories.

    2. Doris says:

      I hope you went ahead with your project. I understand the difficulty of making that first cut. But just think, they’re in a box and when you make something from them, you will be able to see it and enjoy it and cherish the memories they bring every day.

  9. Wilma Ruland says:

    Is there any way you could put the pattern where it could be printed off, with out the comments at the bottom. Thank you. Love the idea.

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      We will look into that. Thank you for suggesting it.

      1. Beth Richardson says:

        Hi I belong to a military moms group I would like to know where to get labels printed would like to send them overseas for the soldiers to attach to their shirts to make pillows. We are a non-profit group

        1. Karen wittmer says:

          I am actually making the pillows but would love to have the embroder done as I néehave since made in the nut couple weeks. My mom is still living and the grandchildren deserve them as they are done. If someone cac just do the tag itcaIf not do you nknow what we needn be mailed and I can sew it on. Do you know of anyone that could it

          1. Niki Meiners says:

            Check in your local area.

          2. Sandra Ball says:

            What saying did you put on the shirt?

          3. Niki Meiners says:

            We have seen many different sayings. Use your favorite one.

        2. Carol Hogan says:

          There is someone on Etsy that sells the labels for about $8.00. Just search for Memory Pillow.

  10. Elanor says:

    I think these are wonderful I will absolutely try and make these (with not so important clothes first)
    I would really like to do one with something of my children’s baby clothes like my favorite shirt I had on them as a child because let’s face it we always favor a certain outfit on them the one we think they look the cutest in.& use later when they are adults to give to their child or just simply embarrass them. either way it will serve a good purpose
    Thank you so much for sharing this brilliant idea you will help a lot of people with their grieving just to have the feeling of someone still close by…well done for that

  11. Bettye Altzman says:

    What a wonderfully easy project–it can be completed in an afternoon! If your fabric is heavy–may I suggest the use of a “walking or even feed” foot to make it all easier.

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      That is a great suggestion. Thank you.

  12. sue brown says:

    I had seen one of these pillows in a friends house recently. she had lost a very dear nephew from cancer. It sits on a chair in her bedroom with a letter and photo from her nephew in one of the pockets. my dad is still alive but he lives in the UK and I live in South Africa and I would love to give him a hug now and again as he’s not in good health. I’m going over for a visit soon so I will ask for one of his shirts to bring back and make your pillow for myself. I’m also a quilter and I’m so glad to have found your page. thanks for all the great creative ideas . Sue Brown

  13. Denise Barefield says:

    I saved my dad’s flannel shirts. This would be a great idea for them.

  14. Sally Harris says:

    My very sweet Aunt lost her son and husband within 6 weeks. I have a T-shirt from her son and a button down shirt from her husband. She had to move to a very small apartment. I am thinking I will make one pillow-one side T-shirt and the other side button down shirt. Any suggestions?

  15. Sheila says:

    Thank you so very much, I’ve been looking for this pattern for quite some time, I have a lot of my Father’s shirts and I wanted to make pillows out of them , one of them I am going to make a doggie bed out of for his terrier…. Thank You

  16. Sue says:

    I have a shirt of my dad’s that had passed with his name on one pocket and his company on the other pocket. It was a 2XL so it’s rather large, but I would also like to include the collar. Have you done that, and if so how do you work that in?

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      No, we have not done one with the collar worked in. You could probably just use a straight stitch and sew it closed. Then follow the tutorial.

  17. Denise says:

    I am going to go to Goodwill and buy a couple of shirts to practice before I cut on a sentimental shirt.

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Practicing is a good idea.

  18. Poly thank you so much, I was about to donate my husband’s shirts but now I’m gonna make memory pillows for the boys and grands, what a great idea, thank you for sharing.

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      You are very welcome and good luck.

  19. Stacie paulson says:

    I need some made. I have 4 shirts.
    How do I get these to you?
    How much are they per pillow

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Thank you for asking. We do not do any sewing for individuals. You can search the internet for sewists in your area.

    2. Angela Champagne says:

      Hi Stacy, I am located in Michigan and I make these. Did you find anyone to make them for you?

    3. Nita Wright says:

      Did you get your shirts made if not I live in Va email me

      1. Mahrae Meek says:

        I would like to get illness one for a friend of mine, 5 in total made from his work shirts. Where are you located and how much?

  20. Peggy says:

    I have been making these for a friend who lost her father. Thanks for the tutorial!

  21. Tracy says:

    Can the same process be used with polo shirts ? Or is it much more difficult ?

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      You can use the same technique on a polo. Knits are a little more difficult to work with so you might want to use extra pins.

  22. Angela Champagne says:

    I make these and I am located in Michigan. At the moment I am making a group for a family who lost their dad this year and this will be everyone’s first Christmas without him. What a comforting gift. Love these and what a beautiful memory for everyone.

    1. Meghan says:

      Hi Angela…
      I’m in Canada but am wondering if you would be willing to make me a few of these pillowcases if I sent you the shirts (I need 6 total I think)?
      Do you have pictures of the ones you’ve done that you could send me?

    2. Linda Miller says:

      I need 10 of these made, I have the shirts and will get everything you need to make them. I would like something on each pocket. A saying or Bible Verse such as John 3:15.Which was the last thing our 6 year old grand daughter said to her “Pow”, Grandfather before he passed suddenly the next morning.

      1. Niki Meiners says:

        We do not make these. You should check with a sewist in your area.

  23. Vanessa says:

    Hello! I’m wanting to make this for my boyfriend, but I don’t know if he would be happy cutting up his grandads shirts, he keeps them hanging in his closet. Is there a way to make this without cutting the shirt? Maybe folding the sleeves somehow??

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      You could try folding in the sleeves. It should work.

  24. Robyn Willis-Cole says:

    I live in Upstate SC. If anyone needs sewing of Memory Pillows in this area, I sew them. I currently have 7 for a family’s 1st Christmas without Dad/Grandad/Husband. It makes their life much more bearable to have this treasure!

    1. Connie says:

      How much do you charge to make the memory pillows

      1. Niki Meiners says:

        Our Designer Polly does not make them for others. You can try a local sewing or craft store, craft show or even Etsy.

  25. Diana says:

    I’m so glad I found you on Pinterest. I saved some of my mothers favorite coffee coats and cobblers aprons along with some of her favorite blouses and tee shirts. My intention after she passed in 2011 was lo make a few lap quilts. But that never happened because I was responsible to take care of my dad. When he passed last year. Again, I saved his favorite shirts, tee shirts and sweaters someone told me to make pillows. What a great idea ! Less time consuming and easier than making quilts. Thank you so much for the step by step tutorial. After Christmas decorations come down, the sewing machine comes out. Thank You so much.

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Sorry for your loss and so pleased we could help you.

  26. Gaye Rickey says:

    Wow! Making this was so easy with the pictures as directions! Thanks very much for posting.

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Thank you! We really do love feed back.

      1. Judy Madron says:

        My husband passed away Dec 2015, and our five kids want these precious pillows, I am going through his shirts now, getting ready to start sewing, such a great idea, so hard to just get rid of everything belonging to a loved one! We were married for 57 years, a hard adjustment.

        1. Niki Meiners says:

          Sorry for your loss.

  27. Jan says:

    My mom wore sweatshirts can I use that

    1. Polly Carlson says:

      Yes, definitely! The front wouldn’t unbotton, but you could just sew the opening closed.

  28. Evelyn says:

    Thank you for this tutorial, it is so perfect and easy to follow instructions, I made my first memory pillow yesterday thanks to you. Just had to say thank you, Evelyn

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      You are very welcome and if there are other tutorials you would like to see please let us know.

  29. Theresa says:

    These shirts are are lovely memento. I am going to attempt to make a few of my own for loved ones after my father passed away. I am not very crafty lol but the clear grid cutting template you use makes it look easier for a non-sewer like myself – can you please tell me where you purchased it from? Thankyou 🙂

    1. Phyllis says:

      Theresa you can purchase one of these at JoAnns if you have one in your area or your local quilt shop.

  30. Lynda says:

    Do you know where I can find a tutorial that would teach how to include the collar? Thank you

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      We have not seen a tutorial with that. If we find one we will be sure to share it. You could button the collar and add a piece of material in the opening of the neck then use our tutorial. Just a thought.

    2. rosalie jensen says:

      There is a tutorial out there for including the collar. I made 18 out of western shirts and had the collars on. I don`t remember the name, but I just googled it.

  31. Ethel Steven says:

    I’d like a pattern for a memory pillow made from men’s shirt!

  32. Diane says:

    Hi, I need a tutorial on how to center the embroidery letters for the memory poem. I didn’t realize there was such a steep learning curve to getting this part done. Lol. I’ve got the 6 pillows made for a friend but I don’t want to pay $5-$12 for each poem on Etsy. I appreciate your time in helping me. Thanks so much, Diane

    1. Polly Carlson says:

      Hi Diane, I don’t do machine embroidery, so I’m afraid I can’t be very helpful. However, you might try doing the embroidery on a separate piece of fabric. That way you could trim it after and then sew it onto the pillow. Hope that helps.

      1. Diane says:

        Polly, thanks for your help. I finally found out that the plastic grid that came with my embroidery hoop is essential to centering letters. In addition, the up/down and left/ right buttons are used to move needle into correct position for exact spacing between lines and margins. Yes, I have separate fabric squares for each pillow as the flannel shirts are different colors. Thanks again!

  33. Mary Van Damme says:

    Dear Polly, thank you so much for posting this on pintrest. I have made 4 of them already-one for each grandchild since Papa passed away last year. They love them!

    1. Polly Carlson says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss and I’m so glad you’ve found the tutorial helpful.

  34. I’ve got my eight pillows lined up, but now I need soem patches. Do you know of a site or person that could create fabric patches – I’m think maybe 2 x 3 or 3 x 4
    size that I can sew on the front? Perhaps something like….thinking of me
    thinking of you
    I don’t want to hand embroider them if I can get fabric patches to just sew on….love and appreciate your easy tutorial!

    1. Polly Carlson says:

      I’m so glad you liked the tutorial. My best suggestions is to check and see if there is someone with an embroidery machine near you who would be willing to do it for you. You can also find patches like that on Etsy. I can’t personally recommend any of the sellers since I don’t have experience with their work, but I’ve had generally good experiences with other purchases from etsy.

  35. Agw says:

    For anyone who can’t sew – many dry cleaners have people who do alterations and making one of these is so much easier than alterations. This would also be a great Girl Scouts project or home ec (still a class?) first sewing project. Learned to sew in 7th grade and never stopped!

  36. Phoebe says:

    Have you made a pillow from a Henley shirt?

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Henley is a stretchy fabric so you might want to use a walking foot.

  37. Virginia Fahnestock says:


    Thanks so much for the directions. I was just hired to turn 11 shirts into pillows for a lady to give all of her grandchildren. Shirts were her husband’s. She actually has a picture of one of her grandkids sitting on her hubby’s lap for each of the shirts we’re using. She plans on getting the pictures framed and giving the picture as well as the pillow to the grandchild for Christmas. A fabulous idea but I suggested she might want to have a box of kleenex handy when she does this.

    Virginia F

  38. Jen says:

    My Grandma recently passed. I was able to take a few of her homemade dresses that I’ll be making pillows with. Nice instructions, makes me think I’ll actually be able to do this

  39. Michelle Rozon says:

    My name is Michelle . I am a Seamstress /Upholsterer in Calgary Alberta. I am making one right now for my granddad who’s past. I will post pic later. I am available to provide this service for anyone interested. rozon307 at

  40. Michelle Rozon says:

    I sm thinking I will include the collar. .I will let you know how it goes. ☺

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Thanks and we look forward to seeing the final piece.

  41. marie charlotte phoenix says:

    not sure what to write for memory pillow
    please can you help out

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      Maybe something like – This is a shirt I loved to wear. Whenever you hold it know I am near.

  42. Geri Turley says:

    ‘Just made two of these using this tutorial. I used much thinner shirts, so I was a little worried, but they look great! I am NOT a crafter – it gives me anxiety – but this was important to me, and they turned out GREAT! And so easy! In other words, if I can do this, ANYONE can do this! ‘Bought the pillows for less than $4 each. I also don’t sew, but my good friend does, and this is such an easy job that she was happy to do it for me. THANK YOU!

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      You are so very welcome and keep up the kindness.

  43. janet bailey says:

    I have seen this with a saying from father printed on the pocket, what is that saying?

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      We have seen many different sayings. Use your favorite one.

  44. Sandra Ball says:

    What verse did you use on the pillow shirt?

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      We have seen many different sayings. Use your favorite one.

  45. Lou Montgomery says:

    I would love a tutorial for a pillow like this with the collar left intact. I’ve seen them but can’t quiet figure it out.

  46. Netty M says:

    Thank you Polly for your wonderful tutorial. The instructions were great, and so easy to follow. I’m making one for my mother and both of my daughters this Christmas. We lost my brother last year. He was a wonderful son, brother, husband, father and uncle. I had some of his shirts saved. Hoping these will be a perfect way to help in our healing.

  47. LL Anglen says:

    I made 18 for a Lady’s children, grand children & great grandchildren She was very pleased, made-up my own pattern guess I am not the only one!!!

  48. Linda Edge Hudson says:

    I’d find a way to put a sachet of their Cologne or aftershave inside so it smells like them when hugged…

    1. Polly Carlson says:

      Love this idea!!

  49. DD says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the instructions!! I can’t wait to adapt this for grandma pillows for the grandchildren after my mothers passing!!!

  50. sue commons says:

    Sue’s Sew Shop in Baxter Springs, Ks., will make them for $10 if you furnish the pillow and the shirt.

  51. Jo Ann Wade says:

    This is such a great idea. They are so easy to do. I did one for my grandson, not for a grandparent, but for an Aunt that he loved and misses so much, and she loved him dearly, and he was so excited that he wept a bit.

  52. Betty Rindfleisch says:

    This is a wonderful idea. I have many of my late husband’s shirts and I am going to do this with some of his favorites. Thanks for the idea.

  53. Kim says:

    Anyone know someone near Louisville Ky that does this? I need 4 of these done at a reasonable price. The 1 year anniversary of my dad passing is quickly approaching!

    1. Niki Meiners says:

      We would suggest contacting your local quilt store or sewing guild.

  54. Maxine says:

    I’ve done several of these for my grandchildren and bought the fabric iron on computer sheets at Walmart (in the craft section) and put this on each. After ironing them on, I reinforced them with a zig-zag sewing around. They absolutely love them.

    1. Robin Dann says:

      what a lovely poem to accompany a heart felt hand made gift.

  55. Susan says:

    This is a great tutorial and just what I was looking for. Thank you for sharing.

  56. Judy says:

    I have several pillows to make but before I cut could you explain how you deal with the pleat that men shirts have in back at the yoke

    1. Polly Carlson says:

      I think you’ll find that you’ll be using a portion of the shirt from lower down than that…at least for the pillow I made that part wouldn’t have been included. I do think it’s a fun idea to use interesting parts of the shirts like that and I’ve done that on quilts I’ve made. The key is really to be flexible and know that when sewing with clothes, you don’t get such perfect results as if you were sewing with brand new flat quilting fabric.

  57. Sally says:

    Do you know someone who can make two for me?

  58. Pat Keller says:

    We are doing this with some of my husbands shirts and a friend of mine is also taking some of his jeans and making teddy bears for the younger grandkids and dressing them with clothes made from his hunting clothes

  59. Debbie says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. Very easy instructions and a wonderful way to “keep” someone close. Even works for children when their parents have to go on trips, so they feel like they are right beside them when they sleep, like a security blanket. Also found that it works if you have a pet that gets separation anxiety from their humans. Just hold the pillow before you leave and it gets your smell on it. It has worked for me at least with the kids and pets. Thank you again.

  60. Mary says:

    Thank you for these instructions. I think I should be able to do this for my daughters and sister from my Dad’s flannel shirts. I might even try making some from my mom’s blouses too. They will make wonderful Christmas presents. You make this look really easy. Again thank you.

  61. Nancy Meyer says:

    This is an awesome idea. I made 9 of these so far from grandpas shirts. I also made a couple by sewing his overalls over the shirt.

  62. Rose says:

    Hi, I’m Rose and I’m 13. I’m currently working on a school project which is making a pillow out of a shirt. I just wanted to ask what would be better to shut the pillow. Will button be god or Velcro. Thanks, Rose

    1. Rose says:


    2. Robin Dann says:

      Either method of closure will work fine. It really depends on the overall look of the pillow.
      For the GrandDad pillows, many people used the shirt buttons themselves for the closure.

      We find this works best when the pillow form is not overly plump for the size of your pillow cover.

      Happy sewing!

  63. Alexis says:

    I don’t have a sewing machine so could I just sew it by hand? Also do you just get the square cut out from any store?

  64. Alyssa G. says:

    Thank you so much for putting this tutorial up! My husband’s grandfather passed away suddenly two years ago, and he was a very beloved member of the family. I decided to memorize him for each family member, by making these special pillows for his children and grandchildren to hold close. I made 9 of them, and it was so simple, that I did it in 1 day! They came out absolutely perfect, and each one was made of an individual shirt he constantly wore. I’ve never used a sewing machine before, so that should tell you just how simple this tutorial is to follow. I wish I could post pictures up here for everyone to see, because they came out beautifully. I loved that I could insert the pillow through the button down shirts, instead of having to do any hand stitching. They turned out so magnificent, they look like you would purchase them in a store, or that they were made by a professional! Thank you again for posting this up, it gave me the opportunity to do something very special for my husband’s family, and his grandmother wept at such a thoughtful gift that she could keep near her (they were married for 65 years before he passed). Sending well wishes to all that follow the tutorial, and sorry for this long post, I’m just so grateful.

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